Friday, August 27, 2004

Fools and their Parties

Negativity is certainly not a condition that attracts others. In fact cynicism, even when well founded, has a way of turning people away. It seems that the longer that I live, the more things I see and the more I think about the world the more cynical I become. Oh don’t get me wrong, I make herculean attempts at seeking bright areas to celebrate and cherish. The fact is that outside of friends and family there seems to be little in the world to celebrate. I am of course speaking of real and important things.

I have a happy life, I am a happy person. I do see and experience many things that I would never wish on my worst enemy. It is possible that my experiences have tarnished my worldview. It is also possible that I simply see things as they truly are. I do not pretend or contend that I am endowed with greater wisdom or intellect than most men. I assume that I am basically an average joe. It is the fact that I consider myself not so different that every other man and yet I see the world so differently than most people I encounter that boggles my mind.

I write often of my disillusionment with pieces and parts of the world. Most recently I have written of my disgust of what has become the folly of Iraq. On that issue I would like to write more but so much of what I know I cannot write or share. Many of the things I probably could legally write about I do not because of a conflicting sense of duty.

Events here follow a strange cyclical pattern. We are, despite all attempts to claim otherwise, an army of occupation attempting to force our will on a population that is both unwilling and unready to accept it. As a result of our foolish prewar beliefs we are faced now with a strong and unrelenting insurgency. From my perspective this creates periods of intense activity followed by respites of relative calm. During the islands of tranquility I have time to read the news of the world, write a little and attempt to keep up with other things.

I watch the news on occasion, as much as I can stand. Every few days I sit down and surf the Internet and keep up with what some folks in the blogshere are busy chattering about. I am not isolated or cut off from the rest of the world. My exposure is just limited.

It is interesting, looking in on the world from afar for only brief periods. In a very real way it only serves to add to my cynicism.

I am convinced now more than ever that the world is headed to Hell in the proverbial hand basket. Each and every time I have been in front of a television broadcasting Fox news I have seen a segment on the Scott Peterson trial. I ask myself each time why this has any relevance to anyone. Of all the things occurring in the world why would a “news” organization dedicate such a large percentage of its’ air time to such a silly occurrence.

It really matters little if the event de jur is Scott Petterson or some other smuck, the major news organizations have for years focused on sensational news, really mere entertainment programming, rather than real stories. Why is this? It is because this is the sort of entertainment that the public wants. People do not want to be bombarded with real stories. If they were they may become as cynical as those of us that see the world without rose-colored glasses.

This is my first point in my argument that the world is really without much hope. People simply do not want to see the truth. Liberals are happy watching CNN and getting a happy left spin on their “news”. “Conservatives” happily watch Fox and kid themselves that it is truly “fair and balanced” and without any spin to meet the desires of the viewership. Neither organization can qualify as a true news organization.

Look at their lineups. They sell people and personalities rather than news. Every host on Fox has written some sort of book and spends an enormous amount of time selling their book on the air. What is up with Larry King? (I seldom watch CNN so I cannot comment at length on their hosts)

I am left to conclude that Americans are stupid and happy being so. They do not want real news because they do not demand it of the program managers that arrange the current fare. Real news would force real questions.

I have read some of the post of a few of my blogging friends. They are busy defending Bush and attacking Kerry. These folks have the best of intentions; they are reasonable, intelligent people. Yet it amazes me that even people that think deeply about issues are so easily sucked into the deception that is the two party system.

The argument that they use when challenged about the effort they put into the fight goes something along these lines: “we have to fight to keep the democrats out of office because they are socialist” or “at least Bush is a Christian” or any number of other justifications.

The very simple and true fact is that there is very little difference in the Democratic and Republican parties. I was talking politics recently with an Australian officer here. He laughingly remarked a statement very close to what I just stated. Looking from afar it is easy to see that there is very little separation between the parties.

