Deal With It

The Bush administration likes to hand us “facts on the ground.” They do what they need to do to create a situation the way THEY want it, and tell everyone to deal with the way things are now rather than concern themselves with how they got that way. As Chalabi said, when asked if he regrets helping to mislead us into war, “We are in Baghdad now.” Deal with it.

And here we are. In Iraq, Militants issue threat on voting:

“The radical Ansar al-Sunna Army and two other insurgent groups issued a statement Thursday warning that democracy was un-Islamic. Democracy could lead to passing un-Islamic laws, such as permitting gay marriage, if the majority or people agreed to it, the statement said.

“Democracy is a Greek word meaning the rule of the people, which means that the people do what they see fit,” said the statement. “This concept is considered apostasy and defies the belief in one God — Muslims’ doctrine.”

Sounds remarkably similar to the views of America’s Christian Right, no? And it also sounds notably similar to those of Bush’s favorite Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia, who writes of the “tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government”.

Meanwhile, Iraqi women are becoming afraid to go out in public without head covering:

This is the new reality for many women in Iraq, Muslims and Christians alike. As the months have passed since the U.S.-led invasion, fewer women are daring to venture out without wearing a traditional Muslim head scarf, called a hejab in Arabic. In Baghdad, moderate Muslim women used to feel they had a choice whether to wear the scarf, even as religious oppression under Saddam Hussein grew over the past decade. Now, in many neighborhoods, it is hard to find a woman outdoors without a head scarf.

We (America, us) have created a terrible situation in Iraq. Iraqis do not feel safe and secure, and this is entirely our fault. If we let things continue on their current path the resulting civil war and rise of theocratic Islamic government will mean misery and chaos for the people there, and means we will not be safe here at home.

Here is what I think: Bush is right, we are there now, and we have to deal with it. But things are not going the way Bush expected, and the “we broke it we own it” rule applies. So regardless of how we got into this mess, now we have an obligation to do whatever is necessary to secure Iraq and bring law, order and justice to their society. I am sure that MOST of the people there just want to have a normal government and a normal life, but the ethnic, religious, cultural and geopolitical fractures — and armed theocrats — that Bush has unleashed aren’t going to allow that if they can get control. We should never have started this, but we did, and now we have to fix it. We have to deal with it.

We have to send enough troops to Iraq to secure the country, bring order and protect the people. We literally have to put armed forces on every streetcorner in the country until it is safe for anyone — even women without headcoverings — to go to school or shopping, be a policeman or a judge, etc. We have to make Iraq safe for everyone to express their opinion, vote, worship according to their OWN choices or not, etc. This means literally hundreds of thousands more troops and that probably means we need a draft, and soon. We owe it to the people there, we have an obligation to do this, and in the longer term it has to happen for our own protection. We can’t just go over there, kill a lot of people, stir everyone up, and then have just enough troops there to be targets, but not enough to secure the country. But that is what we are doing.

It is only for domestic political reasons that the Republicans refuse to send enough troops to Iraq — it would be an admission of the failure of their policies. And they know that a draft would drive home the effect of their policies now and harm their political agenda. Problems that show up later are not problems. Deficits are paid for by our children, wars by the volunteers, the falling dollar will cause inflation later –all allowing Republicans to use lies and short memories to hold power. Especially never mind real national security, and never mind what happens if something starts up somewhere else, like Korea — the Republicans like to talk the national security talk, but they won’t walk the walk. They won’t increase taxes to pay for it and they won’t increase troop levels to provide the needed numbers.

If we are not willing to provide security to Iraqis, then we must turn Iraq over to the UN. The rest of the world is not interested in participating in this nightmare as long as their entry must be on Bush’s terms. We control the resources of Iraq and dictate its policies. We refuse to hand any of this over to others (including the Iraqis.) Our offer has been “come here and die so American corporations can benefit,” and they see through this. For some reason they aren’t taking that deal.

That’s what I think. Deal with it.