Power Vacuums

by kpmautner

Watching “Return of the Jedi” and reading the papers brings back old memories.  You ask what these two topics have in common?

Well, Fang had several issues with “Return of the Jedi” (will discuss his second – and major – one in tomorrow’s post).  His minor point came early in the film.  The team has rescued Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt (or rather, has been captured in the act of rescuing Han from the bounty hunters), and is taken out to the desert to be fed to the whatever-it-is in the pit.  So far, so good in spaghetti-western style.  Have to have conflict.

Anyway, Luke, Leia and assorted mechanicals manage to free the captives and blow up the yacht upon which Jabba and his colleagues are enjoying the execution.  Fang points out that everyone who was Anyone in the Tattooine underworld was probably on that yacht when it blew.  (And the way it blew leaves unlikely the chance of survivors).  Boba Fett is gone, as are assorted other bad-guys.  This creates a huge power vacuum in the underworld of Tattooine.  Fang pointed out that this was going to cause immense turmoil in the planet’s underworld (and probably overworld, if there is any kind of planetary government).

Oddly enough, this has been my complaint since day one of the United States’ involvement in the Middle East.  In 1991, George H.W. Bush (who was no fool) stopped the Allied troops at the Kuwait border.  He did this, it has been revealed, for very specific reasons.  The Iraqi special forces were beaten and sent back to their own boundaries.  Daddy Bush (the only recent president we’ve had with real international savvy) opined that ousting S. Hussein would create a power vacuum in Iraq, one which the US would then have to fill, and Daddy Bush (who knew the ways of the world) had no interest in running the Iraqi government.

QED twenty years and 5000 lives later and no end in sight.

Ditto Afghanistan, Iran, Somalia.  To quote Vizzick from “The Princess Bride” (if you haven’t seen this film, do so now), “rule number one is: never get involved in a land war in Asia.”  Truer words were never spoken.