Sure they appeal to different sorts of people. Each party incorporates enough of the “core issues” of their demographic to claim separation. It is really a matter of measuring the results. Some claim that the Democratic Party is about a move to socialism and the Republicans represent a way to thwart that effort. The reality is that both parties have moved the country closer to Orwellian centralization. It is really absurd to state otherwise. I can point to too many examples of Republican participation in the demise of the core values of the Republic for anyone to honestly deny this fact.

So it would seem that in our two party system we have two groups of ignorant people. Liberal Democrats that advocate socialism almost outright as a way to cure the ills of the world and “conservative” Republicans that vote for a party that has often times led the march toward big government and elimination of individual liberty. Both of these groups are of course wrong but it is hard to determine who demonstrates the greatest degree of ignorance. The liberal bleeding heart is tiresome but at least they stand for some principle, no matter how flawed that principle may be. The “conservative” supporter of the Republican party is either a dupe or a hypocrite. They have either been fooled by the lies perpetrated by the Republican leadership over the last 25 years or they secretly wish to impose a neo-conic vision on the world.

People often argue that there is no other choice but the two party system. To them we either support the lesser of two evils or by default we succumb to our worst fear. In my simple mind this is a weak and feckless argument. Sure third parties have no chance in the current system. It does not matter if they are right. When good men stand by and do nothing, evil triumphs. When people that ought to know better accept the current circumstance as the best we can do they are in effect aiding evil.

Good men are becoming fewer and fewer. As government grows and programs expand into our lives more and more ordinary people forfeit their ability to step away from the public trough. We have families and responsibilities. Each year as more and more of what were once freedoms and rights are defined as privileges and as more and more of what we earn goes to support an overreaching Federal bureaucracy more good men become part of the system. Once a man becomes so embedded and indebted to a system that he is no longer free to make principle-based choices he has in effect become a slave.

I have lost hope for the United States for many reasons, declining morals, abandonment of The Constitution, and other reasons. The primary areas of concern are I believe apathy and ignorance. People are too ignorant of history, the Constitution and our founding principles to know what right looks like. Those that do know or should know are misled by false beliefs in a broken two party system or too comfortable with their lives to stand and make a difference.

As the election draws near many millions of words will be written and spoken about who should win and why. So long as the discussion centers on the two major parties it is a pointless endeavor. Ultimately it does not matter which one of the major party fellows wins. Each will lead us down the wrong path if given the opportunity.

To those that are still misled and enamored with the Republicans and their promises of conservatism I would simply ask; what have they really done to restore America to the right path? Have they limited government, turned back the clock on socialism, restored our individual rights or respected the Constitution? In the last 25 years the Republicans have had the White House the majority of the time. They have certainly not taken steps that have produced fruit. Instead we have moved closer to centralization, government has grown, rights have been denied and American has continued a moral decline. This is not the work of a group that truly wishes to restore America to its rightful purpose.

Waste your time if you will with this pointless endeavor. If you really want to make a difference it is time that a few good men stood up and said “no more”. A cry should go out across the land that we will no longer accept the charade of representative government paraded about by the two organized parties. There are still enough good men left to stand up and make a loud roar. If we are unwilling to demand and take control of our destiny then we as a collective people are deserving of the result we receive.

To those I have offended I mean no harm but if my words sting there is still hope. The path we now follow will lead to tyranny of Orwellian proportions in generations to come. In my lifetime encroachments that were once unimaginable are common. The government continues to grow and creep into every facet of the individual life. As an individual I have no influence on the outcome of political events; I have no voice because those that would represent me are not given a fair chance.
Do what you will but realize that good men become fewer each year. By supporting a broken system you are not “staving off disaster”, you are simply part of the problem.

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem
El Cid

Monday, August 23, 2004

My beef with the Air Force

In my last screed I began expressing my disdain for the United States Air Force and the influence it holds on military strategy, policy and direction. I am sure that my opinions will offend some, especially those that collect paychecks from the Air force or wore a blue uniform at some point in the past. I am not positive that this will be the case however. In the last week I have had interesting conversations with some current Air Force personnel and a couple civilian contractors that were formerly in the Air Force. Each of these individuals agrees in principle with my general assessment of the weaknesses in the Air Force.

