Rather than British ground troops, Britain relied on
an 80-percent Indian force to police Iraq. And when that
couldn’t do the trick, the Royal Air Force pioneered the
art of dropping bombs on population-centers
Far be it from me to tell America how to run its immigration policy or police its empire, it does nonetheless strike me that the politicians in Washington are missing an obvious win-win solution of the type that would have made Bill Clinton salivate.
There are literally millions of people throughout Latin America who are ready to take considerable risks in order to reach the United States and make new lives for themselves here — preferably with the coveted green card and then citizenship to make it legal. And there are also literally millions of people in Iraq who want nothing to do with the United States — in fact, don’t want the U.S. in their midst at all — which makes it such a difficult place for U.S. troops to police. But police it they will, President Bush has made clear, in announcing that the decision about withdrawing from Iraq will be left to future presidents.
The American voter is getting increasingly unhappy about the burden of occupation in Iraq. And also about the influx of immigrants. So what to do?
Well, how about learning from the British. They also occupied Iraq, whose state they had pretty much designed, from the end of the first world war until they had stood up a friendly monarchy. But most of the British boots on the ground in Iraq were not on British feet; they were worn by soldiers recruited in India, who made up 80 percent of the British force in Iraq.
Rather than rely on an increasingly uneasy U.S. public to pay the price, a long-term deployment in Iraq may be a lot easier if the U.S. were to staff it with green-card Marines. The Romans did it; so did the British. It’s the art of empire… But, of course, that didn’t work for very long, so the RAF had to bomb the rebellious buggers into submission. Which, of course, the U.S. is also increasingly wont to do…