Thursday, December 14, 2006

A Lesson to All Future Warlords

Iraq is something that can be turned into a positive, but it is up to every world leader who will follow to bring out the positive there and only time will tell if the positive is learned. The positive is not what you might think it is however. The positive has nothing to do with any of the stated or implied goals we entered into that country under. The positive has everything to do with the historical lesson in pride used as a basis for policy and how the path to Hell is paved with the best of intentions.

There is no doubt that those who planned the war in Iraq really did believe everything they claimed going into it. I really believe they thought we would be greeted as liberators and not occupiers. I really believe they thought the war would pay for itself. They really thought that the Iraqis were so angry with Saddam’s rule that they would welcome anyone who liberated them from his reign. There is also no doubt that these people were so convinced they were correct that they did not even bother with a plan “B”.

What was learned upon taking Iraq was a slap in the face of every Neocon ideal. The Iraqis turned out to be a very nationalist people who were weary of any outsider. We learned the Iraqis are a splintered group of people who were only paused in their civil war because Saddam gave them something they hated more. We learned that the enemy of my enemy is probably my enemy as well. We learned that good intentions are not the basis of policy and that wars should always be the last resort and not the primary option. We learned the dangers of unbridled pride run amuck. We learned that doing the right thing at the wrong time is always the wrong thing.

I think the perfect analogy for the Middle East is to view it is a sweater. Follow me with this. The Middle East is a sweater and each country is a different thread of wool. There was a frayed end on one of the threads, let’s call that thread Iraq. The frayed end was annoying us and posed the risk or ruining the entire sweater, so naturally we pulled on that thread. What we missed was the fact that the thread was holding many other threads in place and now, with that thread removed the sweater we tried so hard to protect is now destroyed by our act of salvation. I never said G-d is opposed to irony. I think it is His greatest of joys personally.

This is the main reason I am such an isolationist. It is not that I do not care for other people or their plight, but that my helping may cause more damage than doing nothing. If they ask for help I am the first one there. I let them know I am there if they need anything, but I never take it upon myself to help someone if not asked. I probably do not know the entire situation. I would be working on assumptions and that never leads to good things. Look at Iraq.

Back to the subject at hand, Iraq in the proper light is a noble and valiant lesson in the value of restraint. If Bush had taken as long to decide about invading as he has about what to do next the lack of weapons of mass destruction would have been knowledge and we would have more that 20,000 troops in Afghanistan.

More pride can be found in the thought that 20,000 troops can do what the Soviet Union failed to do in 10 years. Afghanistan broke the U.S.S.R. as much as Reagan and rock music did and now it is going to break us. The Taliban are even regaining lost turf as we play in the sandbox known as Iraq.

Of all man’s sins pride is by far my favorite one- Al Pacino in “The Devil’s Advocate”

Soldiers die so that other might live in a better world. If the deaths in Iraq prevent the next rushed war then the deaths will not have been in vain. If every nation learns that war is a beast unto itself and does not care about your intentions then they can rest in peace.

If we continue on our proud path then we murdered our children to feed our egos. We cannot undo the death. We can only learn from our folly. I hope we learn.

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