FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Truth and Consequences on Iraq

by DAVE LINDORFF

 

The Bush administration, losing the war in Iraq, has come with a “new” strategy: setting a timetable for Iraq’s puppet regime and its fledgling army to “stand up” to the task of running the country so that the U.S. military can “stand down.”

If you think this brilliant “new” plan sounds remarkably like the one proposed earlier this year by many Democrats, who were accused at that time of “cutting and running” for proposing just such a withdrawal timetable, you’re right.

` It also sounds like yet another one of those Bush/Rove scams that are pulled out at each election to trick gullible voters into thinking the president is actually going to do something dramatic when he is really just talking. The truth is this plan is no more serious than Bush’s early announcement of a plan to send Americans to the moon and on to Mars.

That plan, of course, was a joke from the start. The president didn’t offer any money for a Moon or Mars project, and never had any intention of doing so. It was just more of the same at NASA, blowing money on the giant white elephant in the sky called the International Space Station. And of course, we don’t hear anything about Mars anymore.

The new Iraq plan being touted by the administration, which notably involves doing nothing for a year, and then calls for a phased drawdown of U.S. troops over subsequent years, basically shoving off any significant change in Iraq until after Bush is safely out of office and holed up somewhere in Paraguay, behing a barricade of defense lawyers.

On its face, this “new” plan also would require remarkable cooperation and forbearance on the part of the Iraqi resistance, which has shown no inclination to ease up on its attacks on U.S. forces and on Iraq’s puppet regime, and which moreover has no incentive to ease up, since it is the resistance’s increasing success at attacking and killing Americans that is driving the administration to talk about withdrawal.

What we actually have here is an election gambit: if the administration tells the voters that it is changing course and making plans to get out of the quagmire in Iraq, maybe at least some voters will reward them by voting for embattled Republican congressional candidates.

But it is in fact all just a scam. Saying that the government of Prime Minister Nauri Kamal al-Maliki must start effectively cracking down on sectarian killings, must clean up its police forces and get them to stop behaving like gangsters and death squads, and must turn its joke of an army into a dedicated fighting force that will stand up to the forces of rebellion and revolution arrayed against it and the U.S. military is not going to make it happen. After all, that’s supposedly what the Iraqi government has been trying to do now for two years, right? And the situation has not improved at all. In fact the situation in Iraq for the government has gotten noticeably worse. Why anyone would think that giving this pathetic colonial regime some kind of a “timetable” for doing those things would make them accomplish something that they have been congenitally unable to accomplish to date is beyond me.

But then, that’s not the point.

Like most of what this administration offers up in the run-up to national elections, this is all about appearances, not about substance.

This is an admistration that knows all about fooling some of the people some of the time.

What Karl Rove long ago figured out is that it doesn’t matter that you can’t fool all of the people all the time, or even some of the people all of the time. All you have to do is fool some of them enough of the time to get through an election cycle with a narrow win. Then people move on to other concerns and forget what you promised. By the time the next election cycle rolls around, you can come up with some new promises and fool some of them again.

It’s a question whether the scam will work this time, though.

People seem to be waking up to the reality that there is a serious disaster in Iraq, that it is not going to be solved by continuing to slaughter Iraqis and by continuing to let American kids get chewed up and sent hom in boxes or with parts of their bodies missing.

People seem to be waking up to the fact that “staying the course” is just another way of not having to say, “We’re sorry, but we f***ed up.”

What we all need to be doing now is demanding some answers from this administration and its enablers in Congress:

* Why hasn’t the US been demanding action from the Iraqi government for the past two years?

* Why did some 2000 Americans have to die over that period of time, if all we are doing is something we could have done two years ago?

* Why are Democrats “cut and runners” for proposing a phased withdrawal, but Republicans are not “cut and runners” for proposing the same thing?

* If the success of this plan involves negotiating with the insurgents and giving them–including the Baathists we supposedly overthrew in 2003–a role in the future Iraq, doesn’t that mean we lost the war after all?

If not, then why weren’t we negotiating with them a long time ago?

If so, then what did the other several hundred Americans die for in the early days of the invasion and occupation?

