lhowell

Posts Tagged ‘iraq’

Achieving Peace, Ending Hunger, Eliminate War

In Africa, mindset 3.0 on June 13, 2008 at 8:25 pm

How could we achieve piece in Iraq? Or end extreme hunger in African countries and here in the United States or eliminate war in Darfur? I was reminded of this during a phone call with my buddy Ralph. We both play golf together and enjoy each other’s company especially when he wins. I realized that if these global, geo-political problems are to be addressed there must be a truly common objective that both parties want badly.

Ralph could not make the early tee-time for this Saturday because something came up; however, he and I wanted desperately to play each other especially since he won last time and I was eager to redeem myself, especially since I give him 8 strokes. So, when he told me he could not make it, I adjusted the time to meet his schedule and realized that while it is the hottest time of day, we both compromised and the change was made. We were both ecstatic to know we would be having a rematch on tomorrow.

After the change was made, I said to Ralph, “why is it so hard to end the war in Iraq”. Of course, my buddy had a few choice words, but the real reason is that if we wanted to end the so-called war badly enough we could. This is the attitude and optimism Senator Obama brings and what people should focus on rather than recalcitrant thinking of staying the course. Just imagine if I said to Ralph: “I don’t want to play at 1:00, it’s too hot and I would prefer to keep our time at 10:00”. The whole dialogue would have been about ME, and it was about achieving an outcome that was beneficial to both and something we could feel good about, since I plan on beating him soundly tomorrow.

Would Senator McCain’s stance be any different in dealing with the Sunnis or Iran or North Korea? As basic as this might sound it is achievable if we open our minds to new thinking. Some might say this is naive, but when you really understand what are the motives and desires and you get the truth on the table we could achieve peace, end hunger and stop unnecessary violence.

Have a terrific weekend to my faithful readers!

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More Than 1,000 in Iraq’s Forces Quit Basra Fight – Dr. King Could Save the Iraqi People

In George Bush, iraq, Iraq War on April 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm

In a time of financial crisis globally, public perception about the war in Iraq, here is a harsh reality that we should consider carefully. More than 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and policemen either refused to fight or simply abandoned their posts during the inconclusive assault against Shiite militias in Basra last week, a senior Iraqi government official said Thursday. Iraqi military officials said the group included dozens of officers, including at least two senior field commanders in the battle.

My take on this has more to do with basic fear, anxiety and the future security of men who want to be with their families. In many respects, this reminds me of my suburban dad-friends taking up arms to go fight a war we know nothing about, not trained and completely under prepared. As my wife likes to say, the first kids to die in Iraq are the gung-ho suburban kids who tend to romanticize about what they will do in Iraq. Sadly, these suburban kids, typically from conservative backgrounds are the first young people to get killed.

So, does this manic war make YOU feel safer?I was asked this [do you feel safer] in an aggressive, violent tone of someone about a year and half ago? And my answer, I never felt in danger. When these young Iraqi husbands and sons abandoned their posts, I was not impacted in suburbia, the crime rate in the inner-city of Philadelphia did not go down. No! But, this further adds support for the notion of remaining in Iraq for even longer periods of time since the behaviors shown reflect the lack of confidence in obtaining victory–whatever that means?The desertions in the heat of a major battle cast fresh doubt on the effectiveness of the American-trained Iraqi security forces. The White House has conditioned further withdrawals of American troops on the readiness of the Iraqi military and police.

So what’s the White House to do? Will another surge help? The hearts, minds and the “will” of the Iraqi people is what is at stake here. If the collective will is to “run” and “quit” then what can the American troops and allies really do to stabilize the situation long-term? Real diplomacy is the answer in part and the current administration has not been as willing to try this in an earnest way. The Rambo tactics and shoot’em up policies do not reflect what we need here in the US, but rather an imperialist approach to protecting geo-political, economic interests.

On this day of memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, I got to thinking, who in Iraq has captured the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people? Of the more than 1.000 forces quitting it is clear that nobody has crafted a compelling enough message for which people are willing to sacrifice as did the men and women in the 1960s. So, does John Mcain have the answer? The Bush administration? Stay tuned. More Than 1,000 in Iraq’s Forces Quit Basra Fight – New York Times