Thursday, August 26, 2010

This Week’s Timely Lesson from Iraq

“The Christian missionaries came to Papua New Guinea two hundred years ago,” said an anthropologist to my wife and me over cocktails one night in Alotau, Papua New Guinea. “The missionaries had an abundance of bibles, and the local indigenous people had all the land. A century and a half later, the local people had all the bibles and the missionaries had all the land.”

I was reminded of this during the last two days. On Tuesday (August 24th) the last of the American combat troops left Iraq, and the following day the insurgents (or al-Qaeda, or the Taliban, or whatever the hell we call the bad guys this week) unleashed a torrent of terror across Iraq, killing at least 60 people in a dozen or more coordinated locations, just to prove that they still had real power. When the United States unlawfully invaded Iraq seven years ago, Iraq had dysfunctional and internationally distasteful leadership and America had an abundance of deadly munitions. Seven years later, Iraq has an abundance of deadly munitions, and the United States has dysfunctional and internationally distasteful leadership (mostly at the congressional level).

From Vietnam to Cambodia to Somalia to Lebanon to Iraq to Afghanistan, the lesson is the same— when the U.S. comes into your land to bring liberty and democracy, it’s a death sentence for your innocent people.

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