WHAT ARE WE TO DO?
I'm so angry right now I could spit nails. I'm having real problems with guilt at advocating the abandonment of Iraq to chaos and civil war when we effectively destroyed their government and civil institutions, which while repressive, still provided their people with civil order and basic services.
The Bush administration put us in this situation. This isn't the first time we've (in the persons of Bush 41 and Bush 43) betrayed the Iraqi people.
But the U.S. electorate put these guys in office. To the world, they ARE the United States.
But there's no way to "victory" in Iraq that any rational person can see that won't impoverish the U.S. treasury, break our military for decades ahead, and result in thousands more U.S. deaths while creating an environment conducive to increased terrorist attacks, and revolutionary fire in the hearts of millions of followers of Islam throughout the world.
The memory just popped into my mind as I wrote those words of the Sachem in the film Last of the Mohicans as he recalled the threat against his people:
SACHEM: The white man comes like a day that has passed. And night enters our future with him ... Our council talks since I was a boy: what is the Huron to do? But Magua would lead Huron down paths that make us not Hurons.
The terrorist threat has led us to act in a manner not consistent with our American tradition or ideals. We have adopted the enemy's tactics -- torture, rendition -- and have ourselves, voluntarily!, given him his victory. What reason did Bin Laden give for the attacks on 9/11? Our bases in Saudi Arabia and the sanctions against Iraq. Well, the Iraqi invasion accomplished both his objectives: we're out of Saudi Arabia and the sanctions have been lifted. Wow, did we foil him!
Our Magua (Bush) has led us down dark paths that make us not Americans. But the question still reverberates:
What are we to do now?