In 1609, a terrible thing happened: not terrible in the manner that great wars are terrible but in the way that opening Pandora’s Box was terrible. King James I of England discovered that dividing people on the basis of religion worked like a charm, thus sentencing the Irish to almost four centuries of blood and pain.
While politicians in Washington argue over the future of Iraq, half a world away a bloody battle for the soul of Iraq is being fought by Iraqis who are paying a high price for the U.S. occupation.
President George Bush gave his 2007 State of the Union address on January 23. While the speech covered many domestic issues, Bush also laid out his foreign policy approach to Iraq, Iran, terrorism, and democracy promotion. Excerpts from the president’s speech are in italics; my comments follow.
The ongoing civil conflict in Iraq is one of the major issues being considered in the debate over future U.S. military and political steps in Iraq. A growing number of analysts argue that U.S. military forces must stay in Iraq to prevent a full-scale sectarian civil war between Sunni and Shia Arabs in Iraq. But evidence exists that the roots of the Iraqi civil conflict is political rather than sectarian, and that the best solution is finding a way to bring the troops home.