Monday, April 30, 2007

The Iraq Situation

The right thing to do

So now the King of Saudi Arabia (supposedly one of the US’ allies – petro dollars make for strange bedfellows and have for quite some time) calls the US Military presence in Iraq an occupation. When will we get the message? Octavia Butler in her classic Parable of the Sower said that God is Change. The US may have gone in to Iraq for whatever reason but now it is abundantly clear that the time has come to leave. It is time for change.

The popular press and the US Government calls those fighting the US presence there the ‘insurgency.’ Well they are, they are insurgence against a foreign occupier. Even the President of the new Iraq doesn’t want the US there any longer. When will we get the message? It’s not like if we left it would mean losing a war. It would mean that the people whose land it is, whose country it is, can do with it what they must. (At least in Vietnam there was the “communist threat”). It is not for foreigners to tell sovereigns what to do.

Which brings up a related point. One of the problems in Africa (and other post-Imperalist states) is that the colonizers divided up the land according to agreements amongst themselves. Then when they left these artificial political borders – often ill-formed, against indigenous peoples’ historic, pre-Nation-State social constructs – have gotten in the way of reform, development, progress and liberty.

Let’s just call it a day in Iraq. The Administration could come-up with some real good reasons (not least the fact that the US itself is the product of an insurgency, or, just say it is time for the Iraqi people to develop their country themselves. That’s sounds reasonable). If the US Military leaves, Iraq will have a better chance and a better future, it may be one country or it may be many countries. It is arrogant for the US to insist upon its vision. Time for a graceful exit, and let’s not make this same mistake in the future. They renamed the Department of War, the Department of Defense for a reason, let’s stick to it.

Note: Not to make a terrible situation trite but using the military for “nation-building” is kind of like having a politician come to your house and tell you how to arrange the living room furniture. Like Hilary Clinton said in her kick-off campaign video, she wishes she could come to all our living rooms. Be forwarned.