View Full Version : A strategy for Iraq

23rd April 04, 08:31 PM
I started a thread about this back in September (which was somewhat shortlived) but it bears revisiting as Bush and Kerry both flail around talking escalation and course-staying and phony sovereignty off-handing. They're having a bit of trouble figuring out who to hand power over to not just because they don't actually have control of the country to hand over in the first place but because the only proper recipient of that power is a body selected by a free and fair election. Y'know, like in a democracy?

The problem is that although the Bushites *say* they're trying to build a democracy in Iraq, the truth is that democracy is the one thing they won't abide. The Iraqis have been yelling for elections for months and the US has been dragging its feet the whole way. The number-one political priority in Iraq right now should be completing the census necessary to hold elections but the Iraqi Governing Council suspended its census-taking late last year on the behest of the Americans. This whole "sovereignty" handoff is just another stall, and a transparent one; do they actually think the Iraqis are going to fall for it? Are the American forces in Iraq going to be taking orders from the new sovereign government on July 1? Of course not, so talk of sovereignty is meaningless.

Back in February Bush was asked on Meet the Press how he'd respond to the Iraqis electing a Shi'ite theocratic government. His statement was basically a flat "they're not going to", with "we won't let them" as the unstated corollary. Now, Bush himself actually probably believes all the B.S. Chalabi and his stooges have been shovelling him but aside from Bush's delusions the plain fact is that the current US government will not permit the election of any government that insists on US troop withdrawal or refuses to honor all the phony contracts and government sell-offs signed by the occupation authorities -- no matter how popular any or all of those policies may be with Iraqis. So the "democracy" angle is a sham.

The solution, simply, is to make it not a sham. Make elections the priority, hold them freely and fairly and commit publicly to abiding by the outcome. That means no restrictions on who can run, no shutting down of newspapers, the whole bit. That means accepting that most of the government is going to be made up of clerics because those are the people who have political power in Iraq. And it means accepting that the new government is proably gonna be Shi'ite-heavy and friendly to Iran. And it means that, yeah, they may well tear up all the illegitimate contracts the US occupational authorities signed. We don't like it? Too bad. The only thing that has any legitimacy in this otherwise illegal, immoral, unprovoked war of agression was the supposed good deed of knocking Saddam off. They didn't ask us to do it, but whatever, it's done. Now we got no reason to stay and every reason to split because right now *we're* the problem there.

America, at least under the Bushites, is much like the monkey who reaches into the jar, grabs a handful of chestnuts and then finds its hand is stuck. The harder he pulls the more stuck he gets and the only way out is to let go. Bush and his cronies fought this war for this territory and those contracts and those bases and that oil and there's no damn way they're gonna let them go, no matter what the Iraqi people say. At the same time they're trapped into insisting they're trying to build a democracy even though it is obvious to the Iraqis that they intend no such thing. A collision course if I ever saw one.

The ironic thing is that the very democracy that Bush is struggling to prevent while claiming to support may come about, in the end, by the Iraqi people uniting to *eject* the Americans. The Iraqis are gonna get what they want sooner or later and the only thing we're gonna get from trying to keep it from them is failure and a much angrier and more hostile Iraq government that we would have had if we'd played fair.

23rd April 04, 09:27 PM
I couldn't agree more.

24th April 04, 01:33 AM
So all of sudden you're an expert in warfare?

24th April 04, 01:37 AM
This has nothing to do with warfare. It has everything to do with common sense.

Or did you even bother to read any of what I posted?

The Wastrel
24th April 04, 09:15 AM
The rub is that some people actually care about what happens to minority Kurds and Sunnis. Even if decisionmakers were to accept the prospect of a Shiite clerical power block, they may want to be certain that institutional safeguards for minority representation are present and reliable. Otherwise, ethnic and religious cleavages may explode into civil war within a short period of time.

24th April 04, 01:03 PM
The problem is that you cannot impose democracy.

24th April 04, 01:42 PM
I never said anything about imposing democracy. However, I do believe that, in order for the closest thing that even resembles a democracy to exist in Iraq (at the very least), the US must first withdraw its forces from the country.

I think it would be easier for a democracy to exist if the people were free to do it on their own, rather than to allow the US to coordinate - especially since it's rather obvious thta democracy is not what the US wants in Iraq, as I already stated.

However, the risk most inherent, as Wastrel wisely pointed out, is that it's very easy for a civil war to break out, should the Iraqis be free to set up their own government, due to the strife between the different ethnic groups within. It seems like a no win situation.