Also I would like to point out that it is unfair to take my views of the deficiencies in the Air Force as the reason and cause of all the maladies that face the military in general. The fact is that all the services have succumbed to one degree or another to the weakening forces of political machinations and correctness. My point is that the Air Force has resisted least, embarked on its own path of wrong actions separate from political pressure and embraced whole-heartedly all that is wrong with current military thought. The fact that the other services are forced by law to not only tolerate but work with the Air Force is not at all helpful if the real fighting services ever might hope to reestablish a system of discipline and quality required in times of dire need.

At the core of the problem with the Air Force is a flawed theory. The idea that air power alone can win or even significantly influence the outcome of warfare has been proven over and over to be false.

In the 1920’s forward thinking flyers fought for this concept. The need for an ability to conduct air operations in support of tactical operations was obviously required. It was not a concept that air power thinkers pondered often. During WWII the tactics and techniques needed to conduct combined arms operations were lacking and nonexistent in the US. We had spent our resources and efforts thinking about a massive bomber force that could pound potential enemies into submission.

During the war we were forced to develop the ability to support ground operations with tactical air support on the “fly”. Doubtless countless American lives were lost as a result of the arrogance of air power thinkers. Even in the face of the necessity of tactical support the leadership of the Air Corps insisted on the need and relevance of a roust bomber command.

What was the result of the massive strategic bombing efforts over Germany and Japan? Militarily they were negligible. The fact is that German industry actually benefited from the bombing campaign. Older, less efficient German factories were destroyed and the Germans proceeded to build more efficient production facilities underground. German production increased during each year of the war despite massive day and night bombing campaigns.

The cost in human lives that resulted from this folly is not at all negligible. First there is the opportunity cost of resources spent. How many American lives might have been spared and how much sooner the war might have been ended if these resources were instead allocated to tactical air-land battles will never be known. There is also the cost of the crews of bomber command. Proportionally bomber command took a higher percentage of casualties than did front-line infantry units. Finally there is the moral issue of the bombs that were dropped on German civilian populations. WWII was a good and just war; the actions of the Air Corps as they fire bombed civilians was immoral and contrary to all formerly established rules of just war. That drunken murderous bastard Sherman would have been happy to call himself a commander of a bomber wing in WWII.

History would view air power in its’ proper light were the atomic bomb not developed. This of course nullified any real discussion of the fallacy of strategic air power as a primary weapon of war. We never really discussed why were wasted so many resources on the strategic bomber wings. Instead we created an independent Air Force, gave them the bomb and rested our hopes for national security on men that were willing to drop horrendous weapons of mass destruction on civilians. This very trait disqualifies such a person from the ranks of great military men of history. Military traditions of the true officer class in the west have always held civilian populations and cities as illegitimate targets. We abandoned all of that when we empowered men that would be murderers with rank, position and power to influence military thought.

Thus at the very core of its’ existence and creation the Air Force was lead and formed by men that held views and moral viewpoints contrary to the rules that have for centuries (with rare and notable exceptions) restricted and controlled military leaders. The influence that this corrupt thought process has exerted on the military establishment as a whole has not been insignificant. The fact that Congress in its’ finite wisdom decided in the 1980’s to force the other services to accept and incorporate the Air Force to a greater degree only served to cement the corrupting influence.

Beyond the corrupt beginnings the Air Force there are numerous other peculiarities specific to those blue weenies. As a rule they accept and embrace business school principles as principles that are directly applicable to military thought. This is of course not at all true. I am always humored when I see some business type with Sun Tzu on his desk. The applicability of management principles to leadership is likewise as absurd on a practical level. To be certain some of the ideas are useful and all good leaders need management skills. The problem with the Air Force is that they make managers of all the folks that ought to be leaders. They have developed a culture of managers instead of leaders.

