Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Peace of Paris 2


Driftglass reflects on America's roots and sees therein the seed of an idea for Iraq.
File under: Shut up, sign it and get off the stage you horrible little man.

In honor of the Queen Mum’s visit to our troubled land, it seemed a good time to reflect on the fact that, once upon a time, we were the oppressed.

We were the ones who didn’t like it one bit that the mightiest power on Earth was shoving us around and telling us how to live from the safety of thousands of miles away.

We were the ones with oppressors who fought to bend us in directions of their choosing against our will year after year because the though of losing us was too militarily, culturally and economically abhorrent to contemplate.

And even though we shared a common language, a common faith, a common history and heritage with our oppressors – and even though our oppressors thought they had perfectly valid and rational reasons for everything they did -- the desire to get their boot off our throat was strong enough that we took up arms against them.

We were the ones who shot from the weeds; who chivvied and harassed our occupiers. We were the ones who lost almost every battle but won the war because we finally made it clear to the English that defeating the American Insurgency from the other side of the world was either impossible, or would come at such a cost that it could not be borne.

We were the ones who were so indelibly affected by the experience that we encoded protections against it into our Constitutional DNA:
The Third Amendment to the United States Constitution"
"No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
We were the ones who made it clear to our invaders that we were home and they were not and that, in the end, settled it.

And so, because intelligent, practical men concluded there was no hope of a Military Solution to the problem of the American Rebels, a Political Solution was found.

We all gathered around a table and signed a treaty. The Treaty of Paris. And – Surprise! -- the British Empire did not fall.

It is a remarkably sturdy document; so much so that with a minimum of tweaking and fiddling (and trading the original Article that dealt with where and how Americans could catch and dry fish for a newer one that deals with how the problem of foreign fighters might be adjudicated) I think we could repurpose the 1783 agreement into something we and the Iraqis could sign virtually intact.

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