Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Iraq: Progress (?!?) Report

So how are we doing?

I mean, aside from the now 1800+ US and >23,000+ Iraqi civilian dead (but c'mon, who cares about Iraqi casualties. Let's get real.).

And overlooking from the fact that there were no WMD's there.

And putting aside for the moment that Iraq was not exporting terror before the war but is now the worlds number one producer of that strange fruit.

And discounting the case that Saddam was contained and not a threat to his neighbors.

And ignoring the reality that our nation's credibility has never been lower in it's history.

And forgetting that the original problem was in Afghanistan but our focus and manpower has shifted to Iraq while Afghanistan drifts.

And let slide that Osama remains at large and, in fact, George Bush "does not care" where he is.

And excuse for now that this war has cost (184 billion and rising)

And let's agree to forget that, at the very least, we were misled into the biggest armed conflict since Vietnam.


Let's get past all that, can't we. There's nothing we can do about any of that stuff. What are our prospects now for a united, free and democratic Iraq? Well, um lets see. Nil, nil and nil.

While we are fighting hard to provide security and quell the insurgents (neither is working very well) the Kurds and Shia are fashioning there own states without Sunni participation in the formation of the new Iraqi Constitution (due out Aug. 15!). And we don't have the manpower, political capital or acumen to stop them.

The Kurds possess the only dependable homegrown security force in the country, the Peshmerga. And they want the constitutional right to lead and direct them as they see fit, and to recall them at any time. Oh, and no non-Peshmerga forces in Kurdistan, err, northern Iraq, please. Also, they want to make their own laws, manage their own oil and water resources and maintain the semi-autonomous status they have enjoyed since George I slapped a no fly zone over them after Gulf War I. Is that so much to ask?(Almost forgot!- they want Kirkut back, too. Oil field under it, don'tcha know.)

The Shia, on the other hand, know that since they are in the majority, they can sit and wait out the occupiers and then install their own state through "democracy". Neat trick, huh? And since they sit on top of 80% the oil, they will also control the capital. Another interesting bit of unintended consequence is the alignment of the Iraqi Shia and Iran. Iraqi Shiites endured decades of brutal repression to which the U.S. was largely indifferent (remember when GHWB called on the Shia to rebel follow Gulf War I, which they did, and we sat on our hands and they were slaughtered en masse? They do.) Iran, by contrast, was a good friend and committed supported of the Shia, harboring insurgents and giving aid where it could. The Shia have already elected pro-Iranian religious parties that are seeking to create an Islamic state. Women's and minority rights are not expected to be protected too stringently. There's a name for brutal domination of a minority by the majority. It's call fascism. And it's (GASP) democratic.

And brutal it will be. The Sunnis can only lose in a Shia dominated Iraq. They are outnumbered in most provinces, even in Baghdad. The only land they control is desolate and oil and water impoverished. They really have no choice but to attempt to strangle the newborn Iraqi state at birth. They have the motive and the firepower, and their will does not seem to be flagging.

So how are we doing? Well, if you wanted a nightmare state of Islamofascists trying to suppress a civil war in the Sunni triangle while the Kurds secede and are invaded by Turkey and Iran to try and stop Kurdish independence (which will cause the US to be forced to choose between a stable Kurdish pro-western moderate Islamic state and keeping Turkey in NATO), then you have to be liking how the situation is shaping up.

Otherwise, keep repeating the mantra "But we got rid of Saddam, doesn't that count for something?"

Unfortunately for Iraq, it's possible for things to go from bad to worse. This is worse.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jason said...

Joe, I have always enjoyed your quirky repsonses over at http://ofsomesignificance.blogspot.com, but I think posts like this one are more needed. Well done!

10:16 AM  
Blogger Joe said...

Quirky? I put my heart and soul into those posts!

6:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home