Man Without Qualities

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Security Forces Kerfuffle

The Man Without Qualities lives in Los Angeles, a city that eleven years ago was all but allowed by its municipal security (police) forces to be burned down by civil insurgents because the security forces were annoyed at various outcomes of the Rodney King fiasco. I lived in Los Angeles during those riots. For days the air was thick with smoke that left a thick deposit of an ash that had only hours before been incorporated into the structure of my city. I listened to the mayor of my city state on the radio that the insurgents really had a point, and the president of Occidental College - an institution located just a few minutes away from my home, virtually around the corner from the then-burning Circuit City on Sunset Boulevard - chime in that he more than agreed with hizonner.

So it's more than a little difficult for me to take seriously the Chicken-Little tone of this story:

About one in every 10 members of Iraq's security forces "actually worked against" U.S. troops during the recent militia violence in Iraq, and an additional 40 percent walked off the job because of intimidation, the commander of the 1st Armored Division said Wednesday.

"Walked off the job because of intimidation" was it? The Los Angeles police department essentially walked off the job without intimidation - just because they were ticked off. Besides, just about 100% of the Iraq security forces under Saddam Hussein walked off the job because of intimidation from the incoming US military. Fifty or sixty percent of current forces standing up for a government imposed by an invader seems like a very good showing to me. After all, Iraq is a country that has never been able to chose its own government and has never had a government that cared about or was responsible to ordinary Iraqis - and after several months of American occupation the spirit of the Iraqi armed forces and security forces still shows some of the lingering effect of the previous 5,000 years of official oppression, merciless exploitation of the people and government illegitimacy. So what? The Los Angeles police department had a lot less to gripe about. Anyone who thinks Baghdad in 2003 has nothing to learn from Los Angeles in 1992 just wasn't spending enough time looking at what happened at Florence and Normandie and wasn't paying enough attention to the claptrap that emanated from the liberal media at the time.

I didn't even move out of Los Angeles. I stayed and bought another, bigger house because I knew that the incompetents and whackos like Mayor Bradley and professor what's-his-name would not prevail in the long run. And I was right. The home I bought in 1993 for $150 a square foot, located just a mile or so from that burning Circuit City, is now supposedly worth well over $700 a square foot.

Maybe I'll look into buying some Baghdad real estate now.

UPDATE: Somebody buy Megan a spinal brace. Geopolitical scoliosis ahoy!

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