Friday, May 14, 2004

The disadvantage of finally getting around to clean my room is that my room has so much dust that I get mad sniffles, and my mom decided to hide the broom (or something; how can a broom go missing?), so now I'm sick and I have to spend lots of time just lying down in my room, with the sniffles, with all the dust around me, which gives me more sniffles.

Ooogh. C'est la vie.

You may have noticed the war turning ever southward, given that this war was unwinnable from the beginning. What were the victory conditions? Usually, to win a war, you must topple the government and capture or kill the leader; done. Now we're fighting a war to get the people of Iraq to like us, which is just damn silly. What have we done for them, other than seize their assets and sell them to the highest bidder? (Not even the _highest_ bidder, even; thank you Halliburton. Is it just a coincidence that the Vice President gets checks from you?) So as long as we promise to capture or kill every militant dissidant who comes are way, we're quelching the very rebellious spirit that America is founded on. If we do achieve Bush's grand vision of an Iraq cleansed of America-haters, it will be a hollow shell of its former self.

But daaaaaamn, it's got oil. Besides, we need to kick some ass to prove we can. (Y'know, if this war was because Saddam was so evil, why didn't we stop at Saddam? What's the deal with forcibly installing a U.S.-friendly government and then refusing to hold elections? My brain hurts...)

So, this brings me to


Okay! Now, the focus of the Iraq campaign needs to turn from combat to reconstruction. After all, we broke it, we bought it, right? So, we must offer incentives for Iraqis to create firms to handle reconstruction, or have them hired by U.S. firms. Now, these Iraqis will likely be viewed as sell-outs or collaborators to the infidels, so the focus of the troops should be to PROTECT THE IRAQIS from terrorist attacks. Oh, and hold elections already. The least you could do is bring Iraq into the eighteenth century.

What a stable Iraq needs are utilities and an economy; this way, Iraqis will have something to do, and the US troops can be there to protect them, which looks a hell of a lot better for a newspaper photo than the photos we've been seeing recently (allow me to join the "resign, Rumsfeld" choir). Seriously; this has become a political war rather than a military one, and we have to drop the nerves-of-steel act here and now. This war is for the Iraqi people, you said that yourself (by "you" I mean pretty much everybody in the administration, including Bush), and it's time to hand them the reins. (By "them," of course, I mean a sovereign Iraqi government by the people, of the people, and for the people, and not hand-picked U.S.-friendly politicans.)

If it sounds like a risky venture to try and get Iraq on its feet, it is; but we've got no other choice. You want to fight to the last Iraqi? I sure don't.

Oh, and the reason that Rumsfeld should resign is not (as some commentators have put it) so that he may be a sacrifical lamb to the media lynch mob (mixed metaphor, sorry), is because the Red Cross informed him of the prisoner abuse (as well as the startling statistic that 70-90% of the Iraqi detainees are there by mistake; hey, do you think they'll see a day in court?) TWO MONTHS before it hit the media, and somebody that callous and/or incompetent in such a prominent role is not just a windbag, he's a threat to public safety. If Iraq really is the "central front to the war on terror," then such a situation should not be handled lightly. And by "not lightly" I mean "not letting your underlings rape and murder at will."

You know, I hoped that one thing the pro- and anti-war crowds could agree on is that torture is bad. Rape rooms are bad. Saddam was bad. Saddam needed to go. I thought we should have held him at nuclear-weapon-point and forced him to hold elections (we ARE the world's most powerful nation, of course, and it's easy enough to enact change just by shifting our weight around; military blunders like Iraq erode our influence more than they make us look tough), but that's just me. I try not to get mad at the commentators who say "Bush needs to be a strong leader and strong leaders stand by their men" (yeah, but he's the leader of Iraq now too; and a strong leader makes sure that his secretaries aren't endangering the safety of the people or providing fodder for al-Qaeda recruiters) or, "torture is necessary to send a powerful message." By the way, torturing prisoners is going to make us less safe, just like the Iraq war in general has, but this is worse; if you think these images are making our blood curl, think about an Iraqi.

Wouldn't you want to take up arms against a nation that has done that to your brothers and sisters?

So would I.

Rumsfeld must go.


(No, I wouldn't, I'm Quaker; but the thought of it would be awfully enticing.)
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