Talkin' about Iraq
An Iraqi soldier did this
Let's Talk About Iraq
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
Published: June 15, 2005
Ever since Iraq's remarkable election, the country has been descending deeper and deeper into violence. But no one in Washington wants to talk about it. Conservatives don't want to talk about it because, with a few exceptions, they think their job is just to applaud whatever the Bush team does. Liberals don't want to talk about Iraq because, with a few exceptions, they thought the war was wrong and deep down don't want the Bush team to succeed. As a result, Iraq is drifting sideways and the whole burden is being carried by our military. The rest of the country has gone shopping, which seems to suit Karl Rove just fine.
"We have no galvanizing figure right now," observed Kanan Makiya, the Iraqi historian who heads the Iraq Memory Foundation. "Sistani's counterpart on the democratic front has not emerged. Certainly, the Americans made many mistakes, but at this stage less and less can be blamed on them. The burden is on Iraqis. And we still have not risen to the magnitude of the opportunity before us."
I still don't know if a self-sustaining, united and democratizing Iraq is possible. I still believe it is a vital U.S. interest to find out. But the only way to find out is to create a secure environment. It is very hard for moderate, unifying, national leaders to emerge in a cauldron of violence.
Maybe it is too late, but before we give up on Iraq, why not actually try to do it right? Double the American boots on the ground and redouble the diplomatic effort to bring in those Sunnis who want to be part of the process and fight to the death those who don't. As Stanford's Larry Diamond, author of an important new book on the Iraq war, "Squandered Victory," puts it, we need "a bold mobilizing strategy" right now. That means the new Iraqi government, the U.S. and the U.N. teaming up to widen the political arena in Iraq, energizing the constitution-writing process and developing a communications-diplomatic strategy that puts our bloodthirsty enemies on the defensive rather than us. The Bush team has been weak in all these areas. For weeks now, we haven't even had ambassadors in Iraq, Afghanistan or Jordan.
We've already paid a huge price for the Rumsfeld Doctrine - "Just enough troops to lose." Calling for more troops now, I know, is the last thing anyone wants to hear. But we are fooling ourselves to think that a decent, normal, forward-looking Iraqi politics or army is going to emerge from a totally insecure environment, where you can feel safe only with your own tribe.
Yeah, motherfucker, let's talk about Iraq. Let's talk about the insane level of strategic and tactical failure it has been. Not only is Iraq not a democracy, the US Army is losing to a resistance with no central leadership. Makiya diasppeared for months after the invasion turned into Vietnam in the sand. Opportunity my ass. He would be a dead man in Iraq and he knows it. Because no one, he and his exlie buddies, asked anyone to liberate Iraq, and people are more than willing to murder their neighbors or let the boys do it.
So how many members of the Friedman family are going to join the military to ensure this? I mean, after all, if this is the primary national goal and security issue of this country, then people who supported this, like Friedman, should encourage their teenagers to join the colors, no? If we need more troops, offer up the Friedman spawn, their cousins and friends. Let them fight for a democratic Iraq. I mean, wouldn't Tom like to see a nephew as a strapping Marine 03, humping a M203 like those kids on the Kennedy I saw Memorial Day Weekend?
"I dropped out of Swathmore because Uncle Tom convinced me that this was the right thing to do. Hoohah."
Yeah, right. His siblings would beat him to death with a bat if that happened.
Come on, most people think Pat Tillman was an idiot to join the Rangers, and were hardly shocked when he was killed. His patriotism was seen as freakish by both left and right. You can bet your ass no black or Samoan would have joined up like that and give up all that money. Their families would have killed them. Tillman believed in America, but America certainly didn't believe in him. And to compound that, the Army lied about his death. The Army lies a lot lately. Maybe they always did, we just notice it now. But if anyone didn't get the message that his sacrifice was pointless hasn't been reading the news. Enlisting with the best of intentions, he was killed by his own troops and the Army's lies tried to cover that.
Friedman doesn't get it. Iraqis hate us. They want us dead. They help kill us. When given a chance, they would rather work out petty grievences instead of uniting. The resistance is not a unitary force, but they sure do act like one. They totally penetrate the security services and the government. Whole units are executed with a bullet to the back of the head. 20 here, 30 there. All dead and left in ther desert.
So Friedman has no answers except to drown faster. The UN will not save us, there are no more troops unless he wants to call for a draft, and that would make him a pariah in Washington.
We will lose Iraq, the question is how.
posted by Steve @ 8:56:00 AM