The stories she relates are why you don't go around attempting to forceably liberate a people without their explicit request and a priori support.
Saddam told his underlings that there was no way Bush was serious about removing him -- he knew his regime was the only thing keeping the extremists in check.
Whether a modern, secular society run by an autocratic kleptomaniac is more livable than a militant theocracy is a tough call -- but it should have been a decision left to the Iraqi people, not military adventurists in the Pentagon.
Burn in hell Bush, Cheney, Perle, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld -- but first may you and your dissembling operatives in the corporate media live to see your PNAC dreams broken by a wheel of external causalities -- events that turn beyond your meager horizon of power and profane prayer.
But may the Iraqis themselves actualize the justice we are so failing to secure: liberty, egality, and mutual understanding!
I certainly don't agree 100% with Bush or his administration or his policies...
But it doesn't seem to make much sense to say that the Iraqi people should have made the decision about all this themselves. How could they have? Could the UN have taken a poll? "Please raise your hand if you think we should force out Saddam." A hand goes up, a shot rings out...
Maybe there is a way that they could have had more to do with deciding things -- if so, I'd like to know how it would be possible, because I don't see it.
But then we get to the next point -- the Iraqi people are not used to working out their disagreements sans fighting. This means that it is difficult for them to manage their own affairs without an arbiter or some other such figure managing things. This is partially due to the lack of freedom under autocratic rule, but that does have its effects. People have a hard time adjusting to what seems to be a lack of structure, and developing their own ideas about what rules and regulations they require to feel fairly treated, improve the economy, and be safe.
Bottom line -- IMHO leaving things to the Iraqi people per se would have been a disaster. It would have meant might rules. The extremists would have been in charge in a second, and liquidated all opposition.
> the Iraqi people are not used to working out their disagreements sans fighting
MT ate your sarcasm-tag. You have to use ampersand-lt-and etc. Maybe Joi can edit it for you.
Amazing how we (or some of us) seem to think that the monkeys in the rest of the world cannot work out anything without our help.
And our help seems for the most part supplying those monkeys with arms to kill each other.
And we somehow end up with their wealth, their resources in the process!
Occasionally, some monkeys even defeat us with our weapons while we were trying to help them!
Once upon a not very long time ago in a place called Vietnam, we were not so smart as to outwit the monkeys!
Maybe the monkeys should run the circus!
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Dealing with email and my partial attention problem during meetings
Book Talk at The Harvard Book Store about Whiplash with Co-Author Jeff Howe
Conversation with Andre and Karthik