Thursday, August 14, 2008

What's the Difference?

My wife and I were at dinner with another couple when the lady across the table pointed out that the invasion of Georgia by Russian was the mirror image of the United States’ invasion of Iraq. She was right. What are the similarities? Both countries invaded to promote regime change and both countries did so against the opposition of an inferior military force. What are the differences? Well, the Russians invaded to support pro-Soviet forces in the break-away Georgian province of South Ossetia after Georgian military forces cracked down on it. The United States invaded Iraq under the false pretenses of “fighting the terrorists” and ending the possibility of supplying them and Hussein with “weapons of mass destruction” that have never been found.

I busted out laughing this morning at Condeleesa Rice’s statement that “This is not 1968 and the Russians cannot threaten their neighbors and hope to get away with it.” Are they really so blind they can’t see the amazingly arrogant irony in that statement? Have they never asked themselves what it is that makes us think we’re going to get away with the invasion of Iraq?

History will make its judgments. And history will not be formed until after we have left the country and the government of Iraq takes its final form, one that could be very different from that we see today. Despite the fact that the “Surge” has calmed things down, we’ve still got a long road to hoe.

What is it in the American political psyche that makes us believe that anything in the cause of freedom is okay? That is the way we think; for if it were not, our leaders could not blind us with it whenever they had some darker political objective they want to pursue. The Bush administration went into Iraq with a child-like view of the place that ignored a thousand years of history and assumed the Iraqi people would just jump at the chance to be free no matter what the cost. This is the same failed thinking used to try to cure an alcoholic by offering them recovery whether or not they’re ready for it. People have to be in enough pain that it forces them through the fear of change, or it ain’t gonna happen. The only people who know if that is true for them are the ones involved. In the case of Iraq, it ain’t us.