Iraq (then and again)

On March 22, 2003, I listened to General Tommy Frank speak on C-SPAN. He said:

“Because of the courage and dedication of these heroes, the mission of Operation Iraqi Freedom will be achieved.”

Then General Tommy Frank stated these objectives of the war in Iraq:

  1. end Saddam’s regime;
  2. isolate and destroy weapons of mass destruction;
  3. drive out terrorism;
  4. collect intelligence related to terrorism;
  5. collect intelligence related to trafficking of weapons of mass destruction;
  6. provide humanitarian assistance to Iraq;
  7. secure oil resources for Iraqi people;
  8. help Iraqi people make the switch to representative Government.

Last year in March (a Sunday a.m. on CNN, 2006) one rolling TV image came from a Balad, Baghdad, surgery. The image was quick, indistinct. A soldier was being rolled into the room. He was shaking on the gurney to the care of a cadre of medical people. His tenor voice sang out in insufferable pain; it hit my ear, went straight to my stomach, echoing his torment. I am sick with recall in writing this, that full body shaking and that cry. My mouth filled with burning acid. I was instantly sick from empathy. The channel then switched to some dippy ad that I covered with shame.

(All the terrorists are not in Iraq. We have among us the uneducables, the irresponsibles, the anti-socials, the incorrigibles, the infantiles. I have the same empathetic feelings when the bestial murder of a young woman hits the screen, It happens regularly and often.)

The ultimate truth about Iraq is this: we fought their revolution for them. Their tyranny was overthrown for reasons incongruous to the Iraqi mind.

When we got rid of our external dictatorship 230 years ago and established a rule of our own choosing, we had experienced the motive power it takes to fight a revolution and follow the war with a feeling of ownership, proprietorship.</p

The Iraqis did not experience that. They were force-fed the process and result. The feeling of proprietorship did not motivate their efforts. But they are a fearless people. They have my utmost respect. They will endure. They will find their heroes and their centrifugal center that holds.

After our revolution of six years (1775-1781), we had unresolved internal problems with the details of governing our society, as the Iraqis are now working out theirs. For us, democratic procedures were new and not strong enough in the hearts and minds of the people for whom prescriptions were being written. Our main problem, “a house divided against itself” with no way to resolve the problem of slavery except a civil war of four years (April, 1861-April, 1865).
From the American Revolution to the Civil War that finally relieved the problem on the surface spanned 1781 to 1861, 80 years.

Compare the issue of slavery to the fighting in Iraq among several religious factions. Religious differences are just as thorny as racial divisions, and perhaps more intractable because religious differences lie deeper in the psyche than racial physical appearance. Should the Iraqis be expected to find brotherhood, coalescing in a national unity government with mature democratic mores and values in one or two years?

Given the Iraqi “revolution” (2003-present), Iraq had no historical, intellectual experience with alternative models of government. They lived surrounded by theocratic or authoritarian regimes that all wanted to oust the only democratic government set down in their midst by world government, the homeland for the Jewish people.
Now they are close to having their civil war.

Could it be a general rule of history that civil (internal factional) strife necessarily follows revolutionary (regime change) wars?

The terrorists want regime change nearly everywhere, in every land on earth. They have found many open wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan to tear at. Can the democratizing imperative outrun the theocratic aristocracy? Much will depend on the democratic progressives among the Muslim people in the Middle Eastern nations to maintain their fearlessness.


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  1. Very smart query, comment and an answer from which, I’ve discovered something today.

  2. Finding reasonable and well-researched information on this subject is uncommon. I think you need to know just what a great job you’ve done here with this material. I agree completely. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Me, again. I have continued to be bothered by your comments. In your comments, I have been visited by the phenomenon of “sexism”, and I did not adequately address the issue.

    You are a mullah. As I have noticed, mullahs have a certain kind of apparel that is emblematic of their super religiosity, just like a Catholic priest or nun. That dress sets them apart and indicates something to laypeople that makes those laypeople act especially respectful of the preacher, priest or nun or mullah. Actually, by their emblematic dressing they insulate themselves from people’s natural behavior which puts them in a “holier-than-thou” station they would not have if they dressed as others do. And what of the “natural” do such people miss by insulating themselves?

