Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Next Iraq Disaster

I'll start off with a piece from the Telegraph penned by Damien McElroy:

Relations between the top United States general in Iraq and Nouri al-Maliki, the country's prime minister, are so bad that the Iraqi leader made a direct appeal for his removal to President George W Bush.
Although the call was rejected, aides to both men admit that Mr Maliki and Gen David Petraeus engage in frequent stand-up shouting matches, differing particularly over the US general's moves to arm Sunni tribesmen to fight al-Qa'eda.

Is this the autonomous Iraq that the Bush Administration was referring to? Is this the great new democracy that determines its own fate? Is this the country that can decide whether to have US forces in the country or have them leave (aside from the fact that they've asked the US to leave several times that is)?

Let us go back a couple of years; this is what the brilliant and forward-looking Dr. Condoleeza Rice had to say on January 30th 2005 - two and a half years ago:

"The elections are a first step to a brighter democratic future for a country once held under the thumb of tyranny....the Iraqi people have taken a very important step in losing the sense of fear and intimidation that has been in their lives for decades, [under deposed leader Saddam Hussein]."

Sure, because they've replaced the fear of Saddam Hussein with the fear of being shot by a trigger-happy, pimply, 19 year-old at a checkpoint or having their entire family turned into corned beef by a suicide bomber of one ethnicity or another if they haven't already been blown to smithereens by a wayward five-hundred pound bomb from an F-18.

Back to today; General Petraeus’ plan to arm Sunnis in order to rid Iraq of the alleged Al Qaeda presence is so misguided it isn't funny. The last group the Sunnis will have loyalty to are the US and coalition troops. The only thing that will be achieved by arming the Sunni faction is another escalation of the violence. I don't have much respect for Prime Minister Maliki, but he definitely understands the catastrophe that Petraeus is creating. I don't know how these guys become generals but they evidently get lobotomized first.

The continuing misguided opinion coming form the White House is that they know what they are doing and that they have even the slightest understanding of how things work in the Middle East. The spiral will continue downwards with escalation after esacalation, whilst US foreign policy making things worse and worse until finally the troops do leave. Then there really will be carnage on the streets and the neoconservatives will turn around and say "I told you so."

This is a frozen moment in history. There is an opportunity to de-escalate. I'm noting here that General Petraeus under guidance from Washington is making things worse and is not heeding the advice of the one man who would have a vested interest in things in Iraq going better. Petraeus belongs on the rubbish heap of failed policy makers along with General Tommy Franks who actually belongs in jail along with Paul Bremer. Condoleeza Rice with her idiotic predictions is way, way off. The Iraqis have increasingly nothing to look forward to other than fear, discomfort and death. That's the democracy we have offered them.


Todd Dugdale said...

Poignant, eloquent post.

drgonzolives said...

Awesome blog. Thanks dude.