Ah, the news today has something a bit odd in it… Bush, that leader of the “free” world, has voiced his dissatisfaction in the progress of the Iraqi war.
And here I am thinking that the “mission was accomplished” all those moons ago. Or was that just another photo opportunity to be whipped out at election time?
No matter. I guess his right honourable self’s dissatisfaction is good news to over 43,000 people.
But he’s still dissatisfied!
Well bub, maybe you should have thought about the process of “liberation” and committed the necessary troops and infrastructure in the first place to ensure that the job gets done, and gets done quickly and properly. Maybe then your dissatisfaction would not have been as great as you make it to be.
And spare us your crocodile tears…
Nah, the entire Iraq thing was stupid to begin with. Saying now that certain aspects of it are stupid is letting him off lightly.
Where did you get the “Notify me of followups via email” plugin?
You’re probably right, as time is showing everyone that it’s not a simple exercise of just dethroning a country and its people will automatically want democracy; other factors come into play as some of those people just want to grab power at all costs… which leaves us with a situation that we are faced with now.
It’s not too much of a throw of the imagination either to suspect that surrounding countries are contributing to the destabilisation to protect themselves and their vested interest; as if to show the world that dethroning even despots is not really a good idea as they alone can maintain stability. That stability done by their terrorising, stealing, killing, and expropriating the country, its people and wealth notwithstanding, yet stability they will provide.
And they’ve got the mug who came in, screwed up a country and come next elections probably leave to prove the point.
That plugin by the way is “Subscribe to Comments” and they’re at version 2.08 which I have just upgraded to.
“YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re probably right, as time is showing everyone that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a simple exercise of just dethroning a country and its people will automatically want democracy; other factors come into play as some of those people just want to grab power at all costsÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ which leaves us with a situation that we are faced with now.”
Duh, Mahmood; I would think anyone on the planet understood those mechanics of the situation from day one. Shachar is right; it was a dumb waste of lives and money from the beginning.
Sorry M, I didn’t.
Being optimistic, I thought that since Saddam has been taken out of the equation and the rest of his posse captured or nuetralised, the Iraqi people would gel together and rule the country in a democratic way. Rather than descend into the chaos created now with all but declared civil war between the two sects.
What actually went wrong then? Why didn’t the Iraqi people do what they themselves have been crying for since Saddam took the reigns of power?
What no one seems to acknowlege is the “human” factor (particularly the Bushits).
It is beyond dispute that Saddam was a cruel and violent despot. I went to Iraq once, in the 80s. Although I met many lovely Iraqi people who had found a way to “manage” their lives there, the smell of fear was palpaple. And living in fear, year after year after year, exacts an enormous toll, physically, psychologically and spiritually.
Children who grow up in abusive and violent homes take many years to heal and recover from the effects–and that is only if they get the support and treatment necessary. Many never have an opportunity to get any of that care, and the consequences are (usually) that something of the trauma gets passed down to the next generation.
It doesn’t take a Ph.d to understand that the Iraqi people had to have been deeply affected by the brutality of the Baathist government–and also, the 10 year war with Iran. And a large proportion of whom were living/existing with some degree of Post-traumatic syndrome.
For that reason, it was incredibly naive to think (if that is what the Bushits thought–as I am not so sure they ever cared about Democracy and would’ve been perfectly happy to set up a new puppet gov in the form of a Saddam-lite named Ahmed Chalabi) that one could go into Iraq and “liberate” it, and that the people would have the cultural, political, educational, and social resources to generate a democracy. It would be like removing an abused woman from a home and expecting her to just go out and “function” overnight without any help with the transition.
The bottom line is that the Bushits did not care about “the Iraqi people” — rather they used the rhetoric of caring to justify the pursuit of their agenda (which I personally think is spelled O-I-L) and basically just blew it due to their profound lack of concern. If they had had ANY concern, the first thing they would’ve done in the spring of ’03 would be to secure the country (as they were advised by their own military planners) – to ensure that infrastructure remained in place, and would’ve provided enough troops to halt or minimize the terrible looting which went on.
I will always remember Donald Asshat Rumsfeld’s statement in those early days: “Democracy is messy.” No, it does not have to be messy, but it is a serious business and cannot be won with slogans, “bringing democracy to the middle east.”
By definition, Democracy is about self-determination and if the people who are being “democratized” have very little interest or knowlege of it (understandable when there are more pressing issues like food, shelter, and electricity to deal with) then it is unlikely that any such efforts would succeed.
