Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Make Way For the Neo-Deniers!

Neoneocon has a provocative post up regarding "change" which she discusses in regard to attitudes and perceptions of the Battle for Iraq.

As we did earlier, she too notes the articles by "the intrepid Michael Totten" citing them -- among other postings – in the context of her formulation. Please read the whole thing, including the comments.

Neoneocon begins by framing the issue of "change" in clinical terms – she has a background in therapy.

But change of this sort is not easy. This is true for individuals, and perhaps to an even greater extent for societies. The human psyche is resistant to change and struggles mightily to preserve the status quo. Therapists even have terms for this: resistance, homeostasis, denial.

And then she posits as a given, a separating of the opposition wheat from its chaff.

And the same is true, strangely enough, for our effort in Iraq. If you eliminate those war critics in this country who are motivated by a hate-America agenda, and simply look at those who have bona fide objections to the war in Iraq, you might summarize the difference between those who still support our effort there and those who think we must get out now as, "the former believe fundamental change for the better is possible and is actually happening, while the latter believe it cannot and is not."

Well, if can be true for societies, it certainly can be true for political parties – and the political lives of the politicians who populate them.

If the various dynamic factors necessary for the homeostatic maintenance of a credible and sustained opposition to the mission in Iraq fall dangerously out of balance, and that opposition thereby feels threatened, we can expect those politicians who feel dependent on that opposition for their political survival to engage in a pattern of denial and resistance in the face of anything resembling success.

Some of them, i.e., Harry Reid, are simply too transparent for extended discussion. Having declared Iraq "lost" back in April, by mid-June he was claiming Petraeus "isn’t in touch with what’s going on in Baghdad."

Others critics evince multiple reactions, including humorous reactions, such as the revelatory quip of Senator Daine Feinstein (D-CA), noted in Politico (ht, Michael Barone, here), when the Senator was confronted with the stark reality of a measure of success in Iraq.

Asked what the Democrats’ next move on Iraq will be, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said, "You will see," with an emphatic fist pump, before turning back to a reporter and saying with a laugh, "That’s assuming we know."

We would also note that she had sniffed to Fox News Sunday about Petraeus that, "I don't think he's an independent evaluator."

So, we feel your denial pain, Senator, but your little slip into shtick was also duly noted!

So, what about Hillary . . .?

The not-so-jovial Hillary Clinton appears to be a different story. Less obvious than Harry Reid, she nevertheless seems incapable of a slip into candor on this topic. Having already maintained two poles-apart positions on Iraq, she can ill-afford the perception of a further shift.

Hillary Clinton’s portrayal of the testimony of General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker as "requiring a willing suspension of disbelief" then, is a perfect example of denial masquerading as an accusation of denial on her part – a form of denial standing on its head.

The point is, that what they were testifying to could not possibly be true if her formulation is to remain at all viable.

Therefore, what they were saying must be false – notwithstanding the inconvenient evidence to the contrary. She even went on to say that "in any of the metrics" referenced in their testimony, "a fair reading of the advantages and disadvantages accruing post surge, in my view, end up on the downside."

Thus, she is rather plainly saying that even success in Iraq is bad. I think we’ve got it.

Gee. At this rate of "denial" -- or, should we pretend to be clinical and call it "homeostatic interference" -- how will she ever get the opportunity to pen a credible sequel to "Living History?"

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At 9:43 AM, September 20, 2007, Blogger J. Joseph Rivera said...

Great post Troch. It's funny how eerily quiet it's been lately on the Iraq issue amid our noted successes and MoveOn's libeling of General Petraeus in the New York Slimes.

Libs will never change. No matter how hard they try to hide their real agenda, it always ends up coming out somehow.


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