The Instruction Of Tarbaby Iraq

"I summon my blue-eyed slaves anytime it pleases me. I command the Americans to send me their bravest soldiers to die for me. Anytime I clap my hands a stupid genie called the American ambassador appears to do my bidding. When the Americans die in my service their bodies are frozen in metal boxes by the US Embassy and American airplanes carry them away, as if they never existed. Truly, America is my favorite slave."

—King Fahd Bin Abdul-Aziz, Jeddeh 1993

BAGHDAD—Iraq's prime minister says U.S. troops will not be withdrawn from areas of the country that are not completely secure. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki tells The Associated Press in an interview that he has informed President Barack Obama and other top U.S. officials that the Iraqi government must agree to any withdrawals "and must be linked to the security situation."

Al-Maliki says that he does not want U.S. troops taken out of any area unless it is "considered 100 percent secure and under control." Otherwise, withdrawals will be postponed...

This vulgar exchange is utterly ridiculous and very sad, despite the best intentions or not of the Bush doctrine and the American soldier. Smacks of tarbaby sentimentality. The scene immediately draws my attention to the same situation portrayed in a particularly poignant film I once saw where both American soldiers and a highly acclaimed progressive social engineer of the day mandated late 19th century re-education policy while mostly failing to groom the native culture out of certain groups of survivors of the western tribes, making gentlemen and scholars of many when it would only succeed with the rare gifted one who was capable of maintaining his own culture in secret while succeeding in the new white man's world. Numerous films depicting other colonial empires attempting to train a native population evoke similar feelings of disgust with both sides of the cultural equation.

I realize I am having a sudden neo-liberal moment of doubt, a small crisis of conscience, with this observation, even as I also realize that life itself is far too often an unrelenting clash of civilizations and ideals, but the brute realities of this clash are quite endure. Better these would-be Iraqi policemen understand their dilemma and learn to sort things out, or better these American soldiers leave Iraq to its own pan-Islamic devices, and God help us prepare for the inevitable fallout.

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