Staying the course may be path to disaster
George W. Bush repeated last week his intent to stay the course in Iraq.
Left unstated is that invading forces have no rights, only responsibilities. One of the crucial responsibilities is to abide by the will of the people under occupation.
In Iraq, according to British Ministry of Defense polls, 82 percent of Iraqis are opposed to the occupying forces; 1 percent thinks the forces improve security; and nearly 50 percent of Iraqis believe attacks against the occupying forces are legitimate.
A second set of responsibilities that follow from aggressive attacks: (1) the attackers pay reparations for the damage done; (2) the attacking country holds accountable its own officials responsible for the illegal act of aggression and other crimes of war.
Unless there is very strong evidence that a population under military occupation wants to remain occupied, the invaders should withdraw.
The U.S. position to stay the course abandons moral, political and legal responsibility, and falsely assumes a U.S. right to attack and occupy. We would grant these rights to no other; why grant them to the U.S.?
The U.S. will never permit an independent Iraq for obvious reasons: (1) the U.S. wants control of Iraqi resources, along with permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq; (2) a truly democratic Iraq would be a Shiite majority that would form alliances with Shiites in Iran and Saudi Arabia (especially the regions rich in Saudi oil); (3) a democratic Iraq would re-arm and work to establish itself as a dominant power in the region.
Only one voice might compel a U.S. exit from Iraq: that of the U.S. population dedicated to the rule of law rather than the rule of force in global affairs.
Graves’ ousting really about “The Kid”
Recent published reports regarding De Baca County Sheriff Gary Graves made me chuckle. The Albuquerque Journal reported:
“The sheriff also upset many locals by joining Lincoln County investigators in a probe of Billy the Kid’s death. The investigators sought to dig up the Kid’s remains in Fort Sumner — a move Fort Sumner officials feared would devalue the Kid’s grave as a tourist destination.”
This is the real reason Sheriff Graves has been ousted from public office.
Listen, folks: It isn’t about the devaluation of the Kid’s grave — the only fear Fort Sumner officials have is that there is no body — not Billy’s or anyone else’s — in that grave site. They do not want an empty grave to ruin the jingling in the pockets from local tourism dollars.
How sad officials cannot find a creative way, as Sheriff Gary Graves did, to unite with Texas and Lincoln County to capture the heart and romanticism of the Old West and to enlighten the general public about the life of Billy the Kid.
So dust off your boots, Sheriff Graves, and move on where you are appreciated, respected, and needed.
It won’t be long before the real truth of the real Billy the Kid surfaces.
Hayden Lake, Idaho