BAGHDAD, Iraq “” U.S. troops complied with orders from Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Tuesday to abandon checkpoints around Baghdad, including ones in and around the Shiite militia stronghold of Sadr City”¦.
U.S. officials said they did not receive advance warning of the order to remove the barriers by 5 p.m. local time Tuesday. Military spokesman, Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, said officers were meeting to “formulate a response to address the prime minister’s concerns.” — from this article
This countermands the American directive and the cordon which was intended to help American soldiers find the Iraqi-born translator who may have been kidnapped.
Again and again Maliki has shown an indifference to American desires. He was preparing some months ago to offer amnesty to those “insurgents” who had killed “only” American soldiers, until an outcry in this country forced the Bush Administration to tell him he couldn’t do it. He expects the Americans to fight and die for his regime, a regime like the previous one prepared to soak the Americans for all they are worth, all the billions they can provide. And how many former high Iraqi officials siphoned off how many billions, paid for by American taxpayers?
Most of those taxpayers will never know the high life now to be enjoyed, for the rest of their lives, by those “Iraqi” patriots who made out like gangbusters on American aid and are now living it up outside Iraq or in Europe, possibly attending the same defiles on the Avenue Montaigne as Suha Arafat.
Maliki is not, and cannot be, a “friend of America.” He is willing to endure the American presence only so long as it strengthens him and weakens the Sunni insurgents. And the Sunnis, in turn, or those not in the immediate “insurgency,” may now want the Americans to stay for the same reasons — in order to protect them from the full force of the Shi”a. That’s it. The Administration refuses to understand this and keeps making policy based on hope, and on all the Unrepresentative Men that were in exile: Chalabi, Allawi, Makiya, and the tiny group of semi-decent mid-level former Iraqi officers who have unduly impressed American officers, and thus lead them to all kinds of rosy misconceptions and hopes, but are in fact the rare exceptions, not the rule. Or the Americans have tried with this or that group of soldiers or policemen to do the impossible in Iraq, which is to make them drop their sectarian and ethnic and even tribal allegiances. Simply cannot be done.
Why is this hard to understand? What is so complicated about it?
Why is Maliki, why are any Iraqis, allowed to interfere with American military decisions undertaken to protect or recover its soldiers? Why, for that matter, did Bush ever say that “we will leave” when “the Iraqis” tell us “they are ready to have us leave”? When, in the history of the American government, did a President say that “we will leave when the locals are good and ready to have us leave”? An incredible attitude, a complete abdication of responsibility.
And if it not the “Iraqis” then it is “the generals” who will tell me about what tactics to employ. But what if it is not the “tactics” that concern the generals, but the strategy? What if “the generals” wish to tell Bush the one thing he will not let them tell him — that he has the wrong policy in Iraq, that we should be exploiting these ethnic and sectarian tensions, not trying to end them? Of course they won’t tell him this. They haven’t been permitted to think for themselves in this area, haven’t allowed themselves to learn about Islam and to realize that the “war on terror” is a dangerous misnomer, or to think about the other instruments of war — propaganda, counter-Da’wa, stopping the demographic conquest of the countries of the Western alliance, of NATO.
No, this one cannot expect of them. But one can expect more pointed, unanswerable, deadly criticism of the way in which Bush has palmed off responsibilities on both the Iraqis (will we still wait until the “Iraqi” government “tells us we can leave”?) and, in a different way, on the American generals. Those generals, not as outspoken or brave or perhaps quite as aware of the menacing islamization in Europe as the British army chief, General Dannatt, have not been asked by Bush for their opinions on strategy, but only on tactics. They must remain silent about that. So his assurances to us that he is willing to be flexible, to change according to what his generals tell him, is a hollow assurance, for those generals are not asked, and are apparently not permitted to give (and seem disinclined to be independent enough to violate that prohibition, to question the entire strategy) their opinions on whether what he thinks can and should be done in Iraq, from the viewpoint of American (and larger Infidel) interests, makes sense. He permits only discussion of tactics on how his ill-defined “victory” is supposed to be attained: that “victory” we hear so much about, that damned “victory” in the “war on terror.”
His stated aim is not to weaken or divide or demoralize the Camp of Islam. Not at all. His stated aim is to strengthen Iraq, keep it cobbled together, and he intends to do so by further squandering the lives of American soldiers and hundreds of billions more in American taxpayers’ money. What would $500 billion do had it been applied on energy projects to reduce Arab and Muslim oil revenues? The current American policy is not to exploit, but to prevent, the natural fissures, sectarian and ethnic, that are so obviously presented in Iraq. Instead, there is the lemming-like repetitiion of phrases that then become deeply-held beliefs, such as the belief that “instability” in the Muslim lands is always and everywhere a bad thing — which is what the Saudis and other Sunnis are now telling, not whispering, to all those who will listen to them (and there are still so many) in official Washington.
The current policy is an obstacle to the necessary effort of educating the public, and focusing on checking all the other instruments of Jihad (the money weapon, Da’wa, demographic conquest), especially in the most important theatre, not the Middle East but rather the unsettled and imperilled nations of Western Europe. Bush insists Americans must remain in Iraq to “defeat the terrorists” and “bring freedom.” And stay there they will, because of the obstinacy of those who lack sufficient knowledge, intelligence, and imagination, to begin to conduct a policy less wasteful and more effective than that we endure at present. They must stick with what they started, or so they think, lest they be perceived as having delivered “a victory to the terrorists.” And so the President and his loyalists and his claque all insist on the same unchanging aims, no matter how ludicrous and self-defeating and wasteful and impossible of achievement those stated aims really are.