Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Biting my fingernails

Apparently George Bush is going to unveil his plan for Iraq next week.

I’m pretty nervous about it.

I have just minimal knowledge of how other cultures work, and the culture of the Middle East is not my area of experience. But it seems that some common sense things are being ignored in the Iraq situation that even I can figure out. It is interesting to see people like Zbigniew Brezinski and William Cohen say things on Wolf Blitzer’s Late Edition that echo what I think. A couple of things:

1. Don’t ever make a martyr out of someone. Every culture has its martyrs, who are heroes. The worst thing you can do if you are trying to stamp out a resistance movement is create martyrs for it. That means, I would think, that one would wait with Saddam’s execution until the situation has stabilized in Iraq. Insisting on doing it now only inflames the resistance. And don't tell me that the U.S. did not influence the timing of the execution.

2. A war should always be for just causes and bring justice (at least from our Western perspective). By not making Saddam stand trial for all the crimes of which he was charged you create a deep sense of injustice in many victims. I believe you could heal things in Iraq more quickly by insuring that everyone feels he or she has had the chance to seek and find justice or reconciliation. South Africa provides a fine example of that, it seems to me.

3. Avoid looking like an occupying army. The U.S. fumbled this ball from the beginning, and while it looks like a small thing, transporting Saddam to the execution chamber and his body afterwards cannot have helped things in that regard.

4. The hardest war to fight and win is a guerrilla war. We should have learned that in Viet Nam. World history is clear on the difficulty of winning guerilla warfare. If Bush does increase the troops in Iraq, and only by 30 or 40 thousand, it will show that he and his advisors do not understand this basic principle. We either need to get out of the guerrilla war as soon as possible or send in 400,000 troops and an atomic weapon to finish off the job. Now.

5. You cannot impose, from outside, a political system or a religion on a people. Democracy, for example. You have to win hearts and change the culture from inside. The barrel of a gun will never do it.

The signals we are getting are not at all encouraging to me.

But I still hope.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

as long as the oil is there i dont think bush plans on sending the troops home,. soldiers that have come back are reporting to see more building work for the army bases then for the iraqi people,. 1 soldier friend said the army buildings he saw are far from a temporary build and are there to stay for a long time,.

i beleive 9/11 was a false flag to get into iraq in the 1st place, the way the towers dropped and building 7 are very eye raising,.especially building 7.