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:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
December 02, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro
Paul Street
The Iron Heel at Home: Force Matters
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Timberg’s Tale: Washington Post Reporter Spreads Blacklist of Independent Journalist Sites
Andrew Levine
Must We Now Rethink the Hillary Question? Absolutely, Not
Joshua Frank
CounterPunch as Russian Propagandists: the Washington Post’s Shallow Smear
David Rosen
The Return of HUAC?
Rob Urie
Race and Class in Trump’s America
Caroline Hurley
Anatomy of a Nationalist
Ayesha Khan
A Muslim Woman’s Reflections on Trump’s Misogyny
Russell Mokhiber
Sanders Single Payer and Death by Democrat
Roger Harris
The Triumph of Trump and the Specter of Fascism
Louis Proyect
Deepening Contradictions: Identity Politics and Steelworkers
Ralph Nader
Trump and His Betraying Makeover
Dan Bacher
WSPA: The West’s Most Powerful Corporate Lobbying Group
Nile Bowie
Will Trump backpedal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
Ron Ridenour
Fidel’s Death Brings Forth Great and Sad Memories
Missy Comley Beattie
By Invitation Only
Fred Gardner
Sword of Damocles: Pot Partisans Fear Trump’s DOJ
Renee Parsons
Obama and Propornot
Dean Baker
Cash and Carrier: Trump and Pence Put on a Show
Jack Rasmus
Taming Trump: From Faux Left to Faux Right Populism
Ron Jacobs
Selling Racism—A Lesson From Pretoria
Julian Vigo
The Hijos of Buenos Aires:  When Identity is Political
Matthew Vernon Whalan
Obama’s Legacy
Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano
By Way of Prologue: On How We Arrived at the Watchtower and What We Saw from There
Aidan O'Brien
Fidel and Spain: A Tale of Right and Wrong
Carol Dansereau
Stop Groveling! How to Thwart Trump and Save the World
Kim Nicolini
Moonlight, The Movie
Evan Jones
Behind GE’s Takeover of Alstom Energy
James A Haught
White Evangelicals are Fading, Powerful, Baffling
Christopher Brauchli
Parallel Lives: Trump and Temer
Joseph Natoli
The Winds at Their Backs
Cesar Chelala
Poverty is Not Only an Ignored Word
David Swanson
75 Years of Pearl Harbor Lies
Nyla Ali Khan
When Faith is the Legacy of One’s Upbringing
Gilbert Mercier
Trump Win: Paradigm Shift or Status Quo?
Charles R. Larson
Review: Emma Jane Kirby’s “The Optician of Lampedusa”
December 01, 2016
Kenneth Surin
Life and Politics in Appalachia
David Swanson
Why Flag Burning Matters
Ray McGovern
Petraeus Redux?
John Wight
The Fierce Debate Over Castro’s Legacy
Jan Oberg
Orwell in Oslo: Nobel Institute Honors Kissinger (Again) and Brzezinski
RP Burnham
Egoism and Empathy in the Era of Neocons and Neoliberals
Blake Gentry
Fighting for Indigenous Rights: From the UN to Yaqui Territory and Standing Rock
Peter Lee
Chinese Catastrophism Collides with Trump Catastrophism
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail