Saturday, April 01, 2006

Exit strategy

The mess in Iraq seems hopeless... another Vietnam, a cycle of death and destruction.

According to the Iraqi blogger Baghdad Burning, Iraqi TV is now broadcasting the following warning: “The Ministry of Defense requests that civilians do not comply with the orders of the army or police on nightly patrols unless they are accompanied by American coalition forces working in that area.”

She adds, "They’ve been finding corpses all over Baghdad for weeks now---and it’s always the same: holes drilled in the head, multiple shots or strangulation, like the victims were hung. Execution, militia style. Many of the people were taken from their homes by security forces---police or special army brigades..."

The US can't just pull out and leave the country in this condition. But by remaining it is fomenting more rebellion and destruction. What's to do? I think it's up to all of us to put on our collective thinking hats and figure this out.

Here's a suggestion: Look to how South Africa survived after it ended apartheid. The US could hold Truth & Reconciliation hearings; apologize and make restitution to the Iraqi people; formulate principles on how the US should proceed responsibly as the world's sole superpower; and enact those principles in law.

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2 comments:

Frontline Joe said...

Iraq is no Viet Nam. There wasn't really any work going on there at the time. There is in Iraq. We are rebuilding. We dropped 300k tons of bombs per month in the Nam during the winter of 72-73. I know, I helped dropped em'. We didn't have so much support at home, the way the majority of the country feels now. It's not Viet Nam, and this isn't the 60's. You wouldn't dare spit on a soldier coming home from Iraq like you did me. But I think you'll get around to it. You don't have Hanoi Jane sitting on a weapon set to kill Americans, but I'm sure Cindy will get around to it. You don't have someone to betray the country like John Kerry did, but I'm sure someone will get around to it. The thing is, that when these happen, those people won't get a place of honor in the enemy's halls for helping America lose the war like Hanoi Jane and that other coward did. This enemy is not stopping at the borders of that country. They will be coming for you and me, and our children. Frontline Joe

Yappa said...

Point taken that Iraq isn't as bad as Vietnam (at least not yet).

I was too young to see what happened in the 60s, but in my experience peace activists care very deeply about soldiers and are working to keep them from dying.

As to whether this war will keep us safe, I think its effect is just the opposite. We are creating enemies in Arab populations and strengthening support for Osama bin Laden.