But I'd rather see Iraq stand up on it's own (with SOME aid from the world, namely the UN), than see the US lose copious amounts of manpower and money that they cannot even afford to lose AND see them bring a country down further, stemming from a war that shouldn't have even happened in the first place.

24th April 04, 01:56 PM
Agreed. It is high time for the US to turn over Iraq to the UN.

26th April 04, 07:22 AM
The monkey's hand in the jar was a good metaphore.

26th April 04, 07:47 AM
UN, nah, why not just hand control of Iraq over to the winner of a reality show specifically ran to find the next ruler of iraq: New Fox Reality Show To Determine Ruler Of Iraq LOS ANGELES–Fox executives Monday unveiled their latest reality-TV venture, Appointed By America, a new series in which contestants vie for the top spot in Iraq's post-war government.
3915 | 23 April 2003 | News: from www.TheOnion.com

26th April 04, 08:08 AM
The Coalition have been dragging there feet with organizing elections becasue they are busy fighting proffesional, foreign Jihadists for fucks sake! Jihadists who aren't going to go away if we leave btw. They have huge beef with anyone invovled with democratic movements in Iraq whatever there nationality may be. Should we leave the fledgling democracy to the wolves and let extremists and/or a government that favors only one ethnic group to take over? Seriously?

If coalition forces just left Iraq now would the Jihadists go "YAY! The Americans are leaving! Now I can put down my Kalishnakov and RPG and vote for this new multi-ethnic, secular government! Hoorah! Let me get involved with a government that the U.S. put into power. Just what I was planning to blow myself up for!"

I seriously doubt it. I'm all for our boys to get the hell out of there and I definitely didn't think this war was timely or well thought. But if American soldiers spilled blood over there we better this fucking thing through and not let there deaths be for nothing because we left too early. We've been in there for over a year we might as well do the job right and leave the new democracy with a well equipped standing army and a functional government.

26th April 04, 08:18 AM
Yeah, I agree with choke, just pulling out now would be the worst thing we could do, we have to finish what we started.

WingChun Lawyer
26th April 04, 10:25 AM
Choke, I agree that pulling out right now would result in a massive mess (read: civil war). Itīs not like the shia and the sunni and the kurds will start singing "itīs a small world" together.

On the other hand, the US is burning newspapers there, and they have stopped the census; this would be enough to bring a popular reaction almost everywhere on the globe, specially from people who actually want democracy (even if itīs their kind of democracy, not ours).

Quite frankly, no one is buying that bullshit about the US bringing democracy to the iraqi masses anymore.

And personally, I donīt buy that shit about the bad, bad jyhad warriors: after winning the war, the US had more or less free reign of the country for months without a massive reaction as we see now. IMHO, that reaction is genuinely popular, and is a direct result of a) the bad living conditions the average iraqi is facing every day after the war, and b) the fact that, yes, the people are actually aware of what the US is doing by not installing a democracy and by forcing those oil contracts down their collective throats, and they are not happy about that.

I donīt think we can even accuse the iraqi people of being mean and biting the hand of their saviour: the US had enough time to at least prove they were going to create a democracy, and instead they burn newspapers and stop the census, while keeping the oil fields in pristine working condition. It seems that the average iraqi (and call me a terrorist, but I believe thatīs a good thing) doesnīt put so much faith in Fox News as Mr. Bush would like.

26th April 04, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by stoogejitsu
UN, nah, why not just hand control of Iraq over to the winner of a reality show specifically ran to find the next ruler of iraq: New Fox Reality Show To Determine Ruler Of Iraq LOS ANGELES–Fox executives Monday unveiled their latest reality-TV venture, Appointed By America, a new series in which contestants vie for the top spot in Iraq's post-war government.
3915 | 23 April 2003 | News: from www.TheOnion.com

The ONION!!! No wonder I like you. You are an idiot, but a funny one!

I still like the idea of going back to three countries. Kurdistan, Sunniland, and Shiasuck. Too bad Shiasuck has no oil. The Turks wouldn't like it, but fuck them, Kurds have cool clothes.

26th April 04, 10:41 AM
As soon as the people who want to oust the USA are identified the US can pay the important people off and kill the other ones.

Then business can continue until the next batch which may be dealt with in a similar process and so forth.

26th April 04, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by stoogejitsu
Yeah, I agree with choke, just pulling out now would be the worst thing we could do, we have to finish what we started.

I bet that's how a lot of people rationalized the US staying in the Vietnam war for so long. "Oh, we have to see this through, otherwise the Communists will triumph."

