10 January 2007

Morning After The Night Before

In 1949 on Connecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C., the cornerstone was laid at the first mosque of note in the United States. Intended to serve as a national mosque for all American Muslims, the Islamic Center was built in a traditional Arabic architectural style, complete with a 160-foot minaret from which prayers were to be announced. A colonnade cloister joined the mosque to two wings containing a library, classrooms, a museum, and administrative offices. In the basement of the mosque was an auditorium built to accommodate several hundred people.

For the almost 60 years of its existance the mosque has been visited by most if not all of the Presidents of the United States including George Bush. At the time he visited it was to plead with Americans not to take violent action against their Muslim neighbors following September 11. The irony is that he has visited more violent action against Muslims than any other human being since the crusades.

In last night's speech he vaguely, sort of, maybe accepted the responsibility for any mistakes that might have been made if there were any. He proposed 20,000 additional military which effectively means 5,000 on the front line except that the Brits will pull out 3,000 by May. So we are adding 2,000 people to a losing cause.

Iraq has always been an artificial construct. It has always required a strong man/dictator to hold it together. As such, it has acted as a counterbalance to Iran in the Middle East. Now thanks to our President, Al Qaida is still active, Iran is really feeling its oats, Turkey and the Kurds are being very nervous with each other, the Saudis are trying to absorb Sunnis, while the Iraqi middle class flees in a massive brain drain and the whole thing could blow up on very short notice. Thanks George.

Try to remember that protecting Muslims here does not require slaughtering 100,000 plus of them there. It does not require killing 3,000 of our young men and women and it does not require sending home another 20,000 with missing parts or rattled brains and psyches.

The best that could happen now is a very loose federation of three distinct parts. It may even be three areas absorbed into neighboring countries. Redeployment is not a dirty word. Facilitate the break up and try to avoid trying to "Cowboy Up" with Syria and Iran at least until we have buried the current dead.

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