Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Great Greg Cochran Interview on the Iraq War (2007)

From a great interview on the Iraq war with Greg Cochran, must read:

Cochran: They tell me that there's not one political appointee in the government who could do that analysis. Likely true. That must always have been the case. However, the Bush people seem to pay no attention to technical expertise, ever. They don't believe in it. As far as I can tell, their position is that everything ever said by anybody is propaganda. Projection? Ad Hominem rules ok, there is no other argument. Steve Sailer calls it "marketing-major post-modernism."
People claim that the Donald is a lightweight, but note that he is the first prominent Republican to come out against the Iraq war and the neocon disasters.


CP said...

2B: What are some of the reasons so many observers went so wrong?

Cochran: I think that most people writing about international politics don't have much useable history. They keep making the same two analogies (everything is either Munich or Vietnam) because they simply don't know any other history, not that they really know much about Vietnam or WWII either.

I also think that they have zero quantitative knowledge. Comparisons of Saddam's Iraq and Hitler's Germany used to bug me, since Germany had the second largest economy in the world and was a real contender, while Iraq had the fortieth largest GNP and didn't have a pot to piss in.

I once assumed people were deliberately lying, but now I think that they simply don't have any quantitative picture of the world at all. One, two, three -- many! In the same way, people who equate the dangers of jihadism with that of Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union really don't know big from small, don't know anything about the roots of national power. I think most writers and columnists are innumerate, just like the average American. Perhaps more so. If they could count, why the hell would they have gone into opinion writing?

CP said...


"I think that once upon a time the service academies were competitive, and picked up some very smart people. Today, when the Air Force Academy is the 78th-best engineering school in the country, they don't get the same quality that West Point could before the Civil War, as the best free education in the country. Today, the average general spends his spare time reading BassMaster Journal, according to Tom Ricks, and that sounds believable to me."

Anonymous said...

If Gregory Cochran is so good at physics and quantitative analysis, how does he come to believe the official 9/11 story?

Anonymous said...

Thanks. A brilliant guy. THough he hould have read Carroll Quigley.

Best part is this comment by BIOH:
Why is the assumption made that tailoring a "solution" to the region has anything to do with real facts? Would a military adventure be necessary if the will and traditions of the people in Iraq were considered important? The military is used to impose one will upon another. I don't think you measure for curtains when you plan on razing the house.
"Anybody could see", or "from a study of the region" doesn't really matter much from this perspective. I would never make the assumption that the war and its consequences are due to stupidity. Its often said that you should never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence. I think you can reverse that in this case. If you were to study the miltary's own plans for Iraq, rather than the history of the region or what you read in the paper, you would find out that stoking sectarian violence and dividing the country up into three different sections was the plan from the beginning.
I would also think that the establishment of 6 permanent and huge military bases would also be a tip off that the "dragging out" of the conflict was indeed planned on from the beginning also. The result seems eerily similar to the former Yugoslavia, doesn't it? Weren't we involved in that one too, and are there any critical oil pipelines in that area? ……..