28 February 2005

Suicide bombing

It was just reported that a suicide car bomber blasted a crowd of police and national guard recruits as they gathered for physicals outside a medical clinic south of Baghdad, leaving at least 110 people dead and 133 injured! The recurring violence combines with the sharpening of ethnic faultlines to create a negative outlook for Iraq.

Of course, a lot of people would disagree with my negative view of the situation. In conversations with a conservative businessman shortly after the U.S. attack, I was told that my negative view of Iraq is wrong, for the simple reason that Iraq has so much wealth. The businessman basically claimed that all hell could break lose in Iraq and the foreign investors will stay simply because they know the money's there--in the form of black gold beneath the ground.

I would counter that nations require more than money, that there needs to be some ideological glue, no matter how tenuous, that binds people together. With Saddam, that glue was the Baath Party--aided by oppression of political enemies and a certain amount of plain terror. One can only wonder what will replace it. The American optimism that forsees a secular regime knitting together the various ethnicities strikes me as pollyanic optimism. Not that Bush and his cronies necessarily share this naivate. I suspect that they simply want to replace the old CIA-installed Saddam with another CIA-installed flunkey, every bit as awful as Saddam, who will adhere more closely to the American playbook. Whether the Shrub officials can micro-manage the country to be a bulwark of pro-Americanism in the Middle East waits to be seen. Meanwhile, the recent bombing makes the point, with red exclamation marks, that even the most meticulous planning in pristine rooms in Washington often fails to take into account the realities on the Iraqi street.

Other blogments can be found at: Backcountry Conservative.

7 comments:

delftsman3 said...

Good thing that the Arabs don't see things the way you do Karlo.

They are starting to realize that they DON'T have to "follow the way it has always been".

Karlo said...

The problem is that "the way it has always been" is closely linked to "the way America and Britain have always wanted it to be." This being the case, I'm not so sure that these reformist voices wanting to transform the Middle East are all waving American flags.

delftsman3 said...

"The problem is that "the way it has always been" is closely linked to "the way America and Britain have always wanted it to be."

No Karlo, we dealt with the ME the way it was, because we didn't have ANY SAY in how it was. There is a new paradigm now.

They won't be waving American flags, they will be waving their own. And they will be proud of those flags, because the people will finally have some say in how their countries are run, instead of just obeying the Leader.

We will deal with those nations as we do with every other free nation in the world; negotiating on the basis of compremise between both our national interests.

delftsman3 said...

"The problem is that "the way it has always been" is closely linked to "the way America and Britain have always wanted it to be."

No Karlo, we dealt with the ME the way it was, because we didn't have ANY SAY in how it was. There is a new paradigm now.

They won't be waving American flags, they will be waving their own. And they will be proud of those flags, because the people will finally have some say in how their countries are run, instead of just obeying the Leader.

We will deal with those nations as we do with every other free nation in the world; negotiating on the basis of compremise between both our national interests.

delftsman3 said...

"The problem is that "the way it has always been" is closely linked to "the way America and Britain have always wanted it to be."

No Karlo, we dealt with the ME the way it was, because we didn't have ANY SAY in how it was. There is a new paradigm now.

They won't be waving American flags, they will be waving their own. And they will be proud of those flags, because the people will finally have some say in how their countries are run, instead of just obeying the Leader.

We will deal with those nations as we do with every other free nation in the world; negotiating on the basis of compremise between both our national interests.

delftsman3 said...

"The problem is that "the way it has always been" is closely linked to "the way America and Britain have always wanted it to be."

No Karlo, we dealt with the ME the way it was, because we didn't have ANY SAY in how it was. There is a new paradigm now.

They won't be waving American flags, they will be waving their own. And they will be proud of those flags, because the people will finally have some say in how their countries are run, instead of just obeying the Leader.

We will deal with those nations as we do with every other free nation in the world; negotiating on the basis of compremise between both our national interests.

Karlo said...

"we didn't have ANY SAY in how it was"

How can you say this? For most of my life, the two biggest recipients of U.S. foreign aid have been in the Middle East (Israel and Egypt). The Middle East has also been home to repeated military invasions and occupations by Britain, the U.S. and France. And yet the U.S. "has no say"!! If we open a history book, it is clear that most of the "nations" of the Middle East were actually created by Western powers who often determined borders solely on the grounds of oil or other interests.

I'm glad to see that America has suddenly doffed its imperial mantle.