We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
(Readers know that we do not focus on Iraq, mainly because so many others do it better and because our military sophistication is minimal. We have also mentioned that, while skeptical about going into Iraq, we have also seen great geopolitical opportunities there for the US, the Iraqi people, the ME, and for the benefit of the world in general, if the progress continues. Failure is not an option.)
According to the conventional narrative, Al Qaeda was rejected by Iraqis because they murdered Iraqis. They were far more vicious and hateful than the Americans they vowed to expel. The narrative is correct, as far as it goes, but Al Qaeda is detested for more than mere thuggery. Other armed groups have been able to maintain at least some popularity even though they also murder Iraqis. None of the others, though, violent though they may be, are so thoroughly totalitarian, so alien to the traditions of Iraqi culture, and so hostile to its centuries-old social fabric. Al Qaeda in Iraq tears at Iraq’s traditional culture as viciously as Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia.
We now have a large number of American and British officers who can pick up a phone from Washington or London and call an Iraqi officer that he knows well—an Iraqi he has fought along side of—and talk. Same with untold numbers of Sheiks and government officials, most of whom do not deserve the caricatural disdain they get most often from pundits who have never set foot in Iraq. British and American forces have a personal relationship with Iraqi leaders of many stripes. The long-term intangible implications of the betrayal of that trust through the precipitous withdrawal of our troops could be enormous, because they would be the certain first casualties of renewed violence, and selling out the Iraqis who are making an honest-go would make the Bay of Pigs sell-out seem inconsequential. The United States and Great Britain would hang their heads in shame for a century.
The insurgents would be finished when an Iraqi soldier in uniform boarded a bus, got off at his local market, and walked home.It seemed a million miles away then. Well, based on this picture taken Sunday, it's come -
BTW, understand and appreciate your disclaimer at the top. It's a difficult notion, but i agree with it. only a very few topics don't lend themselves well to casual commentary, but war and peace is definitely among them. Nothing is quite as jarring as foolish and shallow pontificating on real, happening now, matters of life and death, and defending of hearth and home against real and existential attacks. better to approach the subject with due gravity.