Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Read This Instead of Reading "Pat the Goat"

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Read This Instead of Reading "Pat the Goat"

We can help bring Iraq into the international community by allowing the international community into Iraq. The Bush Administration's insistence they lead the transition of Iraq-along with their friends from Haliburton and other key contributors to the Bush-Cheney campaign who have been awarded rebuilding contracts in Iraq--excludes international assistance. Unfortunately, it is this international interaction that will be necessary to allow Iraq to successfully transform from its post-Saddam disarray into a properly functioning state.

The solution to the situation in Iraq is to allow an international response to assist Iraq in reestablishing itself as a nation. Iraq is a country largely populated by Moslems that looks to other Moslem countries as examples. The Iraqi people will resist American efforts to impose American style systems of which they are unfamiliar and of which they are culturally suspicious. The continued American presence in Iraq is generating Iraqi resistance and makes our soldiers lightening rods for attack. What the United States and the United Nations can do is guide a new Iraqi government towards democratic ideals that respect and protect human rights.

Negotiations between leadership of the divergent Iraqi groups will be more successful under international supervision and assistance than under a process dominated by the United States. Our involvement only complicates reaching solutions. We are paying for our involvement through continued guerilla and terrorist attacks on our troops.

It should be easy to understand why some Iraqis mistrust us. A Defense Department reports estimates there are at least 200,000 Iraqi civilian deaths from Desert Storm. The surviving friends and families of those who died have a natural distrust towards us. While we offer a superior political and economic system, and while we have toppled a brutal dictator of Iraq, it will take some time to win widespread support from the Iraqi people. So far, our efforts have had problems. While we have shown we are good at reconstructing the buildings we have destroyed with American contractors, we have not been as quick at restoring electricity and water systems and issuing paychecks to Iraqi employees. Prior to the invasion, intelligence advised maintaining the payroll and operations of Iraqi police and government officials. Instead, they were dismantled, operations ceased functioning, and the unemployed became very frustrated at Americans. We have insisted upon an interim government council led by an Iraqi who has a conviction for business fraud. We could be doing a much better job at stabalizing Iraq. A new and stable Iraqi government will result more quickly if established through an international effort.

To avoid repeating history by not knowing history, we should note the will of the Iraqi people when England attempted to create a pro-British Iraqi state. Conflicts led to 500 British and allied Indian soldiers killed along with 6,000 Iraqi soldiers killed. Several decades of rule in Iraq that was supported by Great Britain led to an overthrow in 1958 that created a system of dictators that continued through the recent regime of Saddam Hussein. (This was recalled in the November 17 issue of "Business Week".)

We must not allow our troops to what will be an endless quagmire if they are there longer than another year. Our assistance in stabilizing and helping Iraq recovery is needed, although preferably with international assistance. We should not be bearing the burden of all these costs. This should not take much longer than one year. I call for creation of an exit strategy that guarantees that American troops are withdrawn from Iraq by the end of 2004. I fear that, without such commitment, the Bush Administration will become bogged down in Iraq. Already there are announcements of committing additional Marines to Iraq that could significantly raise the total number of American troops in Iraq.

While in Iraq, we need to focus more on our soldiers and less on the multi-million rebuilding contracts. Our soldiers are being shortchanged. Dick Yarbrough, a columnist for the Augusta Chronicle, the site of Fort Gordon, recently wrote about National Guard units in Iraq. They are issued just two uniforms and one pair of boots. This clothing is expected to last their entire stay in Iraq. In a recent Harrisburg Patriot, it was mentioned there are only enough rifles for 80% of five National Guard soldiers. Previously, I have mentioned the lack of bullet proof vests that would save lives. I guess if the Bush Administration doesn't want to pay for a second pair of boots for troops, bullet proof vests must seem like an extravagance.

There is a lack of communications that not only endangers our troops but already has led to casualties by friendly fire that could not communicate with those firing. I can not understand why the Bush Administration wants to commit us to a conflict and then doesn't want to commit to achieving its military objectives. They are good at handing out no bid contracts to companies that are leading contributors to the Republican Party, but they aren't good at handing out necessities to our troops.

Deputy Defense Secreatry Paul Wolfowitz argues the United States will be secure once the entire world is shaped in America's image, as quoted by Ivo Daaider and James Lindsay of the Brookings Institute. The obvious problem with this is: the rest of the world will resist being shaped into our image. The best way to achieve this is to lead by example. As the rest of the world sees the benefits of democracy, free enterprise, and a free society, new generations will question the repression of their former generations. We saw this happen in the collapse of the Soviet Union. I believe we will see this in other repressive nations. Yet, if we seek to impose our will by military force, we will no longer be leading by example but inviting and rallying opposition and creating the very threats to our security we wish to avoid.

In the final analysis, we must step back and seriously evaluate the affects of the Bush Administration's foreign policy. A country like Iraq, which claimed it was developing weapons of mass destruction, is invaded while it is weak. A country that has weapons of mass destruction, such as North Korea, is left alone and indeed receives American financial assistance in order to keep its nuclear program from developing more weapons. The lesson learned by anti-American states is to develop your weapons of mass destruction in secret and quickly announce you have them once they are developed. This, by no means, makes this a safer world. We need to be working with and taking the leadership in international monitoring of the development of weapons of mass destruction. We should not be racing to conclusions (which may, indeed, turn out to be false), and committing the lives of Americans and billions of our money in a war that, at this point, has no exit strategy.


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