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After "You break it, you've bought it"...
March 30, 2007 5:13 AM   Subscribe

US and Iraq: Post-Pottery Barn Rules. "The issue here is not which candidate said what, but how the campaign is revealing the underlying public mood -- the view people have of the Iraq saga and their country’s international responsibility more generally."
posted by ZenMasterThis (33 comments total)

 
when will morons like this realize that unless we're willing to put an entire generation of americans in uniform and send them overseas that we don't have the resources to prevent each and every gross violation of human rights in the world? ... and if we can't send them to sudan, or the congo, or zimbabwe, or chechnya, then we can also make a case that we can't keep them in iraq

show me where in the constitution it says that we HAVE to be the world's savior

we tried it in iraq, we have failed, game over, now bring the damn troops home
posted by pyramid termite at 5:23 AM on March 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sen Clinton: "This is an Iraqi problem — we cannot save the Iraqis from themselves."

It seems like a drastic contrast to her position on Sudan.
posted by peeedro at 5:33 AM on March 30, 2007


...we don't have the resources to prevent each and every gross violation of human rights in the world...

On the contrary, I think we have plenty of resources to prevent most of them. What we don't have is enough resources to first cause them, then mishandle and/or exploit them under the guise of fixing them.
posted by DU at 5:38 AM on March 30, 2007 [2 favorites]


By the way, am I the only one who's bewildered by the use of the phrase "Pottery Barn Rules"? It's not like that sign is up in Pottery Barns. And although I myself have never broken anything in a Pottery Barn, I'm guessing that if you break something (by accident, at least) in a Pottery Barn (or, for that matter, a Crate & Barrel) they probably don't make you pay for it.
posted by TheWash at 5:40 AM on March 30, 2007




Yeah, I had no idea what "Pottery Barn Rules" meant when I first heard it. I've never been in one. Never even *seen* one, actually. I'm sure the person who started that phrase had good intentions, but rather than coming across as down-home common sense "you break it, you bought it" it comes across as urban librul metrosexual.
posted by DU at 5:54 AM on March 30, 2007


The author of this article doesn't say a word about what he thinks we should be doing in Iraq or whether what we are doing now is actually accomplishing anything useful.
posted by octothorpe at 6:04 AM on March 30, 2007


I don't think "The Pottery Barn Rules" were wrong in principle, it's just that the idiots in charge were utterly incapable of fixing anything.

I opposed the war, mainly on the grounds that I thought the WMD claims were bullshit, and that if they were bullshit, we shouldn't go to war. I haddn't given much thought to how bad things would get, but I felt that if the claims were bullshit to begin with no amount of badness was resonable.

But still, I think there was an opportunity to get things right in the first few months of the invasion, before the sectarian violence really got started people could have done a much better job of governing, but Paul Bremer and his 20 something ideological hacks really just mismanaged destroyed the country.

So it isn't a case of "You broke it, you buy it" it's that we're trying to "buy it" by working in the store for free, and we just keep breaking shit. The owner has already asked us to get the fuck out of there, but we stay anyway and just keep destroying things. At a certain point people are going to realize that the best thing to do is just to get the fuck out of there.
posted by delmoi at 6:18 AM on March 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


The author of this article doesn't say a word about what he thinks we should be doing in Iraq or whether what we are doing now is actually accomplishing anything useful.

First of all, he's talking about how he thinks the public feels, not about what he thinks should be done. Secondly, it's obvious what most war opposers think we should be doing in Iraq: Nothing.

(If it were up to me, I would leave some forces in Iraq, especially in the Kurdish region, but not involve them in any sort of day to day law enforcement or whatever)
posted by delmoi at 6:20 AM on March 30, 2007


I'm not sure what the author thinks that he is saying ...

Like so many people, he bases his whole argument on a set of assumptions that are (at best) questionable. Saying that a course of action is unacceptable because of the consequences only works if you think that those consequences are likely - surely the argument for withdrawal is at least partly based on the idea that the voilence will reduce?
posted by daveg at 6:24 AM on March 30, 2007


Pottery Barn does rule. It's frickin' awesome!
posted by Tommy Gnosis at 6:38 AM on March 30, 2007


when will morons like this realize that unless we're willing to put an entire generation of americans in uniform and send them overseas that we don't have the resources to prevent each and every gross violation of human rights in the world?

