I've been reading Stories from the Thousand and One Nights each night to help Jessica fall asleep. Last night, while reading The Story of Nur-Ed-din and Enis-El-Jelis, I came upon the following rather poignant passage:
[T]hey arrived in safety at Baghdad, and the master of the vessel said to them, This is Baghdad, and it is a city of security: winter with its cold hath departed from it, and the spring-quarter hath come with its roses, and its trees are in blossom, and its waters are flowing.
But that this description were still true--and may the day of its being true come soon!
I've become rather apathetic regarding the political climate in America; although I've never been overjoyed or excited by it, it seems particularly gloomy at present. From my place, I don't see America as able to do "the right thing", whatever that nebulous action may be.
One of the most instructive classes I had in high school was Politics and Government, taught by Mr. Bob Hibbard. While his grading policies didn't serve my learning style, the content and presentation were inspirational and informative. In this class, I learned how stagnant the political landscape is: incumbent politicians in the legislative branch hardly ever lose re-elections, largely due to copious amounts of pork barreling. Serve your niche before the world, and you're unshakable.
I don't know what should be done in Iraq; frankly, I (and you, most likely) don't have enough real data to even venture a suggestion. What I do see, however, is how our bifurcated party system is shooting itself in the foot. Seattle, in all its left-wing Democrat-ic glory, has convinced me of something: political cooperation on high-profile matters is a myth, a pipe dream.
It seems that for a Democrat (especially one from a place as liberal as Seattle) to agree with George Bush would be political suicide, regardless of what the President proposes. We have a reactionary system; many of the people I hear discussing politics would condemn an idea not because of the action, but because of the actor. This same approach is what they expect of their Senators and Representatives. I am convinced that these politicians are more interested in keeping their jobs than doing the right thing, should it happen to be proposed. Ah, greed.
Is an increase in troops right for Iraq? My sentiment is that we should get out of there, and as soon as possible. Again, I don't know anything about the situation; but were the country my household, I wouldn't want it so committed to an external problem. On the other hand, I believe strongly in cleaning up after myself; we started something, and we have a responsibility to help finish it. But I, with my odd mix of political influences, personally believe that the way we can help stabilize Iraq does not involve adding troops.
It saddens me that politics is such a people-pleasing enterprise, because it seems to leave no room for doing anything besides positioning one's self for continued pandering. One day, God willing, Baghdad will again be in its "spring-quarter".