Monday, July 31, 2006

"Peace in our time"

The president had this to say in September, 2003, to the United Nations (source:
The Iraqi people are meeting hardships and challenges, like every nation that has set out on the path of democracy. Yet their future promises lives of dignity and freedom, and that is a world away from the squalid, vicious tyranny they have known. Across Iraq, life is being improved by liberty. Across the Middle East, people are safer because an unstable aggressor has been removed from power. Across the world, nations are more secure because an ally of terror has fallen.


First, we must stand with the people of Afghanistan and Iraq as they build free and stable countries. The terrorists and their allies fear and fight this progress above all, because free people embrace hope over resentment, and choose peace over violence.


And at the same time, our coalition is helping to improve the daily lives of the Iraqi people. [...] I proposed to Congress that the United States provide additional funding for our work in Iraq, the greatest financial commitment of its kind since the Marshall Plan. Having helped to liberate Iraq, we will honor our pledges to Iraq, and by helping the Iraqi people build a stable and peaceful country, we will make our own countries more secure.
Fine words. Reality, however, has been very different. Now, the Bush administration stands in opposition of an immediate cease-fire in the Israel v. Hezbollah conflict. However, the administration has few supporters on this position in Iraq. The AP (HT: Born at the Crest of Empire):
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued the call following the Israeli airstrike that killed at least 56 Lebanese, mostly women and children, in the village of Qana. It was the deadliest attack in nearly three weeks of fighting.

"Islamic nations will not forgive the entities that hinder a cease-fire," al-Sistani said, in a clear reference to the United States.

"It is not possible to stand helpless in front of this Israeli aggression on Lebanon," he added. "If an immediate cease-fire in this Israeli aggression is not imposed, dire consequences will befall the region."
It has been three years, and George W. Bush has yet to realize how much of a tangled trap he has spun.


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