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Just wanted to say I think your article Unwilling Disciples really does a good job of spelling out the way that I feel about the US using its power to create governements and free oppressed peoples around the world.  We need to be careful about where we go and when.  I am still not certain if Iraq however was ready for this however.  I know the Bush administration has spoken about not wanting to break up the counrty and to keep in unified but some times I wonder if that is the best approach.

Forcing people to live together I just don't see as an optionat all times.  And even a violent minority can derail to path to peace and rebuilding Iraq.

If the Kurds want to become independant let them.  If the southern folks want to join with Iran let them.  That is all a part of the freedom that we claim to be bringing to them.



I agree.  I think one of the flaws we have had since going into this war is that we MUST maintain a unified Iraq after the war's end.  Is it possible to do?  Yes.  But will it become reality?  I don't know.

This war is not just about liberating Iraq.  There are also stability concerns too for the region.  I think that we should attempt to keep Iraq whole.  But if that becomes an elusive goal I say don't force it.  We see how many of the eastern European countries that came about in the decade following the cold war, though small, are doing fairly well simply because they are groups of like minded peoples without much aggitation from minorities that feel oppressed or whatever.

As to if Iraq was ready for this it is hard to say.  It is easy to become accustomed to living in a dictatorship with strict (although maybe insane) order.  Most of us do it for 18 years of our life or so under our parents.   Freedom becomes a scary thing when you first taste it.  We are also very far away and only get snippets of information and often times those contradict.  And the war is not over.  There are still many fighters in Iraq (both Iraqis and foriegners) that are trying their best to keep the conflict going.

There is also a world of differnce in terms of culture that we face.  Middle Eastern countries are not very "western" in thier ways of thinking.  What makes sense to us may not make sense to them.  Remember it took years to rebuild Japan after WWII and look at them now.  I look at this in the same light.  I have never had a problem with letting Iraq make and keep it's own form of  government be it dictatorship or republic or monarchy.  What I did have a problem with was when that government began to directly threaten us and our allies.

Jeffrey J. Jackson
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