Well, I read some interesting stuff today, and there was a thread in which I stated I would post my opinions and possible solutions to the current situation. Please don't nit pick this, I made a lot of points that I may have disproved myself or proved, so put a little effort into it.
Recently President Bush has requested that more troops be sent to Iraq. A lot of people have seen this as stupid and overbearing. Perhaps more troops IS what Iraq needs, but just not in the use that Bush would like to use them. It has already been shown that fighting only provokes more fighting.
Take a look at a relatively unknown, yet highly effective general in Mosul, Iraq named David Petraeus. He brought the city of Mosul, a city mixed with Sunni and Shia Muslims, to complete peace. His success went unknown. You may be asking how did he do this? He did this the only way it is possible to "win" the War in Iraq. He treated the people of Iraq like humans. He made sure his soldiers treated the population with respect and kindness. He didn't allow his soldiers to dangle a water bottle from a hummer while children chased it through the streets. He didn't allow his troops to knock down doors and ravage any house that may have contained an "enemy". He didn't allow his troops to beat and torture random Iraqis. He rebuilt roads and buildings. His soldiers dug roads, built schools, and repaired other municipal facilities/targets instead of setting up road blocks and looking for the "enemy". Yet, Bush and Rumsfeld had him replaced with another general who was much more fond of the "kill em all" policy. Well, a week after Petraeus was sent on other missions, the city of Mosul turned into complete chaos. This, to me, says the way we have been acting in Iraq for the past 3 years has been totally unjustified and incorrect.
This leads us back to the operation in Iraq not "working". A huge reason is because of Iraq's youth. In a country where almost half of the population is under 18, it is easy to see that many people have been heavily affected by this war. It is not uncommon to see kids as little as 6 years walking around guarding make-shift roadblocks with Kalishnakov's (AK-47's). The few children that haven't yet dropped out of school are not allowed to sit next to the windows because many schools in Baghdad have been struck by mortar shells and stray bullets. 70% of Iraqi children no longer attend school as regulary or if at all as they used to. This and the destruction of the Iraqi economy is causing a major poverty problem in Iraq. As we have learned in the past, the youth can be the deadliest weapon that a country can face. Secretarian warfare has caused children to witness murder, rape, torture, and corruption in mass amounts. According to the state department, 9 out of 10 Iraqis view the US as an invading force. Many of the youth were born in the impoverished aftermath of the war with Iran. This is causing an unemployed and uneducated youth where revenge controls their every goal in life. They are very impressionable and rash to do things for the good of the only family some people have...the "insurgents". These children whose fathers have been murdered in front of their very eyes, whose houses have been blown apart by a misguided mortar, and whose families have been torn apart by this war to give the Iraqi people "freedom" has caused a new generation of hate and vengence. The youth, is in a lot of trouble if we continue to use violent force in Iraq.
While there is no solution right now as to clear the mistakes we have made, the best thing we can do is give it time. It is far too late to try and coerce Iraq into a "fair" government. It won't happen anymore. There is far too much hate provoked between the Shiite, Sunni, and other groups that Iraq has. The only way to guarentee democracy is to eliminate all parties except for one. Is this what Bush eventually plans to do?
During WW2, the US dropped two atomic bombs onto the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed hundreds of thousands of people. This was the most deadly bombing the world has ever seen. The Japanese hated Americans for years to come after for the mass amounts of people that had been killed. Yet, we rebuilt the country and spent billions of dollars to rebuild what we had destroyed and whom we had killed.
It's fairly obvious that the current administration has made some major mistakes and caused what looks to be a very major long term problem. Unfortunately, 99% of politicians (made up statistic) look for results in short term prospect. Even Bush's own political party is starting to disagree with most of what he says. What we have done in Iraq, has stired up a bees nest that will take generations to settle.
As Americans, we live our lives to whatever extent we wish. We rarely think about the problem that is halfway across the world. We turn on the TV and get the same old story in Iraq. Please do yourselves a favor, read magazines and independant research articles on Iraq. US TV media is censored and controlled by all of four people. Magazines and independant research are far more "balanced" than any TV program. As Rice said "We love our guys at fox". Interesting...
Back to the point, Iraq is only one country in the Middle East, yet its influence on the region is far more than unsurpassable. Iranian and Syrian influence have caused a trail of fire to spread from Baghdad to Tehran and into Damascus...that fire is anti-Americanism, and it can't be put out with water.
So how do we stop these countries from forming "Al Qaedas" and blowing up our skyscrapers? We must first look at the roots of Bin Laden's prominent orginization that is now a household name in North America and most of Europe. We must look at WHY people would take their own lives just to kill the lives of those that have caused them harm. Your average American might say something similar to "they are jealous of our freedom". Get the fuck over yourselves and open your eyes. The roots go as far back as the creation of the Qu'ran which says that revenge can "clense the soul of sin". Thus giving many Muslims the philosophy that an "eye for an eye" is justified by one's own benefits. This one little saying could be the most harmful thing the US will ever see. Al Qaeda has been ultimately blown out of proportion by the media and ignorant people in our political and national system. Unfortunately, we are indeed ignorant to the way of life to these people and their beliefs. Our government often labels "terrorists" as Al Qaeda because the American public can't comprehend the fact that there isn't a terrorist organization with cells in many different countries all over the world.
Our country is on the verge of a social and political revolution. Much like that of the Post-Vietnam War. Democrats will be indeed favored in the next election simply because of the tarnished reputation the Republicans have received as a result of our current president. Hopefully, they will understand this fight is not one where you can fight fire with fire, you must sit and watch it burn down until it has been burnt out, then you rebuild what used to be standing on the plot.