Friday, August 24, 2007

It's Official! United States and Iraq are Breaking Up

One of the things I have learned in social work is that the person who is the least invested in a relationship has the most power. Another thing I have learned is that when a relationship begins to disintegrate that one, or both, of the parties will become disenchanted with the other. This makes the breakup easier. Inevitably when friends or couples part ways something comes up to fight about which makes the parting easier. It provides an excuse. It is easier to stomp off mad, than it is to come to some reasonable understanding of what went wrong in a relationship. Much easier. It occurred to me tonight that these dynamics are what is happening with the United States and Iraq. They are also what is happening with President Bush and both political parties.

Clearly the Democrats are not invested in the Iraq fiasco and their past support is an embarrassment that few have been able to explain away. Hillary Clinton is a prime example. The Republicans have steadily grown weary with a president whose stubbornness is only matched by lack of clear and intelligent thinking. The war is a political liability with absolutely no redeeming value since we are clearly loosing the peace. John McCain who has a good deal of integrity has become shipwrecked on the war because although he has disagreed and criticized the present administration on a regular basis he believes that Iraq is our mess to clean up. That has most certainly cost him any chance he ever had of being the Republican presidential candidate. As the conflict drags on with absolutely no sign that there is any improvement whatsoever with anything the war is becoming an administration only concern. The Democrats, and now even the Republican Party, will be able to successfully decouple their selves from the conflict. President Bush will find his administration increasingly isolated from the rest of the world, nationally and internationally, as everyone counts down the days until he leaves.

The criticism of the Maliki government has slowly but surely increased. Rather than trying to fix it or engage as a friend and ally we are criticizing it. Never mind that the criticism may be justified. That is not even the point. What matters is that the Iraq of today is our creation, our Frankenstein, and we are disavowing ourselves of it. It is a shameful and cowardly thing to do but we will do it. We will do it because it allows us the excuse to blame the Iraq’s for our failure – a failure that the rest of the world predicted. Instead of asking for help, instead of engaging other nations in the area in a reasonable dialogue, we are going to let Iraq fall. Then we will blame it on a government which was totally and completely our creation and which was totally dependent on us.

We will abandon Iraq. For a long time I wondered how we would justify it but now I know. The headlines shout out the solution. After a marriage of convenience we are breaking up. It is not us but Maliki and his government. In typical modern fashion everyone is scrambling to get into a new relationship before the old one is dead. Maliki has already been to Iran and Syria looking for a new partnership. Already some Republican politicians are calling for a partial troop withdrawal as a punishment to the Maliki government. Interesting, since the problem all along has been too few troops as we allowed the country to disintegrate into chaos.

We made this mess and we have a moral obligation to do whatever we can to help clean it up. It is to President Bush’s everlasting shame that he made Iraq worse than it was under Saddam Hussein. What truly sickens me is that we will abandon Iraq and not pay child support. Iraq will struggle and suffer because of our actions and we will deride and gossip about her like a wife we left behind who was once the apple of our eye.

Make no mistake about it. We went into Iraq largely because one man wanted to redeem his father. It was not about oil and it was not about Iraq supporting terrorist or developing weapons of mass destruction. Everything else was just an excuse to provide cover for George Bush’s neurotic and adolescent need to overthrow Saddam. The stampede for the exit sign is now on. Get out of the way because the donkeys have been joined by the elephants and anyone who gets in their way during this panic will be trampled. I predict that we will be well on our way out of Iraq in time for the election.

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