RANGER AGAINST WAR: One Man's Journey <

Thursday, March 27, 2008

One Man's Journey


Seldom does one get to read an article that is more than words slapped to paper. Fellow blogger and journalist Phil Carter's recent article in Slate is the real deal. Carter is obviously dedicated, insightful, intelligent and brave, possessing qualities that are the best of America. So how did he get it wrong?

How did America get it wrong? And what can we do to minimize the damage to America and collaterally to Iraq.

". . .I think we made a difference by training the police, equipping them, mentoring their leaders, and doing what we could to promote the rule of law."

Have we and do we support the rule of law in this endeavor? The rule of law cannot flow from an illegal, aggressive invasion and war that toppled an onerous regime, though the efforts of most of the troops like Mr. Carter are performed in the very best spirit of everything America stands for.

From the inception, the question hangs like a damoclean sword: what rule of law allows for the complete removal of one government to be replaced by another totally funded and directed by the invading power? Not an auspicious carpet on which to roll out democracy.

Counterinsurgency is a fine strategy, but why is there fighting in the first place? What America calls the rule of law is actually a veneer of U.S. dominance overlaid upon a non-unified country in name only.

We all got it wrong when we accepted the lie that Iraq was a threat to the security and safety of America. Building a new, modern Iraq in our image was a fool's errand, doomed to failure before the first troop set foot into Iraq.

The question was never about Iraq, but America.
The violence being unleashed in the area is born in America, but is played out in the streets and back alleys of Iraq.

At bottom: If you were an Iraqi of Sunni affiliation, would you support a Shite government? If you were a Shia, would you want the U.S. to leave your country? The Kurds alone have an intrinsic reason to support the U.S., and only because they seek the formation of a separate Kurdish entity.

Until the U.S. leaves the invasion and occupation business, there can be no long-term peace in the region.

What happens in Iraq should stay in Iraq, and among the Iraqis. America is what is wrong.

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Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

that first mistake, going to iraq in the first place was the poison root that renders the whole plant to murder.

it's probably heresy, but i also get more than a little jumpy when i hear afghanistan described as a good and just war. on a limited, go in, get the al-quaeda guys, to bring them to justice and a fair open trial, OK, i'll buy that. the taliban were assholes, vicious, deluded murdering assholes, but i would have most likely chalked that fact up on the ever growing list of shit that's not my job or my business.

the law enforcement angle would have relegated the terrorists to the status of common criminals. common, murdering criminals. the FBI would have been much better able to deal with them.

oh wait, i forgot myself again. spade work and dogged criminal investigations aren't romantic are they?

sometimes i feel like i live in a world gone sideways.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 7:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


Bingo. We don't attack Sicily because the Mafioso are criminals in America.

We don't buy that Afghanistan was "the good war." There are not always Manichaean opposites, as the reductionists in this administration would have us believe.

The al-Qaeda threat in Afghanistan had to be addressed, but the invasion was not a legal response. Presuming that the Taliban had any linkage to 9-11, the FBI would have been the correct agency to enlist. It's doubtful that the FBI could have applied the long arm of justice to al-Qaeda, though.

After years of neglecting Afghanistan, allowing it to turn into a lawless wasteland, America turned to invasions to remedy their neglect. The only viable and justifiable response open to us was a more vigorous defense of the homeland.

The Taliban is not a threat to America. They are just as onerous as the drug and war lords, but that does not make them a national security threat to America. The Taliban is Pakistan's and Afghanistan's issue, not ours.

Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 8:50:00 PM GMT-5  

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