Obama Gameplan: Stable, Democratic Iraq

The Al Qaeda are mosquitoes. The idea is not to mutate them into some other more palatable species. The idea is not to reform them. They are a few thousand in number. Isolate them. Penetrate their organizations. Use human intel. Engage in surgical military operations as necessary. Decapitate, isolate their leaderships wherever possible. Strengthen homeland security. Take precautions. Think a few steps ahead. Fight smart and hard, not blunt. Fight lean and mean, not loud and scattered.

But the best way to get rid of mosquitoes is to drain the swamp. The Bush gameplan has been to add floodwaters to the swamp and then indiscriminately shower the area with DDT, and keep doing both again and again. Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result. The DDT has claimed lives of plants that are above water, and many species in the water that we should not want to get rid of. And the mosquitoes keep multiplying, because they have more water to play with now, and they mutate, DDT stays the same.

But the Bush propaganda machine will tell you if you are anti-DDT, you must be pro-mosquito.

If Bush will have his way, America will have spent a trillion dollars in Iraq, and the fight will still not have concluded.

The Obama gameplan is to suggest there is no military solution in Iraq. The primary challenge is political. The solution is political. Iraq is a case study of how not to spread democracy in a country that is not democratic. For one, it is too costly.

The prescription is Nepal's April Revolution. That is the prescription for Burma, for Zimbabwe. The people are sufficient unto themselves. They can rise up, they will rise up. They will come in unceasing waves. But organizational work has to be done. Political parties have to form a coalition. There has to be leadership. There has to be a gameplan. The diaspora has to get organized. The international community has to take an active, informed interest.

In Iraq's case, you slowly withdraw troops, on a definite timetable, and you fill up the resultant military space with Iraqi military and all round political grunt work. All the factions in Iraq are going to have to learn to do business with each other the democratic way. Hold dialogue, cut deals, move the ball.

But the swamp does not begin and end in Iraq. There has to be a mass movement for democracy in every single Arab country. Such can be engineered. Such can be timetabled almost. It is not like calling a muse. It is like doing homework. If we do it right, autocracies in the Arab world can start falling one after the other like in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s.

Regime after regime in the Arab countries are offensive. In a democracy you know who to blame. You voted for someone, and if they don't deliver, you vote them out. But in dictatorships like the Arab countries are, the easy slogan becomes Death To America. The distant Satan is the source of all your ills.

Bush's way of spreading democracy has been racist, quite frankly. It has been about disrespecting the Arab masses. That is not how you want to present democracy.

Democracy has to be a grassroots rallying cry. And that can be fuelled, the process can be expedited with external help.

In The News

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Google's Biggest Acquisition: DoubleClick, for $3.1 Billion
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Sprint plans WiMax network The Grand Rapids Press Some low-income households could pay $9.95 a month. .....The city hopes the service will be available this year, making it one of the first cities in the nation with WiMax service. ....... there's a reason fast-food restaurants often are built across the street from each other ...... Technology to put a WiMax receiver into a card that could be used with laptops still is being developed. ....... Sprint earlier announced it would introduce its WiMax service in Chicago and the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area by the end of this year. ..... the network would spread to other cities, from Boston to Grand Rapids to Seattle.
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Team accepts Imus's apology Boston Globe a national debate on race, gender, and power spurred by derogatory comments by radio host Don Imus ...... we are in the process of forgiving ...... "We still find his statements to be unacceptable, and this is an experience that we will never forget" ....... The team met with Imus for three hours on Thursday night at the governor's mansion in Princeton, shortly after Imus was fired from his radio show by CBS. ..... emotions ran high, with tears on both sides ...... Imus did not shed any, but his wife, Deirdre, did, according to the person at the meeting, and she hugged each of the players individually. ...... the team voted on whether or not to accept Imus's apology. ...... a culture that "has produced language that has denigrated women." ....... CBS fired him from the radio show that he has hosted for nearly 30 years. ....... was once named one of the 25 Most Influential People in America by Time magazine. ...... Governor Jon S. Corzine was critically injured in a car crash while heading to the governor's mansion in Princeton for the Thursday meeting. ...... comments Imus made April 4 when he called the Rutgers players -- eight of whom are black -- "nappy-headed hos."
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