Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Tony Blair Makes Suprise Visit To Iraq

Another day, another surprise visit to Iraq. I guess this time it's Tony Blair's turn to play "Ann Margaret" for the troops. Seriously, at what point do surprise visits cease being a "surprise" and start being "routine"?

It seems like everytime something "positive" ever happens in Iraq, British and American leaders can't wait to hop over to Baghdad to absorb what little good news there actually is. As a result, any steps towards "independence" are seriously hindered by the appearance that the Iraqi government is nothing more than a puppet regime, installed by the "West", to serve the demands of the "West".

Iraq it seems, is a country with TWO valuable resources: Oil and "political capital"; however, it would also appear that neither of them are renewable. While unannounced visits and carefully staged photo-ops may make for good TV back in Britain and the United States; in Iraq it is just another reminder of who's "really" in charge. If sustained progress is ever going to be made, Western leaders are going to have to learn how to resist these urges to rush to Baghdad and claim responsibility everytime something "positive" happens (especially when they're every bit as hesitant to accept responsibility when they don't).

It's like that game show "The Weakest Link"; the only way the contestants build up any real substantial capital is by letting it ride, risking it all and hoping for the best. Likewise, the only way Iraq can possibly move forward is by building upon its minor gains without interference from the "West". Unfortunately, with contestants such as Tony Blair and Donald Rumsfeld, those opportunities are quite limited because they'll "bank" every chance they get ;)

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