Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Blood Will Have Blood
"It will have blood, they say, blood will have blood." MacBeth, Act III, Scene 4.
Less than 60 days after we were assured that the escalating violence in Iraq was aimed at influencing our own elections, the folks who always get it wrong are now saying we need to throw more troops into the fray.
Fellows, if the October violence was aimed at dislodging Republicans from power, why is it now so much worse? What kind of arrogant narcissism thinks that mass killings half a world away are aimed at prying loose the scoundrel's grasp on power? Try to grow up and face your mistakes: you got it wrong, wrong, wrong.
Bill Kristol, among other talking heads, advocates a short deployment of 30,000 additional troops to Iraq, and soon. He says we could change the mission (again) of the occupying force to secure the city of Baghdad.
Boys, here's a tip you can use: don't hose a blaze with gasoline.
In Act III, Lady Macbeth sorrows deeply; grief and conscience stricken, she clearly foresees the deadly consequences of her murderous acts. Shakespeare illustrates the tragic consequences of greedy ambition, pride, and blind lust-for-power. The path of vendetta must run its course; the tragedy, once set in motion, cannot be stopped.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it
-- Omar Khayyam as translated by Fitzgerald.
I would not expect the frat boys in the executive branch to know Macbeth or Omar Khayyam; but you would at least think they looked at Machiavelli back in college.
"The injury we do to a man must be such that we need not fear his vengeance." The Prince.
The United States, under the leadership of the Bush administration, attacked and occupied a foreign land out of pride, ignorance, blind ambition and endless arrogance. The United States, its leaders and its people, neither understand nor care to learn about the ancient tribes now suffering in that miserable place. How many Americans know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite? Do Americans know where the Kurds live? (No. The newly appointed head of the Senate Intelligence Committee was embarrassed last week because of his stunning ignorance. Learn some history here.)
The brutal dictator Saddam held the various factions of Iraq together by ruling with an iron fist. By all objective accounts, his treatment of his subjects was horrendous. The world reacted with horror as accounts of attacks on civilian populations with poison gas leaked out.
Before the latest war with Iraq, the suspicion that he still had weapons of mass terror seemed quite reasonable. Saddam himself wanted to make it appear he was hiding those weapons. The world situation called for prudence, wisdom, and strategic thinking.
But the United States cast aside prudence, wisdom and strategic thought by recklessly invading Iraq without bothering to learn about it. Saddam's armies and his political party were crushed. The iron fist restraining the ancient feuds and hatreds was broken.
This is the kind of action one would expect from a power grown soft in the head. It is the act of a bully, taking his fury out on a target, not because he was wronged by that individual, but he was wronged by someone, and someone has to pay.
The phrase coming from our leaders, spoken at various times by president Bush, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Homeland Security Chief Chertoff, the phrase that will become the most haunting and telling phrase of our times is, "No one could have foreseen this."
The truth is, many, many, many people foresaw the bloody consequences of smashing Iraq's iron fist.
Now we are left with "ignorant armies that clash by night." We are left with too many blood feuds and vendettas to count.
The facts on the ground are that Baghdad has already split geographically into Sunni and Shiia neighborhoods. If a Sunni or Shiia strays into the wrong part of the city, death will be slow and painful, but certain. But factions of the Shiia and Sunni camps are also waging war on themselves. The fact is inflation runs at 50 percent in Iraq. The fact is that 60 percent of the men are unemployed.
They join militias because they can. They join militias to protect themselves. They join militias to get revenge.
The facts is that more US troops will not bring back the dead; more US troops will not employ millions of men; more US troops will not bring security to the city.
The fact is that our own general in command of US forces in Iraq opposes bringing more of our troops to the battle.
The "surge" theory finds support from the same right-wing talking heads who thought the invasion was a fine idea. These guys spin their fantasies from the safety of their studios and then go to a comfortable home at night; while on the other side of the earth, real people die.
Please pray with all your might that our leaders become wise. Pray that God will open their eyes. Pray for the poor people of Iraq. Pray for our troops. It would appear that only God can save them now.