Third Party & Independents Archives

Iraq and a hard place: Episode II (A revolting development)

All levity aside I am getting a really bad feeling about Iraq. It feels like the kind of ugly tension in my gut that happens when a loved one is dying. I was never for the invasion. I though it was ill timed and poorly conceived even before the first shot was fired. However I find no comfort in Bush’s poor fortune.

I know people who are over there and I have family approaching draft age. I am getting scared. If I had to put my money on any particular outcome I would bet on all-out civil war. In this particular scenario our soldiers end up as cannon fodder for both sides in a decade long (or longer) nasty police action. The kind of police action where you don’t know which person in the village is the enemy. National dept will skyrocket and a constant stream of coffins will be returned. Has there ever been an instant in history where an occupied country was pacified into an idyllic Eden? Bush’s hubris will destroy the economy and rip the country apart, but not before the election. He will get his “four more years” and we will be stuck with the bill. I don’t care about how the war was or wasn’t justified. Those arguments are pointless now. The true magnitude of the mess will not sink in till long after the election. After all, how long were we in Vietnam before our self-righteous arrogance gave way to the reality of the situation.

I have spoken to people who have spent time in the Middle East. It is a completely different culture than our own. It’s a much more brutal, corrupt and nasty world. There is no such thing as giving somebody “one more chance”. The rule of thumb for the Arabs goes like this: If your enemy looks weak give him a shove. If he doesn’t shove back he is weak, so kill him. When you add in the Muslim martyrs, power mad mullahs, blood feuds and Iraqi nationalism you have a slaughterhouse.

There is no exit strategy possible!

Morally, we made this mess. We built Saddam up, we tore him down, we bleed him into weakness then we killed his regime. How can we not clean up the mess?

Withdrawing will make us look weak (and we have already reviewed what happens to the weak). Not withdrawing makes our soldiers targets. We should just paint a big read bull’s-eye on that desert camouflage shirt.

As I said before, I was never for the war. But I have a personal stake in seeing it end quickly. My solution would be to break up the country. Give the Kurds the north, the Shiites the south and Sunni the middle. Then just leave.

Of course this will not happen. The Sunni and Shiites may dominate certain regions but they do not exclusively inhabit them. The minority population in a region would be slaughtered. Then civil war would breakout. And of course the Turks would have a cow if a Kurdish homeland were established.

So I sit and wait with that ugly tension in my gut. Waiting for the next shoe to drop, it's the waiting that is slowly ripping me apart.

Posted by at April 6, 2004 10:52 AM