If the Bush admin had REALLY cared about democracy, then they would’ve ensured the stabilty of supplies of food, water, electricity and public security.
Oops; I didn’t mean that as a put down. As far as I am concerned, the things that have happened in Iraq were a given no matter if you are trying to install a democracy or become the newest dictator in town. I was keeping my fingers crossed, but it was too much to expect. Don’t mean to be sexist, but it’s a guy thing I think. Let’s see who can grab the most power and money first for any reason and by any means necessary including using religion. It’s human nature at it’s worse.
America can be blamed for a lot of things, but in this case, Iraqis are the problem. Can blame America for not coming in with a stronger hand, which is true maybe to a degree, but then the world and Iraqis would have complained as they already have about being to aggressive. Certainly can blame outside forces, because they have had their fingers in the mess from the beginning. Iraqis had a chance, and they blew it. The world let them down by not getting in there right after the war to help in any way possible, but a lot of people have been holding their hand and buying them some time. For all the talk about being oppressed etc, when push came to shove, they sank to the lowest level; it was to be expected, and only they are to blame.
Not real happy with the rest of the world either. We are suppose to be our brother’s keeper, help the underdog, blah, blah, blah, and we didn’t. The world had an opportunity to do good for millions of people who deserved our compassion and love after all these years of letting them down, and we dropped the ball again. Boy, am I grumpy today.
and the situation is repeated ONCE AGAIN, as far as dropping the ball is concerned, in something called bandargate!
Not just you my friend, Detroit Public TV screened a very interesting documentary called The House of Saud which not only discusses the obvious, but also America’s documented thirst for cheap oil and they would do everything in their power to secure it, including the possibility of invading their dear friends the Saudis to secure it.
The long-term downside of failure in Iraq is precisely this lesson. It gives succour to those who claim that some peoples can only be governed by brutal tyrants, to those who argue that sovereignty is all no matter who or what has seized that sovereignty, to those who support a thoroughly isolationist agenda in the West (eg the far right in Britain who opposed war in Iraq on the grounds that British blood should never be spilled on behalf of non-British – read: non-white – people), and to vicious regimes like that in Khartoum which feels it can massacre black people in their hundreds of thousands without fear of intervention.
It would have been better to stay out of Iraq altogether than to have brought about a situation that leaves tyrannical regimes feeling more secure than ever before.
I think organizing an arial drop of 100,000 of those “La sunni wala shai, bas Iraqi” buttons over Iraq will do more to help than Bush and Co. can.
Or maybe “la sunni wala shia, bas kurdi”? Just kidding.
President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney were flying on Air Force One.
George looked at Donald, chuckled and said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“You know, I could throw a $1,000 bill out of the window right now and make somebody very happy.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Donald shrugged his shoulders and replied, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I could throw ten $100 bills out of the window and make ten people very happy.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Cheney added, Ã¢â‚¬Å“That being the case, I could throw one hundred $10 bills out of the window and make a hundred people very happy.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Hearing their exchange, the pilot rolled his eyes and said to his co-pilot, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Such big-shots back there. Shit, I could throw the three of them out of the window and make 56 million people very happy.Ã¢â‚¬Â
“AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s documented thirst for cheap oil and they would do everything in their power to secure it, including the possibility of invading their dear friends the Saudis to secure it”
The context, though, was “battling” communism and fueling war machines, not luxury autos. Ultimately, if the “documentary” on “PBS” is accurate, it was this fight, not the pursuit of fossil fueled pleasures, that pursuaded our Saudi friend to permit secret sales while admonishing those involved not to get caught.
The same is true in Iraq, and those who say it was about oil, just aren’t drilling deep enough. I agree with Ash’s concern, as this in my view will be the most damaging outcome of failure in Iraq, not counting all the bodies of course. Worse yet, it will be believed by both “East” and “West”, and to whose advantage is that belief?
Speaking of good books to read, American Theocracy: The Peril and Plitics of Radical Religion, OIl, and Borrowed Money in the 21st Century by Kevin Phillips is a must read if one wants to understand the unholy link between religion and the quest for cheap energy (oil) in the west.
From the front flap:
Mahmood I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think even with the necessary troops and infrastructure things would be much better. Too many guns in Iraq.
When a captain of a ship sees a hurricane on the horizon he usually doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say “stay the course” he says “change your course”. The failure of the f-troop of administrations to recognize the absurdity of their policy is down right criminal.
None of the comments reveal why the Islamic world is, overall, so silent over the death squads murdering civilians in Iraq with such regularity and ferocity.
