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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Iraq, too, deserves a conclusion”

    As Americans, we like neat beginnings and endings. Our movies end happily, and dramas are created to climax and détente during half-hour, prime-time TV blocks.

    During the past week, we’ve had some of the clean beginnings and endings we love so much on the U.S. political landscape.

    The era of Republican control on the Hill is ending; Democratic control is beginning. Nov. 8, as the dust settled on the midterm election results, the White House dropped a second bombshell: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld would resign his position. The announcement immediately drew attacks for its timing, praise for its decisiveness or derision for its perceived double-cross.

    The change gives the American people another clean, defined end and a new beginning with the nomination of Robert Gates.

    But for all the clean beginnings and endings we’ve seen these past two weeks in the U.S., the citizens of Iraq have seen none. Violence has continued at a deeply disturbing pace, among all our platitudes about changing directions.

    After a mass kidnapping on Tuesday in Baghdad, a spokesman for the Iraqi Minister of Education stated yesterday that 52 people were still missing after being taken from the Ministry of Education compound. The kidnapping bore marks of a Shiite militia operation and is a strong reminder of the infighting that has this nation teetering dangerously on the brink of civil war.

    The same day as the kidnapping saw the deaths of six American troops stationed in various locations in Iraq.

    A car bomb was detonated in Baghdad; eight Iraqis were left dead, 32 were injured in the explosion. Elsewhere in Baghdad, a suicide bomber detonated himself at a funeral, giving mourners gathered three more deaths to grieve and wounding 12.

    Iraq isn’t getting any of the neat endings and beginnings we’re enjoying here. Its trials continue.

    And as we hope for an end of the mess we’ve created in Iraq, it’s time to be grateful for the beginnings and ends that we’ve come to accept as part of the American political landscape.

    Certainly, the inefficient and misstep-filled progress in Iraq indicated that it was time for a change in direction. Rumsfeld’s resignation is, undoubtedly, a good thing for the American people.

    Rumsfeld was a public servant. Though his job description may have had additional terminology, his first task was to serve the American people – in this case, through serving the Iraqi people. As it looked less and less likely that the Iraqi people would see an end to the violence shaking their country, we lost our confidence in Rumsfeld.

    In seeking to end the chaos in Iraq, it’s important to remember that it will be nearly impossible to have a neat cut-off and fast end to violence that has been allowed to simmer and escalate so long. But that doesn’t mean there can’t be an end.

    We should be grateful for the neat end of Rumsfeld’s tenure.

    And we should expect that this defined conclusion and new beginning for Americans will lead to a defined ending of the violence that is causing real pain in Iraq.

    The Iraqis deserve a new beginning too.

    Opinions Board

    Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Nina Conrad, Lori Foley, Ryan Johnson, Ari Lerner, Nicole Santa Cruz and Matt Stone.

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