Unfortunately we can not turn back time. We are stuck in the mess that was created by the Bush administration. Or, are we?
The major flaw of the Bush administration is that they do not listen to anyone. The Bush administration has determined what WE should do in Iraq and they have determined that we should hunker down and follow the course. Working hard and following the Bush plan is the Holy Grail that the Bush administration tells us is our only choice. They tell us that we can’t pull out our troops, because that would result in chaos. In the typical Republican rhetoric we are told that there are only two choices, the Bush plan and the wrong plan. But, the world is not black and white. Choices are not only A or B. There are always C, D, E, and more. So, how does one go about creating the alternative plans of C, D and E? One might begin with listening to the Iraqi people.
If the Bush administration actually listened to the Iraqi people and thought about what they are saying the Bush administration could have been able to do the right thing. You would think that a good Christian that George W Bush professes to be would realize that listening to people and creating relationships is the key to building trust and understanding. Once someone understands the people he is trying to help, then he would be able to know what the “right thing” is. And, once he knows what they “right thing” is he can take the US forces and muster the resources to make it happen.
So, what is the right thing? What should we be doing that the Iraqi people actually want us to do?
First of all we need to listen to the Iraqi people! I said this already, but I it can’t be repeated to often, because it is the key to fixing the mess in Iraq.
Second we need to understand what the different groups in Iraq want from us and what they understand about what we are planning to do. I’ve also said this once already, but it also needs to be repeated. Repeating the obvious is the only way to counter the repeated lies of the Bush administration.
Well, I have listened to several Iraqis who are frustrated by the US occupation of Iraq. Some were Sunnis and some were Shiites. It actually turns out that only the Kurds actually support what we are doing in Iraq, because they want to retain the autonomy that they already have. The Sunni group wants us out and surprisingly the Shiite group wants us out. The first group of course is actively fighting against the US with suicide bombers and the like. But the surprise is that the Shiite group believes that the best thing for the US to do is to withdraw and turn the law enforcement activities over to the UN, or a group of nations that had nothing to do with the invasion.
The common understanding of the common Iraqi is coming to the conclusion that the US occupation is doing more harm than Saddam did. This is because there is a growing sense of urgency among the Shiite group. People are beginning to say things like, “at least under Saddam we had 22 hours of electricity per day. Today one is lucky to have 2 hours of electricity per day. The US doesn’t understand the needs of the people and the lack of concern is only making things worse. The resentment among the very large group of non-Kurdish Iraqis is making the vision of America as the occupier and the enemy.
Well, you may say to yourself that it’s fine, because at least the Kurds support us. It turns out that the Kurds represent less than 20% of the population of Iraq. So, if we were to go with the democracy idea that is being pushed by the Bush administration you would have to admit that 80% of the population is against the US occupation of Iraq.
If the Shiite population doesn’t like what is happening in Iraq do the elected leaders of Iraq have the option to tell the US to leave Iraq? Yes, George W Bush has told us all that Iraq can tell the US to leave. But, as it turns out the Shiite leaders have a need for the US to stay, mainly it is because the Shiite leaders currently have the political power in Iraq and while the US is there they won’t lose that power. Even though the Shiite main population is becoming more concerned with the US occupation they care about getting hot water and electricity more than they care about the Iraqi constitution. Even though the US military is working hard at making this happen, 150,000 soldiers that are more concerned about road side bombs are not going to make the lights turn on any time soon.
The only hope that we have is that the lights need to turn on in the minds of the Bush administration. If this happens, then the Bush administration may begin to ask the Iraqis what they want, and maybe they will actually listen for a change.
Iraq, War, politics