I read Jeff Jarvis this morning and then found this blog, that of an Iraqi blogger who asked other Iraqi bloggers if the war in Iraq was worth it, basically.
I encourage you to read it. It's not a good assessment, but it is a good barometer of the people there.
A commenter in the conversation says that Americans are the real deal - that we fought for our liberty and won it and that, today, the need for liberty runs thick in our blood, so much so that we're willing to give our lives for it.
The Iraqi blogger replies that while that may be true for Americans, it's not true for Iraqis. He quotes the commenter in his reply:
"Americans believe as much in freedom as Muslims believe in Islam and Allah."Bella, here on my site, has been making something of that same argument for a while now in her comments. Hat tip to you, Bella. You might be right. We led the horse to water, but we can't make it drink. If Iraqis aren't willing to fight for their own freedom as we Americans have, then we shouldn't be there.
I agree. But they can believe in freedom on their lands. Why do they have to impose it on others? YOU CAN’T IMPOSE FREEDOM. Freedom should be adopted by the people, not from other forces from other countries. That’s why you see it did not work in Iraq. I have to say that Iraqis are not fans of freedom and democracy because it proved to them that this freedom is being used by the extremists who are controlling them now.
But on the other hand... I look at Japan and Germany, places where we "instituted" democracy, and it was hell for them at first. Gangs and thugs ruled in places there for a while too. But they eventually became stable and peaceful democracies, and for the betterment of not just their nation, but for the world.
It's an open question whether this will happen in Iraq. It damn well better. But if there are no Iraqi patriots to fight for the future of the country rather than the fattening of their own personal future, then I don't see how it can.
Further, writing that makes me think of my own country, and how frequently our politicians fight not for the future of their country, but for the fattening of their own personal futures (earmarking, cronyism, etc).
Power is such an evil thing. I really hate politicians - simply because power can't be trusted in the hands of those who seek it.