Vietnam II

Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 at 10:10 p.m.
One aim of the war in Iraq is to bring democracy to that country. This is totally unrealistic - it will not happen.
Iraqi society is not ready for democracy. They do not hold that "all men are created equal," and women are even less equal. Nor do they believe that all individuals have the right to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Neither do they believe in separation of church and state.
There is no true patriotism. Instead, there are loyal to family and tribe and are fiercely devoted to religion. There are no democracies in the Middle East except for Israel. They are all dictatorships, monarchies or theocracies.
In 1921 England cobbled together three provinces of the defeated Ottoman Empire, installed Emir Faisal as the king, and formed modern Iraq. The major populations were the Kurds in the north, Sunni Arabs in the center and Shiite Arabs in the south. The Kurds had been promised independence, which they never got.
The country has had a turbulent history from the very beginning. There were revolts by the Kurds (brutally suppressed), coups by the military, tribal unrest, violent clashes between political parties and assassinations of political leaders.
I do not know why the United States attacked Iraq. There were no weapons of mass destruction and the centers of terrorism are in Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia. Could it be oil?
We are now in a monumental mess. George W. did not listen to his father as to how to conduct the war or the peace. If he proves to be as stubborn as Lyndon Johnson, we are now faced with Vietnam II. God save us.

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