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A Translation of 'Stay The Course'

If you think about the phrase 'stay the course' the way it's invoked by the US government as their strategy in Iraq, you may come to realize that the phrase carries no strategic meaning. Beyond the obvious, that staying the course would involve a course to be on (when no course has been demonstrated), strategies, particularly war strategies involve action, reaction, and an outcome. But this phrase implies only the first; action, or 'carry on'. It's like the official strategy contains an opening paragraph and then skips to the index. If you thought too hard on it, perhaps eventually your brain would burst from the pressure of the absurdity.

Or perhaps not. Maybe a different possibility would confront you. The possibility of a real strategy, well thought through and orchestrated with success., but fundamentally not very complicated: marginalize the citizenry, create a perpetual war, and consolidate executive power. Simple as that. And when you've got the most powerful military in history at your command, armed with September 11 as your justification and a colluding media, it probably was quite simple.

In light of the unfolding of events in Iraq over the last several years, what other conclusion can be reached? There is constant, consistent failure by the worlds most powerful armed forces. Consistent failure by highly intelligent, highly educated, highly trained generals and politicians. Consistent failure in a region the US has had a magnifying glass on for 30 years. Don't know the difference between Sunni and Shia? Please. Maybe the average Congressman doesn't, but you can bet Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld do. The US intelligence machine has been all over Iraq at the very least since Desert Storm on the early 90's. They know precisely the differences between Sunni and Shia and have intricate knowledge of any other factors, and they are probably manipulating these two groups against each other.

Perhaps the failure is the success. Maybe failure is the plan. After all, try try again. If you win, well, the war has to stop doesn't it? If the war stops, the executive power grab stops, never mind that there might be questions and consequences about all those nasty things that were done to the Constitution and to liberty.

In these days of linguistic gymnastics, in which George Orwell would be a busy translator, the term 'stay the course' serves a double duty; an obfuscation of the truth and the laying bare of it.

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