I am constantly amused and then angered as I encounter Air Force folks here on their arduous three month tours. They show up with their stupid ideas, take up space, stir the proverbial pot and then get on a plane and go home.

I suppose that I could go on and on but time is limited. Suffice it to say that if the US intends to retain the empire it has embarked on creating then the armies of the empire need serious realignment for the asynchronous conflicts to come.

I read in the London Daily Telegraph a quote form a young man that represents the “barbarians at the gate of Pax Americana”

Struggling to lift a Kalashnikov, a 12-year-old with the Mahdi army militia said he could do anything in battle except fly a helicopter.
"Last night I fired a rocket-propelled grenade against a tank," he said. "The Americans are weak. They fight for money and status and squeal like pigs when they die. We will kill the unbelievers because faith is the most powerful weapon."
No matter what you may think of the principles behind this young man’s belief you cannot deny that his beliefs engender a passion unfound in our system. The bravery that I have seen here are things we simply cannot replicate large scale. Men die, fighters can be killed but real principles will not go away. The business model, moral-deficient way of waging war for no other reason than you were told to is not the sort of thing that endures and wins.

If the military of a nation is supposed to reflect the society from which it is drawn then I suppose the corruption and weakness that is the Air Force is a just and good representation of America. If the borders of the empire do not hold in the coming years then historians will have ample fodder to dissect the cracks in the armor. The march of time has a very unique way of correcting flaws that mere men are too weak to see. The Air Force, the ideals and values it sprang from and the weakness of manly virtue it represents are but one of the numerous viruses that the empires suffers.

I am merely an observer of the slow death of a giant.

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem
El Cid

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Vegitus Redux

Life has again slowed for a brief respite; my mind has again turned to observations and ponderings of the world that surrounds me.

My thoughts most recently have turned to the utterly screwed up the structure and organization of the United States military.

Don’t take me wrong, I am not contending that in the present circumstance of the world that the US Military is incapable of effectively dealing with any foe the national policy makers desire to engage. Far from it, technological and logistical superiority do now and shall for the immediate future remain the elements that ensure supremacy in almost all conceivable conflicts.

Having said that the structure of the military is far from perfect; to the contrary we are very much like the society and culture that supports and maintains the force. That is to say, corrupt on many levels; afflicted with bureaucracy, political correctness, ineptness, selfish careerism and general disarray. The most powerful giant that now roams the Earth is in many ways a very sick beast.

Vegitus wrote eloquently to the Roman Emperor of the maladies that afflicted what was then the most powerful beast roaming the world. The Roman Army easily won every battle that it fought for years after it began the decline and demise akin to and apace with the moral, economic and political demise of the Empire in general. Ultimately winning mere battles was neither enough to win campaigns and influence the face of the world into the image desired by Rome nor was it enough to save the empire.

One could reasonably argue with a great deal of validity that the most professional and competent military ever in possession of the United States existed in the 1930’s. Small, professional in both the NCO and officer corps, the military of the 1930’s was not only forward thinking and innovative it retained all that was good from centuries of military tradition. WWII and is the greatest testament to the competence of the 1930’s military. To be sure it was not this force that fought and won the war. It was the leadership and leaders that this force developed and produced that won the war.

The most significant difference in the military of today and the 1930’s force is that we simply do not produce the sort of men we did back then. I think this point is basically inarguable and I would challenge anyone to find that caliber of man wearing stars today.

The reasons for this are of course numerous. WWII required a great influx of bodies in all ranks. The small pre-war force could simply not fight a global war. The officer corps grew with the inclusion of men that were not part of the “officer class”. I am not inferring that society should be based on solidified social strata, rather that morals, ethics and principles have historically been housed best is classes of men, the idea that any society can rely on the general populace to provide men of principle and character in great quantities “from the street’ has been proven incorrect.

