On the heels of President Bush’s recent press conference, during which he hoisted the Republican 2006 national campaign flag of fear, Curt Weldon, a House Rep from Pennsylvania—a state that is the political equivalent of Sybil—summed it all up very neatly. He boldly stated, if we leave Iraq now, we’ll be fighting the terrorists in our grocery stores and streets.
Let me put aside for the moment that this vision of gloom comes from the same think-tank who gave us “mushroom clouds”, “Al Qaeda/Iraq links”, “Mission Accomplished”, “Chocolates and Flowers” and so on and so on. It’s tempting to talk about that a lot more but enough has been said already.
Here’s the only scenario in which the certainty of this dire prediction (after all, that is really all it is) could manifest itself. All known terrorists, all evil doers, all hater’s of freedom are currently in Iraq or on their way, flooding in like a breach in a New Orleans’ levee. That being the case, it follows that taking the fight to them in the remote battlefield of Iraq, stark of innocent life apparently, makes perfect sense. Seems logical, I guess—if there was even the slightest possibility it is true. But we know it isn’t, and we know they know it isn’t. For if they did believe that, we should all be scared, scared to death that our country has fallen into the hands of lunatics.
What they do maintain is that a sensible, planned withdrawal now (a. k. a. , “cut and run”) will bring chaos to the region. Such an act of cowardice will surely embolden the mutants who hate their children more than their enemies. And we all know because we’ve been told a million times that emboldened, child-hating mutants amidst chaos build training camps for future assaults on Ohio, Iowa, et al. Seriously—so what? No, I don’t mean the part about Ohio and Iowa, hell one of my former ‘best men” lives in Iowa. I’m talking about the training camps. I say good! Let them build them in the desert of Iraq. At least we’ll know their whereabouts for a change. Furthermore, they’ll be in a place where we can use the persistent, dogged pursuit of highly trained, highly resourced, highly nimble, highly destructive special forces to take care of the situation. I suspect the Kurds wouldn’t mind if those special forces hung around in their oil rich territory for awhile, you know, to kind of keep an eye on things while the Sunnis and Shiites take it outside for a year or two.
In fact, the more I think about, why would the terrorists do such a dumb thing as set up house in Iraq? Iraq is perfect for Al Qaeda as is. They send a handful of evil doers in—a dozen max—blow up a Shiite Mosque, take a truck ride a few miles away, blow up a Sunni marketplace, light up a cigar, find thirteen virgins or whatever the number is, and party the night away while sectarians and militias have at it, killing US troops who get in the way for bonus points. Now that is low hanging fruit—a few Al Qaeda types tying our troops up in knots far, far away from our homeland, a place where they could be used for more worthwhile endeavors, like securing our borders for instance. Meanwhile, unencumbered, evil strategists—some known, some not—patiently plan where, when, and how they will attack the infidels next, given they are not inconvenienced by our persistent, dogged pursuit, like we did in Afghanistan —for awhile anyway. And when the time of their choosing is right, they will select a few gems from the legions of eager martyrs to carry out their plots of darkness. Some will work. Some will not. For those that don’t, there will always be another plot for another day, another month, another year, another decade, another century. And thanks in great part to our self-righteous, go-it-alone, with-us-or-against-us, bring-it-on, chest pounding, better known as foreign policy, there will always be another martyr.
The whole thing is a goddamn mess. Those neo-con numbskulls who envisioned democracy as the glue to repair a shattered Iraq were tragically mistaken. It sounded good, “freedom on the march”. Has that ring to it. I suppose the same kind of ring as “Christian Crusade”. Instead, it turned out to be more akin to handing a farm and some goats over to the Crypts and Bloods, then telling them to disarm and make cheese together. You feel good saying it, but boy, you couldn’t be any more out-of-touch.
Here is my solution. Step one, as part of his community service sentence, Tom Delay must gerrymander Iraq into four states: Kurds, Sunni, Shiites, and non-sectarian. He must do this in a way that gives each new state a portion of the oil revenue. God knows “The Hammer can gerrymander”. He’s from Texas too. So he must know oil. It’s a slam-dunk. Hmm … maybe I shouldn’t use that expression. Anyway, it certainly would be good for him, besides, it will keep him off the Washington streets. Once divided up, give the federation of states a new name. The Ununited States of Iraq would be a good one. Step two, use our troops to build corridors of safe passage for people migrating to the new state of their choice. Also, assist each state by building security forces and settling the displaced. Step three, once the migration is over—I figure three months is ample time—secure travel between states using a blend of our troops and newly developed state security forces. During this period, each state must install a government of its choosing (eighteen months). We leave no later than two years (we’ll give them three if progress is being made). Of course, if any state wishes us to leave sooner, we will politely oblige.
Sounds simple—maybe more like simple-minded. Say what you want, it’s not “stay the course” and it does give Tom Delay a chance to redeem himself.
Honestly, whether you like the Tom Delay plan or not, “staying the course” is not an option. It continues to fuel the greatest danger, the danger our kids and their kids will surely have to deal with. “Staying the course” is an open wound in which the bacteria of innocent death, anger, and hopelessness infects souls with hate, a disease that can turn an otherwise peaceful person into a human WMD if touched by the manipulative hands of a psychopathic ideologue.
Leaving Iraq is not the falling domino to future carnage here at home, as the White House, Mr. Weldon and others warn. To suggest so is nothing more than countering the disease of hate with the disease of fear, something Americans have become all too familiar with these past five years. If we really want to keep blood off our streets and out of our grocery stores, kill the bacteria and inoculate the susceptible. How? Through bold deeds of humanity, like: clean water for all of Botswana, stopping the genocide in Darfur, restoring the dignity of New Orleans, providing schools that reach and teach our most alienated children in our most troubled cities. Think about it: the disease of hate, the disease of fear, human WMDs, bold deeds of humanity.
Think about what really needs to happen. We need to provide hope where there is despair, and you don’t accomplish that with collateral damage.
This article was written by Robert Crane. Author of “Still Living in the Sixties", “The Single Adventure of Inlin Freebosh", and several screenplays, Robert also writes a popular blog of casual observations and a few confessions, all of which can be freely read at his popular website located in the outer edges of the “internets":