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Setting An Example of Iraq

A critical essay on why our making an example of Iraq though this unilateral war can backfire on America.

By Roy D. Follendore III

Copyright (c) 2003 by RDFollendoreIII

March 19, 2003

"The wives and mothers of those Americans who will fight us will weep blood, not tears," Saddam's elder son, Uday, said.

If this statement is correctly quoted by our news media then Saddam's elder son has not threatened our soldiers as we might expect, but also our women. His statement tells us volumes about Saddam Hussein's family values.  But more than that it tells us about what we are dealing with.  It tells us about the mindset of a brutal culture in which our society is about to become immersed.  When America invades and successfully takes over Iraq through military force, we will become responsible for Iraq, an oil rich country surrounded by violent neighboring states.  Through this war America will also become responsible for their actions as well.  This is the fundamental reason why we should not have gone into this situation alone.

As far as the rest of the World is concerned, America is on the war path of "us against them."  The "Bush Doctrine" has created the potential conditions for World War III, with the same conditions and probable results as every other World War.  If this war causes more terrorist splinter groups to form, then it has increased the threat to United States National Security not less.  President George W. Bush now has used his power to force his war and the divisions we have seen between the major powers who were once our allies may be the ultimate political destination of this war.  Just after 911, I wrote an essay that said that this administration will have to be willing to do what is necessary to defeat our enemies if we choose to go down this path.  This kind of reasoning leads to the annihilation of our "enemies."  Otherwise we can not afford to keep hundreds of thousands of troops on the other side of the planet. 

Just as the British Empire eventually learned the hard way, the people of the Middle East do not operate under American or European cultural morays.  These countries are ancient in their way of thinking.  Iraq and the Arab states do not believe in the democracy of the United States.   Like North Korea, the people currently in political control in Iraq operate as part of a large family whose members are rewarded and punished for the things that they do, don't do or say and don't say.  It has been a substantial portion of their literate population who have benefited from their regime. One does not win over such a homogeneous population over simply by militarily conquering them.  Events such as this stay in the hearts and minds of such a society for decades and even centuries.  This war is a clash of old and new civilizations and it will not be over when this war has been declared an American success.  

Through the Bush administration's leadership, Americans have bought into the current Israeli regimes idea that American military violence and domination is the correct answer in the middle east.  Of course the majority of the Iraqi people will benefit from the removal of a Saddam Hussein and his family from power.  But we should understand that the competitive factions over there bind together under the idea that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."  The moment we take control and our military administrators cross those factions whom we have helped, they will change sides.  America is in a real sense waging a crusade not only against the Hussein regime, but also against their religious form of Muslim based culture.  This means that this civilization is not tied to our western philosophy of right and wrong, good and evil.  To defeat a people with a philosophy like this, we would not only have to utterly destroy their will, we would then have to master them for generations.  As a democratic nation, it is doubtful that America has neither the long term will nor that kind of consistency in foreign or military strategies.

Today brave men are fighting and many may die for reasons that they don't fully understand and America will scare or "awe" the world with our military power.  The military actions of this war may take a day to win or it may take months. It will take decades from which to recover.  Several things are certain at this moment.  First, it will become another form of "reality" entertainment to sell America on this war.  This will be used to fuel the propaganda nationalism that we are plagued with instead of the cool rational thinking that our Nation desperately needs. But as with all reruns the images of this war will soon fade from popularity.  The attention of America will turn to the next big thing. In about five years or perhaps less, the Bush administration will be gone from the scene because they will be voted out of office.  Younger and less radical men and women of good will and faith will once again take control of the American political system through the will of the people who will look toward the economy with anger.  

Like the dot com stock boom, crimes arising out of the means for acquiring this overwhelming military success eventually become obvious to all and attempts will be made to have it swept under the rug.  It is no secret that all administrations have their nasty secrets and we can expect this one to be no different.  Political secrets from this administration will eventually rise to the surface, and when they do we might expect them to make Watergate look tame by comparison.  Americans will eventually learn exactly what kinds of creatures exist beneath this horrific era of fear, violence and draconian mindset.  When the dust settles, the brave American men and women of tomorrow will have to pick up the pieces to provide our World with justice.  In doing so they will have to turn their attitudes around.  When that pendulum of political perspective does change, Americans will adjudicate what has occurred and there will be the obvious need to pass laws that limit the authority of Congress from unilaterally delegating their war powers to the Office of the President. 

Hopefully in retrospect, and years from now, we Americans will have once again have learned that this war, as well as war in general, is not the answer to our problems.  We will have learned that the world is safer place when we understand that war is to be reserved for self protection involving imminent danger and that so called "proactive" wars are irrational gambles by desperate politicians and generals.  Proactive solutions must involve decisions that do not allow dictators, even friendly dictators to become more powerful.  Maybe we will also once again come to the understanding that war is just another form of injustice imposed by one country on another.   We will have learned that freedom always involves tolerance because freedom means that people of the World have both a duty and a right to come to terms with human rights, democracy, justice and morality.  

All Americans support our troops even though most of us know that the initiation of this war is not about human rights, democracy, justice or morality.  Americans and the World public know in their hearts that President Bush would not have sent troops to fight this war if it were not for oil. This war is also not about world terrorism, unless it is that America capable of making terror.  But it certainly is about the learning great lessons.  There should be little doubt that before this war is over, America will have learned that there are thousands of places all over the world that we could have better used our influence to fight terrorism and promote a positive change.  Setting an example of Iraq buys Americans the truth about the failure of our President's simplistic perspective as a dominant world power.  It teaches us what occurs when nationalism inhibits public criticisms.  

From history we know that all empires eventually decline because no centralized authority can be everything for every possible society and civilization.  The harder America continues to push, the more these ever evolving societies will organize against us.  Our military power is based on world economics, and not just our own.  When our great country eventually pulls back, the influence of the American empire will decline and our economy will be reduced because we have failed to recognize the opinions of the world economy.  We are risking that America could very well may lose our "super power" status and that has always been the primary and publicly announced objectives of the terrorists who are against us.  The World Trade Center in New York was selected to be destroyed because it represented the reputation of America in world economic affairs.  All things have a weakness. The greatest fear we should have at this moment is that our enemies have understood our weaknesses better than we.

Peace to the innocent in Iraq.  May the casualties on both sides be few and may America soon be able to extricate itself from this disaster we have helped create.




Copyright (c) 2001-2007 RDFollendoreIII All Rights Reserved