A Level Gaze
"What effect must it have on a nation if it learns no foreign languages? Probably much the same as that which a total withdrawal from society has upon an individual."
New Email Address! firstname.lastname@example.org
The Lefty Directory
Alas, a Blog
Body and Soul
Busy Busy Busy
By Neddie Jingo
Chase me ladies
Contested Terrrain Cooped Up
Fistful of Euros
Here's What's Left
Left Coast Breakdown
Letter from Gotham
Media Whores Online
My Left Wing Nathan Newman
Off the Kuff
The Poor Man
Raed in the Middle
ReachM High Cowboy
The Road to Surfdom
Seeing the Forest
Seize the Fish
Self Made Pundit
South Knox Bubba
Talking Points Memo
The Talking Dog
Thinking It Through
Through the Looking Glass
Two Tears in a Bucket
WTF Is It Now
Friday, June 03, 2005
I saw these over at Steve Gilliard's, in the comments to this post. They deserve an (ever so slightly) wider audience.
This war has been as bad, if not worse, than we predicted.
And this utter gem from BrianOC:
A good analogy is if you and a buddy set out at your buddy's instigation to "beat the living crap" out of someone. However when you've both got the guy down and are pummelling your victim, your buddy pulls out a gun and finishes him off.
In the post itself, Steve makes a point that all concerned would do well to think about: We can't save Iraq, and we can't salvage our involvement there. I'm not sure I agree with his pick-up-and-get-out-now recommendation, but the idea that we're accomplishing something worthwhile there is ludicrous.
We invaded the country based on a series of lies. We killed a lot of innocent people there. We tortured and sexually abused a bunch more. Through lack of planning and follow-through, we caused their infrastructure to be ravaged and their national treasures plundered. We are damaged goods, and we look worse to the Iraqis every day this clusterfuck of an occupation drags on.
We tell the Iraqis that we're working towards a day when we'll leave and they can take care of themselves and everything will be wonderful. They must think we're crazy. As soon as we leave, there will be a civil war, and quite possibly a war war if Turkey and Iran decide they don't like the way things are going.
Why are we so proud of what we have in America? Because our founders reinvented government, and through two hard centuries of slow progress, which included a civil war that nearly destroyed us, we made this nation into something to be admired and emulated. We had an advantage, though: we started from scratch.* With the possible exception of Egypt, Iraq has more millenia of brutal precedent and built-up grudges than anywhere else in the world. It's not going to change overnight.
Saddam is an unrepentant thug who visited unspeakable suffering upon his people. Now there is more suffering, and it is our doing. There is the almost inevitable prospect of much worse to come.
We've been irresponsibly meddling in Iraq's affairs since 1990, when Reagan-Bush I Iraq ambassador April Glaspie thoughtlessly said to Saddam " We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait." Nothing we've done there since has done a damned bit of good, for the Iraqis** or for us.
Maybe it's time we finally learned our lesson.
*Even we began with a healthy dose of
**Excepting the Iraqi Kurds, to whom we have given the most heartbreaking gift of all, false hope. Once we leave, Turkey will crush them utterly.