Thursday, February 15, 2007

Leaving Home

All wars are wars among thieves who are too cowardly to fight and who therefore induce the young manhood of the whole world to do the fighting for them
--The New Colossus, Emma Goldman

We are told the White House has decided to accommodate more Iraqi refugees ("
White House Opens Doors to Iraq Refugees ") Of course, we probably shouldn't take that headline literally, unless we're talking about photo-ops for the next Christmas card.

Webster's Dictionary of Law defines refugee as "an individual seeking refuge or asylum; especially, an individual who has left his or her native country and is unwilling or unable to return to it because of persecution or fear of persecution (as because of race, religion, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.)" Democracies do not create refugees.

About two million Iraqis have settled outside of their country since the inception of hostilities four years ago, with 1.8 million more relocating within Iraq. The administration said they will accept 7,000 new Iraqi refugees this year, up from 202 last year. As well, the U.S. will contribute $18 million for a worldwide Iraqi resettlement program, to aid the countries absorbing this
"human tide" of refugees.

What great news. Another 18 million going to help actual Iraqis. One must ask, if one had a modicum of sense, "How does encouraging Iraqis to leave Iraq help form a democratic nation?"

Does one imagine that America's poor are able to leave this blessed nation? I don't think other nations have the welcome mat out with bennies to welcome our huddled masses and homeless wretched refuse. Rather, they must perdure in GWB's imposed dystopia. The privilege of relocation is only open to the economic upper echelon.

The argument goes that interpreters, soldiers and police that helped the U.S. are at risk of death if they stay in Iraq. While this is probably true, it reveals the Big Lie that democratic ideals are creating a new democracy in the Middle East. If the above personnel are at mortal risk, then accommodation has not been achieved. So, we have created such a shining beacon of democracy that people are dying to leave.

Democracy is not going to be the endgame in Iraq, and U.S. taxes will form the basis of this new Iraq. Who is the U.S. supporting--those leaving, or those staying? The refugees prove this experiment is a failure.

If Hesse was right about the laugh of the immortals, then the gods are rolling in the aisles courtesy of GWB.


Blogger A.E. said...

Iraq has been a failed state since May 2003. All of the elections that the Bush administration trumpeted were but sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The saddest thing about this whole mess is that we've trained and armed a good deal of the death squads out there. The President thought it would eliminate the insurgents, but instead it only fatally weakened whatever remained of the Iraqi government and empowered vicious thugs.

Friday, February 16, 2007 at 5:09:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Elmo said...

Awe, the fog of rhetoric is all around us. Bringing Democracy is and always has been a ploy. They want a European style presence in the middle east for decades to come. Period.

Rangers lead the way my friend!

Friday, February 16, 2007 at 1:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Mike said...

Before responding to this post I wanted to respond to another recent post that I thought was spot on:

"The U.S. is like a naive yet blustering entrant on the playground who lacks a sense of discernment, but is so full of bravado he imagines himself cleverer then them all. America is sucking up to the Saudis and Chinese, all the while having its feet unwittingly yanked out from under it."

The metaphor I think of when I think of the U.S. today is of a mighty eagle that has flown into the sky with all its venom and fury, and laid some pellets on Iraq. Then the wind came along and swept the U.S. back down to reality, and all the strength of this mighty bird was worth naught, as it found itself waving its wings to no effect from within a giant bomb-shaped crater.

The point being, the U.S. has at once handed over the geopolitical benefit to Iran, and put itself into a situation where it seriously risks losing a great deal in terms of influence (which is had primarily through control over oil-producing nations like Iraq). Russia is constantly appealing to some kind of fair, general resolution of conflicts in the Middle East, in which ALL regional actors have a say in determining their own affairs.

I believe Russia will be successful, because it's winning many friends in the Arab / Muslim world through its equitable diplomacy, and because these people are increasingly fed up with the unilateral U.S. approach of applying brute force to solve any problems. Which is to say, it is not Russia itself that will be gaining the upper hand, as Russia seeks not just military alliances, but something more akin to strategic, economic and political bilateral cooperation with each country.

So all this means nothing spectacular: the diplomatic policy of a huge carrot and a little stick will ultimately prevail over the opposite model championed by the U.S. Though I suppose that the transition to this kind of atmosphere will be spectacular to say the very least.

Friday, February 16, 2007 at 1:14:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Elmo and Mike,

Thanks for your comments. Jim's out-of-town for a couple of days, but will be reading all comments upon return.

I will say "welcome" to Elmo, and thanks to Mike for liking the imagery of the blustering schoolyard bully who doesn't know he's been bettered by the more clever kids. Your image of the clipped eagle is apt, too.

I also think the cooperative model will triumph over the imperialistic one.


Friday, February 16, 2007 at 1:52:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


Yes, so obvious, eh? What strategist could have devised such a failure?

Friday, February 16, 2007 at 2:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Mike said...

Yes, I think it's obvious that anyone who takes a clear look at Iraq from a purely geopolitical perspective sees that it was bound to fail by its very nature. What I'm wondering is if this general strategy of invading and occupying Iraq in order to produce a dependent government and get a large cut of oil would ever have worked. I'm very tempted to say no, it would never work, unless we sent an incredibly huge contingent of troops, but that would be impossible given that this was purely a war of aggression, as you simply cannot get other countries to join you in such unilateralism in the medium or long-run.

My question then is this: does Iraq really teach us anything about the failure of imperialism in general, or does it only show us that this particular (incredibly incompetently prosecuted) application is flawed?

Friday, February 16, 2007 at 2:38:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger A.E. said...

Yes. And they even had the nerve of naming it "The Salvador Option." As if support for right-wing death squads in 1980s Latin America is something to be emulated.

The Brits did something similar in the 1980s with their Force Research Units, planting double agents in both the IRA and the UDA---they did nothing to prevent their IRA double agents from committing acts of terrorism and they colluded with their UDA people to carry out black bag jobs. Disgusting stuff.

Friday, February 16, 2007 at 2:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


No, it would never work (I feel like John McLaughlin!)

And yes, I'm inclined to say the good days for imperialism are over.

Friday, February 16, 2007 at 4:15:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Jim here: I've enjoyed the dialog and the thoughtful discussion.

Mike, how can imperialism possibly flourish in a truly interconnected world economy? Our unilateral efforts are more injurious to our own interests then they are to our adversaries.

Thank you all.

Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 6:42:00 PM GMT-5  

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