Monday, June 28

It Seems So Easy To Other Countries

Why has it been so damned difficult for our White House to understand? Oh. Forgot. They're always right.

Even Jamaica understands how much of a nightmare Iraq is - and probably will continue to be.

Meanwhile with characteristic aplomb, US President George Bush told the NATO summit in Istanbul, Turkey yesterday that the Iraqi people had got back their country. The questions remain: Which Iraqis and in what kind of country?

The slate of problems is staggering. The economy is in a mess, unemployment is high, the infrastructure is in a mess and the threat of further insurgency attacks remains. Bush administration officials are pushing the line that any attacks against the new regime should be seen as Iraqi versus Iraqi violence. That, of course, is only partially true. Since the new regime is a US-approved one, there is little distinction to be made between them and the previous one, not only in the minds of ordinary Iraqis but in the minds of the insurgents as well. As some analysts have noted, to Iraqis, members of the new regime may have independent thought, but not independent action. In reality, little has changed.

As part of the restoration to normality in Iraq, the U.S. should seek to draw on the cooperation of those countries which have demonstrated an interest in the rebuilding effort. The defiant and headlong push to occupy Iraq in furtherance of narrow geo-political interests, has proven, to date, to be an unqualified diplomatic failure. There is still opportunity to make amends.