Following WWII the moral failings of the “citizen officer corps” were addressed through the Dewy Commission and the legislation passed as a result of its’ findings. Instead of insisting that measures were emplaced to ensure that only moral men of true leadership capacity were commissioned congress decided to reduce the authority of commissioned officers in general. Invariably this changed the system of discipline and command that was previously developed over centuries of trial and error. The effects of the mistakes of the post WWII congress are still felt today.

We cannot of course blame all ills on the 1947 congress. Each successive congress has done its’ part to meddle in affairs they do not fully understand. I suppose that it is impossible to expect a gaggle of political creatures to place what is right above what is expedient. In our system we have long ago abandoned any expectation that politicians, have the capacity or desire to really do anything more than make a name for themselves. Sad that we accept this as the truth but it is reality.

We saw the disastrous effects of congress’ meddling in the Korean War. The military was there plagued by discipline problems previously unknown. Of course everyone knows enough about Vietnam and the problems there.

Then of course there was the attempt to create an all-volunteer force without properly funding pay and allowances. We foolishly attempted the feat of maintaining a superpower force to face down the Soviets with underpaid volunteers. Times had changed; the profession had been diminished by years of abuse and mismanagement by the government. The best and the brightest no longer wanted to serve in sufficient numbers. Add to that the fact that the sheer numbers required put a burden on recruiting that could not be met without reducing standards.

For all the talk of the great and wonderful force we have now the reduction in standards of the 1970’s still plague us. We added women to many specialties that they really have no business physically or emotionally tackling. I could go off on that tangent for pages. My views on that matter are solid, supportable and basically inarguable (despite the fire which some may bring to the discussion). The NCO corps, the groups that ought to be the backbone of the force, became weak sisters.

During my entire 19 years in boots I have observed a steady decline in the quality of NCO’s at senior levels. This is I believe a direct result of when they came in and how influenced them early. Bad habits have a way of spreading. Thos fortunate enough to have as chief influences men that were hold-overs from the good habits of the old force “grew-up” right. Unfortunately most of the senior non-coms of today never had the experience of being taught right. Instead they have been developed by a broken system that encourages individual politics and self-preservation. I have come to view anyone wearing E8 or E9 rank as a mere nuisance and best and a real problem at worst. These folks add nothing but another butt in need of a chair and a loud mouth. The rare few that have some worth are hard to find and seldom celebrated by their “peers”. In fact the few that are actually worth a darn are so rare they are peerless.

These are of course just some of the events and pressures that each service has endured. Each service has dealt with these issues in different ways. The United States Marine Corps (Semper Fidelus and God bless the Corps) has been the most stalwart in rejecting the machinations of incompetent political masters. The Navy being a sea service and very tradition bound resisted pretty well until Tail-Hook; after that heads began to roll of those that did not adapt to a "kindler-gentler" Navy. The beheadings of course did not stop with a few "rowdy-boys" the phenomenon spread and continued until the entire leadership was purged of real men. The Army made some effort to resist but the fact that the Army has the largest manpower requirements meant early on that there was little choice but to adjust to the conditions set by Congress.

This of course leaves the Air Force. For reasons that are incomprehensible to me the Air Force has not only embraced the move from practical, proven military tradition and discipline they have in fact innovated and created new methods that the Congress itself was not bright enough to devise. In my humble opinion the Air Force has long ago ceased to be a military service and has become nothing more than a uniformed service. There is a significant difference in the two.

In the mid 1980's Congress passed the Goldwater-Nichols Act. I am pretty sure that Barry Goldwater was too old by that point to realize the significant negative impact this one act would have. The bottom-line is that all operations that can be joint are by law forced to be joint. This means folks from all the services take part. Never mind that this means incompetent flunkies from the Air Force are now forced by law into every major command. The influence of these non-military folks that merely wear uniforms on the outcome of everyday events is enormous. As I overheard an Army general put it the other day “I have a great deal of suspicion of anyone that comes from a service that is lead by people that believe in business school models and fly around in air conditioned airplanes dropping bombs on unsuspecting people from thousands of feet". I do not believe anyone could put it better.

