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    Monday, November 28, 2005

    Operation: Iraqi Failure

    Stardate 4929.6

    The latest reason for the invasion of Iraq touted by George McChimpey could be to bring freedom and democracy to the Iraqi people. To give them a lifestyle worth living, where they no longer live in fear of abuses, torture and other atrocities. I said "could" be because George likes re-writing history a lot these days.

    You would think also, that after 2 years and 8 months of occupation, some of this great dream would be coming to fruition. Of course, searching for actual imrovements in the lives of many normal Iraqi folks is a pretty hefty task. In fact, Ayad Allawi, the first Prime Minister of "free" Iraq and an ally of the US occupation, is saying that human rights abuses in Iraq are just as bad now as they were under Hussein's regime, and could get worse very soon.

    Allawi's bleak assessment is likely to undermine any attempt to suggest that conditions in Iraq are markedly improving.

    'We are hearing about secret police, secret bunkers where people are being interrogated,' he added. 'A lot of Iraqis are being tortured or killed in the course of interrogations. We are even witnessing Sharia courts based on Islamic law that are trying people and executing them.'

    To keep his statements in context, I believe he is opposed to the US withdrawl of troops, but seriously, if these statements are true, then they are doing little good as it stands, and are only increasing the frequency of attacks and abductions. The largest reason for not withdrawing troops seems to be that the country will descent into chaos and things like these abductions and interrogations will happen. Well time to wake up... they are already happening, and with increasing frequency.

    The US troops staying or leaving is not the only issue here however. A recent "Trophy" video has been released apparently showing American or foreign security contractors shooting up civilian vehicles as they drive along "route Irish", which links the airport to Baghdad. The story has made waves on the internet and makes me wonder at how much these "contractors" get away with. Between them and the local militias, insurgents, and US military, anybody could get shot anywhere, for just about anything.

    George never had a plan after he ousted Hussein. In fact, the entire post-war effort is a brutal disaster and it is only getting worse. An interesting read on the Martian Anthropologist reveals that some folks think exactly this way.

    "I would list all the arguments that you hear against pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, the horrible things that people say would happen, and then ask: Aren't they happening already? Would a pullout really make things worse? Maybe it would make things better,'' wrote William Odom, a retired Army lieutenant general and former Reagan-era National Security Agency director, for a Harvard University website."

    He goes on to describe America's invasion of Iraq as "the greatest strategic disaster in US history". Well yeah.... that is what happens when a cowboy sends in the cavalry, but has no plans for after the "victory". They used a Shock and Awe invasion plan, but now, we are simply left in Awe at the mess and total lack of any form of plan as far as the rebuilding of the Iraqi infrastructure and the inability to maintain even a modest amount of order...

    A very interesting story surfaced from Robin Wright, a WP (Washington Post not Whiskey Pete; sorry to get that testosterone going) Staff Writer about the insecurity of the new Iraq. He chronicles visits starting 5 months after the fall of Baghdad, summer 2004 and finally, November 2005, 31 months after the fall of the capital city. I particularly like the quote from Rice as she spoke with the Iraqi prime minister at a news conference...

    "Any people coming out of a period of tyranny, as the Iraqis have, and now out of a period of violence, have to find a balance between inclusion and reconciliation and justice," Rice said. "And that is a process that I'm sure the Iraqis themselves will lead."

    So basically, the US made the mess, and it's up to the Iraqis to clean it all up.

    Of course, the list goes on. Women given a glimpse of freedom now fear a government where Islam is the main source of legislation. Of course, this makes perfect sense, since many interpretations of Sharia Law greatly inhibit the standing of women in society, whether it is the level of job they can achieve, or what they can wear. Not only this, but violence against women seems far graver now than in Hussein era Iraq.

    "During Saddam, the violence toward women was almost a vertical violence [that came from the top of government], and after the war it became horizontal violence [neighbor against neighbor]." - Zainab Salbi in an interview with Newsweek

    She goes on to mention that even under Hussein, there were more women involved in the government than now, even if his government was a sham. Under the Coalition Provisional Authority, there were only 3 women out of 25 members.

    Families struggle on a daily basis, to eat and work and even maintain their health. Kasim Said, a day laborer, said that things are worse for him since the war.

    "During the previous regime, I used to work on the government projects. Now there are no projects," his father said.

    Their son, like so many other Iraqi children, suffers from acute malnutrition, and finding the money to buy nutritional supplements is nearly impossible when you are lucky to get $12 a day and the supplements can go for $10 or more. In 2002, the rate of acute malnutrition in young children under 5 years old was at 4%. 20 months after the US invasion, the rate had increased to 7.7%. Lets think of that while reading what the President and his family had for Thanksgiving Dinner at the Crawford Texas Ranch...

    George, you have some roasted asparagus in your teeth...

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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