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It’s worse than we think

Matt Zalaznick
Vail CO, Colorado

Withdraw, pull out, call toppling Saddam victory ” let’s just bring all of the troops home from Iraq.

A civil war is likely to break out there whether we stay the rest of the month or the rest of the decade ” even if our current troop surge and security crackdown stifle the violence, though that isn’t happening.

There is no point in losing any more troops to W.’s scam of a war. There is no point to any more Iraqi civilians dying while the U.S. military is in the country. And no more troops deserve to be seriously injured and sent into the apparent administrative and hygienic nightmare of stateside military medicine.

We need the money to fight terrorists and save our race from global warming. We need America’s credibility back to fight terrorists and stop genocidal regimes.

The country needs its energy back to turn things around in Afghanistan and other nations in danger of slipping into the control of truly dangerous extremists, such as Lebanon and Somalia.

Because, as Seymour Hersh points out in the current edition of The New Yorker, things all across the international scene are, despite North Korea’s nuclear retreat, even worse than they seem.

Hersh says our vice president is so convinced radical Shiites in Hezbollah ” supplied by Iran ” are going to set off a nuclear bomb inside in the U.S. that we are now backing extremist Sunni groups in Lebanon that are fighting Hezbollah. These Sunni groups, by the way, have ties to al-Qaida, says Hersh, who has spoken to Hezbollah’s leader more times than the vice president has.

So once again it seems like Darth Cheney is going crazy about a group that didn’t attack us on Sept. 11. He’s the demented vice president who cried “mushroom cloud.” Which country, which group that didn’t attack us will he go after next? China? Russia? Neptune? The Dixie Chicks?

Hopefully for the land of the free, Darth has lost so much credibility trying to bring about the apocalypse ” he’s also lost the incompetence of Rummy, his flying monkey ” that we won’t let him trick us into another, even more disastrous war.

W.’s quagmire kids also speak about regime change in Iran as if the instant the ayatollahs were chased from Tehran, Iran would suddenly turn into the Netherlands. But tyrants just don’t go away ” look at the Taliban. They might not have a country anymore, but they have nothing better to do than shoot at the woefully undermanned NATO force trying to keep control of Kabul.

And those who find themselves in power after the dictators are dumped don’t always turn into Thomas Jefferson. They more often become egomaniacs who do not spread freedom, but plunder the country’s resources to enrich themselves ” look at post-colonial Africa; places like the Czech Republic are an exception.

But another thing that almost always happens when a dictator is dumped is civil war breaks out.

The fighting can come quickly, as it did when the Soviet damper was torn off the Balkans, or it can take decades. Americans didn’t start killing each other over the right to keep slaves until about 80 years after the British were repelled. And it took almost 200 years before every American was assured of the right to vote.

Civil war may be the lowest, most violent form of democracy, though they don’t always produce freer societies. Tyrants, after all, do a better job of controlling the spread of weapons than do open societies.

Also, free societies allow anyone ” religious groups, fantasy football leagues, confederacies planning secession ” to meet whenever they want. Dictators round up, torture and sometimes execute folks they don’t want talking to each other.

That’s why America should leave Iraq immediately and let Iraq do what it wants to, which seems to be to fracture into three countries that will probably end up fighting each other no matter how many young men and women we send over there, and no matter how many billions we spend trying to bomb the Iraqis into creating a democracy.

Assistant Managing Editor Matt Zalaznick can be reached at 748-2926, or mzalaznick@vaildaily.com.


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