Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Science-fiction author Charles Stross has a problem. He's trying to write near-future SF, and all his neat ideas for what the near future might be like keep on showing up in the newspapers:

I am left thinking the following thought-stream: IBM has a secret island headquarters hideaway inside a computer game. Truth stranger than fiction? Must write faster, the clowns are gaining ...

And, reading the news, I have a similar problem. In a truly worst-case scenario for what might come of Dubya's administration, back a few years ago, one might have imagined suspension of the Great Writ of Habeas Corpus --- in effect, the principle that law enforcement agencies can be accountable for even acknowledging that they have detained someone and saying where and why they are detained, a principle of our legal tradition dating back to Magna Carta --- might be given up as a response to some new, real crisis, the fabled "next attack" after Sept. 11, 2001. But to imagine that it would be given up without such provocation, as part of an election year ploy? The other day, I heard someone call it science fiction. I demurred. That crowd, I explained, requires their plots to make sense.

Delayed-effect blogging:

Digby yesterday:

[Woodward's] book seems to be asserting something about the war that is quite startling at this late date --- the real reason they were so anxious to go into Iraq come hell or high water. Yes, we know it was about oil and it was about Israel and it was about PNAC wet dreams and seven thousand other things. But I'm talking about the Big Reason, the one that united all these people: Iraq is their long awaited chance to do Vietnam right.

Dodgson, before the invasion:

... it's not as if Cheney and Rumsfeld are just Bush I retreads trying to redo the Gulf War. It's important to remember they're older than that. They are, in fact, Nixon administration retreads trying to redo Vietnam --- a war where technical superiority and early large set-piece victories (the lonesome cry of the cold war hawk: "The Tet offensive was a military defeat for the Viet Cong!") didn't exactly prefigure success...

All you had to do was read their resumés.