Wednesday, November 29, 2006

You can't help those who will not help themselves

From The Washington Post:

From troops on the ground to members of Congress, Americans increasingly blame the continuing violence and destruction in Iraq on the people most affected by it: the Iraqis.

Even Democrats who have criticized the Bush administration's conduct of the occupation say the people and government of Iraq are not doing enough to rebuild their society. The White House is putting pressure on the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and members of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group have debated how much to blame Iraqis for not performing civic duties.

This marks a shift in tone from earlier debate about the responsibility of the United States to restore order after the 2003 invasion, and it seemed to gain currency in October, when sectarian violence surged. Some see the talk of blame as the beginning of the end of U.S. involvement.

"It is the first manifestation of a 'Who lost Iraq?' argument that will likely rage for years to come," said Bruce Hoffman, a Georgetown University expert on terrorism who has worked as a U.S. government consultant in Iraq.

Back before the first American boot had hit the ground in Iraq Rush Limbaugh was saying that the ultimate choice about what kind of nation they were going to have belonged to the Iraqis and on one else.

The fact is that we removed one of history's most vicious dictators from off their backs, rebuilt a massive amount of infrastructure and sponsored truly free elections. We gave them everything they needed to move forward and they proved unwilling to do so. At least that is the way it looks so far.

I'm not ready to give up just yet, but if we don't see some definite action from the elected government then there isn't any point in trying to "stay the course".