Thursday, April 06, 2006

Bring the Troops Home

America is stuck with 100,000 troops in a very ugly war in Iraq which shows no sign of letting up anywhere soon, and seems likely to become a full blown civil war before much longer. "Blowback" is a term first coined by the CIA to refer to the internal domestic chaos caused by their covert operations, and now being used in reference to the overt miltary invasion of Iraq. That "blowback" in Iraq is spinning completely out of control is clear. According to Gary Dorrien at Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University, even though the US is estimated to be killing 2000 insurgents a month, between April 2003 and April 2005 the insurgent population grew from 5,000 to 19,000 fighters! Added to this, the Sunni population supports the insurgents, Sunni and Shi'ite are at each others throats, Sunnis being particuarly angry that their persecutors, the Shi'ites, are collaborators with the US invaders, and so the Sunnis are increasing the number of their militia death squads to counter Sh'ite ones against themselves. According to the Washington Post, Iraq is attracting more and more foreign terrorists. Even the oppressed Kurds are getting more radical in demanding posession of Kirkuk an oil-rich area that Saddam populated with Arabs through forced migration.

The Americans made a big mistake invading the country in the first place. There were no weapons of mass destruction and Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. They got Saddam Hussein and now he sits in an Iraqi court and mocks the whole process! No one would argue that ridding the country of a dictator like Saddam was a desired end. But it was an Iraqi problem that they should have been left to sort out on their own with diplomatic pressure from foreign powers not firestorms. Why doesn't the US just cut its losses and leave? Dorrien believes that the continued US presence in Iraq is bolstered by an imperialist ideology and may only be the first of other first strikes on other non-democratic states (Bush has already brandished his sword over Syria, Iran, North Korea, and even Saudi Arabia and Pakistan).

"The aggressively interventionist ideology that guides the Bush administration and the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party goes by several names: unipolarism, global dominion, American Greatness, liberal imperialism, full-spectrum dominance. Begining as an especially militant form of anti-communism, it morphed into a vision of global empire after communism collapsed. It trades on the historic American myths of ionnocence, exceptionalism and manifest destiny, and offers a vision of what the United States could do with its unrivaled global power. In its most rhetorically seductive versions, it conflates the expansion of American power with the dream of universal democracy." (Gary Dorrien,"Nightmare in Iraq," Christian Century (4 April 2006), 38.) After 9/11 this ideology grew more aggressive. Apocalyptic militarism sees the war in Iraq as a holy war between two competing civilizations, one of which must triumph if the world is to be saved. If this is the case then God help us because no one could ever win such a war.

When pressed on the blowback problem Bush has replied like a schoolboy, saying in effect, "They started it, not us." "We didn't ask," he says, "for this global struggle but we're answering history's call with confidence and a comprehensive strategy." (Dorrien, 40) I don't know about you but that kind of cowboy politics makes me very nervous. Look, this isn't an anti-American post. I'm not anti-American in my outlook. I love Americans, many of whom I count as dear friends. The US is a beautiful country with a magnificent history that has made significant contributions to the betterment of the world. I don't enjoy the cheap-shot antiAmericanisms that Australians often trot out just because of their own cultural inferiority complexes. All I am saying is enough is enough. Please Mr. Bush end this madness in Iraq. Bring the troops home(you too Mr. Howard) Stop the killing. Admit your mistake. Humble yourself before God. All of us will have to answer to God for the way we have lived our lives. It's not too late to repent and withdraw from Iraq.

5 comments:

Peter said...

Good work Glen. Bush needs to get off his horse and sit down and talk with respect and understanding..and back off from violence. Greed for the American lifestyle until he is dead is not justifiable. Oil is not a scrap as important as lives - American or Iraqi. But none of this will happen unless it really hurts the political process and the self-possessed Republicans. Americans are great people but their ethnocentricity knows no bounds. Would they be as cocky if they were not the greatest nuclear power? Great empires fail and fall and so will the USA. What is a frightening thought is that it might bring us all down. This will not be a fulfillment of biblical prophecy but the result of some of the worst evils in history in the name of God.

Ludicrousity said...

I couldn't agree more! I don't want to come off as an antiamerican either, beacuse I'm not. But I hate the mentality that says "I'm right and you're wrong, and I'm going to keep at it until my way of doing things is the accepted way". America (the government anyway) is not going to cut their loses because they perceive it as a sign of weakness. Who are they to impose their capitalist society on anyone? Sure, Iraq may not have been a utopia, but are they better off now? I think not! How arrogant of any of us to impose our views on another nation. It's merely another form of opression.

Mr. Imperial said...

I think part of Bush's problem, which, in some ways, he is wisely assessing right now, is his fear of this ordeal turning into Vietnam II. Vietnam is still healing for the damage done by America's in-and-out policy (effected by the American people and otherwise, no doubt), and I think Bush fears the threat of that in Iraq even more. What complicates things, however, is the 1500-year civil war that's been taking place since this guy named Muhammed died and his relatives couldn't get their stuff together (I've been doing some reading on the Crusades, can you tell? :) ).

So, as I see it, it's already a lose-lose situation. Stay longer, make more people angry, prolong some things that we probably shouldn't have gotten involved with in the first place. Immediately withdraw...well, you've seen what happens when a cake sort of implodes because of disruption to the baking process.

I appreciate your perspective. After my semester in Australia, though I didn't think I was really affected much by the change of culture for a couple months, I've become a pacifist. So I don't think war's the answer here at all...the problem is, I'm not sure if a clean-cut withdrawal is possible at this point.

soldier of truth said...

it is all very reminiscent of a period of history many moons ago when an emperor saw a sign and heard a voice. the voice is still the same but the sign is different, it is now an american flag and bush belives that it is "in this sign(that he must)conquer". look at how well it went for the Romans under constantine, and i believe that it will go equally as well for the yanks... hope they enjoy there moment of glory and "freedom".

Ludicrousity said...

Soldier, Glen is going to love you.. he's a history lecturer! :)

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