Thursday, August 16, 2007

America's Burden

Consider a hypothetical but plausible scenario : A man and a woman are locked in holy matrimony. The marriage actually happened because the man in question is a powerful alpha male who possesed the woman, despite her wishes to the contrary. It is little wonder then that the marriage was an abusive one, the husband made the wife her slave, and regularly gave her deep physical and mental scars. The woman, despite such a horrible life, still was able to eke out a living largely because of the self-interest of the husband. A sworn enemy of the husband saw this as an opportunity. He was a more powerful alpha male , but he also proclaimed himself as a benevolent one. He did not care much about the woman but in fact was eager to get rid of the husband and so he claimed that he actually wishes to rescue the woman from such an abusive relationship and despite good advice against any hasty judgment, gets rid of the husband. So far so good, the story gets complicated when it turns out that the man who died had a number of other enemies who now want to ravage the woman and her children. The powerful victorious alpha male did not anticipate such a turn of events and is wondering whether he should just abandon the woman to her fate and take the exit. The question is -- is the man morally justified to take such a course of action? The answer is obviously an emphatic NO. It is clear who is who in this tale. The woman is Iraq, the husband is Saddam and the benevolent alpha male is America. The most powerful nation in the world, despite all the noises emanating from Washington, just can not abandon its moral responsibilities in Iraq. Iraq is a moral burden for America, it can not be wished away. Of course, people are known to short change morality when facing an adversity and I suspect that this is exactly what America wants to do, shed its responsibility and leave the poor woman to her fate. The story will not end there though, this country will no longer be able to seek a moral high ground for any of its actions and, however cliche it may sound, president Bush is right in saying that it will "embolden the enemy". No matter how bad it gets in Iraq, how much money it costs, how many americans have to pay with their lives for Bush's follies, Iraq is firmly America's responsibility-- they broke it and they have to fix it.

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