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    the earth itself..., 2005-06-13 11:03:05 | Main | when they said "repent" I wonder what they meant..., 2005-06-13 14:00:28

    pottery-barn counter-narratives and a nation full of flip-floppers:

    the argument for staying in Iraq has long been premised on the assumption that the US is preventing a civil war there, which I have long bemoaned is faulty, as, if anything our mere presence increases the likelihood of a civil war, and our interests in Iraq have no basis in humanitarianism beyond legal boilerplate, and on almost all serious points of concern run opposite to Iraqi national interests.

    Pepe Escobar of the Asia Times does me one better, arguing the why and how the US may be purposefully/defacto setting up Iraq for a civil war to achieve its political goals. It's similar in nature to the arguments that we achieved our major goals in Vietnam by destroying the country and making it little more than a dependency of the Soviet Union, thus preventing the creation of an independent model of development. The old "threat of a good example" real politik.

    This is old news that's still news to me:

    One wonders whether Pentagon black ops are also part of these "forces of evil". In October 2002, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld invented a secret army - one of his pet projects. According to the Pentagon's Defense Science Board, the goal of Rumsfeld's army - the 100-member, US$100 million-a-year Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG) - would carry out secret operations designed to "stimulate reactions" among "terrorist groups", thus exposing them to "counter-attack" by the P2OG. The stock in trade of Rumsfeld's army is assassinations, sabotage, deception, the whole arsenal of black ops. Iraq is the perfect lab for it. "Iraqification" means in fact "Salvadorization". No wonder old faces are back in the game. James Steele, leader of a Special Forces team in El Salvador in the early 1980s, is in Iraq. Steve Casteel, a former top official involved in the "drug wars" in Bolivia, Peru and Colombia, is also in Iraq. He is a senior adviser in - where else - the Interior Ministry, to which friendly militias are subordinated.

    One wonders if they're not operating in Iran, too, given our cooperation with Iranian terrorist groups.

    And, to repeat the majority positions among both Iraqi and American populations and probably the one realistic condition for preventing civil war and serving actual security interests for Americans:

    The antidote to the Iraqi militia inferno should be a united Sunni-Shi'ite political front. Former electricity minister Ayham al-Samarie told the Associated Press that at least two guerrilla groups - the Islamic Army in Iraq and the Army of Mujahideen - were ready to talk with the Jaafari government and eventually join the political process. The conditions though are explicit: a set date for the American withdrawal.

    The American anti-war movement, in so far as it is now the majority position after 20% of the population went from being against the war then for the war and against it again, is showing some interesting signs of life. Apparently any signs of developing a basic sense humanity while in Washington - a rare thing - still gets you ostrisized. I need to remember to send a basket of flowers and a note of congratulations/sympathy card to the guy.

    As for Iraqi insurgent forces, their disparate tactics, goals, and objectives, there's a relevant analysis piece up at the A Times as well, noting an increase in so-called "collateral damage" from insurgent attacks, and containing this zeitgeist paragraph:

    "Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia" accounts for a tiny proportion of the military actions undertaken by the Iraqi resistance. My best estimate is that Zarqawi and his allies account for perhaps five actions each week, including perhaps one car bombing. This represents a small proportion of even the car bombings, which have been running at at least 10 per week since the election; and it is a tiny proportion of the 400 or so violent actions each week - virtually all of which are directed at military targets, with about 70% directed at US armed forces.

    It also describes the sectarian, ethnic basis for the "Iraqization" program:

    The US might be able to recruit police forces and national guard units that would not be co-optable by the resistance, simply exploiting the ethno-religious divisions in the country. They are trying this in Ramadi and other centers of Sunni resistance. In Fallujah, the Shi'ite occupying troops have been accused of frequent and systematic brutality. This brutality is a sign that the Shi'ite armed forces may not be co-optable by the Sunni resistance, and it has been a major source of the growing antagonism between the Shi'ite and Sunni communities. (The use of this ethnic "fix" to their enforcement problems, as well as failure of the Americans to respond to the charges of brutality in Fallujah and elsewhere provides further evidence of American complicity in - and perhaps authorship of - the growing ethno-religious conflict in Iraq.)

:: posted by buermann @ 2005-06-13 13:00:10 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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