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Nation Building- When To Hand Over The House Keys

May 10th, 2007 | by Ken Grandlund |

Remember when George W. Bush was still a presidential candidate in 2000 and he decried the notion of nation building? Talk about your all time flip-flop. But I digress. With Bush, the destruction of Iraq and the subsequent efforts of his administration to make it a permanent vassal state for his oil CEO pals was never intended to fit into the ‘nation building’ mold. Unfortunately for George, all of his publically acknowledged rationale for the invasion of Iraq have fallen flat, from the imminent threat of WMD’s to deposing a really bad tyrant to spreading freedom throughout the Middle East. Only the most ardent of Bushite’s and myopic diehards can honestly say that this war is about anything except oil, control of oil, and transfer of wealth from the citizens of the United States into the pockets of the oil hegemonists. But because the president hasn’t come out and admitted what is obviously the truth, GOP pundits and their political herds can continue to claim some kind of moral ground to stand upon, insisting that our presence in Iraq is two-fold: uphold a fledgling democracy and root out terrorists. And as a result of clinging to the “support the new democracy” line, the Bush team is being forced into the game of nation building. But just like Arken Oil Company, Geroge W. Bush isn’t up to the task, so the whole damn thing is being run into the ground while the assets slip out the back door. Maybe Iraq will have a baseball team he can help ‘manage’ sometime soon.

So we’re in the nation building game, and since we’re the ones who blew the hell out of the place, I suppose that we have some responsibility to at least get the place fixed up a bit before we go home. Or do we? I mean, if the nation we are helping build is supposed to be a democracy (of sorts) then it seems only right that our presence should be limited to the extent that the majority of that country’s citizens (or elected officials as the proxy of the citizens) wish us to remain. Once the balance tips from one side of the scale to the other, we need to acknowledge that decision, pack our bags, and promise to stay in touch.

Guess what? We’ve been asked, more or less, to start packing our bags. According to a story that isn’t getting any play in the American MSM, an Iraqi parliamentary vote on Tuesday had more than half of Iraq’s elected lawmakers signed onto a legislative petition calling on the United States to set a timetable for withdrawal. The non-binding petition will be presented to the speaker of parliament with the request for a vote on a formal binding resolution that adopts the petition’s demand for a withdrawal timetable.

Hey- we asked for a democracy, and we’re getting one. Can’t cry foul when it doesn’t go your way.

Unless, of course, you are George Bush or Dick Cheney. The White House Wonder Twins seem to have an almost superhero ability to ignore reality. (And their ability to lie is almost as powerful, but that’s another story altogether.) See, the administration is taking a somewhat different approach than the Iraqi’s seem to want. Rather than prepare to disengage, they keep sending in more US troops. Instead of listening to what the Iraqi’s are saying, they are telling the Iraqi’s how it should be. I guess that 6 years of telling the American public what to do and how to feel, they think that everyone is as gullible. Sorry Dubya- the folks in Iraq live with the bombs of your nation building every day. They don’t seem too keen to wait for you to act anymore.

The Alternet article goes into some detail about the factional problems in Iraq and the barriers that are keeping them apart. Chief among them is the future of Iraq itself- specifically whether Iraq should remain as a strong single entity or as three separate and somewhat autonomous regions under nominal federal controls. Increasingly, Iraqi’s seem to be choosing the strong single entity model over the tripartite solution now favored by the US backed Iraqi government. One sticking point in that discussion has been the sharing of oil resources under each plan. Under the tripartite plan (favored by Team Bush remember), oil controls would be privatized and decentralized, leaving the door open for all sorts of great deals for Big Oil. Under the strong state model, the Iraqi oil fields become state property, meaning other nations will have to play nice to get access.

No matter how many times we go around the bend it always comes back to who gets the oil. With the oil comes the money. With the money comes the power. You know the drill.

The thing is, no matter how (or if) Iraqi lawmakers vote on demanding a timetable from the Bush Administration, they’re never going to get one. Not from Dubya at least. As far as he’s concerned, the U S of A ain’t going nowhere on his watch. And if the Iraqi’s have a problem with that, then they may just find themselves on a watchlist too. Iraq is a really dangerous place these days, despite what John McCain thinks. Dissidents of US desires may find themselves at risk, if you get my drift.

Even though many in Baghdad acknowledge that when US troops leave, the violence will likely get worse before it gets better, a majority of all ethnic groups want the US to get out. And the sad thing is that just about everybody knows it’s time to hand Iraqi’s the keys to their new house and let them get busy with the unpacking.

(Oh, and for those of you who decide to turn the comments section into a debate about “Yes there are terrorists in Iraq you idiot” I suggest you get a grip on reality. There are terrorists in America too but we haven’t bombed the hell out of our own towns. Anyone here think the Pocono’s need a good bombing? )

(cross posted at Common Sense)
[tag]Bush+Nation+Building, Iraq+War, Iraq+parliament+votes+for+US+withdrawal+timeline, Alternet.org, nation+building, democracy+in+Iraq, Pocono’s+Terror+Cell, oil, Big+Oil+Iraq[/tag]

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  1. 3 Responses to “Nation Building- When To Hand Over The House Keys”

  2. By Jet Netwal on May 10, 2007 | Reply

    Very interesting post, Ken. I wasn’t aware of the parlimentary vote. If they want us out, I say let’s go. The majority of the people in both countries are over this debacle.

  3. By Tom Harper on May 10, 2007 | Reply

    Like you say in the post, the violence will get worse when we leave Iraq. If our departure is gonna cause a bloodbath no matter what, then we might as well leave now and get it over with.

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