Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The price is worth paying

Bush issued a statement about the latest attack on the Samarra mosque. He’s against it. The US will send troops to the area to guard the rubble, and to “restor[e] calm and security to the area.” The Samarranians will no doubt be interested to hear that their area was calm and secure right up until this morning. Bush also said, “The United States also stands ready to help the Iraqi people rebuild and restore this holy shrine.” As I said last year, when he made the same offer about the dome, the Shiites really don’t want your infidel fingerprints on their holy site.

Iraqi PM Maliki, who just yesterday said, “we have eliminated the danger of sectarian war,” has an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal today, suggesting that “Americans keen to understand the ongoing struggle for a new Iraq can be guided by the example of their own history,” specifically, the American Civil War, which “took hundreds of thousands of lives but ended in the triumph of freedom and the birth of a great power.” And Iraq is just like that. Well, the taking of hundreds of thousands of lives part; obviously not the triumph of freedom part or the birth of a great power part.

He gives a little history of Iraq. Under the Baathist Party, “Countless people were put to death on the smallest measure of suspicion.” Thank god that could never happen in Iraq today. Also, “Wars were waged by that regime and our national treasure was squandered without the consent of a population that was herded into costly and brutal military campaigns.” I can’t even imagine what it would be like to live under such a regime. Oh, wait.

He uses the word “national” a lot, as if repetition will convince us that Iraq isn’t irreconcilably fragmented: national army, national government, national interests, national ideas, and, most laughably, national reconciliation.

He says that freedom “is never cheap but the price is worth paying if we are to rescue our country.”

He doesn’t say precisely what that price will be.

Also, I don’t recall Iraq being a whole lot of help during our Civil War.

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