The bipartisan Iraq Study Group’s report has been on the bestseller list since its release earlier this month. Let’s hope all those folks buying the book are actually reading it. While the ISG’s conclusions can be debated, one statement is beyond discussion: “No one can guarantee that any course of action in Iraq at this point will stop sectarian warfare, growing violence, or a slide toward chaos.”

So, what must we do?

One thing we can do is ignore the right-wing conservatives who are responding to the ISG’s recommendation with catcalls and insults.

The Wall Street Journal called the report a “bipartisan strategic muddle ginned up for political purposes.”

Rush Limbaugh resorted to his typical anti-intellectual pose and called the ISG the “Iraq Surrender Group” and said that its membership makes him want “to puke.”

The Eye, for one, would like to know why the country is continually subjected to the patriotism-questioning of a blowhard who used a big zit on his ass to avoid service in Vietnam.

Another thing Americans could do is actually have a grasp of the history of Iraq. Then perhaps the motivations of the current civil and sectarian strife can be understood and then our elected representatives can be pushed for better solutions by asking better questions.

This would surely beat swallowing the chauvinistic reactionary polemics tossed out by the current administration’s apologists’ hook-line-and-sinker as justifications for fear of what seems to be an unfathomable question.

The ISG Report brought up a lot of other issues that address the calamity in Iraq. But The Eye thinks we need to demand that our leaders do something to ensure security in the lives of ordinary Iraqis. We demand it for ourselves here, why not for them?

All these people want to do is provide for their families and send their kids to school.

Albeit on a very temporary basis, Charleston experienced a collapse of infrastructure when Hurricane Hugo blew through. But we still slept at night reasonably stress-free because the National Guard was here until the lights came on.

If the lights come on in Baghdad and beyond and the kids go to school and the people go to work and supper gets made and soccer games are attended and religious services are conducted unmolested and taxis show up on time, then the inflammatory rhetoric of the ideologues gets ignored because the peoples’ needs are met.

The problems that allow terrorism to inflame into civil, sectarian, religious, and racial wars are everywhere on this planet and are based largely on the disassociation that comes from social group breakdown rather than garden-variety imperialism.

At their very core, people want to belong to something and someone.

Perhaps a successful future for the U.S. and Iraq rests upon starting over on a smaller scale of neighborhood-building rather than nation-building.

One can but hope for these poor people.

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