Monday, August 21, 2006

Beyond "Cut and Run"

I'm fed up with the Republican rhetoric of "cut and run" regarding our troops in Iraq. I'm equally fed up with their assertion that "we cannot fail" in Iraq because "the terrorists will follow us home".

Let's face the truth....

Let's face reality....

The truth? Bush invaded Iraq and destabilized the entire middle east and, especially, IRAQ. Now that it is destabilized it is becoming an fundamentalist Islamic state...Even by their constitution they embrace Muslim customs we consider extreme.

The truth? Whether we stay or leave, Iraq will continue to wallow in secretarian violence and religious strife. There is absolutely nothing we can do to stop the trend toward civil war.

In other words, Iraq was a failure as soon as we toppled Saddam....a brutal dictator who's very brutality kept civil war at bay.....(ironic isn't it?)

One of my favorite lessons in College came from a book entitled "Something of Value" Here's a review of the book that sums it up quite nicely:

Those of us old enough to remember a rather trite movie from 1957 titled Something of Value, based on a book of the same name by Robert Ruark about the Mau Mau insurrection in Kenya, might remember this quote, allegedly an old African saying:

"When you take away the customs, culture and religion of a people, we better replace it with something of value."

In other words, we had nothing to offer the Iraqi people in return for toppling Saddam. We did nothing to guarantee them the (relative) security they enjoyed under Saddam (remember religious freedom WAS infact practiced under Saddam...including a Jewish Synagogue in Downtown Baghdad)

So what can we do?

What is the alternative to another Iran-like country in the middle east in our absence? How do we stem the tide of anti-Americanism...of hatred of the West in general by the long-suffering people of the middle east?

I'm guessing that we will have to suffer for a number of years while the people of the region sort this out for themselves. I suspect that in the vacuum of leadership, a new leader, perhaps even a dictator more brutal than Saddam, will emerge and stability, of a sort, will eventually settle in. Additionally, it will take decades to overcome the hatred and resentment of the United States that has been engendered in the region.

I'm not sure there is any way to prevent the scenario above. Maybe keeping US Troops and warplanes
"over the horizon" in case there has to be a "surgical" strike for some strategic reason is a reasonable idea but keeping US troops in country to become targets of both (three?) sides of the dispute is simply not acceptable.

Some have suggested partitioning Iraq into three zones and giving control to all three with some distribution of oil revenues to lessen the impact.....I doubt that will work....

What do you think? What's beyond American occupation of Iraq?

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