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    americanization day - or - why you should thank an immigrant for the day off..., 2006-07-04 14:58:27 | Main | hook, line, and sinker..., 2006-07-05 16:30:05

    dependence day:

    from my inbox, Col. Daniel Smith, U.S. Army (Ret.) draws a strange comparison between the Iraqi Civil War and the US Civil War, containing the following paragraph that more than sufficiently explains why Iraqi President al-Maliki isn't a President like Abraham Lincoln was President:

    [al-Maliki] heads what the U.S. government likes to call a permanent, fully sovereign Iraqi government elected by the Iraqi people, al-Maliki must work under conditions that severely curtail his freedom of action. Better-armed foreign forces still conduct military operations and occupy the countryside. Revenge killings against the foreign occupation forces, as well as sectarian-based violence, have been a way of life for many soldiers and members of the former regime. Non-Iraqis, backed by foreign military forces, have designed the rules and organs of governance, while significant portions of the population have rejected the re-ordering of social and political power. Funds for major infrastructure repair to restart economic activity have been diverted to security measures or lost through graft and corruption.

    And then the rest of it focuses on the originally-proposed amnesty for insurgents who lay down arms, which was just what happened at the end of the American Civil War. The coverage the amnesty proposal has gotten seems way out of wack to its actual importance, which, in and of itself, is nil. What's important is reaching a truce, and then a peace, between the fractured Iraqi government and the Sunni insurgency, and the United States facillitating the reaching of a settlement by whatever means it can, regardless of our own percieved "national interest" - which this war has already so severely damaged - in things like enduring base structures set up around Europe and Chinas' major oil supplies.

    So I don't have words to describe how disgusting it is for trivial American jingoist prerogatives of exceptionalism and revenge to obstruct the Iraqis reaching a settlement amongst themselves to end their brutally destructive, terrifying civil war and the persisting PR justification for our brutally destructive, terrifying occupation. To return to the topic of Iraq's prospects for independence: there was heavy American intervention in the process to sand down the proposal - and more important than dropping the amnesty was dropping the timetable for withdrawal.

    Not to imagine that there's much chance left of any meaningful peace even with withdrawal, but if anybody wanted, say, the militias to agree to their own dispersion among different arms of the government in the hopes of nullifying the really-existing militia-run security forces' ongoing nights of a thousand power drills, a schedule for US withdrawal is going to have to be on the table. This administration's goals, whatever they are, are demonstrably irreconcillable with both some semblance of actual Iraqi independence and with any curtailment of the violence, not least by this latest political intervention. For any vague hope to exist for reconcilliation a negotiated withdrawal has to be on the table. At the very least the Democrats seem willing to pass the salt.

    In any case if we're not allowing the "sovereign" Iraqi government to make its own sick bed to die in, then in it's a very sorry day for independence indeed.


:: posted by buermann @ 2006-07-04 16:26:35 CST | link





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