Wednesday, September 5, 2007

JMO - Call for Moderation

After reading the summer's news about the war in Iraq, and all the politicians, especially the President, I have to say I'm fed up with it all. Not just the rhetoric but the hype and bravado the politicians are putting into their views. And again, especially George Bush. Can we get some moderation here?

I for one would like some calm and reality in the discussion. Not the extreme right view of it's either stay the course or nothing, and not the left view of it's time to come home. The reality and the answers are in the middle, in moderation about the choices which are now the lessor of evils. The reality is that there is no win in Iraq, and you can discuss why all night in a tavern over pitchers of microbrew (hey, it's the Pacific Northwest and only real beer are microbrews or northern European).

The answer to Iraq isn't here in America, least of all Congress and last of all the White House. The answer lies with the Iraqi people. We can't do anything except kill people anymore to save our soldiers. Cruel? Really? Or who are we saving there besides ourselves? What's the difference between the jungles of Vietnam and streets of Baghdad, other than the landscape? Nothing, the soldiers fighting to stay alive against a very versatile enemy.

And much against what any politician tells you, the "enemy" won't follow us home. They simply want us out of Iraq. They'll settle for our departure so they can fight each other there. After all, it's their country, not ours or a territory of the US we seem to treat them as most days. We can't solve their problems, we can't even build the infrastructure, make the streets safe - only as long as we're there in the streets, or build the economy.

Have we failed? Almost, but it's redeemable with some intelligent discussion about real solution, not rhetoric. It's not about being patriotic or saving America - something the politicians haven't learned now, which often makes we wonder if they're really that smart or just good sales people. It's not about terrorism or terrorists. We've gone down this track too far to realize the blindness of this view about Iraqis.

They're not the enemy. We didn't see that in Vietnam, so why are we repeating ourselves in Iraq? Me thinks the problem is the same as the famous Pogo cartoon. Change the junk and the word "forest primeval" to Iraq.

Remember Iraq is the center of civilization. And what is it now? What have we done, the proverbial "bombed it into the stone age?" So what's the answer? Or Answers?

And that's the clue. It's not staying the course until it's so obvious it's 1975 again. It's not leave within a year or so - besides we can't anyway with 150,000 troops and equipment. But it's time we looked in the mirror to recognize we are the problem and it's time to look at the world and ask for real help. It's time to listen. Not with intent to use and keep going, but with real heart and mind to find solutions.

We need to say the obvious, this was stupid and we've made things worse for everyone, including America and Americans. What's wrong with that? Are we so vane or dumb we can't admit a mistake? How about at least about 3,600 to the dead soldiers' families? It's one thing to die for your country when there is good reason, but to die for politics and a President's personal agenda?

As I've said I don't have any answers, but I do know where to start. And it's time to start a new rethink with realistic, pragmatic answers as the goal for the Iraqis. Or at least I can hope with a new President we can discuss things with moderation in mind.

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