Friday, December 08, 2006

The Story of Iraq: Rabbit Hole or Wall Faller?

Is the current state of Iraq like Alice in Wonderland? Will the Iraqi people drown in their own pool of tears? Is Bush the Cheshire Cat saying "we're all mad here"?

Or, is it another story by Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass? Possibly, as Humpty Dumpty makes an appearance in the Alice sequel? Will all the King's horses and all the King's men be able to put Humpty Dumpty together again (deadline or not)? Bush could do the Humpty given the eggman’s lines in the story.

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, `it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.”

A few lines later he adds. “When I make a word do a lot of work like that,” said Humpty Dumpty, “I always pay it extra.”

That raises the question as to where Humpty gets his money to pay all those words. Is he on the Board of The Carlyle Group? That will have to wait for another post as this one was prompted by today’s Thomas Friedman column on the state of Iraq.

Mr. Friedman cites “the currency of Middle East politics as pain”, implying it all arises from within. However, much of the region’s 20th century pain came from the outside. Post WWII those same outsiders gave away land (including homes) for a new Jewish state.

Who benefits from the Middle East fracturing into a Sunni/Shia war? Israel does for one, as they have no united enemy. Mr. Friedman's piece leaves this out completely.

He also speaks of the “tribal politics” as if this is the root cause of violence. It appears to be driven in part by the desire to control oil revenues, a very western capitalistic motivation. If Mr. Friedman is true, Exxon/Mobile is the world's most profitable tribe.

As for the United States and our leading role as a free and democratic country, consider outgoing Senate Majority Leader Frist's parting words to that august body.

"What is it really all about?" Frist said. "Is it about keeping the majority? Is it about red states versus blue? Is it about lobbing attacks in some way across the aisle? ... Is it about war rooms whose purpose is not to contrast ideas but to destroy?

It appears America may be infected with our version of tribal politics...

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