O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us

I’m a big fan of “To a Louse”, the 1785 poem by Robert Burns. It’s about how the high and mighty tend to be hilariously oblivious to how ridiculous they appear to everyone else.

For some reason I’m often reminded of it whenever I read the pronouncements of America’s foreign policy elite. For instance, here’s a Weekly Standard piece by Reuel Marc Gerecht about Zarqawi:

Always looking outward toward the larger Sunni Arab world (and away from the Shiite Arabs and Sunni Kurds, who comprise about 80 percent of Iraq’s population), Iraq’s Sunni Arabs were playing catch-up with their foreign brethren, who had already downgraded, if not buried, secular Arab nationalism as an inspiring ideology and given birth to bin Ladenism.

Let’s see, what’s missing from this brief history of the death of secular Arab nationalism? Oh yeah—the sixty years the United States spent doing everything it could to kill it. I’m sure this just slipped Gerecht’s mind. It’s easy to see how that could happen, since he worked in the Middle East for the CIA for ten years and thus was intimately involved in the killing process. I often forget decades of my life myself.

Also nice is Gerecht’s counsel to Iraq’s Sunnis to “stop using the specter of violence as a negotiating strategy.” Right. I’m sure they’ll get right on that just as soon as the U.S. does—i.e., shortly after the sun explodes.

But this is the very best part:

…the surrounding Arab Sunni world seems quite willing to accept that decent men and women should experience frissons whenever bin Laden launches lethal attacks on the United States.

Gerecht then added, “Now if you’ll excuse me, me and my friends at Project for a New American Century have to go clean up from having jizzed all over ourselves when the U.S. invaded Iraq.”

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An’ foolish notion