Saturday, October 21, 2006

The cost of the Iraq war? Nuclear proliferation?

The situation: The Iraq war and situation are worsening. A couple days ago some members of the Medhi army took over a town, for a short time, declaring the formation of an "Republic" in Iraq that's outside the central government. Their leader told them to stand down, and they did, but it certainly reflects the will on the street. Namely undoing the damage done by the British 100 years ago when they caused the three peoples, Kurds, Sunni and Shia to form a single country.

The situation: Iran may or may not be developing nuclear weapons. They have a nuclear program whose side effects include weapons grade material. Their president is being very confrontational with the rest of the world, but to be fair the Bush administration only knows confrontaton as well.

The situation: North Korea has recently exploded a small nuclear bomb, giving them entree to the exclusive club of countries who have nuclear weapons.

In 2002 GW Bush declared an Axis of Evil vowing to stop nuclear proliferation etc. It was Iraq, Iran and North Korea he said was in this Axis. But we see the failure of that declaration, don't we?

The Iraq war has gone terribly astray. This article The week the war unravelled: Bush to 'refocus' Iraq strategy gives a rundown of the recent events that illustrate this. Emergency meetings with the leaders of the Iraq war effort, calls for quick pullout from Iraq, growing calls for a partitioning of Iraq into three semi-autonomous zones, etc.

At the same time we have real nuclear proliferation happening. Nuclear proliferation being the real danger in this world, not this ephemeral danger of Terrorism, and not this false danger that was Iraq. They propped up Iraq as the extreme threat and conned us into launching a war there, while at the same time the real threats grew and grew.

And what of Pakistan? Pakistan is the country from whom both Iran and North Korea acquired their nuclear technology. Without Pakistan exporting nuclear know-how neither of these countries would have gotten as far as they are. Yet, are we threatening Pakistan? Nope. They are (supposedly) U.S. allies.

And what of the Taliban and al Qaeda? They are having a resurgence in Afghanistan.

The key theme I'm seeing in all this is the mismanagement of Iraq. The situation in Iraq seems to be highly distracting, leading U.S. leadership to focus all their attention on Iraq while other countries and situations are not getting the attention they deserve.

I think we can call this "Throwing the baby out with the bathwater" eh?


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