A truly magnificent book regarding the various factions that rule Iraq has been written titled The Prince of the Marshes, by Rory Stewart. If only every American would read this book, there then might possibly be a more universal understanding of why America cannot possibly "succeed" (however that is defined) in Iraq.
One of the absurdities pointed out by the author was that hundreds of millions of dollars are invested by our great nation to provide unemployed Iraqi workers with jobs. At the time the book was written, laborers were hired to repaint bombed-out schools that would never again be used as schools because teachers are given permanent time-outs (bullets to the head) if they dared to step foot in any one of those freshly painted schools.
Now here's the absurdity. In calling up an additional 20,000 troops and attempting to rationalize America's new multibillion-dollar investment, President Bush announced that unemployed Iraqis would be given jobs painting schools.
It truly is a sign of insanity that our political "leaders" continue to make the same mistakes again and again, while expecting (or at least telling us, the proletariat) that the outcome will be different this time.
This absurdity might be amusing if it were not for the fact that it is the expenditure of hundreds of billions of tax dollars and hundreds of thousands of people's lives, the dead and the maimed, that is enabling our leaders to exercise and display their proclivity for insane governance.
Robert Gilbert, Aiken, S.C.