Are Shiities Like Klingons?

Posted: August 9, 2007 in News and politics

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Reading an article from the Washington Post this morning, I am prompted to comment on the observation that as the British pull out of Basra the different Shiite factions there are competing in violent struggles for power. My meager knowledge of Star Trek societies furnishes me with a comparison with the mythical Klingon way of succession. There is more than one episode of Star Trek the Next Generation that give us details of how the Klingons challenge authority violently or by intimidation. The intimidation rarely works if the challenged leader is any kind of a leader at all. Anyone who doubts that life imitates art should review their history. Sometimes life’s imitation of art is strictly coincidental but real; and the only way we can experience the revelations that are there for us is to become more knowledgeable about literature and other forms of art so as to be able to draw metaphors from them to make sense of our world.

How I draw the comparison is how I believe the Shiites – and by their concomitance, the Sunnis – will be competing in power struggles until the unlikely event that they really become cooperative. Saying really become cooperative is justified by any cooperative efforts right now seems to be for the U. S.’s benefit so that we will get out of Iraq and let them settle into a permanent state of flux.

There are even some elements of progressive versus conservative groupings in Iraq. The progressives believe that there will always be power struggles; the conservatives believe that it is possible to settle their differences and live peacefully together. After all weren’t they living in harmony under Saddam Hussein? That fact gives credibility to the words of a song, “Freedom is nothing more than nothing more to lose”. Is that cynical? Maybe, but also true in Iraq.

Also consider that the Klingons get a perverse pleasure out of battle. Their very souls embody violent conflict. Without it they would become like the cat – and the title character – in The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea. It can be said that some leaders get satisfaction from the conflict that they encourage. The conflict has a certain utility for cementing their dominant status.

If you accept the premise on which this article is based is it not a logical conclusion that our troops presence in Iraq nothing more than one more antagonism for the warring factions? Believe it or not this is becoming the consensus among upper levels of management in our government. The emerging consensus verifies what was exposed in an article in the Los Angeles Times way back in October 2006 that said that the U. S. generals in Iraq agreed that our presence in Iraq is becoming more harm than good. The U. S. Navy Admiral who is our new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that the only successful resolution to the conflict in Iraq will be a political one. When asked if that is likely, he said he doubted it. The Secretary of Defense Gates recently said that our troop deployment from Iraq might begin this year.

I can almost hear a collective Homer Simpson “doh!” from the Republican candidates who agreed in a recent debate that we must stay in Iraq. I’ve often said that there is more humor on the front page of the newspaper; and more truth in the comics pages than most people realize.

I will summarize here with yet one more argument for getting our troops out of Iraq. The developing consensus belies the hubris that remains in the brain-dead conservatives in our society. My message to them is to wake up and smell the coffee!


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