Bits and Pieces

Monday, April 05, 2004


This whole Friedman thing has made me think a little about Iraq. Woah, woah woah... it's not another Kos post. Come on back. There you go. Now sit back down.

Friedman was saying that he believed Kos wants us to lose in Iraq (by 'us', I mean of course the coalition). Now I've never been a reader of the DailyKos, so I checked out the war posts. What I found was nothing special. It was just the opinion of someone who doesn't support the war. While a little overly dramatic, it pretty much mirrored my own opinion on the war.

That opinion is not that I want us to lose, but that I know we will. Assuming that the desired result of the war is to seed democracy in Iraq (that is the point, isn't it?) we are doomed to failure. Whenever I state that opinion I always get shouted down by a number of very strange people who seem to believe that I am evil, or at least should not be left alone with their puppy.

The problem is that the thought that has gone into this war seems to be somewhat similar to the level of thought that would go into arriving at the opinion that we should, say, give Ireland back to the Irish. What I mean is that it takes a basic good premise (i.e. give Northern Ireland autonomous rule) but conveniently avoids the issues that may stand in the way of such a goal (such as, I don't know, the many different opinions of the Irish population).

We have been trying to end the conflict in Northern Ireland for decades, without a great deal of success. But compared to Iraq the Troubles are a walk in the park. At least they speak our language and share much of our culture.

What we are doing in Iraq is insanely difficult. Not only are we trying to create a functioning democracy in a country that we are occupying by force; not only do we have little real understanding of the country and its people; and not only are we trying to do this in a nation that lacks a basic functional infrastructure (people who are dying of hunger and thirst don't vote), we have actually set a deadline for this.

How can we reasonably expect to succeed?
powered by web hosting provider