Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Oval Office Held Together With Heart: Heart In The Wrong Place

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been asked to step down from his position in the Israeli government due to his handling of the war with Lebanon last year. The war started after a constant barrage of rockets from Hezbollah killed numerous Israeli civilians and topped off with the killing of three soldiers and capture of two others in a cross-border guerrilla attack on July 12. The war began with overwhelming support by the Israeli people. A government probe investigation, though, revealed that, "The prime minister made up his mind hastily, despite the fact that no detailed military plan was submitted to him and without asking for one. All of these add up to a series of failure in exercising judgement, responsibility and prudence."
Soldiers often returned from the front lines with news that they weren't even given enough water or ammunition. There were other reports of a disgraceful mishandling of the war which finally brought a fellow Labor Party minister, Eitan Cabel, to resign. In addition, the vast majority of Israelis, horrified at the way Prime Minister Olmert rushed into the war and neglected key factors, have demanded his resignation. Despite the overwhelming number of protesters, Olmert has no plan on resigning.
Let's see: an elected leader rushing into war with falsified support, mishandling of the war and a stubborn defiance amidst the voices of his own people. Sounds a lot like a parallel to Bush if I may be so bold. Too bad we aren't demanding his resignation as diligently as the Israelis are of their prime minister.
And bad news for those that believe terrorism and the insurgency in Iraq are the same thing. I have heard so many times people saying that the terrorists are taking over Iraq but here is an example of what I have been saying for quite some time: the Iraqis do not want the terrorists in their country just as much as us. In a battle today, al-Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Ayyub al-Masri was killed in a gun fight. But the gunfight wasn't between al-Qaeda and the U.S. troops. The battle was fought between al-Qaeda and the insurgents!
"This was not an operation by the security forces, it was an internal battle that led to his death," said Brigadier General Abdul Kareem Khalaf.
An MSNBC article wrote, "There has been increasing friction between Sunni Islamist al-Qaida in Iraq and other Sunni Arab insurgent groups, particularly over al-Qaida in Iraq’s indiscriminate killing of civilians."
This is a sure sign of progress in that the Iraqis are willing to take back their own country not only from the U.S. occupiers but from the terrorists gaining foot holes in Iraq. They are more than just one people against the U.S. They are a complex group of differing sects all joined in Iraqi unification. And while many Sunnis and Shiites are still fighting for dominant control of the country, they all agree that it is an Iraqi fight and not one for foreigners. And while the death of al-Masri has been denied by al-Qaeda, it is in the best interest of peace that they are lying for propaganda purposes. If anything this event goes to show that Iraq is multi-layered and this war must be seen from more than just the black-and-white perspective the Bush Administration has been looking at it with. It is about time the Iraqis have shown signs of stepping up to the plate. Now all we have to do is get off the field and let them swing away.
And on a side note: I have found in my personal debates with people on the war in Iraq that one thing always remains a constant variable. For those supporting the war, I have noticed that their judgement is often clouded by a sense of patriotism and passion. They think with their hearts more so than with their heads. I am yet to find sufficient evidence justifying this war but everyone I meet who is in favor of it only meets my facts with words of patriotic pride. It is a shame that something like 9/11 could bring so many Americans together only to have something like this war in Iraq divide them so zealously.

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