When Israel responded to the Hezbollah attacks Islam was united in its condemnation of the killing of innocent civilians; but now in the face of far more deaths of civilians, targeted because of their religious affiliation, all we hear from those same Muslim countries is a deafening silence.
In Egypt for instance, where the media was vociferous in condemning IsraelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“crimes against the Lebanese,Ã¢â‚¬Â all we hear from Al-Ahram about the death squad killings in Iraq is the admonition that the government has to reign in these Ã¢â‚¬Ëœsectarian rivalries.Ã¢â‚¬Â
About 100 Iraqis are dying each day, most as a result of those Ã¢â‚¬Ëœrivalries.Ã¢â‚¬Â The deeper unanswered question is why are IraqiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s killing each other like this? What kind of mindset propels them to search out each other simply on the basis of their sectarian beliefs. These are not killing for political gain Ã¢â‚¬â€œ this gruesome level of murder comes from a deeper, darker well-spring of hate, a sectarian level of animosity so deeply embedded in Iraqi culture, it seems impossible Sunnis and ShiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢a will ever govern together in peace.
And when the US disengages from Iraq — and we will; the consensus now is that the invasion was a blunder; in two years most American troops will be out of the country Ã¢â‚¬â€œ perhaps some left to buffer the Kurds, others redeployed to Afghanistan– who will step in to prevent a Sunni-ShiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢a bloodbath? Organized Islam? Probably not. This week the Saudi-based Organization of the Islamic Conference met to find a way to bring Sunni and ShiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢a clergy together so they could stop the Iraqi violence — but they failed to produce an official communiquÃƒÂ© because they couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t agree on the wording.
Maybe they believe silence is golden…
Jay I couldn’t agree with you more. Yes, we do have immense problems that only the complete reformation of Islam, a la Enlightenment, is going to bring about peace. Because I think only that is going to allow us to be more tolerant of each other… rather than find even more creative ways to be accusatory, and wholly labeling a group of people as heretics simply because their ideas differ from our own.
That of course is beside the point when we talk about the “blunder” that is Iraq, and the misbegotten notion of a less than intellectual president going gung-ho without a backup – or even a well thought out – plan.
“Yes, we do have immense problems that only the complete reformation of Islam, a la Enlightenment, is going to bring about peace.”
Good luck with that, Mahmood. 😆
I am not sure that it is entirely beside the point. If the factional violence wasnt there it wouldnt be such a blunder. I think the mistake was assuming that the Iraqi people actually want a democracy or that they have any sense of nationality.
It would have been much better to have isolated them completely and let them wallow in their own hatred. Eventually to slide back into the middle ages where they seem to wish to be.
How much safer and healthier would the US (and the world) be had they invested hundreds of billions in developing alternative energies?
“That of course is beside the point when we talk about the Ã¢â‚¬Å“blunderÃ¢â‚¬Â that is Iraq, and the misbegotten notion of a less than intellectual president going gung-ho without a backup – or even a well thought out – plan.”
I am wondering why it is viewed as a blunder. Its not a “blunder” if the “truth” is that Bush and company don’t really care about Iraqis, don’t really care about democracy, and especially do not care about democracy for Iraqis. Perhaps its a blunder because BushHitler won’t get control of the oil, or he won’t get his bases, or any other nefarious purpose imputed to the operation, whose code name I won’t mention.
Or is it a blunder because, as many if not most I know said at the outset before the first bomb was dropped, that it could not and would not work. Never mind that most educated Iraqis thought of themselves and their countrymen (includes the feminine) as secular, educated, independent etc. Sure, those know-it-all friends of mine knew why it would never work, but its a discriminatory view based upon a suspect classification. And they call Bush arrogant. Hmph.
Perhaps its a blunder because democracy was the goal. You can’t control a true democracy. That depends upon the leadership, and it can result in a disaster. One need look no farther than the US itself, Bush is president, right? Idiots elect idiots, and when the idiots outnumber the rest, well, you get idiocy.
Perhaps its a blunder because the US and the coalition of the bribed never obtained UN authorization. I have a problem with that, because Afghanistan was blessed, but that is not turning out very well and is in serious peril if what I read is correct.
