May 28, 2006

"And so, chaos reigns"...in Iraq

The meeting between President Bush and PM Blair last week attempted to show support for the new Iraqi government and reassure the world the Iraq is indeed on the right path towards democracy. Most observers, however, quickly picked up on the uncertainty that laced the leaders' words, especially as Bush expressed regret for egging on the Iraqi insurgents in July 2003 (it was one of his many cowboy moments) when he said: "bring 'em on!". Iraqi government or no Iraqi government, the reality of the situation across the Cradle of Civilizations is chaotic at best. My friend and fellow blogger Fatima describes the challenges of everday life in post-war Baghdad, from sleepless nights without electricity to risky walks to the grocery store. This is from her latest post:
So I continued the other way, and stopped by to chat with my husband's aunt. She was telling me that her 20 year old son, B, was standing in line for gasoline this morning, and saw some cars pull up and shoot some poor guy in front of his house. His body was left out in the burning sun for a couple of hours before anyone picked him up. Horrible, but sadly becoming a daily recurrence here.
She also describes the measures average Iraqis have taken to protect themselves and their property because they cannot rely on the government to ensure their safety:
This particular neighbor had their oven gas canisters stolen on two different occasions from their doorstep. Since then, they have covered their gate with barbed wire, and put a spiky metal piece on top of their gate door. They had to take security matters into their own hand, because no matter how many times these thieves come to our neighborhood, more than likely, no policeman has the time, dedication nor ability to catch them. And so, chaos reigns.
This is the reality of Iraq today. I don't want to hear Rumsefeld's rhetoric about a few thousand Iraqi policemen who were trained. Don't tell me about improving electricity or water availability or catching insurgents when every family suffers because the lack of the most basic needs that were available even during Saddam's reign.

For god's sake, just admit you were wrong, Messieurs Bush, Blair, Cheney, Rumsfeld. Admit you had no plan B. Admit that you invaded Iraq knowing you could win the battle but forgetting that you had to also win the peace. Admit that your "coalition" was the weakest that history has seen and now has fallen apart. Admit that you ignored advice from top level officials and continue to ignore advice from congressmen and former military men who are telling you that you are only digging yourself a deeper hole.

Your dignity has already been lost.
Your words are no longer believed.
Your rhetoric is "so yesterday."

Relevant articles:
Iraq is the Republic of Fear; The Inshallah Occupation; Exporting Chaos*

[*
h/t Jordan Journals]

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9 Comments:

At 3:06 PM, Blogger wma said...

it's really the riegn of chaos, and i also think that it's not going to end, and for how? really i can't also answer that because i can't imagine that iraq will be a peaceful country oneday. but i really hope so that it will be.

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous tommy said...

I basically believe that Iraq needs to be partitioned into three countries. I've advocated this from the beginning. The Kurds want independence and the Sunnis will never accept less than total domination of the entire country. They certainly will not accept the 20% share of power that their demography entitles them to. The only viable way to hold Iraq together is with a strongman. It is an artificial entity, the product of British colonialism, that needs to be abolished.

Most Sunni Muslims in the local area have been happy to ignore the inequity of Sunni rule over a majority non-Sunni population. The neighborhood Arabs never gave a damn about the oppression of the Shia or the Kurds for decades. Of course, when Sunni hegemony was destroyed by the Western 'infidels' only then did violence in Iraq become an issue with the Arabs. Most Sunnis would prefer to see Saddam still in power, filling mass graves with Kurds and Shia, than see the Americans achieve anything.

Nevertheless, it is foolhardy to attempt for the Bush administration to think it can win 'hearts and minds' in an Islamic country. They are Muslims, after all. A lot of the impracticality concerning the war in Iraq is the result of still promoting the view that Iraqi Muslims are capable of secular democracy and that Islam as a Religion of Peaceā„¢. The Bush administration would do well to stop parroting this line and admit that we are at war with a pernicious form of Islam, the dominant interpretation of Islam in our day and age, pure and simple.

