Reporting on the progress of America's 'war on terror' beginning Tuesday of this last week, both U.S. General David Petraeus and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker appeared before the House Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations. Preceding President Bush's announcement on Thursday to cut Army combat tours from 18 to 12 months, their respective testimonies voiced the Administration's concerns over an Iranian Shiia's role in undermining its prospects for Iraqi democracy.
In light of what seems like an interminable nightmare, I wonder whether any amongst us remembers their pre-9/11 reality? Try. Remember a time when life was still relatively simple and straightforward? I do.
I was an American. I wasn't perfect, but I was a reasonably 'good guy'. Intelligent. Passionate. Hopeful. Along with my fellow countrymen I held in abhorrence radical factions who would wantonly sacrifice innocent lives to further their own ideological agenda. We shared a common, readily identifiable enemy embodied by Al-Qaeda. Victory was a foregone assurance, the price of which, any patriot would willingly pay.
. . . and then what happened? This lie we otherwise refer to as the Matrix?
By the end of the week however, and amidst the clamor of Pat Buchanan's warnings that Petraeus' remarks pointed to war with Iran and Alireza Jafarzadeh's proposal of A Road Map for Success in Iraq, an explosion blasted a Shiite mosque in southern Iran, killing at least 10 and wounding another 160. In keeping with the rarity of such occurrences in the region, at least to this point, the incident was said to have resulted from 'live munitions' which "may have been left behind at that location which could have been the cause of the explosion".
With little or no reason to believe the U.S. is even capable of 'good faith' negotiations given its diplomatic history and snubbing of Iranian President Ahmadinejad during his visit in September; renewing effective talks between the two nations seems doubtful. Where American leadership to this juncture has only brought a burden of financial ruin and economic hardship to its people, and considering the circumstances, perhaps we should (re)consider our status as 'global citizens'.