Because we do. We produce as a nation enough food to feed every human being on the planet. There's enough potable water to sustain and irrigate crops for everyone in Africa if we bothered to provide some initial supplies and set up infrastructure. Our percentage of consumption and pollution vastly exceed our percentage of the global population. And none of that even applies to actual military intervention. On that, we can look at events now, as we didn't in the 1980's when we handed Saddam Hussein wheelbarrows of weapons to wipe out Iranians who for some inexplicable reason don't really like us now, and consider taking steps to prevent colossal problems in the future. It's amazing that a nation as religiously-backed as America face-to-face with the success of radical Islamic recruitment fails to grasp one of the most sacred concepts of organized religion: that the more people suffer, the more susceptible they are to a simple solution that hating the better-off will solve your problems, and that alleviating said suffering alleviates said susceptibility. Of course, none of that will actually happen, because I don't even think you felt like reading to the end of this comment, let alone think national leaders are ever going to even consider something as radical as all that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:39 AM on March 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Because we do. We produce as a nation enough food to feed every human being on the planet. There's enough potable water to sustain and irrigate crops for everyone in Africa if we bothered to provide some initial supplies and set up infrastructure. Our percentage of consumption and pollution vastly exceed our percentage of the global population. And none of that even applies to actual military intervention.

i've got it ... we'll throw happy meals at them to make them happy!!

free clue - i was talking about POLICING every human being on the planet, not feeding them
posted by pyramid termite at 6:55 AM on March 30, 2007


it comes across as urban librul metrosexual.

POTTERY BARN?? liberal? hello, this is the store that the girls on Friends shopped at. This is the store that every yuppie soccer mom spends weekends in decorating their vacation homes. Urban liberal..that's a good one.
posted by spicynuts at 6:59 AM on March 30, 2007


There's enough potable water to sustain and irrigate crops for everyone in Africa if we bothered to provide some initial supplies and set up infrastructure.

And the powers that be in those countries are so free of corruption and tribal hatred that we should be able to get it done in about a week and a half. Or we could just loan them billions of dollars and trust them to do it themselves...
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:03 AM on March 30, 2007


geesh! Don't you people listen to npr? The had a segment where a pottery barn exec refuted the senators statement to the fact that you have to buy it if you break it.
posted by Jeremy at 7:11 AM on March 30, 2007


i was talking about POLICING every human being on the planet, not feeding them

Yes. My point is that's the problem.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:13 AM on March 30, 2007


Sorry, it is no longer possible for us to fix the pottery we have broken. Our petulant child has broken this pottery and is threatening to smash the pottery next door. His parents in the congress failed to discipline him and he has run amok. We have hired new custodians to help limit future damage he may cause. We are sorry and we hope to punish him, although we will likely have to base his punishment on one of his very many other misdeeds. In the meantime our continued presence in you shop just seems to be leading to more and more pottery shards. We must be going.
posted by caddis at 7:34 AM on March 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


If it were up to me, the only forces we'd have would be the Marine security contingent guarding the US embassy. But I've seen allusions here in the blue to permanent bases we're said to be building in-country, and I'm wondering if it's because we're gonna get kicked out of Saudi eventually. Did anybody else see where the Saudi king said the other day that the US constitutes an illegal occupying force in Iraq, or was I hallucinating when I thought I heard that on NPR Morning Edition?
posted by pax digita at 7:35 AM on March 30, 2007


Not liberal. librul. Having grown up in some rural, "heartland" areas, I can tell you this: When Republicans say "librul", what they mean is "rich people", "city folk", etc. (A poor librul is a "hippie" if they have long hair or "well-meaning" if they have short hair.) So if the girls on Friends shop there, it is librul practically by definition.
posted by DU at 7:46 AM on March 30, 2007


King George the Petulant broke that shit, not the country. Make him pay, not the troops.
posted by nofundy at 8:10 AM on March 30, 2007


Pottery Barn's statement that "this is very, very far from a policy of ours" was one of my two favorite corporate statements of 2004; the other one was Polaroid's statement that you should not, in fact, "shake it like a Polaroid picture."

Saudi king tells Arab leaders that U.S. occupation of Iraq is illegal
posted by kirkaracha at 9:25 AM on March 30, 2007


Thx, k. I thought maybe the caffeine and pushups hadn't kicked in, or something.
posted by pax digita at 9:50 AM on March 30, 2007


Thanks for the link kirkaracha. I'm beginning to prefer the actual rule:

"If you break it, we write it off as a loss."
posted by Nahum Tate at 9:54 AM on March 30, 2007


octothorpe: The author of this article doesn't say a word about what he thinks we should be doing in Iraq or whether what we are doing now is actually accomplishing anything useful.

He links to this International Crisis Group report: Iraq: What should be done?
posted by russilwvong at 10:08 AM on March 30, 2007


I don't think W's quite finished breaking the world: You call this paranoia?
posted by taosbat at 1:14 PM on March 30, 2007


Mistakes were made.
posted by homunculus at 1:17 PM on March 30, 2007




‘I Bought Five Rugs For Five Bucks’

I guess the neocons were right, it was totally worth it.
posted by homunculus at 10:03 PM on April 1, 2007






"If she were escorted by a hundred armed American soldiers, with Blackhawks and Apaches overhead, my gosh even Paris Hilton could probably ride a bicycle in a bikini through Anbar province and get through the other side."

Quote Of The Day
posted by taosbat at 4:41 PM on April 3, 2007


Iraq accounting is still a muddle
posted by taosbat at 7:50 AM on April 5, 2007


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