Day 136
I went and swam 500 meters today. This evening I tried to go running. I ran a mile and quit. I ran 5 miles a day when I came out here. I’m weak again. Yuck!

Read an interesting article today (haven’t found it on the web yet) about an Iraqi National Guard officer who sacrifices a large salary and prestige to serve in his new nation’s self defence forces. Why? “Because you can’t do nothing.” I am convinced that Iraqis want desperately to be responsible for and control their own country. I am equally convinced that Iraqis are scared to death of that very prospect, that they will be responsible for and control their own country. A headline read, “the US should leave Iraq from the inside out.” That’s exactly right. Give the Iraqis control of the internal processes while we continue to maintain the security for them, at their direction and control (within limits, obviously). As they grow confidence and begin to realize that they are capable of leading their own country and as they realize that Saddam Hussein and others like him really can be controlled and eliminated, they will step forward and take over their own security.

Some times I think Americans and their politicians think there is a box of “Instant Democracy” somewhere such that we can just scatter the content and wait for rain to reconstitute. Growing a new democratic government where there has never been self-governance is going to be a slow, painful, violent process. How can it not be?


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