Wednesday, April 9, 2008

You Break It - You Pay For It!

In the ongoing debate about the war in Iraq, we need to remember the sign we often see in gift shops - "You Break It - You Pay For It!" Iraqi society is broken and the US is responsible, although not alone, for breaking it. Many Iraqis and people in Syria and Iran have their share of responsibility for the broken Iraqi society, but the US must take its share of the blame. However bad Sadaam's regime was - and it was very bad - the US invasion and the gross mistakes of the Bush Adminstration have made life in Iraq in many ways worse that it was under Sadaam.

As much as I wish the US could simply walk away from Iraq, I know that the Iraqi people deserve better from us. Continuation of the current Bush policy will not, I believe, make the situation any better, but walking away could make it much worse. I think that the US needs a new strategy, one that includes both military disengagement and smarter diplomatic engagement, one that sees Iraq's neighbors Syria and Iran not as our permanent enemies, but as potential allies in cleaning up the mess that all of the parties have made.

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