Saturday, September 22, 2007

In Search Of A Reality

Good opinion piece from the NYT yesterday... for the most part.

They start off so well it's tempting to go with them all the way...

In Search of a Congress
NYT, Friday 21 September 2007

If you were one of the Americans waiting for Congress, under Democratic control, to show leadership on the war in Iraq, the message from the Senate is clear: "Nevermind." The same goes for those waiting for lawmakers to fix the damage done to civil liberties by six years of President Bush and a rubber-stamp Republican Congress.
The NYT editors have missed the boat in two places, however. They've nailed the problem with the GOP, but make the I think badly mistaken assumption that the Democratic Leadership is not complicit with Bush's goals, with:
The Democrats don't have, or can't summon, the political strength to make sure Congress does what it is supposed to do: debate profound issues like these and take a stand. The Republicans are simply not interested in a serious discussion and certainly not a vote on anything beyond Mr. Bush's increasingly narrow agenda.
And they do it again in my opinion, with:
Democrats and Republicans who oppose the war have a duty to outline alternatives. Those who call for staying in Iraq have a duty to explain what victory means and how they plan to achieve it. Both sides are shirking an obligation to deal with issues that must be resolved right now, like the crisis involving asylum for Iraqis who helped the American occupation.
They're right that both parties need to be articulating clear alternatives, but they're still stuck in the quicksand of assuming that Iraqis are incompetent children incapable of finding their own path and managing their own affairs to their own satisfaction in their own ways, regardless of what the rest of the world, or the "Washington Consensus", wants Iraqis to do.

If Iraqis want help they'll ask for it. It cannot be forced on them, and any attempt to force "help" on them has, is, and will continue to backfire.

If Iraqis have sectarian differences and kill each other in a civil war, it is their civil war, and neither The U.S. nor any other country has any more right to intervene for U.S. benefit than any other more powerful country had the right to intervene in the American Civil War for their benefit.

All that Washington's "help" has ever done for Iraq is make the situation worse. Continually. Never better. Only worse.

Since Bush started a fire that is burning the Iraqi house down the first thing to do is stop throwing fuel into the fire. And since Bush's invasion destroyed the infrastructure of the house before he started the fire and he made no effort to rebuild it, once we stop throwing fuel in and get out of the way before we are thrown out of the way, someone else will rebuild it.

It probably won't look anything like what the "Washington Consensus" would like it to look like when they're done, but too bad.

The vast majority of Iraqis DO NOT want U.S. troops occupying their country.

It is time to recognize that reality, and face up to it.

The Washington Consensus Of Iraq Reality Is Delusion, and the NYT, even in their criticism of both parties, is still buying the delusion. And still selling the delusion.

What will help to begin fixing Iraq is not "doing" something.

What will help to begin fixing Iraq is "not doing" something.

Not funding the occupation any longer and complete and total withdrawal of all U.S. military from the country is what will begin fixing Iraq.

Iraq will be fixed. Eventually. But it will not be republicans or democrats, or even the U.S. that fixes it. It will be, and can only be, Iraqis that fix Iraq.

The U.S. presence in Iraq, and the refusal to leave, is the problem.

It is time to leave Iraq. Long past time.