Sunday, November 30, 2003

Hold The Bush Administration's Feet To The Fire

President Bush and his cronies should not be allowed to weasel out of Iraq by speeding up the transition while not handing control over to the international community. This should be avoided at all costs. These gentlemen and women should be forced to accept that their intransigence and arrogance in momentous times of war has led them down the wrong path. They need to own up to it.

If we allow the Bush Administration to hand over power to Iraqis without bringing in the UN, we face two likely possibilities. One, that the Bush Administration hopes to end up with another authoritarian regime, another strong man, it can attempt to coopt in the name of our interests. This is unacceptable, and would be an example of extreme lack of moral accountability. Or, two, that we end up with another Iran on our hands, financed by our own tax dollars. Instead of one Ayotollah to deal with, we'd now have two.

Of course, it's possible that democracy in Iraq could go completely hunky dorey, and that Ayotollah Sistani will be a leading light of Islamic democracy, but I doubt it. These people are clearly calling for an Islamic state run by Islamic law, which will mean the subjugation of women, minorities, and conscience.

The best hope for Iraq, and the effort we have put into it at this point, is to accomplish the original (rhetorical) plan. To stay the course, provide security and badgering until a Constitution is formed, that ensures the essential dignity and rights of minorities, women, and conscience (not everyone is Islamic over there), and assures that there is at least a chance that Iraq will not turn into a totalitarian Islamo-fascist state.

The only way this will happen, with legitimacy and security, is to hand the operation over to the UN. This is not Yugoslavia. The factions in Iraq are not fighting each other - they are fighting us. The Americans. They will not fight the UN, for the vast majority of Islamic fundamentalists do not preach hate of the UN. By handing this over, you provide some dissonance as a preemptive absorber of currently expressed dissent and resistance. The enemy is not the UN, unless they are seen as the patsy of the US.

So the UN should be given full control. The Bush Administration should have to hand it over, and admit that they mismanaged things and soured relations without due cause or reason. And the Iraqis should be forced to sit at a table and work things out between the relevant peoples and interests, before they are given full legitimacy and a license on state-sanctioned violence.