Monday, April 09, 2007

Sledgehammering Iraq

Fours years ago today, a Baghdad man named Khadim al-Jubouri became world-famous. As a joyful crowd was tearing down that statue of Saddam Hussein, Jubouri was swinging the sledgehammer.

Today he wants Saddam back. ""We got rid of a tyrant and tyranny," he told the Washington Post. "But we were surprised that after one thief had left, another 40 replaced him. Now, we regret that Saddam Hussein is gone, no matter how much we hated him."

Jubouri's story encapsulates our misadventure in Iraq. Seven relatives and friends have been killed, kidnapped or driven from their homes. He gets four hours of electricity a day, cooking gas and fuel prices have soared, but his income as a motorcycle repair man is a quarter of what it used to be.

Before the invasion, President Bush was warned about the Pottery Barn rule, "You break it, you own it." Now after occupying Iraq with a policy as subtle as a sledgehammer, we are trapped among the shards with the knowledge that it's much easier to destroy a nation than put it back together.

Khadim al-Jubouri is living proof of that.

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