Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Supporting Our Troops Clarified

Stay or come home? What is the US responsibility to Iraq, now that it has perpetrated an unnecessary war? Who should rebuild Iraq? What is the role of the US military? What does it mean that the force in Iraq is mostly young men under 20 years old who have never been to another country before Iraq and only speak one language?

The United States and all of its constituent parts needs to learn what it means to be part of the international community. George Bush has done us an enormous favor by revealing the arrogance that increasingly informs US foreign policy. Now that we know the war was unnecessary let's demand that our government put the military and all necessary services and funds at the disposal of the United Nations.

How is a peace keeping force constituted? The United Nations asks for nations to volunteer forces for training with the UN and deployment to the conflict area. How does the US usually respond to requests for our assistance in peacekeeping and nation building? We promise funds we don't deliver and commit the absolute minimum troops in the absolutely least dangerous configuration the Pentagon can identify. So its not enough to advocate for the US to withdraw and defer to the leadership of the United Nations. The US always reneges on the deal. That is why I advocate for US forces to be put under the direction of the UN. US troops will learn what it means to be part of an international effort seeking a cessation of violence and the US congress will not be able to "forget" to send funds needed to guarantee the successful reconstruction of Iraq's infrastructure, public services, governance and confidence.

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