News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: At the Assassin's Gate...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

At the Assassin's Gate...

A pro-Iraq war author has since soured on his enthusiasm and optimism for the Bush and neoconservative vision of Iraq. In a recent interview, George Packer, author of "The Assassin's Gate," now says:

By now, I'm quite grim... The armed militias are running the show. The young and the dispossessed and the angry and the religious have become the wave of the future. They've been released by the invasion to impose their own vision of Iraq on the country, usually at the point of a gun. It is no longer mostly about an anti-occupation insurgency. That is the short-term battle and in a way the cover and the pretext for the power struggle among Iraq's major groups. ...

We had no idea. There were warnings from experts that Iraq is a more a notional than a real country, and that it was bound to divide once the lid of totalitarianism was lifted. But the people who mattered in the Bush administration brushed all those warnings aside, often borrowing the language of the left: "You're saying Arabs can't rule themselves. You're saying democracy can't thrive in a Muslim country. What kind of talk is that?" In their ideological rigidity they ignored very helpful advice by people who were not their enemies. So instead of getting the liberal democratic Iraq of their dreams they have a Huntingtonian, clash-of-civilizations nightmare.
Hussein was like a lock on the Pandora's box that was and is Iraq. In a land created by the British empire almost out of nothing, he rose to power ruthlessly and tyranically maintained control of the country. We are now learning what chaos his terrible methods held at bay.

And, as Colin Powell is reported to have said to Pres. Bush before the attack on Iraq, "you break it, you own it." This Pandora's Box is now ours. Unless we can swallow our pride and walk away from it, giving up all diabolical claims to the area's natural resources and our support for other non-democratic countries like Saudi Arabia.

And need I add that we should hold accountable those who brought this debacle about? Impeach them, try them, and put them in prison for sending our young men and women to their deaths for no reason, squandered our wealth on an ill-planned and ill-advised war, and deceived and lied to us about it all.

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