Friday, September 07, 2007

It's Our Image That's the Problem

From news reports of yesterday’s Jones Report:

“A panel of retired senior military and police officers recommended Thursday that the United States reduce its presence in Iraq to counter the image that it is an "occupying force."

"The force footprint should be adjusted in our view to represent an expeditionary capability and to combat a permanent-force image of today's presence," said retired Marine Corps Gen. James Jones, who led the 20-member commission. "

This reminded me of the South Park episode where the Catholic Church is very concerned by news reports of child molestation by priests. “Yes, this is a very serious problem. We've got to find out why these children are suddenly finding it necessary to report that they're being molested. Stop the problem at its source.”

This report is certainly a step in the right direction, but I can't shake the feeling that they believe our problem isn't our presence there, but the perception of our presence there.

Still, the best way to "counter the image" that we are an occupying force is to not actually be an occupying force. Even if we reduce our footprint, we can't have hundreds of thousands, or even tens of thousands of troops in Iraq without being an occupying force, even if those troops are mostly supplying logistical support to an Iraqi-veneered army. The only way to truly combat the image that we are an occupying force is to not be there.

I also noticed this tidbit: "We believe that all [U.S.] bases in Iraq should demonstrate evidence of Iraqi sovereignty," including flying the Iraqi flag, the report says.”

Again, wouldn’t a better way to “demonstrate evidence of Iraqi sovereignty” be to simply hand the bases over to Iraqis, rather than to slap Iraqi flags on them? Or do we define "Iraqi sovereignty" differently from how we define "American sovereignty?"


Fingtree said...

One of the reason's we must remain in Iraq now is that we have trained and equipped both their police and military with our weapons, military tactics and other inside information. If we would pull out completely and allow them autonomy and sovereignty. We would end up having to fight them again at some point with even more grave consequence's and opposition. Not unlike now, but worse. Although we could re-live "Shock and Awe" all over again!!

brownie said...

Ha! Good joke. Now that's a funny one. I get it!

I think.

brownie said...

But really, to be perfectly sarcastic; have you been living under a rock? Don't you know that our society is the most important? After all everyone keeps saying it (this is the greatest country in the world) so it must be true. Don't you know that we are the Empire that will never fall? That image is more important that substance? That what we appear to be (on t.v. or radio or in US magazine or in the hearts and minds of those who we feel we must dominate) is much more important than the actions we take? Come on.

Our perception is the only important thing, not the TRUTH.

Fingtree said...

I would add 'results' to the most important thing list too.

Fingtree said...

That Catholic Church episode of South Park you mentioned Dan is a very funny one.

snarkbutt said...

I would be amazed if the US military allowed the Iraqi flag to be flown at its bases. (What's next, have our troops wear fake dark Iraqi mustaches and only speak to each other in Arabic?)

The 29% (or whatever the number is) of Americans who still support the war would LOVE that our troops are fighting and dying under a foreign flag. Didn't Bush once accuse Kerry of wanting to hand over American security to a "foreign power"? This sounds awfully close to that.