Do any of you honestly believe that the US is doing ANYONE any favours by sticking around in Iraq? It's obvious that Bush and Co. aren't too inclined to let the Iraqis up on their feet, so Iraq doesn't benefit from the US being there.

And the US is losing mass amounts of cash and men that they cannot afford in this mess, so there's really no benefit to the US, as a whole either.

Sure, it could get very ugly if the US were to suddenly pull out of Iraq. But considering the track record there to date, think about how bad it could get if the US doesn't leave.

26th April 04, 11:59 AM
The USA is doing themselves a favor. Weren't there contractors killed in Iraq recently? Like cockroaches if one is found there are probably thousands of other ones out there sucking up the profit from oil to aid in the "reconstruction of Iraq".

New customer... easy money.

26th April 04, 12:06 PM
Careful now. Are you sure it's the "USA" that's doing themselves a favour here, or private citizens who happen to own corporations?

When I say "the US", I'm referring to the government.

The oil industries and private corporations involved in Iraq are the only ones I see profiting from this.

Guerilla Fists
26th April 04, 12:27 PM
I hate to start a ruckus but quite frankly I think you all missed the boat.

These people are in the midst of a civil war. Do you think they are really interested in stablizing their nation with political ideals when they aren't even guaranteed their next meal?

You have to understand the way a person functions and seeks the different levels of existence (see Maslow's heirarchy). At the bottom rung is basic survival (food water and shelter). At the top is self fulfillment (religion, political ideologies). You are trying to teach a nation democracy when, free elections, and free trade when they have nothing to begin with. First they need to be satisfied with the security that tomorrow will come for them. Then maybe they'll listen to what we have to say. Until you put food in their stomachs you can't put ideas in their heads. What we need to do is embrace a funtional program of reconstructionism. If you had nothing, literally no food to eat, would you care more about securring a place to live and food to eat for your family or working out the kinks of democracy and ratifying a constitution?

26th April 04, 02:10 PM
With all due respect, I think there are two problems here.
On one hand, there are people who think that democracy can be taught, and imposed. It is, in fact, impossible. Democracy is a structure that can only rest over the fundation of a certain mindset, and with a certain culture and education. Remember that the so-talked greek Polis "Democracy" wasn't really a democracy as we understand it. Democracy has many flavor, but the people of the country must actively seek it, in order to make it workable. It's like going to the Shi'i and saying "What type of government would you like?" "A Theocracy" "No, you must vote a democracy, because that's what the people want" "But we are the people" "That's right, and you want a democracy".
On the other hand, no one buys that Bush wants to install a democracy (he hasn't one in the US, so why on Iraq?). What the problem is, and Rising Phoenix has nailed it, is that the US is being run by a bunch of corporate neo-feudalist, which are plungin the world, and the people of their country into a hellstorm of fire and vengace. Of course, when there is a response for the violence, it's not the Lords and Ladies who will pay, but the averange, innocent Joe.
My 2 cents is that the us should pull from Iraq, leaving another country/alliance/Un/whatever in iraq, to prevent a civil war, but it should get out as a show of goodwill, and cancel all contracts that it profits on Iraq, and make a substantial payment to the people of that country. When I see that, I see the only way that I think will alleviate tensions...of course, I also see next to that rainbows, dwarfs singing and pretty unicorns.

26th April 04, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by Jolly_Roger

On the other hand, no one buys that Bush wants to install a democracy (he hasn't one in the US, so why on Iraq?).


OMG I agr33 wit u! bU$$$h is teh hitlarman!

Despite that stupid remark I do agree with you about imposing democracy. For the first decade I wouldn't mind a heavy handed president running Iraq for awhile. Like Saddam sans the genocide, insanity, multiple murals of himself kissing babies or dressed in Bedouin garb, SKUDS and Al Samoud missles, 24 hour TV programs of himself or doubles doing routine things, excessive statues, and plans for the domination of the Arab world.

Probably too much to ask.

I'd like someone like Musharaf. Pretty heavy handed but not demon spawn, gives indiginous tribes there room (I.E. doesn't gas them), and has credibility with both the moderates and Islamic right wing in his country. He can be a little soft on terror when its convienant for him however. Though if they are litterally trying to kill you everyday I understand him not totally allienating them.

26th April 04, 10:33 PM
I knew it!
I can agree with somebody! :-)

26th April 04, 11:32 PM
the american pull out in vietnam showed the world one thing ... that the US doesn't back it's unconvenient friends ...

it could be said that the decline in american prestige indirectly led to the fall of the shah or at least allowed the said conditions ...