The Conservatives in America Have Lost their Way on Iraq!
Below is a dispatch I wrote while in Iraq in 2007. Note the sheiks on either side of me. If they can't decide, how can we? And yet, as President Obama has set a deadline, conservatives are standing up against it. Contemplate this, would conservatives support the invasion of a country that never attacked us? And would a conservative support staying in that country after studies showed US presence exacerbated the issue? And once a timetable was placed to remove them, would conservatives who say we should focus on our own problems stop it? Is black white? Is left right. Is conservative . . . . well you get the picture. Jack opens up the phones today to talk about it on AM 600 KOGO and online at kogo.com. Call in at 1-800-600-5646.
Even The Two Sheiks in Al Badir, Iraq Can’t Agree!Al Badir, Iraq - I sit in a small office with two men. Two Sheiks. Both are dressed similarly. They wear long robes touched in brown. They both wear the traditional black and white head scarf that is so common of men of their stature in this part of the world. And as I sit here, and listen to how they agree and . . . disagree, I must laugh at how politicians in the west try to characterize this place. It seems that the Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. are struggling as parties to get on the same page about Iraq. Both sides want simple sound bites that they can use as clubs to beat up the other. But, of course, reality rarely fits into a sound bite. And it also assumes that Iraqis have one simple position themselves on the American presence in Iraq. But that is also not true. We know that there are divisions between Shia and Sunni. We also know that there are further divisions even within ethnic groups, tribes and political parties. Therefore, anybody who says “the Iraqis want us to stay” is an idiot. At the same time, anybody who says “the Iraqis want us to leave” is equally idiotic. You ask five Iraqis their opinions and you might get ten answers. And even those might not be honest answers. My point for bringing this up is based upon a conversation I had today in the small village of Al Badir. This village on the Euphrates in Dhi Qar Province in Southern Iraq has about 2000 people and is essentially separated between east and west. In the east, Sheik Abdullah runs the show. In the west, Sheik Abbas. As we sit in a small office discussing the village and the role of the Americans, they cannot agree between them on the future. That’s right. These are two men who have known each other all of their lives and live three hundred meters apart in peace can’t agree.
These men argue over how long the Americans should stay. Sheik Abdullah thinks they should stay no more than two years while Abbas thinks they should stay ten. As they as much debate each other as allow me to interview them, we all start to laugh. They raise their voices slightly to emphasize this or that point.
In the end, these two men who know each other so well, have different answers to the same question. So why would somebody 6000 miles away assume to know?
You see my point.So, next time you hear somebody say, “the Iraqis think that . . . “, don’t believe it for a second.