RANGER AGAINST WAR: All the King's Horses, and All the King's Men... <

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

All the King's Horses, and All the King's Men...

Yesterday I watched as the Senate oversight committee questioned Donald Rumsfeld and his right-hand man Pace about cutting U.S. troop committments in Iraq. Both Rumsfeld and Pace insisited that we are creating a strong army and police force, and that, consequently, will insure a successful and democratic Iraq. Also, they promised the U.S. will not leave until this is completed ("mission accomplished"--ring a bell?)

So, success is defined by an Iraq made to our image and likeness? And why is the U.S. military developing an Iraqi police force? Is this the shape of things to come in America--a militarized police force?

As a nod in that disturbing direction, we now have the National Guard enforcing civilian law in the border states. What's next? Why not just scrap Posse Comitatus if it's being trampeled upon with not a squeek from Congress?

The logic behind the thinking that a strong police force equates with a successful and pacific society is erroneous. For example, the Republic of Vietnam had an incredible Army and police structure, but it did not help them persevere. What about Chiang Kai Shek, the Shah of Iran, the British Army in 1770-80 America, the Czar of Russia in 1917, the Soviet Union, Batista's Cuba...ad nauseum.

So why doesn't Rumsfeld et al examine and attempt to understand the forces of history. A strong army and police will not insure that a state will be successful or survive. If anything, the opposite may be true, since the most democratic countries spend more on social programs than they do on police and military budgets. An examination of our NATO allies and EU members may prove illustrative of this. Their funds are spent largely on growing their economy, and not elective, non-essential wars which merely deplete a country's coffers, both economically and manpower-wise.

The success of democracy in Iraq is not the responsibility of the U.S. taxpayer. Truth is, he couldn't buy it if he wanted to. The Iraqis have to be customers for what we want to sell. If what we're ostensibly selling is a blueprint for democracy, and if they wanted to buy in, we wouldn't have to be paying them to take the bait. Unlike the Hoover salesman of yore, who threw a handful of dirt on the floor, only to neatly vacuum it all up, Iraq has more than a spot of dirt, and you can't mop up a whole society with cops nor army, when the people are drowning in need.


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