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Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Just about the last thing of any worth that Guns and Roses generated was a song called Civil War, and it began with the famous quote from Cool Hand Luke:

"What we've got here is failure to
Some men you just can't reach...
So, you get what we had here last week,
which is the way he wants it!
Well, he gets it!
N' I don't like it any more than you men."

I never could understand what that quote had to do with the song until I read the news today about the reprisal, tit for tat, sectarian killings going on in Bagdad.

"More than 80 dead in apparent reprisal killings"

Two days worth of husbands and fathers. It reminds me of another song, Undercover of the Night, by the Rolling Stones.

"All the young men they’ve been rounded up
And sent to camps back in the jungle
And people whisper people double-talk
And once proud fathers act so humble"

By the end of the Vietnam conflict, the American exodus created a power vacuum in Cambodia. Enter the Khamir Rouge, Pol Pot, and mass murder under the guise of a 'cultural revolution'.

Are you ready to witness that again? Well get ready.

Will we ever learn to leave well enough alone?

My guess is you'll take some shit for calling the prewar situation "well enough," but I agree that things seem worse.

Vacuums have a funny way of getting filled. There's an excellent chance that we'll end up with someone as bad as or worse than Saddam to deal with, and only have thousands of wasted American and Iraqi lives to show for it...

But hey, what do we know, we're doves.
"Will we ever learn to leave well enough alone?"

Is that your answer for the situation in Dufar too?

If a guy like Sadar is calling for peace and calm amongst his zealots, I'd say the futility of reprisals is getting through to the leadership amongst the Shia and Sunni's at least.

The nation of Iraq is at poised at the defining moment in their history. Agitators are attempting to make war along these sectarian lines. While these atrocities are abominations, hearing reports of Shia leadership calling for calm provides some hope that they are at least looking at the possibility of the future. For the life of me, I just don’t understand how the Sunni leadership could think that a civil war is in their best interest being so completely out numbered.

I’m hoping diplomacy, continued pressure on insurgence, and transfer of security to the Iraq police and Army prevail. You've made up your mind as to what you'd do. Pulling out and leaving a vacuum is your idea, not mine.

But hey, what do I know, I’m just a hawk.
The trouble is, there's already a vacuum.
Your putting words in my mouth. I didn't say anything of the sort. I'm saying we SHOULD HAVE learned from past mistakes. It's too late now. The bodies will continue to pile up no matter what we do.

The Dufar thing is simply embarrasing. You don't even hear about it in the American press, it's almost a non-issue.

What should we do? We should put pressure, economc or diplomatic, on the ANC, and the few stable governments in that region to act. Should we get directly involved - no I don't think so. As a part of a UN coalition, like we did against Serbia - sure.

Nobody (not Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., or Clinton) got involved in East Timor. They have recently reached a tenuous peace after decades of racial atrocities.

How do you pick and choose which monster to fight? You can't fight them all.
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