    The word “profane” means something “for the churches eyes only”. Insular. Secrets. Too bad for the lay people. Superior clerics.

    Like such religious dress, tattoos, the pricking of color into the skin, are a form of adornment that set people apart. If that is what you want to do, there are numerous ways of doing it. Costumes, such as that of the mullah, priest, nun, and so on and on. It is a matter of taste, not morality. The haircut. Jewelry beads and rings and ear rings and tongue rings. Women and men put on muscle and parade it in front of admiring audiences. Haircuts can get strange and wierd i shape and color. Fingernails can be grown a foot or more long. A man who wears a tattoo, well, what is the male eqivalent of “slut”? Would you call a man a “slut”?

    I do not like to see people getting tattoos. But that is their choice that has nothing to do with morality. I am sure good and decent and nice people get tattoos, men and women and children and mothers and fathers, old and young. No reason to hang on them a pejorative epithet like “slut” unless you are making a moral judgment and not a judgment of taste. And you were doing the former.
    Sexism, pure and simple. Putting people down by name-calling is putting yourself above them and claiming superiority for yourself.

    Obey the husband, you say? I say, obey the wife when it is wise to do so. She is free and equal. Obey a child, when that child speaks intelligence. Where is the law that grants such superiority to the male sex when I have seen some miserable examples of the male sex? Men can be pigs!

    I cannot say enough about sexism, moral superiority, bad fathers, government in the hands of the super-religious.

  4. Your reform suggestions are interesting, trying to prevent monopolies that the FCC under the current administration (Republicans, Bush) want as part of their ideology favoring private enterprise to the detriment of fairness and the people’s ownership of the airwaves. I would be supporting such an effort.

    As for your final items, I am seeing your ideology regarding women as “sluts” if they do some things that are their free choices in a free society, unless proven to be harmful to others. You have to scientifically demonstrate the harm exists. Tatoos on their bodies, how married people manage their relationships, and meet their parental roles are none of your business, and you may call them dirty names, if you are that kind of person. If you are such a person, I would condemn you for ignorance, not knowing the difference between matters of “taste”, of “private values of husband and wife relations(no punishment)and matters of public harm (smoking cigarettes, child abuse, etc. for which there are laws and punishment). I do not know if you live in the U.S. or not. If you do, it seems to me you have some lessons in citizenship to learn.

    I understand a “mullah” is a religious leader. I also understand that you have expressed ideas that indicate you would have our government take on the character of a theocracy, where religion has captured the government and bends all behavior to its special and particular religious ploints of faith. What a tragedy if that should happen here.

    Meth is illegal and the users will pay a penalty if caught. I take it that you are a Muslim adhering to the dictates of your faith.

    Now you may preach those ideas and try to get them as principles of our law. LOTS OF LUCK!! It will not happen that you will interfere to such an extent in U.S. social behavior, I am confident. We are not on that track of development. If it SHOULD happen sometime in the future, due to your success at persuading the people, and your desired interruption of the secular development of our way of doing things, then you will have accomplished a monumental task. It won’t happen, I believe. Ever! And I believe the world is tending to increased secularization of all societies.

    I found your diction and ideas interesting. Thank you for your comments.

  5. mullah cimoc say aemriki not having him free press. for save ameriki nation usa people must to make new federal communication law:

    1. each tv station and each the radio station must be own 100% by person live within physical area serve by tv station. this call the local ownership.

    2. no single person to owning more than 1% of any one tv station stock certificate. this make the diverse ownership.

    3. abolish him networks, abccbsnbcfox. then to letting local own station form own networks with power from bottom up (flow from shareholder to board of director to ceo), not him top down like now in usa.

    4. this keep the free press and stop the rupert murdoch type man keep all ameriki so stupid if buy him corporation which to own so many station and newspaper and radio and keep ameriki the stupid people.

    after follow mullah cimoc method benjamin frankling to be the proud.

    for true info:

    and also ameriki woman to stop be slut and not take LBT (low back tattoo) stop the meth, and stop to not smoke the cigerette, obey husband, the good mother to loving the chldren.

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