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A (mostly) intelligent and provocative colloquy on war in Iraq

Michael Ware (above), an Australian journalist who covered the war in Iraq for CNN and Time magazine, has written a highly provocative column on the impending end of that conflict.

There’s no way I can offer an adequate synopsis of Ware’s piece and the comments that follow it. You’ll just have to READ IT ALL for yourself, which I strongly recommend. (Again, don’t miss the comments.)

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  1. “It was one thing for the President to promise the impossible on the campaign trail—to terminate a war whose end had, even then, been already agreed and determined—but it’s another thing entirely to continue doing so now. ONE MAY JUST AS WELL CLAIM AUTHORSHIP OF THE TREATY OF VERSAILLES.”
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/10/24/obamas-war-crime-taking-credit-from-bush-adminsitration-for-ending-the-iraq-war.html

    While rambling on using a little literary license, Ware has inadvertently (I’m assuming) hit upon the core of the problem, one with a deep-seated history (“whut’s histry got t’ do with anythin?”-G.W. Bush).

    The Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire (30 October 1918 – 1 November 1922) was a political event that occurred after World War I. The huge conglomeration of territories and peoples formerly ruled by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire was divided into several new nations.[1]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partitioning_of_the_Ottoman_Empire

    Iraq’s modern borders were demarcated in 1920 by the League of Nations when the Ottoman Empire was divided by the Treaty of Sèvres. Iraq was placed under the authority of the United Kingdom as the British Mandate of Mesopotamia. A monarchy was established in 1921 and the Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from Britain in 1932.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraq

    The West (meaning primarily France and Great Britain) created the mess that is Iraq. They forced a country out of Shiites, Kurds, and Sunnis (even one of the oldest Christian colonies in history, until we “helped them get slaughtered” of late). They had nothing in common, had centuries-old hatreds, and certainly were in no mood for “nation-building” with their new-found co-countrymen.

    Fast forward to 2003. Remove a strongman from power, create a huge vacuum of power, let loose a populace held together for 50 years by an army and secret police, and (can you say “mission accomplished, children?”) allow these people to have “free elections”, write a new constitution, and unleash them upon the world.

    Fast forward to 2008. US government negotiates a treaty with the duly elected Iraqi government, and presto, we are outta there at the end of 2011.

    Fast forward all the way, too, say 2012. Remember how fast the ARVN collapsed in 1975? How about how fast the Wermacht collapsed in 1945? Will there be a repeat this time? Only time will tell. I have a feeling we won’t have to wait very long.

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