Wednesday, November 01, 2006

DISSENTER'S NOTEBOOK: Setting Deadlines

Our administration wants to force deadlines for the Iraqis to establish control of their country and quell the insurgency. The Prime Minister objects to deadlines. We object to his objections. But in the nature of things, sometime soon we will create deadlines and he will adopt them. Then the killing will increase, the violence become more random, the pitiful nation we have wrecked will be further pulverized, and disappear right into the hole we have dug in the desert for it.

But why wouldn't the Prime Minister resist being told by the Americans that he must establish control in the next few months? It is not only a matter of sovereignty, of being publicly humiliated by being told what to do by an occupying foreign power. It is even more a matter of being told that he must do by a certain date what the American Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force cannot do no matter how long they stay in country. We not only ask the impossible, but want it done soon.

Mr. Prime Minister, we are saying, just because we are throwing up our hands and admitting we do not know what to do, and leaving the chaos we have created in your good hands, that's no sign you shouldn't have it done right smart. Snap to it, man; just get right on it -- so we can turn tail and get outta here.

This is a case of the powerful and ignorant compelling the hapless and weak to commit suicide for our benefit. Just what we should expect of a George W. Bush administration, which has already asked its own citizens to surrender their country, their labor, their liberty, and their solemn honor to his rule, whim, caprice, deceit, violence...