I can and will elaborate on the deficiencies of the Air Force and their continued participation in any influence and decision making capacity in current and future military operations. In my opinion they ought to be treated as nothing more than people that fly planes from point A to B on order from the military services, period….more on that later when I have more time to vent...I am sure I will anger someone that has or does collect a paycheck from the Air Force. If so, just hold your thoughts until I have time to elaborate and complete my venting, then unload on me as best you might.

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem
El Cid

Saturday, August 14, 2004


I have thought often of writing a little something. I suppose the fact is that I really have little time. I have on occasion fired up the laptop and actually began banging away at keys but each time I have not gotten very far.

I am well, things here have taken a helluva turn in the hyperdrive mode. I have been very busy out and about doing my little bit. I have several observations that I have made on an entire range of topics. None of which I will broach here that do not directly relate to my current topic.

I have received several emails from many of my few “faithful” readers and I appreciate all of them. I apologize that I have been remiss in responding. In all honesty I barely have time to read my personal email much less respond a lot. There are many questions that I intend to answer. Some in private and others that I will eventually answer here. I am certainly not ignoring anyone that has written. Your letters are appreciated and your questions will mostly all be answered in time. Iraq is what it is. I suppose that if you could transport yourself to some distant future where historians are able to write the real truth of all of this you might understand some of the things I understand. For now I suppose my best recommendation would be to read Rudyard Kipling. The plight of the British in the 19th century is a pretty true synopsis of the reality here in a geopolitical sense.

When I have time for deeper more meaningful thoughts my ponderings have often turned to the issue of just what constitutes a “bad person”. By bad of course I mean the sort of person that is worthy of killing and unworthy of self-determination as it pertains to the sort of government they establish for themselves.

Over the years I have often questioned just what the eternal fate of a person born in another culture and taught to practice a religion other than Christianity would be. As a Christian I am taught that there is but one way to heaven and all other paths lead to damnation. It may be arrogant of me to think that I know the mind of God but I have always wondered if there was not more to that story.

What of a good kid that grows up a Hindu. His parents are Hindu as are his grandparents, friends and neighbors. His society is based on Hindu beliefs. If he hears the message of Christianity it is most likely from a foreigner. Not many of us are likely to listen to the teachings of a foreigner if it contradicts all that we have been taught and have lived all of our lives. I have always wondered if in God’s plan of mercy there was not some measure of hope for such a person.

Do not take me wrong. I am not advocating that in each religion there is truth and that one can merely pursue an al a carte eclecticism and still go to heaven. It is just something I have wondered about.

This leads into the observations I have made here. Really many of the same observations I have made before in other lands. Beyond a doubt religion plays a key role in the cement that builds societies. In the early stages of government religion plays a role in giving legitimacy to rule. In time religion becomes the enemy of the government it once empowered. History bears this out and we can look around the world and see this to be true. More “advanced” governments turn on religion as intolerance; less “advanced” governments use religion as a support.

Realizing this to be true it is apparent that it is impossible to merely say a person is “bad” and worthy of being called enemy because they desire a government based on their religious preference. After all in a less “advanced” nation without the benefit of a couple centuries of republican government it is logical to accept that people need a religious based government. Again, history bears this out. In the United States we relished our religion until the point we collectively decided we were too “advanced” for such notions.

As I look across Iraq I do not see “good guys” and “bad guys”. I see instead a very diverse collection of groups, each seeking different goals. We, the US, try as best we might to label everyone as good or bad; with us or against us. In this we are wrong and because of this ultimately we will fail. Sure we will continue to win every battle and eventually some sort of government will survive here. We will fail to achieve a drastic change in principles and without that we will fail to change the environment.

Take for instance some of the groups struggling for their own goals. Again, whenever any of these groups diverges too far from the plan they are labeled as bad.

