The Very Model of a Modern Nation-State:
Man, it's just so fuckin' awesome that now that we've handed Iraq back to the "Iraqis" and given them "sovereignty," the country the size of California is runnin' so fuckin' well. According to House Negro Condi Rice, we're only still in Iraq at the invitation of Iraqi "Prime Minister" Iyad Allawi: "He's asked the multinational forces to stay there and to help him." See? It's like a gala event and we're the caterers. Oooh, let's hope they like the crudite' platter.
And nothin' rings the chimes of freedom like a little capital punishment. See, Iraq is free now to reinstate the death penalty. It's an original thought, 'cause nearly every country that has ever gotten out from under the murderous thumb of a brutal dictatorship has eliminated the death penalty completely because, well, the citizens of those country know how arbitrary a thing "justice" can be. Like, say, Germany after Hitler, Italy after Mussolini, and pretty much the entire former Soviet Bloc in the late 1980s.
A modern nation-state values its free press, no doubt. But the truly responsible new nation wants its press to be "responsible," and how else to assure that than enforce a little bit of censorship? See, al-Jazeera, the Arab news network, has been banned from operating in Iraq for thirty days (renewable, like a library book) because it has "failed to show the reality of Iraqi political life" and showing the kidnappers' statements, Osama Bin Laden's messages, and no pieces at all on happy Iraqi children playing with puppies (it's hard to get footage without either American troops or crumbled buildings in the background).
Imagine for yourself a nation the size of California, as the WMD optimists routinely stated (in fact, the State Department website makes that comparison on its Iraq facts page). In fact, imagine California, a state about the size of Iraq. Now, imagine if in California, there were sections of the state not controlled by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Imagine that people who visited California were getting kidnapped on a daily basis and threatened with beheading. Imagine car bombings on a daily basis. Imagine regular outages of electricity (okay, that's not that hard to imagine) and water. Ask yourself: would you give a happy monkey fuck if the schools opened on time in Sacramento?
We who pay attention to the news coming out of Iraq, beyond the mounting American body count and the so-inevitable-it's-pathetic battle with Muqtada al-Sadr, have to deal with this horrific story about Americans told to back off on Iraqis brutalizing prisoners, which has echoes of the film Three Kings (however, that film took place during Saddam's reign). We have to deal with this editorial by Robert Fisk about what life really, really is like in Iraq, and wonder, "Christ, what if even half of this is true?"
Unlike our President, who still apparently believes that we'll find WMDs in Iraq, and Condi, who bleats on like so many lambs waiting for the wolves about Saddam being reallly bad, we have to live in reality, not in some batshit insane fantasy realm where good is simply good, evil is simply evil, and ne'er the twain shall meet.