American Ugly

There is no end to the shame-parade of the Iraq fiasco. Since no one in the Bush administration ever makes a mistake or does anything wrong, and since thou shalt never criticize the troops, how does America explain the big mess over there? It’s the frikkin Iraqis fault!

The established spin — and we’re hearing this crap from the democrats as much as the republicans — is that “Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has failed to take advantage of the Iraqi people’s desire for peaceful and productive lives and of the enormous commitment and sacrifices made by the United States and other nations.”

Maliki, along with the fledgling Iraqi parliament, are, according to this narrative, a bunch of ungrateful slackers who have totally botched the nifty gifts of democracy and freedom that we bestowed on them. If they only had the infinite courage of American politicians they would have gotten their political house in order lickedy-split, cleaned up the civil war thing, and signed all their oil over to the West.

And we wonder why they hate us.

Of course, America doesn’t exactly model swift, certain, and effective democratic processes to the rest of the world. There are several hugely important problems that our politicians have written off as “third rail” issues, ie, too politically dangerous to even talk about, much less legislate. Healthcare, social security, the drug war, climate change, federal debt, campaign financing, voting technologies: just a few issues that, in a healthy functioning democracy, one could reasonably expect to find vigorous debates leading to decisive votes.

But years and years can pass without even discussions on these matters, much less results. And our politicians have had more than 200 years to works out the kinks, they are all millionaires with guaranteed job security (when they lose elections they just go on to higher-paying lobbying positions), and they don’t have to worry about being murdered or kidnapped by the electorate.

Yet even worse than spectacle of overfed Americans complaining about those slacker Iraqis is the shucking off of responsibility for the unmitigated and ungovernable mess WE created there.

This is not Iraq’s fault. Not Saddam’s fault. Not Iran or Syria’s fault.

It’s America’s fault — the whole thing. Blaming the victims for our criminal failings is just more American ugly.

Michael Sky