Wednesday, January 10, 2007

President Bush's Iraq Plan

From Pamela:

Listening to President Bush speak tonight, I couldn't help but wonder where he is living... Pleasantville? The Truman Show? La-La Land?

He (or his speechwriter and advisors) seem to have missed the most salient point. The sectarian violence in Iraq isn't about Sunni and Shii. Iraqi Sunnis and Shiis have historically gotten along well. It's about politics. It's about who supported America's strong man, Saddam Hussein back when he was still our buddy. It's about who supports the current American sponsored government, and who doesn't. It's about who cooperated with American troops and who didn't. That is the fundamental, root source of the conflict -- not concerns about sectarian theological differences.

As long as the US is involved, the conflict will escalate. The reprisals against collaborators will grow ever more intense. The stakes for those who are in power (more or less) will become higher and higher, as the guarantee of disruption and wholesale rebellion grows with each passing day they are seen as sell outs to the US occupation.

And, yes, that's what most of the world perceives it as. Not a war. Not a humanitarian effort to bring freedom to Iraq. But an occupation aimed as ensuring the US and Israel have access to Iraq's oil.

The resistence (otherwise known as terrorists in Bush's lingo) perceives themselves as trying to oust an invading and occupying army. Stepping up the number of troops on police duty isn't going to solve that problem.

The longer we are there, the more intense the resistence will become.

President Bush did have one thing right. If we leave now, Iraq will descend into chaos. I'm pretty sure that is accurrate. What he didn't say, was that when we leave in a year, or two or ten, that chaos will no doubt be even worse, the attrocities even more horrific.

I don't see any hope of the US and the new Iraqi government transforming Iraq into some fairy tale democracy like Bush spoke of. That has to be done by the Iraqis, not imposed by the army of another country. The longer we are there, the longer it will take for Iraqi to achieve those dreams after we leave.


tcamps said...

If it's not about Sunni and Shiite, why was that shrine destroyed?

Pamela K Taylor said...

Who supported whom and who continues to support whom falls largely along sunni/shii lines, much as the political parties in Lebanon are divided along religious lines (Druze, Christian, Muslim, etc).

The shrine was destroyed as potent symbol of Shiites, not as a religious symbol. It was retaliation againt the political actions of those who attended the shrine, not a sectarian move based upon hatred of the Shiite sect of Islam.

Blaming the violence on sectarian issues is laying the blame at the wrong doorstep. It's not hatred of sunnis and shiis that's at the bottom of the violence in Iraq, it's hatred of collaborators, invading armies, and the hope that a different group could control Iraq if the US got rid of Saddam.