Friday, August 26, 2005

Totally Confused About Iraq

I'm reiterating my thesis that Iraq is the new War of 1812. Nothing about it makes sense to me. It doesn't remind me of any other war. I can't figure out who is fighting and why. Somebody remind me again why are we fighting on the side of the radical Islamists? At least in the Cold War we knew enough to fight the communists. Whereas in Iraq we invaded a country that had nothing to do with "the terrorists" and then went ahead and joined forces with the only group that had any sympathy for them. Similarly, nothing about the political process has made any sense either, starting with the first of the arbitrary deadlines, the phony "transfer of sovereignty." The Bush administration just does not even seem to understand the concept of a political process. It seems to believe that the mere formality of a political process will suffice to create stability, even if that process is imposed from without by an occupying power and enforced through arbitrary deadlines. This makes no sense. No meaningful political process can take place without first negotiating a cease-fire. Then a framework for resolution can be agreed upon, and eventually a power-sharing arrangement can be negotiated. Only then, when trust has been reasonably established between the parties, can a permanent constitution be written and democratically ratified. Of course the Bush administration sees everything through the lens of its own blinkered ideology. It is characteristic of the administration to think in terms of incompatible idealisms - for instance, to insist that the "terrorists" are masters of evil who can only be dealt with by brute force, and at the same time to impose a chimerical psuedo-democratic process, apropos of nothing. It is surely a contradiction to wage a brutal, nihlistic war in a foreign country while at the same time wax utopian about the perfect democratic state which is supposed to descend from whole cloth as if from the clouds. It's this type of thinking which has prevented the Bush administration from actually understanding the conflict in Iraq, let alone telling the truth about it to the American people.

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