Perhaps the blunder lies in the plan. Its an engineering problem. Had the plan been better, it would have worked. And, as every capable person knows, one always needs a backup plan, a so-called “failsafe,” to cover every contingency. They are out there, and intellectuals find them. Remember the disastrous decision to dismiss the Iraqi army, probably the root of all our problems. Well, I really don’t know about that, seeing as how, it appears that some of the former military seem to be part of the patriots resisting the occupation and the elected government. Perhaps if they had not been dismissed, they would have come into the fold, ready to greet the new dawn of Iraq. But, seems like some of the current police force, presumably just grateful to have a job, might also be moonlighting on other business at night or in the shadows. It would have been different not to have dismissed the armed forces, but would it have made a difference? I don’t know, and frankly, neither does any other commentator here.
The good thing about Iraq is that it is a whetstone of infinite use. Axes, knives, scissors, needles, pins, you name it, Iraq will work. Its a boon to everyone but Bush and Blair, and that means its a boon to everyone. Those who were right all along just have to point that out. “I knew it,” and all heads bow in agreement, bobbing at various intervals.
If you are a democrat, you knew Bush was bad, and you can just give rein to what otherwise would be viewed as flights of fantacy. Bring our troops home, now. This is so bad, that we just leave and figure out something later. After all, its a mess not of our making, nevermind that we authorized action along with the republicans, ’cause as you’ll recall, we thought WMD’s were there. And, we know that you are so mad at the blunder that you will not think of the corallary, that finding WMD’s of recent vintage would not have changed where we are today. Bush lied! BLUNDER.
Never mind that we democrats didn’t have any plan, beyond timetable. Its Bush’s fault, not ours, and he’s an idiot for not setting a time table. Can you imagine that, he can’t admit a mistake and wants to continue it indefinitely. I can tell you, though, we democrats care about human life, Bush doesn’t. Did you know, he’s a racist? Just look at what he makes Condi do as Secretary, and how he didn’t listen to Colin, his general, and how he’s got this Gonzales character pretending to fill the AG post. Racist, I tell yah. Hates brown people, but he’s no different than any republican, seriously, even the non-white ones. Its one big charade, just look at Iraq.
I could go on and on how everyone benefits, even conservative republicans. You know, the Pat Buchanan types, the true conservatives who were also right. And, though I had not thought of it before reading the comments, an argument can be made that the money spent in Iraq should have been used for alternative energy. Makes perfect sense. No need for oil, no need for Iraq, no need to remove Saddam, no problem, ever.
And, the people who are doing the killing, those responsible for the vast majority of the slaughtering of innocents? They are getting a free pass. You see, its Bush really, poor planning, should have forseen the “resistance”, should have forseen the wholesale abandonment of respect for human life, the immense appetite for blood and destruction, the killing for the sake of a name “Omar”, the “death squads”, the corruption. Don’t blame them, blame Bush. Either he should have acted to prevent this forseeible fall through proper planning, or as I heard recently, the destruction is really all a part of his plan. Personally, I prefer “idiot” to “evil genius”, but why choose when you can have it both ways?
Here’s my view. It is a blunder when its over. It is easy to say:
“Well bub, maybe you should have thought about the process of Ã¢â‚¬Å“liberationÃ¢â‚¬Â and committed the necessary troops and infrastructure in the first place to ensure that the job gets done, and gets done quickly and properly.”
You forget that when troops were being added, reserves were being called up, families were being separated (and we all know that the reserves isn’t really a fighting force beyond forest fires), there was immense public criticism and all of these scenes were played out on tv. We had numerous, daily news reports regarding how this “blunder” was going to kill our all volunteer armed forces, how they were having recruitment problems, how Bush was going to reinstitute the draft, how terribly disastrous this whole thing was from what was really the beginning. Having said that, I agree with your comment quoted above, it just is too easy to say without saying a whole hell of a lot more.
Why do I care? I really don’t care about Bush. I didn’t even support the invasion, though I did not oppose it either. Sort of an intellectual pussy footing posture, as I have found is typical among intellectuals, myself included though not necessarily an intellectual – I work a job. But this guy is an intellectual, and he actually wrote a post and article on October 25, 2006 (that’s a “6”) that is entitled “Iraq is Succeeding.” See http://talismangate.blogspot.com/ To be honest, I thought it must be satire, but it isn’t, and you know, I think he’s right. I also think that I care about what he cares about. And, I believe that it is possible to make matters even worse than they already are.
Phew! I was feeling so sick. Now I feel better Mahmood. Though I am sorry for vomiting all over your blog. It couldn’t be helped. I tried, but failed. You are not the cause, it really isn’t directed to you, your words and some of the comments just provided me a framework to write. I don’t feel proud of this post, but I do feel proud of my petition regarding your blog. Like it or not, you are the credit to both.