Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was understandably defensive but stunningly off message yesterday when he claimed: "Freedom's untidy. And free people are free to commit mistakes, and to commit crimes." That was not the vision of freedom the Bush administration was selling when it began this enterprise, and it is not necessarily one the Iraqi people would welcome.
I'm not really sure if this administration sees "freedom" as a buzz-word, applied at the moment as convenient, or if... well, let me explain the other option. A month ago, "freedom" meant using violent aggression against a country trying to disarm before being attacked. Now it means what's actually turning out to be a fairly violent riot in the streets... So, does that mean they equate "freedom" and "violence"?
Now, for the record, I do actually agree with his words this time (if not the implications I have just made). However, if he really believed that, we wouldn't have invaded. Nor would they be installing a police force. Or a new regime.
Mind you, I don't know what to think of the riots. Part of me actually is glad to see it; not for any war reasons, but because this is truly the only symbolic "giving back to the people" they're going to get. This is also the only outlet for a lot of people who've been in fear of attacks for the past few months (regardless of what you think of the prior situation, a wartime is a stress point). But part of me is sad that it came down to this, and that people really are being beaten to death.
I also find it odd that the articles I've read mention specifically that one of the groups being worked with are "neighborhood associations afraid of their houses being looted"; which, and yes, this is conjecture, spells out to me "suburban wealth protecting their own". Which means that those with money will continue to hold it, their status, and be offered good positions in government. An interesting note for anyone looking for any real changes out there.
And by the way, I do actually assume that they just use "freedom" like the dot-com's used "internet".