The Kurds: These are the best folks in Iraq. They were they only group to rise up and attempt to overthrow Saddam, with the open encouragement of Bush I. For their audacity they were starved, bombed, murdered and dislocated. Kurdish villages and towns in the south practically ceased to exist in the 1990’s. In the north the Kurds enjoyed a large degree of autonomy. They established their own security forces, rebuilt industry, governed themselves and lived as a defacto free people from 1991 until we invaded Iraq. The Kurds are moderate Islamics, they hold little animosity toward Israel, embrace free markets, capitalism and democratic republicanism. In short, the Kurds in northern Iraq are the best hope for a reasonable Muslim government in the Mid-east.

The Shia: This folks comprise about 60% of the population of Iraq. They subscribe to the most radical version of Islam, they hate Israel and the West. Iran is a Shiite republic and has been so since 1979.

The Sunni: This is of course the brand of Islam practiced by Saddam. The Sunni are a minority in Iraq, numbering just a bit more than the Kurds. The Sunni are divided into two groups; those that still support Saddam and those that support a return to the Baath party pre-Saddam. The Sunni are less fundamental in their version of Islam and tend to act more out of matter of expediency rather than religious fervor.

Then of course there are the foreign fighters. There is no doubt that these people are in Iraq. After all the US is here and it is a good place to pick a fight. The agenda of these people is pretty much what US propaganda says it is; to thwart any efforts at stabilization.

The problem with our approach to explaining the situation here is that we attempt to lump anyone and everyone that disagrees with OUR plan into the enemy category.

I have no problem at all with our fight against foreign troublemakers. They are here with a mission similar to ours. They want to influence the outcome of events. They are here picking a fight and for that they die in great numbers each week. As a very good friend puts it often; “if they are so anxious to go meet Allah, I will help arrange their travel”. These are the same sorts of troublemakers that would fly a plane into a building or strap explosives to their bodies in a crowd if they had a chance. Better to let them pick a fight here rather than back in South Carolina I say.

I do have a real problem with our view of the other groups. First there is the Kurds. They were willing to fight for their freedom and died by the thousands for it. When it was convenient for the US we supported their bid for autonomy. Now that their goals no longer match ours we demand that they give up their independent existence and join with the rest of Iraq to become a mere minority in a nation that loathes them.

We preach that we are here now to establish democracy. Of course you know I hate that term and everyone that speaks it ignorantly. Democracy in Iraq, well let’s see, the Shia outnumber everyone else so that means any democratic government will quickly turn into a Shia government and become very much like Iran. I do not think that is part of the “grand plan” so when the leaders that be speak of democracy they really do not mean “democracy”. The problem is the Shia are not stupid. They have realized this. They understand full well that the intention is to limit their influence on the eventual government. This is exactly why the formerly oppressed Shia are now rising in great numbers to fight the US as their current oppressors and occupiers.

This leaves of course the Sunni. We have gone to great strides to give the Sunni a voice in the new government to quiet their support for the Baathist. Still a large percentage of Sunni do not embrace the “grand plan”.

To a simple country boy like me the solution is rather simple. None of these groups really want to live together. There is no democratic solution that will prevent the Shia from dominating the other groups in a forced country. Why not simply let them each go their own way? The Kurds were well on their way, the Shia and Sunni live in different sections of the country. It seems too simple to let secession be an example that would work here. Of course such notions simply do not mesh well with neo-conic thought. We were stupid enough to think we could force the Balkans into peaceful living conditions when the best choice was division. We only succeeded there after the killing and genocide had changed the demographics enough to allow some cohabitation. Even still it requires a lot of “peace keepers” to ensure the killing does not resume. How foolish.

Yes I know that the neighboring countries do not want a divided Iraq. I say to heck with them. The US is going to be here for many years to come no matter what form of government arises. It would be far better to be here protecting people that were happy with the government they have rather than fighting to force people to accept something they do not want. I am not so sure that we can classify people fighting against a form of government that they do not want as “bad”. Seems a little hypocritical to me.

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem
El Cid