Hugh Hewitt is sporting a chubby today after reading the very same O’Hanlon/Pollack piece that Rob ruthlessly skewered this morning. One suspects, however, that Hewitt’s sense of wonder and surge-tacular optimism might have been considerably less protuberant had Iraq not vanquished the Saudis on the pitch in Jakarta yesterday. In what I suspect will endure as one of higher moments of comedy in Hewitt’s career, he actually spent time last night comparing Iraq’s Asia Cup victory to the thoroughly Disneyfied narrative (rock on, Bernie Goldberg!) that’s accumulated around the 1980 US men’s hockey team.
Now, I don’t mean to understate the capacity of team sports to rescue a society from three decades of near-total obliteration and — of late — foreign occupation, but it seems to me that Hewitt has once again been bobbing for apples in the Goblet of Dumb. Here’s my favorite paragraph:
We may not know if, or how much, a win like this may help unify Iraq for some time, but it’s hard to believe at this point that it can hurt. The Iraqi team consisted of Shiia, Sunni and Kurdish players, and a lot of what we have seen and heard today from Iraqis as they celebrated was that tonight, they aren’t ‘insert sect here,’ they’re Iraqis. Let’s hope that nationalism seed planted today takes root.
Of course, as far as Hewitt is concerned, a revivified Iraqi “nationalism” would bolster The Surge and strengthen the utterly incredible advice offered by people like Kenneth Pollack and Michael O’Hanlon. This would be a different kind of nationalism than the kind that tells people like Hewitt to, you know, get the fuck out. But I suppose this is the sort of nationalism that Americans like Hugh are most likely to accept from their geopolitical inferiors, whose tiny victories are heaped with exaggerated praise and patronized with laughably poor analogies.
. . . and I forgot to acknowledge the best headline of the week so far, from TBogg…