Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Colonial Congress: The Berlin Biden plan

Why limit the colonialism of our Iraq policy to just empty rhetoric, its about time for someone to step up and put some walk behind that talk. Enter Joe Biden and Sam Brownback:
"The clunkly named Biden-Brownback Iraq Federalism Bipartisan Amendment is the latest in a series of calls for a "soft partition" of Iraq into three semiautonomous regions -- split up according to ethnicity and sect -- that appear to be gaining currency in Washington."
In an article that finally points some of the fatal flaws of this plan, the writer Joshua Holland makes my day by pointing out an obvious but often ignored comparison:
"Proponents of the plan deserve credit for understanding that there's no military solution to be found in Iraq -- that a political conflict requires a political fix. This already puts them miles ahead of the administration and defenders of the status quo, and they should be commended for seeking a practical way out of the mess created by the U.S. invasion.
But Iraqis do not live in neat enclaves; 4 million have already been forced to flee their homes by sectarian and separatist militias, and thousands more have been killed in the process. Whatever the intentions of the proponents of the plan might be, calling for more of the same is profoundly immoral, and doing so from the remote confines of Washington conference rooms is reminiscent of earlier eras in which Western powers carved up distant lands by drawing new lines on the map."
Holland's whole article is worth reading, simply because this plan has been given a lot of support from a lot of different places, and its fundamental problems are rarely discussed. Besides the fact that this plan would likely lead to more violence and ethnic cleansing in Iraq, the larger colonial point is the one that the media has ignored. When did this become our decision? What better way to show the world the power of democratic rule than dividing their country into pieces for them. The logic of "These savages clearly don't know what their doing, so we'll have to do it for them" is so eerily similar to the justifications of the 1800s that it's frightening.
Just for the record, how does Joe Biden respond to the Iraqis themselves criticizing his plan?
"Other Iraqi politicians have said we have no right to tell the Iraqis [what to do]," Biden told reporters. "Let me tell you, we have a right. Three thousand and eight hundred dead. Twenty seven thousand wounded. Billions of dollars. Let me tell you as President of the United States, they'd have to understand full well that if they don't keep their commitment to implement their constitution then they're on their own. And so, ladies and gentlemen, the idea that al Maliki questions whether or not we have a right to express our opinion, he'd better get it straight real quick."
Damn right he better! If we decide to send our military into a country for absolutely no reason, and then kill 3800 of our own people, several hundred thousand Iraqi civilians, and waste billions of our own dollars all while destroying all aspects of their society, then they better damn well let us decide how to run their country! I mean that's what democracy is all about, right? The nerve! We're trying to do these savages a favor and bring them out of the stone-age; then they have the nerve to question our right to do so.

Ahhh... the logic of colonialism, as disgusting and immoral today as it was 500 years ago.

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