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Invasion 101 for Dummies

Lessons from Iraq: the shock and awe of invasions.

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Summer is over; kids are headed back to school. The 50th First Vacation of the Bush presidency has also come to an end in Crawford, Texas, as we went to press. Meanwhile, Iraq is still burning. It has been a while since the "shock and awe" invasion and it might be a good time to take stock of the lessons we have learnt:

 
No matter what you call it or the excuses you drum up, an invasion is always an invasion. Kind of like British Prime Minister Tony Blair's complaint with apologists for terrorists.

The problem with an invasion is that you run out of justifications after a while.

One man's insurgency is another's freedom struggle.

Almost all insurgencies, doggedly and over time, have always won.

You cannot really write a constitution when no one feels safe at home.

If your constitution smells orthodox and autocratic, then it is just that, no matter what deodarant you spray on it.

You cannot write a constitution for people who want to rewrite it by killing people.

It is not the process that is important in writing the constitution; it is the constitution itself.

Sooner or later, people are going to catch up to the fact that while we were "progressing" on someone else's constitution, we were gutting our own.

It is hard to hide the fact that the oil ministry in Baghdad seems the most secure.

How do we explain to our kids that politicians who have our blessing in Iraq seem to have better armored cars than the soldiers we sent there?

Once you invade a country, you have to stay there a long, long time. In fact, you may as well lose track of time.

There are really no known unknowns in an invasion. We are dealing with all unknown unknowns.

Whatever!

Invasions are old country; globalization is the new game.

Invasions are like doomed love affairs. We still seem to want them again.

Since we are laying all those roads in Iraq, perhaps we can lay one for Bush to get out of town.

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Arts & Entertainment | Entertainment | Magazine | September 2005

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