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This doesn't work because it doesn't square with the US narrative of aggressively potent machismo.

The right especially believes that it's living in a fantasy world where all it has to do is swagger into town with its massive weaponry and the rest of the world acknowledges it not just as heroic winners, but as saviours.

Iraq is just one more example of policy being dictated by a stale collection of old men who really believe this is how it works.

You can't retool the economy without retooling the national psyche. And since the mythology more or less goes back to the first days of the US, that's not an easy thing to do.

Narratives only usually seem to get retooled when people get a nasty reality check that tells them what they used to believe was wrong. And even then, people usually jump in the direction that saves patriotic face rather than dealing with the new reality like adults.

It would take an exceptional leader to change the direction of the narrative. And there would be a significant proportion of the population who would hate him (or her) passionately for trying to make them give up the guns and big toys.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu May 17th, 2007 at 05:33:11 AM EST
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