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Winning The Battle But Losing The War

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By Hardy Brown

Over the past month, I've conducted my own unofficial survey of what Americans - both at home and abroad - think about our latest war on Iraq.

There is, I discovered, complete agreement that Saddam Hussein is a dictator whose past record indicates that he has done some terrible things to his fellow man that he should be held accountable for.

There is also complete agreement that America will be the victor in this military conflict because of our military might and power. However, it is after the battle has been won that the waters become murky and unclear.

Some of our readers have compared this situation to our own civil war fought between 1861-1865. Even though the battle was fought over a century ago, the war continues today as certain Southern Whites protest over the use of the confederate flag on government buildings as a symbol of Southern pride.

For generations that very same flag has symbolized terror, segregation, and the Southern plantocracy to millions of African Americans who remember images of waving flags, burning crosses, and lynched Black bodies together.

The battle was fought, the North won the war, however the struggle is far from over. I'm afraid the same kind of resentment will plague the American and Arab relationship long after the physical battle scars are over. As one of our readers, currently living in Japan said to me, "changing the name of the airport will not change the use of the airport." Meaning, this one symbolic act will not change the hearts of a people.

It is also being reported that some U.S. soldiers are being told by Iraqi citizens that they should go home as soon as Saddam is out of power. The welcome mat is not being rolled out in the manner that the Bush Administration expected.

The entire Arab and Muslim world seems to have mixed feelings about this war, and many African Americans are not pleased with the manner in which we entered the conflict. A vast majority of our readers do not support the Bush Administration's tactics and believe Bush has used the same strategies as the dictators he claims to despise.

I've watched as uninformed American citizens have called into CSPAN and other news outlets, and said that it is because of Hussein's actions during 9/11 that they support this war.

There has been no evidence linking Hussein or the government of Iraq to the 9/11 attacks in the U.S. Yet, Bush continues to use 9/11 and Hussein in the same sentence to blur the vision of grieving Americans. The Homeland Security Act was drafted and implemented through intimidation and has eroded parts of our constitutional rights.

There is no doubt that we will win the military battle, however the wars of hatred, fear, and grief are far from over.

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