Reacting to the news that Bush wants to scale up immigration from Iraq to get out people who collaborate with the US in Iraq Lawrence Auster sees a direct connection forming between the "invade the world" and "invite the world" policies at the heart of the current US government's approach to foreign and domestic policies.
It used to be that America’s complementary policies of “invade the world” and “invite the world,” though they were going on simultaneously, took place in different “rooms” of our national consciousness, as it were, and most people didn’t associate them with each other or think they were causally related. But now the two policies have moved so close to each other that people can’t help but see their relationship and be troubled. Thus an L-dotter writes:
Not many voters in the USA are going to understand why the Administration should see sending many thousands of American troops into harms way in Iraq and at the same time be allowing thousands of Iraqis to enter the USA as “refugees” from Iraq. That just does not make sense.
What is most notable about all this is just how incredibly different the Iraqis are from America's famed freedom-loving Founding Fathers. Why aren't the Iraqis staying in Iraq to fight for freedom in Iraq? Freedom is worth fighting for if you really love freedom. But how many people really love freedom? Bush, the neoconservatives, and quite a few liberals hold that the vast bulk of the world's peoples love freedom as much as Americans do. This is the universalism at the heart of modern liberalism (and neoconservatism is a branch of liberalism - not of conservatism). In the universalist liberal most people in every country of the world are potential Americans and they are only not Americans due to an accident of birth.
The Iraqis clamoring to leave Iraq rather than fight for freedom against sectarian religious militias and theocratic insurgent bombers tells us that Iraqis differ in some really fundamental ways as compared to America's founding fathers. When American revolutionary Nathan Hale was captured by the British for spying and they decided to kill him in 1776 he made the famous statement:
I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.
How unlike Nathan Hale are the Iraqis. At this point Iraqis are saying:
I regret that I can not leave my country because I care more about my life than fighting for the freedom of my people.
The Iraqis who support the American presence are saying:
I regret the Americans won't give more of their lives to make my neighborhood safe because I do not want to give any lives of my family to restore order.
What amazes me about the intellectual state of America is that there are Americans who are gullible enough to agree with these Iraqis.
Bush wants to let the collaborators come to the US. Some Iraqi collaborators are thinking:
I regret I have but one country to give up for the good life.
Or how about: for collaborators
I regret I do not have control of more of my country to trade for the good life.
Why aren't we telling these collaborators to stay and fight for their own country?
Iraqi exiles in poorer Arab countries such as Jordan and Syria are thinking:
I regret that wealthier countries won't give me more opportunities for an even better life.
How about the perspective of Iraqi Army enlisted soldiers?
I regret the Americans want me to give my life for my country. Why won't they give their lives so I won't have to?
The Iraqis exiles in general are saying:
I regret the conditions in Iraq. But I highly value my life. You don't honestly expect me to risk my life for something as worthless as the government of Iraq, do you?
The secular agnostic and atheist Iraqis:
I think I only have this life. You don't honestly expect me to risk that?
The Iraqi Sunnis are saying:
I regret we do not have many more Sunni lives to give so we can dominate the Shiites once again.
The Iraqi Muslim clerical warrior leaders are thinking:
I regret you have but one life to give for my religion.
The tribal sectarians are thinking:
I regret I have but one life to give for my sect/clan/tribe/extended family.
Al Qaeda bombers are thinking:
I regret I have but one life to give for only 70 virgins.
Then there are the Kurdish pesh merga fighters:
I regret I have but one life to give for my country, Kurdistan.
This is crazy. I say we tell the Iraqis to stay in their own country and fix it. If they refuse then why should our soldiers pay the price and why should we let Iraqis come to America?
Thanks to Bob Badour for helping me rift on Iraqi variations on Nathan Hale's quote.
Update: How about George W. Bush?
I regret the Iraq invasion was not the easy popularity booster I thought it would be and I regret that the Iraqis aren't doing what I think they ought to do to make my invasion a success.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 February 17 08:00 PM Mideast Iraq Human Nature|