February 19, 2007

Iraq = Lakota

Hurst:  The New Iraq sounds an awful lot like the Old Pine RidgeThe face of American democracy first comes to nations like the Lakotas and Iraq in the form of invasion. Kill the radicals and train homegrown police to secure the countryside. Build forts along the wagon routes. (Fourteen American military bases have been built in Iraq.) Draw sharp rhetorical edges. Warriors who refuse to move to the reservations are “hostiles.” Iraqis who resist the invasion are “terrorists.”

Then we sign treaties and send in a superintendent. Welcome to Iraq, Mr. Bremer. We dump wagonloads of money into economic development—scrawny cattle, plows, cheap blankets. Private contractors siphon off most of the money. Welcome to Iraq, Halliburton.

Then we form constitutional governments, pick our favorite chiefs, and sponsor elections. Dip your finger in purple ink, and make your mark here. Divide up your land, modernize, grow wheat. It’s all for your own good.

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