Monday, June 28, 2004

Free Iraq?

Of course I wish them luck, and luck is what they need. That the handover came two days before the planned date may be due to some terrorist plot to be foiled, but it is equally likely that this change was made so as to maximize the benefits of the event to the Bush administration. Consider that the Supreme Court gave Bush at least a partial slap on the fingers today. It would be nice to have something else that the media can talk about while pretending not to have time for the Supreme Court decisions. Jeez but I've become cynical in the last four years...

So what is the new free Iraq going to look like? Several possibilities come to mind: a country torn apart by civil war, a country which will put Taliban to shame in its eagerness to enforce extremism, a little U.S. lackey country and so on. The most recent suggestion comes from the new Iraq administration, and that is a country under martial law. Maybe a martial law is needed to give the Iraqis some peace and time to recover, both emotionally and physically, from the operation of having been liberated. But a country under a martial law is not a free country, and let's not pretend that it is.

President Bush likes the idea of a martial law:
"Iraqis know what we know, that the best way to defend yourself is to go on the offensive," he said, speaking at a news conference with Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain.

Remember that when you interpret Bush's words in the future. He also likes the new leaders of Iraq. I wonder why:

"They're gutsy, courageous and, as they say in Texas, they're stand-up guys," he said. "They'll lead. They'll lead their people to a better day."

It would be lovely if all that was needed in a leader was gutsiness and courage and being a stand-up guy, so lovely. But brains and some empathy would be nice, too. Maybe I'm just too picky for this world.