i know i haven’t updated the blog recently, but i thought i should at the very least, periodically explain why john mccain is dead wrong about his 100 years in iraq platform.
whether or not you were for or against the war in iraq from the beginning is almost irrelevant at this point. the major question is what to do with the situation now.
here are my first two reasons why america must set a timetable for withdrawal:
1) because it is illogical, immoral, and just plain stupid to arm militias during a civil war.
america has consistently shown that it does not and cannot understand the nature of iraqi society. once it invaded the nation, it disarmed the minority sunnis who ruled with hussein, and instead trained, armed, and funded the shia majority. to call this a colossal blunder would be an understatement.
it has then jumped around trying to plug in pockets of violence and has sat there as an entire neighborhoods have been ethnically/religiously cleansed.
no one knows up or down about iraq. heck few people in this country even understand the intricacies of american culture, e.g. the differences between rural and urban america, the differences among american minorities, the differences among urban gangs and militias, how on earth did anyone expect to understand ancient rivalries iraq?
it was stupid and arrogant to think that any outsider would.
in fact, the very idea that this is a sunni vs shia conflict is false since the shias are divided among the more traditional clerics like sistani and the firebrand militant style of sadr. sadr is consistently shown as the most powerful of the clerics, but it’s highly questionable if the militias are actually under his direct command.
no one knows what the hell is going on, who’s really fighting who and/or how to stop it.
unfortunately and tragically, now that things have escalated to this point, the only outcome is for all sides to realize that they cannot achieve their goals militarily. and for that to happen they are going to have continue to test each other’s military strengths. this civil war is going to look like lebanon’s or sudan’s. and it’s probably going to last a long time (civil wars usually last about 10 years).
there’s no way around that.
america’s presence exacerbates this war. it supports a govt that is in bed with ruthless militants it runs around trying to stop one thug from killing another thug, and all this is doing is simply creating more divisions more hatred and more chaos.
the only thing america can do at this point is help with the stream of refugees who are already pouring out of iraq, and to force it’s neighbors to stop interfering. in order to have the necessary leverage on iraq’s neighbors though, america must withdraw.
2) the current US objectives are the same as iran’s
both america and iran want a strong central govt ruled by the majority population, i.e. the shias.
the problem is that other sunni majority neighbors are fearful of this, and it’s possible that the sunni minority within iraq will continue to be marginalized and possibly attacked which could provoke it’s neighbors to rush to their defense.
furthermore, the iraqi govt and the majority shia people have shown that they are more closely allied and tied to iran than they ever will be with america. when ahmadinejad visited iraq, he was given an extremely warm welcome and was able to stay safely outside of the green zone in one of hussein’s old palaces.
contrast that to bush’s visits, which have to be done under cover of darkness and with the protection of entire american divisions.
it’s naive and foolhardy to believe that the shias will ever associate with a distant foreign superpower over a next door neighbor who shares their religion and culture.
the US’ current position is to make sure that the iraqi govt succeeds, whether or not it is viewed as legitimate among the minority groups. in doing so it is doing tehran’s bidding, fighting tehran’s war. the iraqi govt must reach a consensus on it’s own, it is unnaturally propped up because of america, viewed as a puppet of america, and hated because of it’s association with america.
we are supporting a government who says it wants reconciliation but backs militias who are clearing out neighborhoods full of sunnis.
not only is that immoral, it is against our national interests. let’s say the shias do manage to clear the south of sunnis, there will still be a massive insurgency in the north which will not be quelled.
the US must quit it’s unconditional support of the iraqi government and must give a firm timetable so that the sides can see that they better reach some sort of consensus before our troops leave.