Saturday, May 01, 2004

The descent into anarchy

I'd like to congratulate the people of Iraq today. A year on from George Bush's 'Mission Accomplished' speech and the Iraqis are truly a part of western democracy. A western democracy in which they do not have to fear the possibility of torture for speaking out against Saddam. No... now they just get tortured and abused by American and British troops.

With over 700 coalition soldiers dead and several thousand Iraqis since the end of hostilities, make no mistake, this is Vietnam.

It doesn't have the scale yet, there aren't millions of Iraqis dead and tens of thousands of US servicemen, but lets not forget that the conflict in Vietnam lasted for well over a decade.

The coalition of the willing is faltering. Politicians around the world are waking up to the fact that this is perhaps this biggest mistake made by western leaders in a generation. Of course, the question that now remains is, what can be done?

There are those who say we should pull the troops out now. The counter-argument being that Iraq will descend into anarchy. WAKE UP! It is already anarchy and on the verge of civil war. If 150,000 US troops (nearly a half of Americas ground force) can't maintain a peaceful situation then no-one can.

There are those who say we should stay. We should crush any rebellion with brute force. If history has taught us one thing, it's that the more devastation you wreak, the more resilient your opponent becomes. The British learnt this to their peril, yet 50 years on from the fall of the Empire and our politicians and military leaders still follow America blindly as it makes the same mistakes of occupation. How can we not have learnt the lessons?

There are those who say the UN should take over. I'd favour that option, but in reality the UN has lost all credibility. The UN is in it's worst state in history and in the coming years will have to face up to the same harsh truth that led to the destruction of the League of Nations. You cannot build unity on a basis of inequality. The US, Britain, France, Russia and China have too much power in the UN. As more nations emerge from living in the shadow of such former powers, the more questions will be asked and the closer we come to a complete collapse of our United Nations.

We cannot continue like this. We must not continue like this. Unfortunately, I don't have any answers.

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