October 17th, 2003

The gentleman is always properly dressed

Everything is proceeding exactly as I had foreseen it

It has become increasingly clear that the imminent global threat posed by Iraq’s WMD programs, one of the administration’s main selling points for our little war, was grossly exaggerated. As time wears, more and more holes in the argument appear. The intelligence that Iraq attempted to purchase uranium in Africa was shown to be fabricated. Rumors from within the intelligence community point to policy driving output, rather than output driving policy, and now critics are being outed in order to ensure that the rest remain in line. The certainty of the locations and types of chemical and biological agents being developed has been replaced with calls to be patient, to let weapons inspectors do their jobs. We are now talking about possibilities. So many statements begin with, "IF these weapons exist..." that it’s hard to accept that the evidence was as compelling as was represented.

In the face of the criticism that the administration has been unable to demonstrate that the much-vaunted imminent global threat existed, the hawks have fallen back from the argument. It was only one of the reasons that led to the war, they say. Ousting Hussein’s regime was a major step in our war on terror.

Curious.

In their recently published annual report, the International Institute for Strategic Studies assessed that the war in Iraq has likely increased al-Qaida’s recruiting power, morale, and operational capability, and further, that any conclusive failure to find WMD in Iraq will only serve to heighten this problem. In other words, though the US may have eliminated a state that supported terrorist activities, the means by which we accomplished this has actually strengthened radicalist resolve and made the world less safe. We have simply perpetuated the problem we supposedly aimed to address.


And pray, do not venture towards the "bringing democracy to Iraq" rhetoric.
The gentleman is always properly dressed

Who let the goth out?

I’m trying to kill myself.

Before you start, rest assured that I’m contemplating nothing so dramatic as the self-burnination occasionally used by distraught Buddhists or so memorable as the the Easy-Plath Oven. I’ve long since decided that I’m not selfish enough just to off myself. Whether this is just a convenient excuse for lack of courage in the face of oblivion remains a nagging question in the back of my mind, but the conclusion remains the same. No overt suicidal tendencies for me.

The problem is that I’ve not been contemplating my self-destructiveness at all. Really, it is far more insidious, operating at the edges of my consciousness and moving deliberately and purposefully towards my inevitable and untimely end. It seems very simple, really. Parts of me are doing their very best to avoid becoming. The self is undermined, given over to habits bred of fear and then more fear.

When I’m aware of it, I can chart its progress in terms of an intertwining web of opposites. The opposites being things I do that I know do not serve me. Why is it that I engage in habits that encourage sleeplessness which fosters overeating, a lack of focus, and self-isolation which in turn all lead straight back to sleeplessness? It is this self-destructive principle at work.

I’m not even sure what it is that I’m afraid of. Change perhaps. Change has always brought with it heartbreak and disappointment. In this state I’m in, I try to foster the disappointment and control it. I keep my worst fears close so they don’t spring upon me later. (Surprise!) Instead, I survive them every day and perpetuate them for tomorrow. I exist on the cusp of my own worst-case scenarios.

Living this way is eating away at me.

It seems change is in order, but I’m certain that I’ll need to deal with more heartbreak and disappointment to achieve it. New wounds to be inflicted, a way to heal the whole. Mostly, I just can’t face the idea. The choice is coming, though. Again I think in terms of the inevitable, but really it comes down to striking out on my own path, expectations be damned, or remaining within the dreams of others and slowly putting myself to death.

Bleh. This is why I think I need to get some sleep.
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The gentleman is always properly dressed

Sophisticate, Barbarian

Sometimes there is nothing sexier than a beautiful woman who knows wine but loves beer.

This is in itself a kind of shorthand for some of the things I would like in a companion, and has meaning that runs far deeper than I've ever tried to explain.