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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Friday, February 24, 2006

"Cut and Run" -- An Epithet of Misplaced Scorn

It is popular to immediately dismiss any suggestion of pulling the U.S. troops out of Iraq without further ado. To do that is scornfully called "cutting and running." The same was true a year or more ago when the prospects for stability in Iraq weren't any better than they are today, despite all the delusions that are still so general. These dismissers sold the snakeoil tonic that withdrawal was either not necessary or that it was best accomplished not quickly but gradually. But the "Some Day Soon" people joined the "Nevers" in doing nothing to pull out at any time, and so we have the ever deepening bog that we see today, with the rival sects in Iraq busily destroying each other's mosques and murdering each other wholesale, and with no end of that kind of horror in sight.

Obviously these "Nevers" and "Some Day Soons" don't associate with those small, clever, flexible, and endlessly adaptable creatures called cats. Instead they keep those big oafish animals called dogs. But it is no accident that recognizable cats have been around longer than recognizable dogs, and at one point, after the extinction of dinosaurs, big cats were even the dominant species, judging by what's been pulled out of the LaBrea Tar Pits. And, should humankind extinguish itself, which is an excellent bet, cats in some form will still be around, while dogs, the descendants of wolves, will perish with their masters, having become nothing more than meals of those same wolves, or of the new cats.

Cats are instructive to have around because they show how it is possible to live lives stripped down to the absolute basics, an attitude that helps to explain their long tenure. Among those basics, it's an especially great delight to see how they respond when faced with an Iraq-like situation, on a cat's scale of things. You will see no hemming and hawing, because they are not given to nonsense like hubris and pride. Instead, though they disdain the speaking of English even if they know the language perfectly well, you can still hear what they thinking via the transmission of brain waves.

They will say, "Screw this. I'm outta here!" And they depart the premises post-haste, like a shot.

How unfortunate we are that, no matter how well we think of ourselves, we are not even remotely as unburdened and clear-headed as are cats.


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