The war in Iraq is increasingly compared with Vietnam, a conflict Martin Luther Jr. King opposed. And on a day when we commemorate the man and his legacy, we should consider if we're ready for the war in Iraq to spill over into neighboring countries, as was the case in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Because that's the direction we're headed. Sad to say, not much has changed since King described the U.S. as "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today."
Thursday's raid on the Iranian Consulate in Erbil (Iraq's Kurdish capital) during which six Iranians were kidnapped -- oh, sorry, "detained" -- can be seen only as another step to take this war into Iran. The Kurdish government released a strong statement condemning the raid and demanding the immediate release of those captured.
"The consulate was opened by agreement between the governments of Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and enjoys immunity and protection under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations," it read. "The people of the Kurdistan Region protest against and reject this action which violates our internal sovereignty. We do not accept that disputes with our neighboring countries should be brought onto our soil." This, just one day after President Bush chastised Iran for meddling in Iraq. Kurds, who've fought for their independence and land for years, are touchy about sovereignty. We should have known better.
Pretending to be a force for freedom and stability there -- a country we maintain is sovereign even as we occupy it -- is an affront to the idea of peace.
Monday, January 15, 2007
"Iraq War: King's other legacy"
Seattle P-I Editorial today: