Quo Vadis?

On the cover of this week's Time magazine (May 29) are three hardbodies which, on closer inspection, turn out to be the Dixie Chicks.  Apparently, the rationale for their appearance on a premier venue in American media is some alteration in their attitude toward George Bush, although it is impossible from a reading of the cover to tell what that might be.

Over the last weekend, the al—Maliki government was sworn in in Iraq.  This is the culmination of three years of war on the part of the U.S.—led coalition, three years of courage and elections on the part of the Iraqi people, and three years of sacrifice on the part of both.  This is the first constitutional democracy ever in the Middle East and is the culmination of the Bush policy of attempting to create a viable path to modernity for Arab Muslim societies that does not involve terrorism or authoritarianism. 

Will it succeed?  We don't know.  Is it so riven with factions that it will not be able function as a government?  We don't know.  Is it so penetrated with militias that it will not be loyal to the country?  We don't know.  Will Muqtada al—Sadr become a Hitler to an Iraqi Weimer Republic?  We don't know.

One might have imagined that these question would have been of interest to a weekly news publication which is not bound by daily deadlines.  Apparently not.

If the al—Maliki government is successful, its formation will likely come to be seen as one of the turning points in world history, like the founding of Rome or the exodus of the Jews from Eqypt.  When, at some time in the future, the obsequies are conducted for Time, this week's cover will likely be seen as the point where the downward slide became irreversible.  Henry Luce, call your office!

Greg Richards   5 23 06

On the cover of this week's Time magazine (May 29) are three hardbodies which, on closer inspection, turn out to be the Dixie Chicks.  Apparently, the rationale for their appearance on a premier venue in American media is some alteration in their attitude toward George Bush, although it is impossible from a reading of the cover to tell what that might be.

Over the last weekend, the al—Maliki government was sworn in in Iraq.  This is the culmination of three years of war on the part of the U.S.—led coalition, three years of courage and elections on the part of the Iraqi people, and three years of sacrifice on the part of both.  This is the first constitutional democracy ever in the Middle East and is the culmination of the Bush policy of attempting to create a viable path to modernity for Arab Muslim societies that does not involve terrorism or authoritarianism. 

Will it succeed?  We don't know.  Is it so riven with factions that it will not be able function as a government?  We don't know.  Is it so penetrated with militias that it will not be loyal to the country?  We don't know.  Will Muqtada al—Sadr become a Hitler to an Iraqi Weimer Republic?  We don't know.

One might have imagined that these question would have been of interest to a weekly news publication which is not bound by daily deadlines.  Apparently not.

If the al—Maliki government is successful, its formation will likely come to be seen as one of the turning points in world history, like the founding of Rome or the exodus of the Jews from Eqypt.  When, at some time in the future, the obsequies are conducted for Time, this week's cover will likely be seen as the point where the downward slide became irreversible.  Henry Luce, call your office!

Greg Richards   5 23 06