Baghdad vs. Lebanon

More than three years into the Iraqi occupation and we still don't have things under control in Iraq. The residents of Iraq hate us and with good reason, they still have limited electricity and water and "frills" like food and gas are hard to come by and can get you killed. Children are dying in the bombings every day, women are afraid for their lives, and men cannot find work to provide for their families.

So, how are things working out in another country that has been bombed "back to the stone ages" as Republicans like to say? Let's take a look at Lebanon after the break.

It is three weeks into a truce in Lebanon and the government still has no reconstruction plan.
"If it does not deliver the services it's just simply a name and in this case it's just simply an empty shell," publisher of the Daily Star newspaper Jamil Mroue said.

But in the South, it's a very different story - bustling with money and energy.

Mustafa Bedredine is mayor of Nabatiyeh - a stronghold of the Shi'ite militant group, Hezbollah.

Pummeled during the 34-day Israeli bombing what was rubble has now been cleared. Electricity and water are already restored.

When asked where the money for this reconstruction will come from, the mayor answers flatly that Hezbollah will provide the cash. Throughout South Lebanon, Hezbollah has deployed its team of bankers and engineers - keeping promises to rebuild lives.

Even in the worst-hit parts of Beirut, 'Construction Jihad' - 1,000's of Hezbollah volunteers led by Bilal Naim are at work.

How long before Construction Jihad takes over in Iraq? How long before they sicken of our lies and war and simply start rebuilding the country themselves with money coming from Iran and the Taliban?

The correspondent for Mafkarat al-Islam reported that people in the beleaguered city (ar-Ramadi) had been eagerly awaiting the assistance, having been cut off by the Americans for several months, not only from supplies, but from running water and electricity. Women and children had already lined up to wait for the convoy. But with the Americans determined to keep all aid out of the city, the convoy was obliged to turn around and head back to Baghdad before sunset, when the hours of curfew set in.

We've spent billions and years on Iraq and we can't come close to the improvements that Hezbollah has made in Lebanon. Many say that when we pull out the situation will dissolve into chaos, but I say look at Lebanon where a puppet government is ineffective, but Hezbollah has taken over. The same will happen in Iraq, whether we leave now or in ten years. The majority will fall back on their roots and join forces with Iran based on how things are going right now. It might have been a different story if Bush had allowed the UN to run the country immediately and had used bidded-contracts with deadlines and goals to rebuild Iraq. But, no.

We could have had an Iraq with an international force keeping out the way while the Iraqi military ran things, but we disbanded them.

We didn't protect the cities after the fall of Saddam because we didn't have enough troops and from that chaos was born the state of chaos we have today. Where US troops are seen as too few to make a difference.

When we leave, and we will leave, Iraq will erupt in conflict, it will become a state not unlike Iran, it will sell its oil and have a lot of money, and it will hate us with all its being.

Thanks Republicans.

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breaking news at Kos

Pakistan has given bin Laden and the Taliban sanctuary

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

Holy warlord

First we find that Afghanistan has achieved record opium production, and now one of our so-called allies is giving refuge to one of our so-called enemies.

Thanks, George Bush. You are a total f*ck-up.