When it became apparent that G. W. Bush was going to finish off the Butcher of Baghdad, and to liberate Iraq, tens of thousands demonstrated in protest around the US with that heart-rendering cry.
It was not clear what the slogan meant but it vaguely evoked the likelihood that the sinister Republican administration would cause a pipe-line to be built bringing cheap, or even free, Iraqi oil right into the Bush family backyard in Texas.
A couple of days ago an important even took place in Baghdad, with few comments from our lazy, torpid press. For the first time in many years, the Iraqi government invited oil companies to bid for contracts to take petroleum out of the ground and sell it for the benefit of the Iraqi people as a whole. Several hundred participated including, notably, Chinese and French companies. The auction did not go smoothly. The elected, legitimate Iraqi government is new at this. It’s still learning how to organize this complex event.
What’s important is the way it was done: a very public public auction with full transparency, leaving little room for the massive corruption that prevailed during the late bloody dictatorship to which G. W. Bush put an end.
It would be nice if one, a single one of the former demonstrators, now seven years older, would step forward and say, “Oops!”
It won’t happen; if your heart was pure and your emotions sincere, you are never wrong!
There was another important event connected to that American success story: As planned, the our military removed itself from Iraq’s big cities. Within a couple of months, we will know if democratic Iraq is able to govern itself.
The test is in three simple parts:
Will the Iraqi government be able to approximate a monopoly on force within its borders?
Will it continue to hold reasonably clean elections to determine who governs? (I mean no dirtier than in Chicago, for example.)
Will the rule of law prevail most of the time?
Even if all these conditions come about, Iraq will not have become a new Switzerland. It will merely be one of the freest societies in a region were free societies are not a dime a dozen.
Nevertheless, if the Iraqis pass all three tests within two years, it will have taken them about the same time as he took the Germans to recover from Nazism, which lasted only half as long. (There too, America imposed democracy by force. It worked like a charm, almost too well. Bastards don’t want to fight anymore, for any reason!)
If one, or two, or all three of these conditions are missing, we may think our sacrifice of American lives and of the lives of the many from countries who participated alongside us has been done in vain.
I, for one, will not miss the money we expanded however. I think it cost me and my wife about $400 a year. It’s a small price to pay to let many other bellicose nations governed by gangster regimes know that if you bully, much pain might come to you. And if you insist on being a murderous dictator, there is the off-chance you might finish at the end of a rope.
PS Saddam Hussein violated hundreds of times the cease-fire by which we agreed to stop killing his soldiers at the end of the first Gulf War. Dozens of nations were legally in a state of war with Iraq when we went looking for weapons of mass destruction. We didn’t find any, of course.
Not a big deal, in my mind. Everyone else believed they were there, including, the Brits, Putin, the UN, and some of Hussein’s own generals. He was a pretty good liar. It killed him in the end.
Below is a relevant document. It’s a letter from one of my former students who served in Baghdad as a second lieutenant in the infantry for one year, during the worst of times.
So I was reading your blog last night about cap and trade, which is very near and dear to my heart. Just as I am watching tiny blades of grass emerge in our stock market, I am looking at a big government lawnmower heading our way. I would like to recommend a Channel 4 (British TV, not BBC) documentary called “The Great Global Warming Swindle.” You can watch it on Google videos for free, I believe. It is expertly researched, and the sources interviewed are unmatched.
I was also reading another entry last night that you wrote, but the title escapes me. In it, you talk about how liberals see world conflict as a series of misunderstandings between good people, and how in reality this is not the case. I could not agree with you more. When I was in Baghdad a few years back, I learned that I am not dealing with people who “misunderstand” me or America for that matter. I saw the darkest side of humanity that I believe could ever exist. There are many people in this world that cannot be reasoned with. There are no misunderstandings. In fact, both sides are brilliantly clear with each other. I was not dealing with a uniformed military. I was dealing with an army of homicidal maniacs hell bent on the destruction of me and anyone standing around me. I try to explain to whoever will listen that the kind of people I dealt with in Iraq exist everywhere. Luckily, most countries do a fair job of keeping these people away from the general population, but in some circumstances, these maniacs get all the way to the top. They will not listen to anything other than the barrel of a gun. Violence, I believe, is the universal language of the world. Don’t get me wrong though, I love peace more than anything. But sometimes disagreements cannot be solved. Look at Darfur (Hollywood’s favorite lazy-man’s cause). When innocent people are being slaughtered, negotiations have failed. There is no more time for low level delegates to sit in some sub-basement office of the U.N. building negotiating refugee camp acreage. The oppressors must be removed, and violently at that.
This is why Barak Obama is so hysterical to me. I agree with you in the fact that he truly believes the swill his handlers have him say. I think this is why he is always two to three news cycles behind with his comments on world events. I think the world shocks him. It is like watching a young child enthused about t-ball and his abilities to play in his mind, only to watch him miss a simple ball on a stick, swing after swing.
Henry R. (Note: This is an alias. If you doubt the identity of the writer, let me know and I will take steps to allow you to check on him.)