, in his column Rhetoric of Unreality
, quoted Lawrence Kaplan (New Republic):"With U.S reconstruction aid running out, Iraq's infrastructure, never fully restored to begin with, decays by the hour. . . . The level of corruption that pervades Iraq's ministerial orbit . . . would have made South Vietnam's kleptocrats blush. . . . Corruption has helped drive every public service measure -- electricity, potable water, heating oil -- down below its prewar norm."
Is this the Iraq that President Bush talks about? There is a disconnect somewhere. The president's Iraq is a make-believe world created to justify his misadventure. He talks about freedom and democracy for the Iraqis but in reality the Iraqis are facing rule of the mullahs who are using Taleban-like methods. Even under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was secular in every sense of the word.
- Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute, writing in the Wall Street Journal, reports that Shiite militias "have broken up coed picnics, executed barbers [for the sin of shaving beards] and liquor store owners, instituted their own courts, and posted religious guards in front of girls' schools to ensure Iranian-style dress." Iraq's other indispensable man, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, says that unless the government can protect religious sites, "the believers will."
Our soldiers are dying and getting maimed, and we are spending our money for this!*****