Stand in the Place Where You Live
So NYT's Thomas Friedman, erstwhile champion of the Iraqi invasion, now tells us the choices for U.S. impact upon that country are winnowed down to tolerable or awful (NYT Op Ed, 11/08/06). Of course, those monikers depend on which side of the fence you ride.
Stand in the place where you live
* * *
Your feet are going to be on the ground
Your head is there to move you around
If wishes were trees the trees would be falling
Listen to reason, the season is calling
Friedman says Iraq has become a "sucking chest wound" for the U.S. In the infantry we used to quip, "Sucking chest wounds are nature's way of telling you to slow down." Of course, he's talking in the symbolic--like Mr. Bush of our national psyche--but there are too many actual sucking wounds suffered by people on all sides, so perhaps it's time to heed nature's call.
What bothers me most about Friedman is that his focus is on Iraq, when it should be turned on the welfare of U.S. citizens. It is always more comfortable to intellectualize about others, but it won't staunch your bleeding.
Let's push for tolerable here in the States. Let's repeal the Military Commissions Act, Detainee Act and the Patriot Acts. Then let's disassemble (not dissemble, Mr. Bush; we now know the difference, thank you) Homeland Security and put the CIA back under civilian control.
Friedman proposes, "Democracy would be subordinated to stability," but he doesn't explain how this would be acceptable to the corporate interests guiding the U.S. war effort. Neither democracy nor stability appear to be the issue. The guiding force of this war is what's good for the super rich defense contractors and the banks which loan funds to the U.S. war effort.
I believe it is a fallacy to think that the Iraqi's will "step up" if we step down. It could happen, but let's remember what happened to the Vietnamese as we stood down. America shouldn't care whether they stand up, down, or twirl like dervishes. It is their country; give Iraq back to the Iraqis.
--Jim and Lisa