Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Call for Contrition Over Iraq

From Rosa Brooks: Iraq is broke beyond repair:
    IN 1789, GEORGE Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving proclamation. After giving "sincere and humble thanks" for the many blessings our young country had enjoyed, he urged Americans to "unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions."

    If Washington were alive to express those sentiments today, he'd be pilloried by Bill O'Reilly as a member of the "Blame America First Club." National transgressions? Who, us?

    But, yes, even the U.S.A. screws up sometimes. The invasion of Iraq, for instance, will go down in history as a national transgression of epic proportions — and our original screw-up (an unjustified invasion based on cooked intelligence books) was compounded many times over by our failure to plan for the reconstruction of post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.


    Before the war, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell told President Bush of the so-called Pottery Barn rule: "You break it, you own it." But Iraq is not a decorative dinner plate. We broke it, but we can't fix it, and we can never own it. All we can do now is leave and apologize for the terrible damage we've done.

    It's hard to imagine our current president asking anyone's forgiveness for our "national transgressions," but this Thanksgiving season would be a pretty good time for him to start.
Perhaps the number two buzzword from the Clinton impeachment following "salacious" was "contrition." We need to dust off that very Catholic word and apply it to the current administration, which had its sights on Iraq long before 9/11. The man at the helm, when briefed about Sunnis and Shi'ites, responded, "I thought Iraqis were Muslims."

Iraq, which had neither attacked us nor had the capabilty to do so, was invaded without any thought given to what might happen afterwards. This was criminal negligence, war criminal negligence. Contrition is required, but so is justice.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, thank you. I don't know if you saw this article/video of Saddam and his inner circle right before the war, but I found it fascinating...

4:31 AM  

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