Nearly nine years after the start of the controversial invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and sparked years of violence, Panetta told Iraqis “Your children will have a better future”, and said the US and Iraq would have “a new relationship rooted in mutual interest and mutual respect”.
“We are not about turn our backs on all that has been sacrificed and accomplished in Iraq,” Panetta said.
“Iraq will be tested in the days ahead by terrorism, by those who would seek to divide, by economic and social issues … by the demands of democracy itself,” he said, while adding that the US would be a “committed friend and … partner” to the country.
In the spirit of dreaming up ridiculous analogies to depict America’s attitude toward its former colonial ward and now client state, Iraq, here’s one that occurred to me when I heard a clip of the speech quoted above on the radio this morning. America is like a home invader who, after setting your house on fire and killing your husband (or wife, depending on your preference) and shooting your dog, moves in and forces you to marry him at gunpoint, whereupon he tortures your kids, shoots your cat, hires a bunch of contractors to fix the place up but instead they cash the checks and take off before finishing the job, and then, when he decides he’s finally had enough, he leaves, though before leaving, he pauses on the front lawn to tell you how much better off you are now than before he burned your house down and to announce how dedicated he is to your special friendship and to promise to come back any time if you ever need any more help with anything, really anything, and then he jumps into his already-running bright yellow Hummer and speeds off, spewing a cloud of exhaust fumes in your face.