11/12/2004

Iraq beyond tragedy: A country gripped in the twin jaws of absurdity

Well said - law

What is happening in Iraq today and that is presently epitomized by the American-led coalition's assault against Fallujah is beyond sad. It is a tragedy, yes, but it goes beyond tragedy: it is an absurdity.

American conduct in Iraq has been characterized by a brutality and blundering that have not even been vaguely disguised by the mask of democracy and by the rhetoric of bringing democracy to that war-shattered country. During the recent U.S. presidential elections we were treated to a feast of speeches from incumbent President George W. Bush's campaign propagandists. This only emphasized the word versus deed dichotomy - a dichotomy that exists not only in Iraq, but in many locales and polities around the world that are subjected to an American influence.

However, in Iraq, what are the alternatives?

On the one hand there are the remnants of Saddam's power base and, on the other hand, there are the representatives of a fundamentalist, militant Islamist international. The world has witnessed them torturing, maiming, beheading and bombing innocent Iraqis. Too often, it has been their own proud video footage, photographs and audio recordings that have illustrated their barbarity. It is the Iraqis who have suffered more at their "insurgent" hands than the forces of the occupiers whom they claim to oppose. Their actions can only be described as outright terrorism that is consistent with the appalling conduct of the Saddam Hussein regime.

What program do they offer other than killing? How can anyone support their cause without becoming a killer or without in some implicit way condoning their killing? Hating America and its president is not reason enough to support those, or to even sympathize with those, who have taken up arms against America in Iraq. Quite simply, in the course of trying to oust America from their country, these terrorists and thugs are, in fact, killing Iraq.

It is indeed more than a tragic situation for an Iraq that is caught between the jaws of two defeats: American occupation and sweet rhetoric, and a disorganized rabble of cut-throats that is a mixture of Saddam's ghost and the Taliban. It is time for the broader international community to step in and impose the sanity that is necessary to end the absurdity.

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