Progressive Writers Bloc

Send in the Guy with a Squirt Gun?

Uncle Bill Warner

Uncle Bill WarnerIraq is burning. We may not have started the fire between the various sects and tribal entities in Iraq, but we sure are there and unable to put out the fire we made possible by removing the former fire chief who kept things under control, though not in a very nice way. If I were a fireman in a burning building which was collapsing around me, I think I'd just get out rather than ask for another guy with a water pistol to help out. It is not a question of pride, but of recognizing that the fire has gone too far to be dealt with by token means. A wise fireman knows when to get the heck out.

But we are not just fireman in Iraq. Our brutal invasion and occupation have had the same effect on the Iraqi people and the Arab World as throwing an accelerant on the flames. What is in our firehoses is not water but kerosene. According to recent polls, most Iraqis want us to end the occupation and get out. Our presence worsens the civil-war situation day by day. Rape, murder, torture, humiliation, six hundred and fifty thousand innocent civilians killed (I believe the euphemism for their deaths and dismemberment is “collateral damage”), destruction of the infrastructure, astronomical unemployment, and the attempt to install a US-friendly (oil figures in someplace) government have neither united the country nor furthered their hospitality toward their occupiers.

Now, the President is contemplating sending MORE troops to Iraq. I suggest that he do the math. There are 6 million people in Baghdad alone. 20,000 or 40,000 more troops is hardly more than a token gesture. We need to stop spraying fuel on the fire and start getting out of the building, and soon. New or recycled troops are going to have about as much chance of saving the situation as assisting fireman by sending in a squirt gun. Then there is the question as to whether the squirt gun would be loaded with water or kerosene…

We have a hard time seeing things from an Iraqi perspective. If it had been THEM that invaded US, (for we certainly DO have weapons of mass destruction) we’d be doing our level best to throw them out. Maybe the South would even use the opportunity to secede and get back at those Damn Yankees for the Reconstruction.

Sure, pulling out now does not seem like a good solution. But staying is an even worse one. The old strong-arm tactics of imperialism do not fit the realities of the 21st century. We are literally creating terrorists faster than we can kill them. The rulers of our land are beginning to realize that they have gotten us into a place we cannot afford to be, from a human, financial, or moral standpoint. Without our presence the burning building is going to either collapse and consume itself or burn itself out. We're not going to be able to save the day.

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