Friday, April 04, 2008

The "No-Change" McCain Iraq Catch-22

In Joseph Heller's novel, Catch-22, the following exchange takes place between two of the characters: There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he was sane he had to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.
"That's some catch, that Catch-22," Yossarian observed.
"It's the best there is," Doc Daneeka agreed.

So here is "No-Change's" Catch-22 on Iraq. If the Iraqis are doing well, then we can't remove American troops because that would lead to the Iraqis not doing well. If, however, the Iraqis are not doing well, we can't remove our troops because they are not doing well and we have to keep our troops in Iraq until they do well. So, either way, like the character Orr in Heller's novel, the American people are screwed and, under McCain's reasoning, have to keep American troops in Iraq.

Maybe, out of respect to Heller's work, we should come up with our own numbering system. Maybe McCain's position should be called Catch-55, because American troops have now been in Iraq for over five years. Maybe we could call it Catch-100, because McCain doesn't care if our troops stay in Iraq for 100 years. In any event, if he gets elected, like Yossarian, all we will be able to do is whisle in appreciation of the simplicity of "No-Change's" Catch.

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