Fitzgerald, over at Dhimmi Watch, had a great article touching on this subject today:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/011588.php

I also liked what this commentator had to say about the matter:

http://www.jihadwatch.org/dhimmiwatch/archives/011588.php#c221549

 
At 5:16 PM, Blogger moi said...

Wassim-- I hope so too. Nice to see you here.

Tommy-- I don't think Iraq should be divided. It is a country that has a great amount of history and significance for many people across the world. To see it divided along ethnic lines would be a major failure for the US and not something that they would like to be remembered by.

 
At 5:58 PM, Anonymous tommy said...

moi,

I must ask then, what you would propose to minimize tension in the country. I cannot see anything that will satisfy the Sunnis other than a Sunni dictator like Hussein.

 
At 12:30 AM, Blogger Fatima said...

Tommy,
It's actually a fallacy that Sunnis had it well under Saddam. Along with the Shiites and the Kurds, anyone who opposed Saddam politically was a target. It was never about religion.

In fact, my husband pointed this out to me, but of the US's 55 most wanted people during the war in Iraq (the deck of card thing), THIRTY FIVE (35) were Shiites. That's the majority. Interesting.

 
At 2:53 AM, Anonymous tommy said...

Fatima,

Saddam was ruthless and his ruthlessness extened to Sunni opponents, that is true; however, the Sunnis were disproportionately represented in top government positions. They certainly were not under the same degree of religious oppression that the Shiites were, nor were they persecuted en masse like the Shiites or Kurds.

In any event, without an autocratic government in Iraq, I don't see any way to hold the country together in a way that is equitable for all groups. Countries in the Mideast have enough problems without having to worry about a serious lack of homogeneity or ethnic hostilities. The Sunnis will never be comfortable living under a Shiite dominated national government and the Kurds are overwhelmingly in favor of autonomy. Even if the US can manage to achieve stability in Iraq temporarily, the long-term prospects of a united Iraq seem dim given the composition of the country.

 
At 2:22 PM, Blogger kilamxx said...

Tommy,
The US has no right to talk about peace and democracy in Iraq when they are now occupying that country. Stability in the region has never been their concern as long as they get their oil and Israel say they're comfortable.

All these talk about political stability is just a facade. They are only interested in the oil.

The US and Britain were the ones who supplied Saddam Hussein with the technology and materials Iraq needed to develop chemical and biological weapons and missile-system programs.
Check out:-
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines02/0908-08.htm

Just in case anyone had any doubts about the US willingness to have any ties with bad boy Saddam, Donald Rumsfeld himself squashed them here in this picture:-
http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

 
At 10:44 PM, Anonymous tommy said...

Oh please, Kilamxx, what are you saying? You want Saddam back? Is that what you are arguing? If you don't then what are you proposing?

Arabs whine about American intervention and, at the same time, say they don't support Saddam, but I haven't heard a single concrete proposal from any Arab in the past few years about the best way to obtain stability in Iraq or equanimity among its peoples. I guess that might require real thought, which is something Arabs aren't particularly prone to engage in, especially when blaming the United States or Israel is easier.

You people have no solutions for the internecine conflicts in Iraq and you cannot admit that the problems between the Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq are not creations of Americans or the Jooooos. They are a problems of Muslims. Harping on the Bush administration about it doesn't change that reality. Sorry.

Partition Iraq and call it a day, I say.

Once we do that, Iran should be next.

 
At 6:31 AM, Blogger styxian said...

Tommy,

When does this destruction and carnage ends?? After Iraq, then Iran? I can't believe this?? When do you really "call it a day"??

Before the US invasion/occupation of Iraq, we seldom hear about this Sunni-Shiite differentiation. Its only made "apparent" now.

We also know there are a lot of Sunni-Shiite inter-marriages in Iraq. That never bothered them! I've always known the Iraqis, to be Iraqis.

My suggestion is for the US to just leave the Iraqis (and Iranians) alone! Just let them be!

 

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