26 January 2007
Let's Do The Cowboy Conga
In the aftermath of WWI, France and Britain competed for the Mideastern leftovers of the Ottoman Empire. The British grabbed Palestine, attempted to set up puppet monarchies in Arabia and in 1921 cobbled together hostile peoples—Kurds and Sunni and Shiite Arabs—into the artificial and unstable kingdom of Iraq. The British, drained economically by the world war, were greedy for spoils and wanted the benefits of empire on the cheap. The vastness of Iraq proved impossible to govern by a reduced garrison. Churchill conceded wryly that Britain was spending millions "for the privilege of living on an ungrateful volcano out of which we are in no circumstances to get anything worth having."
Because George Bush either doesn't read or doesn't understand what he has read, we are once more sitting on the volcano. The only difference this time: It's erupting. Because of this lack of understanding, Afghanistan is uneasy with Pakistan; Lebanon is wrestling with Syria and Iran with the uprising of Hezbollah and Hamas. Israel and Palestine trade suicide bombers for soldiers with guns. The President has almost single-handily created his own falling dominoes. All for the sake of take your pick: Glory, money, revenge, or misguided folly.
For whatever reason Vice President Cheney and the President whose ear is still tuned into that direction have taken the road of super masculinity: Obliterate property and people and then look proud of their actions like a couple of serial arsonists and rapists laying waste to the neighborhood.
Churchill spent millions and wasted lives. The United States is spending billions and wasting lives. All of this for an idea that was proven a mistake more than 80 years ago. The solution is the one that existed long before now: Assist in the division of the artificial construct and then get the hell out. Unfortunately for our country, Bush and Cheney have started a chain with Condi, Laura, and Barney bringing up the rear in some sort of unending dance. So let's do the Cowboy Conga until we all fall down in an exhaustion of personnel and treasure that could very well destroy us and the Middle East if not the world.