Still linkslutting as I write. From Boing, an article about a Blogstorm within the Middle Eastern blogging comunity. A well-read Iraqi traveller posted about his mistreatment while attempting to vacation in Jordan -- Jordan being the most likely spot for Iraqis trying to get a little excitement now that the Surge has brought a stifling sense of peace and quiet to Iraq.
Some Jordanians rightfully point out that Jordan's doing it's best, but the influx of refugees from Iraq is already straining its system. The generally accepted number for displaced Iraqis is 4 million, with about 2 million mostly in Jordan and Syria, and 2 million kicking about internally. For the empathy-impaired imagine 40 million Americans on the run from their homes, 20 million making do as they can in the US and another 20 million fleeing to Canada, Mexico, and maybe Britain. (numbers for current US homeless bounce between .7 million and 3.5 million, depending on the squishiness of the definition).
For the empathy dead, let me simply point out that a couple million homeless refugee kids living in poverty with (right or wrong) vague memories of America destroying his country = lots and lots of radical fundamentalist recruiting fodder. The word for the decade will be "blowback", folks. Learn it. Love it.
This of course allows me to link to John Robb's Global Guerillas again. A far greater threat to our security are "hollowed-out" states and failed states than "rogue" states. And we went in and hollowed out Iraq like a frikkin' jack-o-lantern. Or I suppose one could argue that the Rumsfeld Doctrine and Bush Administration just kind of carelessly let it be hollowed out rather than actually wielding the scoop. I don't think that implies a lot of moral high ground.
Rule #421 for the 21st Century: Do not topple governments without assuming that the worst case scenario is, indeed, what will occur.
I suppose that makes Rule #422: Therefore, do not topple governments without assuming you will be providing infrastructure and security for 10 years.
Some people would argue that makes Rule #423: Do not topple governments. I happen to disagree, as I think things like Afghanistan were justified and well executed (even though we dropped the ball on nation-building there, too), and there's a big gradient between invading a joint and exercising soft or targetted power. A better rule might be the one my grandfather passed down -- Rule #423: A man's got to know his swing. That goes for countries, too. You got a government you want overthrown, you got maybe a third of the number of guys you need to secure it afterward, then to step up and take that swing is idiotic. To staff that rebuilding effort with cronies and twenty-three-year old Young Republicans with no foreign service experience crosses into criminal.
I mean, the responsible thing to do is get experienced, tough-minded guys like this: