US BEGINS IRAQ WITHDRAWAL
Another fantasy headline on Doug’s Darkworld? No, fantasy headlines are in the mainstream media. We aren’t winning the surge, defeating Al-Qaeda, or any of the other euphemisms that are being bandied around as violence drops in some areas of Iraq. The levels of violence in Iraq are dropping for a very simple reason, the USA has given up. We are turning control of Iraq over to local warlords on a piecemeal basis and pulling back to our our permanent bases. This is surrender, paying terrorists ransom, and lying to the American public all rolled up into one. Other than allowing the current administration to pretend until the election that things are improving…this is the worst thing we could possibly do. Thrillsville.
The Iraqis aren’t stupid, they see what is going on, they are stepping right up to the plate. No less than six insurgent groups have combined to form a political wing. The stated goal of this group? To drive America from Iraq. Does this sound familiar? It should. What other political/military groups have formed in the last few decades under the stated goal of driving an invader from their lands? Think Hamas. Think Hezbollah. Think Al-Qaeda. The people who said after we occupied Iraq that now “America has a West Bank of its own,” were far more prescient that most gave them credit for. A new nightmare for the west is now emerging from the ruins of our dreams of beneficent democratic empire, pretty much like people like me have been saying all along.
Sigh. Yes, the violence is dropping. There are a number of reasons for this, partly because many parts of Iraq are now 100% ethnically cleansed, mostly because we are simply cutting deals with local sheiks and warlords. Imagine that, the USA is negotiating with and paying off people who attacked Americans. So much for “no negotiating with terrorists.” Granted most people are astute enough to know that is propaganda, and the US and Israel negotiate with terrorists whenever it is in their interest to do so; but still, it rankles. The slight drop in violence will reassure Americans who want to “stay the course” in Iraq that they were right all along, and it might even throw enough doubt into the domestic political equation that Bush’s successor gets elected. Once again the administration is crafting its foreign policy around short term domestic political concerns, pretty much as has every US administration since Roosevelt.
In the long term what does this mean? The people who want us out of Iraq, which would be pretty much all of them, will get more and more focused on their goal. Attacks on American troops and especially installations will grow increasingly sophisticated as the months and years roll by, and the American toll of dead and maimed will slowly mount. It will be, as General Sanchez, former commander of US forces in Iraq, so succinctly described the occupation: “…a nightmare with no end in sight.” And of course having Iraq in ruins, partitioned, partially occupied, and mostly under the control of local warlords will prove as fruitful for world peace and stability as Lebanon, Gaza, and the West Bank have been.
Soon enough, there will be no more “partner for peace” in Iraq. The Iraqis that want to accommodate a permanent American presence will be dead or have fled, if they aren’t already. How long can this nightmare continue? Israel has occupied the West Bank and Gaza for fifty years, so the gentle reader’s guess is as good as mine. Granted Iraq is a much bigger and bloodier mess than other occupied territories in the region, but the USA is a huge rich country and we can maintain this level of loss indefinitely if we choose.
If we choose. To me this is possibly the worst moral aspect of this mess. We chose it. For good or for ill, by accident or design, from beginning to end…the USA made the decisions that turned Iraq into one big terrorist recruiting camp. Saddam was a bee in a bottle compared to what we unleashed in his stead. There is hope though. What we created we can uncreate. There is one prominent American not playing partisan political games…and with the courage to say that our interventionist foreign policy is the problem, not the solution.
(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It appears to be a photograph taken by an American service person in the course of their duties, which would make it public domain under US copyright law. Things often aren’t what they appear though, if anyone can provide information on the copyright holder of this image I will properly attribute it or remove it as need be. And this image is also claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law, it is not being used for profit and it is central to illustrating the post.)