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OTHER ITA SITES:
Bush Rows Upstream In Iraq, As In Up Niagara Falls
President Bush continues to row upstream in Iraq, even though the current seems to pick up speed every minute. In fact, he seems to be rowing up Niagara Falls. But he just keeps on going, despite the fact the majority of Americans are standing on the venerable Niagara tour boat, The Maid of the Mist, and calling out to him to quit already.
Apparently, the roar of the falls is too deafening for him to hear them. While he presents the appearance of flexibility, his goal remains the same: a peaceful, secure, and democratic Iraq. Does that sound like a fairytale or what? And can somebody please tap him on the shoulder and tell him fairytales donít usually come true?
Thereís pretty ample evidence that he should just drop the oars and slip on back down the river to more tranquil water. The terrorists and murderous sectarians have convinced most of the American public that our troops donít belong there anymore. Itís a faint consolation for the nearly 3,000 soldiers weíve lost that the Iraqi court finally managed to sentence Saddam Hussein to the gallows.
The situation in Iraq is so dire that the Democrats, inept at popular appeal as they habitually are, have convinced a wide swath of the electorate they can do a better job. To add insult to idiocy, the latest polls indicate that the majority of Iraqis think their nation would be more peaceful if coalition troops would depart immediately. It seems that the only Iraqis who want us to stay are president and prime minister of a government that canít seem to control its own people.
What about the red flag the administration waves at us that, if we skedaddle, Al-Qaeda will take over Iraq? Is that bogeyman based on a real understanding of the Iraqi psyche? Neither the Sunnis, the Shiites, nor the Kurds would ever allow such a humiliation. The Iraqis are a strongly self-determined people. What do we think their explosive behavior is about?
The worst that can happen is that the Iraqi government we had such high hopes for will have to hightail it out of there, while the Iraqis settle their sectarian differences on their own, until they finally realize that if theyíd just stop killing each other, they could have a peaceful, free and prosperous nation for the first time in modern times.
But they have a lot of hard lessons to learn, as do all the egregiously backward people in the region. Tough as the tactic seems, the best the modern world can do is let them learn the lessons on their own. It does no good for America or any other advanced nation to contend at their level of fanaticism and barbarism. In fact, it brutalizes our civilized sensibilities and ideals.
We should extricate ourselves and let the bodies fall where they may. Aggrieved and disappointed as we are at such an unexpectedly negative outcome, we should not entirely forget that the people of Iraq and the rest of the Middle East were once at the forefront of civilization. Their innovative promise has been stifled by ignorant and slavish adherence to beliefs that have nothing to do with their former greatness. May they one day reconnect with their progressive past and join the free and enlightened unfolding of human history.
Meanwhile, we can only wonder how long George Bush is going to keep rowing up Niagara Falls. Come on, Pres, let go of the paddles and drift back to where the water is a lot more peaceful.
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