|6 Aug 2004 @ 10:49, by Paul Quintanilla|
Yes, like the proverbial bull in a China shop we have created a mess in Iraq and now we, the US, have a responsibility to clean up after ourselves. And this sense of moral obligation is understandable. But before concluding that we have no other choice but "stay the course," I think we should also ask ourselves some questions.
1) Do the Iraqis want us there?
Though some do, and they're not all merely opportunists, a great majority of Iraqis see the US presence as an occupation, not as a benevolent liberating force. The Bush administration brushes off all the insurgents as "terrorists" but in truth they are a mixture of former Baathists, Saddam loyalists, Islamic fundamentalists, foreign jihadists and terrorists and, yes, nationalists who want to drive the US out. This is quite a mixed crew. And the longer the US stays the more Iraqis will join in guerilla actions to drive the "foreign invader" out.
2) Did the US occupy Iraq to liberate it?
Of course not. And the Iraqis know that. That is why they see us as occupiers though our propaganda insists we are liberators. Very well. If we truly are liberators then we, the US, should be willing to allow the Iraqis to have any form of government they want. That, out of simple consideration and respect for the Iraqis themselves, is what a friend would do.
The original plan insisted upon a capitalist democracy which was friendly to US interests. The Neocons, desiring to exploit US military might, envisoined a US Pax Americana in the region. That is why they were so arrogant and disdainful of the rest of the world: "you're either with us or against us." It wasn't until the US discovered that it had bitten off more than it can chew that Bush began to think in multilateral terms. And saw the UN as a source of aid once again and hoped it would help him get out of this mess.
3) Should the UN help us?
Not if foreign soldiers are to be used merely as cannon fodder for US intentions. Why would any country want to send its sons and daughters to die for the US in a war they neither agreed with or approved of? The US has belatedly discovered the occupation is more difficult than expected. A year ago we were insulting those whom we hope will help us now. It is unlikely that a larger foreign presence will occur until the US finally relinquishes its hold on the region.
4) Is a US Pax Americana possible in Iraq?
Only if the US remains there and clamps down militarily on the lid. The pressure, though, is building, and will probably continue to build so long as we are there. That is why Kerry has insisted upon internationalizing the peace keeping force. The problem, though, with Kerry's approach, in my opinion, is that the US appears to remain the dominant military force. The Iraqis see the US as occupiers and invaders and so long as we, the US, call the shots they will resist. It is for that reason why the US has to COMPLETELY relinquish control. If stability has to be maintained by a foreign military force someone else has to do it. The Iraqis, understandably, do not want an American Pax Americana, no matter how drenched in the Enlightenment it is.
This week is the fortieth anniversary of the Maddox and Turner Joy incident, that great lie LBJ presented to the country in order to prove he was "tough," and wouldn't “lose” Vietnam. I think this time, though, the quagmire is more visible. Kerry, yes, is flip flopping, saying today we will have most of the troops out within a year, saying a few days ago that it would be three to five years. Kerry has not reassured those of us who do not want to see an American empire firmly established in the Middle East. Let's hope if Kerry is elected he will not be afraid to be accused of "losing" Iraq. That he can reason with the American people, and make them understand why this entire project has been a bad idea to begin with. Something most politicians have been afraid to do.
6 Aug 2004 @ 13:09 by : US is cleaning up
Yup, no doubt about that. The big question is, who is paying the bill. Yesterday there was an interesting discussion on the radio about the role of Halliburton, the link to Cheney, and how Halliburton was given a given a no-bid contract. Worse, was that the contract was an "expense plue" type of deal where the cost is a sum of the expenses, and a profit based on a percentage of that expense. This means the more money they spend the more money they make, or more accurately the more money they waste the bigger their profit. The kicker is that the cost is all being taken out of Irai oil sales. Sounds more like carpet bagging than restitution.
7 Aug 2004 @ 05:29 by Nata @22.214.171.124 : La..
mayoria del pueblo norteamericano se ha de movilizar y con su voto echar del poder a esos sátrapas,ellos hacen imposible cualquier simpatia por America.
7 Aug 2004 @ 09:47 by Quinty @126.96.36.199 : What she said
is that the majority of the American people should mobilize and vote these scoundrels out, for they make it impossible to have any sympathy for America.
What have we come to?
PS - saltrapas - I'm not sure what that word means. So I chose "scoundrels."
7 Aug 2004 @ 16:44 by : Salt Peanuts
I believe "satrapas" means administrators. Scoundrels works.
13 Aug 2004 @ 06:47 by : shoe on the other foot
if a foreign country decided to invade US under the pretext of "helping" it get rid of those in power how would the American public feel? Would Americans feel that was just a pretext to get in and gain access to resources etc. You betcha!
14 Aug 2004 @ 10:38 by Quinty @188.8.131.52 : Newdawn
Yes, I agree. And we seem here to constantly forget that it is us, the west, the United States, which is THERE: that we are in THEIR land and world. And that they are not here, in the United States, meddling with us, our economy, or government, or society. Nor do we, the US, even treat the Iraqis as friends, but regardless of our constant rhetoric, claiming we are "liberators," our behavior overtly expresses that we are "occupiers," and that the Iraqi people are a people which has to be made to comply with our terms. Our notions of democracy, economics, government, etc.
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