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Iowa Iraq Kansas Why Statehood Makes Sense
April 3, 2004
Satire by Phil Lebovits

Iraq, by most measures, is a mess: car bombs in Mosul, anti-American demonstrations in Karbala, very bad hummus in Tikrit.

The democratization of this war-torn country could take decades if we follow the current course. And still there's no guarantee that Iraq won't succumb to the temptations of Islamic fanaticism or wacky Bosnia-like chaos. Like him or not, Saddam Hussein made the one train run on time.

But there is another way. Statehood. I firmly believe we'd all be better off if Iraq joined the Union and became our 51st state.

By doing so, Iraq immediately joins the most powerful democracy in the world. Why phase in Jeffersonian principles for people who have no idea what they are, when, quicker than you can say "Nebuchadnezzar," we can bestow upon them all the rights and privileges we've shared for over two-hundred years?

Some naysayers might argue that most Iraqis will be unwilling to give up their national identity. After all, they've been Iraqis for generations, and before that, they were the proud Messies of Mesopotamia. But one only has to look to our own backyard to counter this argument. One only has to look toTexas.

While most people in the United States identify themselves first and foremost as "Americans," people from Texas take a different tack. They're "Texans." "Don't mess with Texas!" is the proud boast of a state that truly believes it's a separate country. That same independent spirit can be tapped into to define our newest state. A slogan like "Don't faq with Iraq!" would satisfy the Iraqis' sense of self and ease their transition into statehood

Indeed, this Texas-Iraq connection is a powerful and compelling one. Both share great oil reserves. Many men in both states wear silly hats and mustaches. They both are ecological disasters. In Iraq, being a Democracy is hard. In Texas, being a Democrat is even harder.

The political benefits for the Bush administration would make Karl Rove jump for joy, if he was able to jump. With Iraq in the fold, Bush can rightfully claim that tens of thousands of new jobs are being created in America. So what if ninety-eight percent of them are in Basra and Baghdad? Nitpicking.

Dead Americans being dragged through the streets of Fallujah? Inner city gang violence.

Those whiny, bellyaching governors who claim that the President has neglected their needs and has saddled them with unfunded mandates need only look to the massive infusion of cash going to their new sister state. Surely, Oregon and Ohio must be next.

The battle for the White House would turn into a mere skirmish if all of Iraq's thirty-one electoral votes slid into the Bush column. There's nothing President Bush needs more than another solid "red" state. And this one is bloody red.

These Iraqis know Bush. His name recognition is at stratospheric levels. I had yet to see an effigy of John Kerry being burnt in the public square. They haven't a clue who he is. And, as the old political axiom reminds us : "As Goes Texas, So Does Iraq."

Welcome, proud citizens of Iraq - The Sunny Sunni State!

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