Over at Gold Star Mother Speaks Out, Karen Meredith is pleading with readers to write to Congress in opposition of the President's call for an escalation in Iraq. I'll probably do that myself, but first I figured I'd make fun of this schmuck named David Lazar who writes for the undergraduate Daily Bruin here at UCLA.
Iraqis can be unified through separation
Here we go. Try to look past the non-sequiturs, as they'll distract you from the brilliance of his arguments.
Saddam Hussein's execution is a pivotal event, one which calls for a re-evaluation of the positive consequences of the American-led invasion of Iraq, as well as our present strategy of attempting to rebuild Iraq.
It's pivotal because now we can finally settle the question of whether those positive consequences have been just awesome or super-awesome.
The U.S. has achieved several crucial accomplishments in this war, primarily the liberation of millions of people, which are downplayed in the pessimistic media environment as most reports focus on the ongoing sectarian violence.
So far, it looks like super-awesome.
The current violence, though, requires that we consider a more comprehensive political solution than simply deciding whether to increase or decrease the number of U.S. troops. Rather than establishing a single democracy which forces bitterly warring sects together, it should instead consider more of a loose confederation with autonomy for each group.
We. It. The important thing is to get these bitterly warring sects out of a republic and into a confederation.
Within hours of Hussein's execution -- a seemingly key positive event -- media outlets reported that the event could serve to increase violence, something that has yet to be clearly manifest.
Can you believe the nerve of these cut-and-runners?
But the same reporters have been spreading these claims for some time, playing up reports that the removal of Hussein's regime and the continued American presence destabilizes the region into open violence. Some even suggest that Iraq was more peaceful under Hussein's brutal regime.
But you'll show them, won't you?
Yet thousands died in the mass graves of Hussein's brutal regime, including 5,000 Kurdish villagers killed in a single 1988 attack. Some accounts put the total number murdered under Hussein's regime at more than 200,000.
For comparison, IraqBodyCount.org puts the number of Iraqis killed since the U.S. invasion between 53,000 and 59,000, and even that number may be inflated due to its heavy reliance on unofficial eyewitness accounts.
Liberal estimates of the number of Iraqis who died under 25 years of Saddam exceed the conservative estimates of Iraqis who have died from the violence in the nearly four years since the U.S. invaded. Definitely super-awesome.
Hussein's government-sanctioned killings have been decisively put to an end. Many of his murders occurred under a brutally enforced veil of secrecy in which his opponents simply disappeared.
Probably just awesome. The government-sanctioned killings still go on but they are no longer Hussein's government-sanctioned killings, plus the bodies are no longer being hidden.
The situation is far more positive than media reports let on; there is no question that Iraq is far better off than it was under Hussein.
Too bad awesomeness doesn't sell.
There is the lower death toll achieved by removing a tyrant who massacred his own people and who invaded Kuwait. The U.S. eliminated an exporter of terror -- Hussein harbored terrorists and funded suicide attacks in Israel. In addition, Iraqis now enjoy priceless freedoms, as well as healthy economic growth, which the Global Insight firm estimates had a gross domestic product growth rate of 17 percent for 2005.
Let that sink in for a while. ... Iraq had a gross domestic product growth rate of 17 percent for 2005. 17 percent! I'd like to see the Defeatocrats try to spin that one.
...But, in light of ongoing violence, rather than continuing to forge a country from such fundamentally different groups such as Sunnis and Shiites, the U.S. should look into creating a confederacy in which each of the sects would be largely autonomous....
David Lazar took a class on Iraq once. Or maybe he looked on Wikipedia. Either way, he knows about Iraq.
There is some precedent for such a system of representation based on consensus between self-governing regions. Termed consociational democracy by political scientists, the system seeks to resolve struggles for control between ethnic groups within a country, according to Michael Thies, assistant professor of political science at UCLA. He mentioned Belgium, Switzerland and Lebanon as possible examples of the strategy's success.
We should probably call it New Lebanon. By the way, David Lazar also knows what "consociational democracy" means.
The fact that the control over oil is at the center of disputes lends itself to a relatively easy compromise. According to Thies, "Oil is a resource that is sold for money, which can be distributed easily, since it is infinitely divisible."
Wait, there's oil there? Perfect. I can't even think of the last time a dispute over oil wasn't easily resolved.
Establishing a system of this sort would not be admitting defeat, but it would be acknowledging past errors -- which the U.S. did not commit -- in the creation and brutal enforcement of the borders of a country which only really existed on paper.
As long as everyone agrees that we didn't make any mistakes or lose or anything like that.
Lasting peace would then be within reach because, as the cliche goes, good fences make good neighbors.
What do awesome fences make?