“Extreme positions are not succeeded by moderate ones, but by contrary extreme positions.”
-- Friedrich Nietzsche
seems as if it was only yesterday when a Sept. 24, 2004, New York Times
editorial commented on the “performance” of Iraq's “acting” prime minister
Ayad Allawi during a short visit to Washington: “His main appeal to Iraqis
rests on the notion that he may be the only politician ruthless enough to
hold the fragmenting country together.”
The Los Angeles Times recently reported what has been obvious since the very beginning of U.S. superpower intervention in Iraq with this headline: “Iraqi Security Tactics Evoke the Hussein Era.” The Times article stated, “Having endured more than two years of violence since the U.S.-led invasion, many Iraqis favor tough measures to end the unrest. The death penalty was recently reinstated, and for much of the country there is an unspoken acceptance -- often rooted in harsh tribal justice -- that intimidation and torture serve a purpose.” The article further stated that, “Such attitudes are complicated by sectarian strains between Shiite and Sunni Muslims.”
side is blaming the other for the violence in Iraq, in what is nothing
short of a full-blown civil war with the United States caught in the
middle. At the time of this writing, more than 100 people have been
killed in attacks on Iraqis by Iraqis in just the last ten days.
Thomas Friedman stated the obvious in a recent column in The New York Times that Iraq is descending deeper and deeper into violence.
But just why is that?
addition to fighting each other, Iraqis are united in a violent opposition
to U.S. troops that have illegally occupied their country and have
destroyed any semblance of civilization there. In the process of leveling
the political playing field in Iraq, the U.S. also leveled the city of
Fallujah along with most of the country's existing infrastructure.
It seems that noisome, nettlesome neocons will never learn that the core problem in Iraq is the United States presence there, and the decision to invade Iraq in the first place, regardless of cause, was the only mistake. All the rest is bookkeeping.
Regardless of whichever military doctrine that is followed, the violence in Iraq will not be eliminated by using the same rationale that created it.
In a free society, the president must follow the people even as he leads them, and it is now apparent that President Bush responded to a consent that was obtained by coercion, masterfully playing upon the insecurities and ignorance of Americans in order to further highly questionable goals in Iraq.
The United States must leave and let the Iraqis sort things out for themselves. After all, it is -- what's left of it -- their country.
Americans need to stick to our knitting and do some sorting for
ourselves. We can begin by re-evaluating our national security strategy
and impeaching George W. Bush.
Other Articles by Harold
Other Articles by Harold Williamson