… Iraq … Kansas … Why Statehood Makes Sense
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
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
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
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
Welcome, proud citizens of Iraq - The Sunny Sunni State!