Weak governments fail, pt 2
Yeah, play government
This was posted in a Kos diary, and linked to a transcript of the Newshour.
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: I would have to have an enormous magnifying glass to be able to see them that way. The fact of the matter is: The government is meeting in an American fortress.
If it is meeting in an American fortress, it is because it is not able to operate outside of an American fortress. That tells you a lot. The notions that a new plan is being put in to enhance security in Baghdad makes me think of a person in the midst of a huge fire in a house who all of a sudden announces that he has a new plan for the installation of air conditioning.
BRZEZINSKI, And, last but not least, we have to get rid of the mindset, which is really by now totally ahistorical -- we no longer live in the age of colonialism. We no longer have to assume "the white man's burden" in order to civilize others, and I'm using these phrases in quotation marks.
The Iraqis are a historical people. They're quite capable of handling things on their own, provided their leaders are real leaders of the country and not essentially proteges of an occupying power hiding in an American fortress.
This one is an attempted joke, it has to be:
WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: Well, certainly, the United States overthrew Saddam Hussein, but the Iraqi leadership emerged, first of all, from a constitutional process, then from elections, and then from a political process, which the United States did not control.
But nobody laughed, but me, so they moved on.
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Well, it's worth a try. The question is: How long do you continue trying?
Now, Walter says, if I understood him correctly, that he's willing to wait three more years to see if the present government leaves the Green Zone, the American fortress. Well, how many thousands of Iraqis will die in the meantime? How many hundreds, how many thousands of Americans will die in the meantime?
How much will our prestige internationally decline? How many billions of dollars will we spend on this?
This was a reality point:
JIM LEHRER: So pull out, Dr. Brzezinski, now?
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI: Pull out in an intelligent fashion. I have been advocating a four-point program which, in a nutshell, is the following.
Talk at length with the Iraq leadership as to when we have to leave. Those who say, "We don't want you to leave," are the ones who leave when we leave. The real leaders, probably not living in the Green Zone, will say, "Yes, leave." I suspect Sistani is among them.
When they talk about the Iraqi government, they're talking about the front men for the militias. These men have no power. Iraqis treat those who kill Americans as heroes and would, if given the chance, kill the Iraqi government like Mussolini.
Hung on butcher hooks
We keep pretending that there is some kind of Iraqi solution based on a government no one believes in or gives any power to. After all, what can they do for them from their American fortress?
The Iraqi leaders need Americans to live. They know it, because they are not the men with power. They know that Sistani could collapse this government in a day. Sadr could blockade the Green Zone. They are waiting. But they will not wait forever. In fact, they may not wait much longer.
posted by Steve @ 12:48:00 AM