The Lamentable Tragedy of Iraq

by Hugh Fitzgerald (June 2007)

All of the excerpts below are taken from the fifth and therefore final, act, of "The Tragedy of Macbeth." Only one letter, of one word, in one excerpt, has been changed, and that not to alter the meaning, but merely to enhance the effect.  

1.The Surge:

                              "Well, march we on,   

To give obedience where ‘tis truly owed

Meet we the medicine of the sickly weal

And with him pour we in our country’s surge,

Each drop of us.”                                (Act V, Scene ii, lines 25-29)


2. The demoralized troops who understand what Bush, Cheney, and their most obedient generals still do not:

"Those he commands move only in command."      (Act V, Scene ii, line 19)


3. Why Must We Wait for “Hearts-and-Minds” Petraeus, and his “General-Rules-of-Counter-Insurgency” Advisers, and September:

"Bring me no more reports."                     (Act V , Scene iii, line1)


4. The need for American forces to come quickly unstuck from Tarbaby Iraq, in order to act, and from the air alone, against the nuclear project of Islamic Republic of Iran, while not the United States, but Iran, is preoccupied with disarray and Sunni-Shi’a hostilities in Iraq:

                                 "The time approaches

That will with due decision make us know

When we shall say we have and what we owe.

Thoughts speculative their unsure hopes relate,

But certain issues strokes must arbitrate.

Towards which, advance the war.”             (Act V, Scene iv, lines 16-21)


5. The Sunni-Shi'a split, the depth and duration of which is misunderstood, and the useful exploitation of which is not comprehended:

"The tyrant's people on both sides do fight."        (Act V, Scene vii, line 25)

6. The next election holds out the possibility of a policy based on a right understanding of the conflict as a “war of self-defense against the Jihad” that will not restrict itself to merely military means, or military means combined with an accompanying fruitless "winning of hearts and minds" -- to undo or diminish the main Instruments of Jihad: the Money Weapon, Da'wa, Demographic Conquest:

"Here comes newer comfort."                       (Act V, Scene viii, line 53)



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