The burdens of freedom

That phrase seems like it should be an oxymoron, but given what context it was in, it seems fitting to be the title of this post. President Bush offered a prime-time offer to a prime-time nation tonight.

20,000 more troops in Iraq to be “embedded with Iraqi forces.” 5 brigades are to go to Baghdad alone.

20,000 more troops to get us deeper into a morass. 20,000 more troops to endure a burden of freedom that the American public didn’t ask for, but was sold on through false pretenses and outright lies.

He offered good ideas for the Iraqi end of the bargain: the Iraqi government is to appoint a military commander and two deputies. These commanders are to oversee 18 military police units, most of which are to be dedicated to the area around the capital. These units are to be run from local police stations and I think that this is a good idea… it seems like a grassroots effort of sorts. Gain the trust of your fellow countrymen by staying local. However, depending upon sectarian loyalties, it may actually exacerbate the problem.

Bush threw out a statistic that makes sense, but I didn’t really realize until he said it: 80% of sectarian violence occurs within thirty miles of Baghdad.

“Millions of ordinary people are sick of the violence.”

You said it, Mr. President.

“A democratic Iraq will be a country that fights terrorists instead of harboring them.”

This is the logical fallacy that irritates me the most. A democratic Iraq will fight terrorism. What is democracy? Democracy is government by the will of the people. What if a democracy wills to allow terrorists? No, what Bush means is that a government friendly to American policy will “fight terrorists.” And so long as that government is friendly towards US policy, Bush (and probably succeeding administrations) will label it as a democracy.

Such are the burdens of freedom.

-rl

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