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Dear Mr. Friedman
Input: Axis of Appeasement
Output: At some level I believe that Thomas Friedman wants what he feels is best for the Iraqi people. Freedom. But, I think we differ on what extent we would be willing to excuse deception to achieve our goals. Right now, his strategy is an extension of his pre-invasion plan. Get the U.S. into Iraq, get Saddam ousted and get the world to commit to helping to put in a working democracy in Iraq. To that aim he saddled up with the Bush plan because he figured that even the though the charges of WMD were trumped and even though we were entering into Iraq with a bad plan on false premises that once Saddam was out and the U.S. was in we could navigate from there to a better end.
In short, argue that once the eggs are broken we should make an omelet.
What we see, is that our esteemed columnist is attempting to drive the train after the wreck.
Unless President Bush dispenses with his discredited argument for the war W.M.D. no one will hear or listen to what I believe was always the only right argument for the war and is now the only rationale left: to depose the genocidal Saddam regime in order to partner with the Iraqi people to build a decent government in the heart of the Arab-Muslim world because it is the pathologies and humiliations produced by Arab misgovernance that are the root causes of terrorism and Muslim extremism.
A quick translation: I never bought into the WMD argument, it was bogus. But, I was willing to sign on as long as something was done to help the Iraqi people get rid of Saddam. Now drop the sham and do the right thing, get the UN on board and commit to some real progress in Iraq.
I can sympathize. Something needed to be done in Iraq to help out the Iraqis but I am not so delusional to think that we'll do right by the Iraqis despite all the high minded "freeing the Iraqi people" rhetoric flying about the right wing these days. You know something is fishy when the right starts arguing for humanitarian intervention. He criticizes the Bush administration for not going about the Iraq reconstruction effort with enough troops or commitment. I say that this is the predictable result of going in on a false premise. The aim for the Bushies was always to score a quick political victory. The plan was never to achieve the goal that Friedman envisions.
Let's look at the goals as I see them:
Its pretty obvious that "freeing the Iraqi people" was never a high priority. Nor was "establishing a middle east democracy".
My dream is that the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Spain announce tomorrow that in response to the Madrid bombing, they are sending a new joint force of 5,000 troops to Iraq for the sole purpose of protecting the U.N.'s return to Baghdad to oversee Iraq's first democratic election.
Unfortunately for Friedman's dream the US government currently in power cannot risk having a democratically elected government in Iraq that might jeopardize one of its goals. We simply cannot allow an Islamic state with strong Anti-Israel tendencies to take power and demand the withdrawal of US troops and US oil interests.
It can't happen. Else the war was for naught.
Friedman can argue till he's blue in the face for the current administration to act as he wishes. But you cannot simply expect Bush and Co. to put aside their goals to appease a NYtimes columnists... or do the right thing.
If the cook plans to make scrambled eggs, don't expect an omelet.
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