So I have been thinking about this thing in Iraq for a pretty long time now. I wish I could say I have some great idea; some great answer to solve the conundrum in which we find our country, our military, and the middle east as a whole.
The only conclusion I can draw is this: freedom and democracy is not a gift you can simply bestow. Even though I believe that every human soul craves liberty from fear and oppression, all outward signs indicate that the people of Iraq have historically not felt strongly enough about it, as they were content to allow dictators and tyrants to rule over them.
Democracy is not a gift that can be bestowed. It is not something that can be constructed from a blueprint. We can’t simply make xerox copies of the United States’ Constitution and save all mankind and government. Freedom, government, and self-determination are things only a people themselves can fight for and attain.
Revolution itself seems necessary for any kind of representative government. While the phrase “bloodless revolution” has been coined and accepted, there is no such thing as as revolutionless democracy. The people must stand up and say that the country that unites them transcends their religion and special interest. That before being a Sunni, Shiite or Kurd; they are an Iraqi. In the United States we have revolutions every two, four, and six years. We call them elections.
Look at Isreal. We “installed” a democracy in that country much like we are trying to install the democracy in Iraq. More than fifty years later, it still hangs by a thread.
Are we willing to engage in a Neo-Colonialism where we send our military to every country of the world in which we have an interest? Will our military bases and embassies become the new wave of American colonialism?
One thing is for certain. Barring any major breakdown (a la 1979 Iranian revolution) in the Iraqi government, we will be there for a generation or two.