(Photo Credit: Washington Centerville)
Indulge me for a moment in a hypothetical scenario: Imagine that a band of thugs from another country invade us, bomb and destroy our infrastructure, dismantle our government, disband our armed services, kill at least half a million of us, rape and torture many others of us, all for no reason. Then, in response to dissenters from their own country, they eventually consider leaving us alone, but before doing so suggest that it is time for us to "step up to the plate" and solve our own problems? Since baseball is an "American" sport, though, that's probably not the metaphor they'd use. But you get the point.
Arrogance: overbearing pride evidenced by a superior manner toward [perceived]inferiors
Narcissism: a psychological condition characterized by self-preoccupation, lack of empathy, and unconscious deficits in self-esteem.
Symptoms of antisocial personality disorder: People with antisocial personality disorder may believe that only threats of punishment, rather than personal values, cause people to play by the rules. The belief leads to a tendency to exploit others, take advantage of their fairness or soft-heartedness, and feel indifferent toward or even contemptuous of their victims. A person with this disorder has little, if any, ability to be intimate with another person. Any lasting relationships involve abuse or neglect. Yet people with this disorder are sometimes charming and can be good actors who use lies and distortion to keep relationships going. Some with antisocial personality disorder have no goal beyond the pleasure of deceiving or harming others.
In reference to Iraq or the Iraqis, this metaphor must die:
''We needed the Iraqis to step up to the plate,'' said a senior administration official, who said American officials had conveyed the sense of urgency to the handpicked Iraqi delegates at Monday's meeting, sponsored by the United States and Britain. New York Times. April 30, 2003.Is it just me?
"We're trying to come up with ways to get the Iraqis to step up to the plate, to push them along, because the time is coming," a senior Bush administration official told the New York Times. The Guardian. October 23, 2006
Senator Hart, General Gard, and General Johns: The United States must begin leaving Iraq to force both the Iraqis and the international community to step up to the plate. Council for a Livable World. September 12, 2007
"How do you get them to do the reconciliation process as long as you give them a blank check?" said Lawrence Korb, a former Pentagon official and now informal adviser to Obama. "It's time for the Iraqis to step up to the plate." Dispatch Politics. February 24, 2008
Army Col. Michael Fuller, Multinational Security Transition Command Iraq’s chief of staff: Indicative of the security forces’ improvement, Fuller said, the Iraqi army recently moved two brigades to Basra province to battle insurgents. “The Iraqis planned, coordinated it, and executed that move on their own,” Fuller said. “This is just an indicator that the Iraqis are beginning to be able to step up to the plate and execute operations on their own.” U.S. Department of Defense Website. March 28, 2008
In his statements about letting Iraqis handle their own civil strife, perhaps Rumsfeld was trying to drive home to Iraqis the message that they should not count on the distant American superpower to bail them out if civil war begins. This message is grounded in a sound logic; Iraqis do need to step up to the plate and solve more of their own problems. Brookings. April 1, 2008