If the US has been “stupid and arrogant” in its Iraq policies, as administration sources are finally admitting, just who are the stupid and arrogant people we are talking about here?

If those “stupid and arrogant” people are the president, the vice president, the secretary of defense and the national security adviser/secretary of state, what is to be the consequence of their stupiditdy and arrogance–particularly given that this stupidity and arrogance has cause the deaths of as many as 600,000 innocent Iraqi civilians and 3000 Americans? Enough of the game playing.

It’s time for a little truth and consequences in America.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s new book is “The Case for Impeachment“,
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:
July 27, 2016
Richard Moser
The Party’s Over
M. G. Piety
Smoke and Mirrors in Philadelphia
Jeffrey St. Clair
The Humiliation Games: Notes on the Democratic Convention
Arun Gupta
Bernie Sanders’ Political Revolution Splinters Apart
John Eskow
The Loneliness of the American Leftist
Guillermo R. Gil
A Metaphoric Short Circuit: On Michelle Obama’s Speech at the DNC
Norman Pollack
Sanders, Our Tony Blair: A Defamation of Socialism
Claire Rater, Carol Spiegel and Jim Goodman
Consumers Can Stop the Overuse of Antibiotics on Factory Farms
Guy D. Nave
Make America Great Again?
Sam Husseini
Why Sarah Silverman is a Comedienne
Dave Lindorff
No Crooked Sociopaths in the White House
Dan Bacher
The Hired Gun: Jerry Brown Snags Bruce Babbitt as New Point Man For Delta Tunnels
Peter Lee
Trumputin! And the DNC Leak(s)
David Macaray
Interns Are Exploited and Discriminated Against
Brett Warnke
Storm Clouds Over Philly
Ann Garrison
Rwanda, the Clinton Dynasty, and the Case of Dr. Léopold Munyakazi
Chris Zinda
Snakes of Deseret
July 26, 2016
Andrew Levine
Pillory Hillary Now
Kshama Sawant
A Call to Action: Walk Out from the Democratic National Convention!
Russell Mokhiber
The Rabble Rise Together Against Bernie, Barney, Elizabeth and Hillary
Jeffrey St. Clair
Don’t Cry For Me, DNC: Notes From the Democratic Convention
Angie Beeman
Why Doesn’t Middle America Trust Hillary? She Thinks She’s Better Than Us and We Know It
Paul Street
An Update on the Hate…
Fran Shor
Beyond Trump vs Clinton
Ellen Brown
Japan’s “Helicopter Money” Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation?
Richard W. Behan
The Banana Republic of America: Democracy Be Damned
Binoy Kampmark
Undermining Bernie Sanders: the DNC Campaign, WikiLeaks and Russia
Arun Gupta
Trickledown Revenge: the Racial Politics of Donald Trump
Sen. Bernard Sanders
What This Election is About: Speech to DNC Convention
David Swanson
DNC Now Less Popular Than Atheism
Linn Washington Jr.
‘Clintonville’ Reflects True Horror of Poverty in US
Deepak Tripathi
Britain in the Doldrums After the Brexit Vote
Louisa Willcox
Grizzly Threats: Arbitrary Lines on Political Maps
Robert J. Gould
Proactive Philanthropy: Don’t Wait, Reach Out!
Victor Grossman
Horror and Sorrow in Germany
Nyla Ali Khan
Regionalism, Ethnicity, and Trifurcation: All in the Name of National Integration
Andrew Feinberg
The Good TPP
400 US Academics
Letter to US Government Officials Concerning Recent Events in Turkey
July 25, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
As the Election Turns: Trump the Anti-Neocon, Hillary the New Darling of the Neocons
Ted Rall
Hillary’s Strategy: Snub Liberal Democrats, Move Right to Nab Anti-Trump Republicans
William K. Black
Doubling Down on Wall Street: Hillary and Tim Kaine
Russell Mokhiber
Bernie Delegates Take on Bernie Sanders
Quincy Saul
Resurgent Mexico
Andy Thayer
Letter to a Bernie Activist
Patrick Cockburn
Erdogan is Strengthened by the Failed Coup, But Turkey is the Loser
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail