Sunday, March 21, 2004
Bush (Wolfowitz) is wrong in his fantasy of establishing a full fledged, but docile democracy in Iraq. I would not be surprised if once the transfer of power actually occurs, Chalabi and the Shiites grab control of the country in a new kind of dictatorship to benefit their own selfish interests, even if they do so under the guise of supposedly free elections. And what is to prevent the Shia factions from fighting among themselves? Chalabi and Sistani seem to be viewed by Iraqis as foreigners and not trusted because of that.
Somebody or group of somebodys, experienced and capable must continue to provide security so that Iraq can recover from the wave of lawlessnes and violence that now seem pretty widespread. Since we loosed the lawlessness and violence, we are obligated to do what we can to put it down. Then, if some form of near democracy is to emerge, the Iraqis themselves must learn to invent a form of it that suits their culture. And for that they may have to learn the fine art of compromise. How they do all this in the middle of lawlessness and bombings is an open question.
It is the kind of atmosphere that the jihad Islam can take advantage of, playing all sides against the middle in the effort to put themselves in control. This is the plan contained in the Zarqawi communication. With the borders uncontrolled, or thinly controlled, the fighters from other countries could well gain enough access to Iraq to start a new kind of Taliban.
People don’t always do what they “must”. Iraqis have a long history of inter-group and inter-tribal rivalries and violence, so on the eve of my 68th birthday, I’m not very optimistic about the long term prospects for Iraq, and find the possibility of George W. Bush’s reelection to 4 more years positively depressing.
I think I don’t understand my own country very well these days. I’d like a new TV that I can connect a DVD player to, but most of what I find are huge sets that won’t fit in my house with equally huge prices that hardly fit a modest budget. Why do we always think that bigger is better? The huge ugly TV sets go with the huge ugly piles of bricks the well off among us want to call home these days. Who needs all that, really? No wonder we’re out of sync with the rest of the world!
I know I could get a much smaller set than the one I have now, but what I wanted was a replacement for what I have, and there’s no such thing any more.