One thing that’s really nagged me about the entire argument concerning the wars abroad is, most pundits and people cease to realize why exactly we’re in military gridlock, stuck in Iraq until we get the green light, say 2011. We’re doing little to no physical reconstruction of real institutions. Try doing a google search for schools built in Iraq. I found three noteworthy articles. Harry Browne has this slightly scathing article on the reconstruction effort(http://www.harrybrowne.org/articles/IraqQuestions.htm) , but it’s from 2005. A couple of articles come up from the past few months. Middle East Onlinebrings us the tale from Samawa of local villagers taking things into their own hands, never a good sign of foreign led progress (http://www.middle-east-online.com/ENGLISH/?id=20893).
But we do hear of the Minnesota Soldiers who just finished building a school in Balad (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1844853/posts). We see that progress is being made, but is it enough? Try searching for official White House figures. If you find any, point them in my direction….I can’t find them.
There’s no use in side stepping the real question I’m trying to illuminate: if we’re not replacing infrastructure, how in the world can we ever expect to be done in Iraq. I don’t want to argue about the merits of our jaunt into the Persian Gulf. Enough’s been said. But what needs to begin is a dialogue, namely on doing our best to replace and drastically improve the Iraqi infrastructure. This does not mean rebuilding the Oil Ministry (that was secured first thing, hence no need to rebuild), but taking the time and effort to make life a little more livable for regular citizens.
Some postulate, “But Drew, if we build schools and hospitals, terrorists would only try to destroy them.” Let ’em, I say. If we put in the work and actually construct beneficial facilities, whatever happens afterwards is out of our hands. Hell, even if some fanatics bomb a new school, all that would do is tip public opinion towards us. Is that bad? Not at all. What’s bad is that we haven’t heard anything about rebuilding the infrastructure in Iraq. How can an ideological war be won without engendering goodwill and extending an olive branch?