So much for Tony Blair's hope to "put Iraq behind us." The dustbin now awaits George Bush's argument that "we must take the fight to the enemy over there so we don't have to fight them at home." Imperial fantasies, as shattered as the London transit system. The G-8 leaders feign innocence while the innocents die.
At first we may see the militarist impulse. As the pompous Robert Kaplan has written, "in a world of tribes and thugs, manliness goes a long way." (imperial hubris, 240).
But reality will quickly sink in. Already Denmark and Italy are warned that they are next. The "coalition of the willing" has dwindled from 34 to 20, and will continue to disintegrate, leaving the US with 20,000 stateless mercenaries subsidized by America's tazpayers as the largest ally in Iraq.
The lesson should be that Bush has put the West, including the American people, at life-and-death risk by going to war for fabrications. We will never be "safer" as long as we invade and occupy Iraq, prop up the Saudi dictators, and crawl towards only a token Palestinian state. We will be safe when we no longer forcibly occupy Muslim lands in the oil-driven search for dominance.
Before more attacks and more deaths, it is time for Congress to take the initiative from the Bush Administration and hold hearings on an exit strategy from Iraq. It is not acceptable for Donald Rumsfeld to scorn an exit strategy in favor of a victory strategy any longer.
It is time for the peace movement and congressional allies to show solidarity with the British people by getting to the bottom of the Downing Street Memorandums scandal which the smug American media continues to downplay.
It is time for dialogue with the 82 Iraqi parliamentarians - one-third of the American-sponsored regime - who are calling for a timetable for American withdrawal.
When governments, through their march to folly, fail to protect their own citizens, it is time for those citizens to push their governments aside and become the peacemakers. #
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