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View Diary: This one hurts (149 comments)

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  •  Tragic lesson (none)
    Reminds me of the way Bush the 2000 candidate liked to say he didn't believe the U.S. should be in the business of "nation-building". He should have taken his own advice.

    Zangas did us all a wonderful service pouring his heart out into his blog, and if his family is reading, my condolences for your loss. I have no doubt from his writings that he was a gentle, caring man who genuinely wanted to help people. You must be very proud of him. (Now you may wish to stop reading at this point.)

    This man embodied for me the best-intentioned side of the American attitude towards the world at large. A little awe-struck; a little naïve about other cultures' values - but with seeming innocence; a little over-confidant in his country for having both the correct prescription, and a workable cure, for their society's ills; and even a little cocky in assuming that this society wants their help. From the perspective of a Canadian, I can only say that his experiences underline the grave doubts many of us had about this misadventure Bush has unjustly set upon the world to undertake.

    The word I'm thinking of is hubris, and it comes out whenever you see Bush saying - apparently sincerely - that democracy will be brought to the middle east. Like waving a wand with a thick trail of money can just do that.

    Change has to come from within for it to take hold. Zangas' blog shows that trying to accelerate the process through sheer (good-)will is no more helpful than over-watering a plant and expecting it to grow faster (not to mention with the stems and leaves developing right where you perceive they should).

    It's never easy to walk that fine line between helping and meddling. For the Iraqi peoples' sake, I hope things are allowed to progress in their natural course - otherwise the changes just don't take.

    The evidence: the same police - the ones that Zangas wrote are "friendly to a T" after being trained, armed, and given fast cars by the CPA - those same police were the ones who chased him down and slaughtered him, according to the second link provided by Kos. A tragic lesson indeed.

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