Tuesday, May 01, 2007

happy mayday

War is an individual and collective, personal and anonymous, a truth and a fiction. People feel things very intensely, which is probably a result of your life being in imminent and random danger.
Add to this the modern phenomena of talk radio and the internet, and you have the stage set for a farce.
The renowned radio whiner "squeal" has been playing a tape recently.In it, "Vick", a sergeant in the reserve, talks about his time in Iraq. He praises the Iraqi Security forces, and says he has pulled the zipper on nine body bags. He says that he wants to "do his job" in Iraq.
Now, "squeal" has been known to perpetrate a hoax or two on his show. Add in comments like the ones mentioned above, and "Vick" needs to be taken with a bit of skepticism.
But let’s turn off the BS detector for a minute, and assume "Vick" is for real. There are, no doubt, troops who passionately believe in the cause of a democratic Iraq, and would like to be able to "do their job". These views need to be respected...after all; they are the ones risking their lives.
The thing is, soldiers on the ground do not establish strategy. They follow orders, and we should be grateful they do. Will allowing Vick to "do his job" allow us to realize our goals in Iraq? Or, will it do more harm than good?
There are many indications that we can do more for the cause of Iraqi democracy (oxymoron alert), or at least a stable country, by leaving. As long as we are there, the insurgents and the foreign fighters (including but not limited to Al Queda) can be focused on their loathing of Americans. There are numerous indications that the Iraqis are not happy with the foreign fighters, and would be glad to see them leave. As long as Americans are there to fight, the foreign fighters are not going to go anywhere.

Another voice is "Baghdad burning", by Riverbend She posts a powerful piece last week about her family’s decision to leave Iraq, for an uncertain future elsewhere. Her story is as moving as "Vick", and much better written. (Well written prose trumps a possibly drunk, possibly play acted, caller on a talk radio show). And, while her point of view is legitimate, she is equally deserving of a second look.
Jeff Weintraub supplies that pinch of salt.
He points out that Riverbend was part of the privileged Sunni minority, who may well see the days of Saddam as a golden age. While her opinion does matter, it is hardly unanimous among Iraqis.
The departure of the Iraqi middle class into exile is yet another tragedy of this shamful war. I meant to say shameful, but it is shamful as well.
Thank you Kiko for both the thesis and the commentary.
What to make of all this? I want our troops home, with as much honor as possible. (Please, no Nixonian talk of Peace with honor, although Kissinger is still alive to, er,ah, help) As for Iraq.... there will be chaos and bloodshed, but they are a people with a long history, and should be able to sort themselves out. We can still have our comfortable lives, while the people of Babylon suffer immeasurably. Iran will probably want to help, and help itself, while our exhausted troops are unable
to stop them. Especially when the elected government of Iraq is cooperating with the kleptocracy in Iran.
Somebody will get the oil. As long as our money is good (which might not be for much longer), it will be sold to us.
Spell check for this feature:
Vick... vice, vickj, vickie, vicks, vicky
queda...quad, quid
Riverbend...riverbed ( There is an apartment complex in Atlanta called Riverbend. In its late sixties heyday , riverbed would have been a good name for it)
sunni...Sunni, sunny, sun, sung, sunk, suns, sin, sauna, sonny, sunup, Sun OS, sunnier, sunned, snuff, shun, snub, snug
Kissinger...kissing, cosigner

Have a happy Mayday!!

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