Democratic Leadership: There Is No Such Thing as Iraq
Thu Sep 13, 2007 at 06:46:05 PM PDT
Sure, look on a map, and it exists. It’s got a seat in the United Nations. The electrical grid is national, and the people who live within the geographic boundaries are considered, by other nations, "Iraqis." But George W. Bush is trying to fool a nation and a world in to thinking that there is a nation known as Iraq.
There are Kurds, and they don’t want to be in a nation that includes Sunni Arabs, whose leadership they blame for the genocidal policies known as the Anfal. Expecting Kurds to remain part of the Iraqi nation-state is like expecting Jews to have gotten a national homeland adjoined to Germany after the Holocaust, but expecting the Jews to make nice with the Germans and let bygones be bygones. Most Americans probably don’t realize that it’s ILLEGAL to fly the flag of Iraq in Kurdistan. The Kurds are Kurds. They are not Iraqis, and they never will be.
Iraqs Sunni and Shia Arabs have been in a civil war for several years. In southern Iraq, rival blocs are vying for power in a Shia-Shia conflict. In Anbar--which is NOT a success, and is NOT relevant to the "surge"--we can expect a lot more Sunni-Sunni violence like what we saw today. And if you’re reading this, you know that Baghdad has and remains a horrifically violent place; any minor reductions in violence have as much to do with the "success" of ethnic cleansing as anything else. It’s like declaring Srebrenica a success story because the ethnic cleansing ended.
What’s busted and not working in Iraq isn’t because of Iran, or Syria. It’s because of Iraq. When we invaded and clumsily occupied Iraq—a country that had no cohesive nationalist identification before Winston Churchill and the British drew it on a map after WWI—we unleashed forces beyond our capacity to contain and control, especially as long as we continue to occupy Iraq and be distrusted by ALL factions in the country. Sure, one would have to be naïve to think Iran wasn’t meddling in Iraq. Same thing with Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and a bunch of other countries. But they’re only bit players. There’s no functioning government. There’s no "Iraqi" military, there are only units comprised entirely of single ethnic/religious groups; there are Kurdish units, there are Shia Arab units, there are Sunni Arab units. But there are NO multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian units.
Iraq is Humpty Dumpty, but we pushed him off the wall, and all the king’s Armored Cavalry and all the king’s mechanized brigades will not put him back together again. The president said this war in Iraq is "just, and right, and necessary." No, the war in Iraq is futile. The American people have figured that out. Now, it’s time to stop talking about leaving our troops in Iraq to train Iraqi military units, because there aren’t any. It’s time to stop expecting progress and the achievement of benchmarks by the Iraqi government, because there’s no Iraqi government that has legitimacy with the population of Iraq. It’s time to stop thinking that we can put Iraq back together again. It’s time to face the reality that Iraq no longer exists, start making plans to remove our troops, and get the leadership of the Iraqi factions and the leadership of the surrounding nations to engage in trying to mitigate the suffering and chaos that will ensue when we leave, but will also happen if we stay.
There’s no good solution for Iraq. There is no Iraq. It’s time to get our troops the hell out.
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