The Guardian, UK reports that this date is being touted as the day our procrastinator will let us know, as the decider-in-chief at the behest of Cheney, that he’ll be escalating for victory in Iraq. The decider need give no valid reason other than maybe we are facing having to start over because failure is not an option.
Bear with me I kid you, NOT. You see the lies continue that ‘the Iraqis are in charge’ and if they just get a grip our troops can stand down. Not so. Several articles I read over the last 24 hours confirm that we’ve been in charge all along. All the rest was pure PR.
The coverage of Saddam’s demise and what that sets up for our path ahead is revealing.
In life Saddam was controversial, yes a brutal dictator – an understatement some will opine – but, equally in death, how he met his end and the role of Al-Sadr’s loyalists – ‘the Shite Mahdi Army in the implementation of the sentence’ – appears to be having a blow-back that’s tainting America’s role in the barbarity of the hanging.
We note that Blair has remained silent from his vacation hideaway in Florida. Even our allies, the Kurds feel cheated and, especially, Israelis are worried about post Saddam Iraq.
Words of anger comes from Riverbend.
It’s “A Lynching:” was posted just yesterday.
” America the savior… After nearly four years and Bush’s biggest achievement in Iraq has been a lynching. Bravo Americans.
Maliki has made the mistake of his life. His signature and unhidden glee at the whole execution, especially on the first day of Eid Al Adha (the Eid where millions of Muslims make a pilgrimage to Mecca), will only do more to damage his already tattered reputation. He’s like a vulture in a suit (or a balding weasel).
It’s almost embarrassing. I kept expecting Muwafaq Al Rubaii to run over and wipe the drool from the corner of his mouth as he signed for the execution. Are these the people who represent the New Iraq? We’re in so much more trouble than I ever thought.”
But all along “We’ve been in charge “ We funded the court (some $138 million), trained the judges and controlled the schedule.
“Scott Horton, the chair of the International Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, who worked on the trial, told IPS there was little doubt that the death sentence was intentionally handed down on the eve of the elections. He said Washington exercised especially tight control over the tribunal’s schedule.”
“Access to the courtroom is controlled by the Americans, security is controlled by the Americans, and the Americans have custody over the defendants who must be produced before the trial can go forward, so whether they have the trial on day x or day y depends on the Americans giving their okay,” he said.
“What is really being presented here is the narrative of people in power, the victors not the victims,” Professor Mustafa said. “The Americans, not the Iraqis. Not people like me and my relatives who lost loved ones, but people who are deciding things in Iraq now.”
Some observers believe Washington closely managed the trial in order to avoid having Hussein reveal damaging secrets about his past relations with U.S. presidents, especially Ronald Reagan.
We cannot walk away as innocent bystanders. The blow-back from the Middle East may have prompted this piece in the NYT (via TPM) explaining how, as the good guys, we intervened every step of the way: It was all Nuri Al-Maliki’s doing. Hmmm.
“The Americans’ concerns seem certain to have been heightened by what happened at the hanging, as evidenced in video recordings made just before Mr. Hussein fell through the gallows trapdoor at 6:10 a.m. on Saturday.
A new video that appeared on the Internet late Saturday, apparently made by a witness with a camera cellphone, underscored the unruly, mocking atmosphere in the execution chamber.”
How does this impact the coming course of events? Do we target the power of cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, do a two- for-one and remove al-Maliki?
Will we Surge into the Abyss? as Mr. Vali Nasr writes over at TPMCafe.
[N]ew troops will be in Iraq not to police the streets and hold the line against the creeping violence, but to expand the war by taking on the Shia militias. This is an escalation strategy. Will it work; maybe, maybe not. But it runs the risk that it may very well provoke a Shia insurgency–something Iraq has not so far witnessed.
Thus far the U.S. has faced a Sunni insurgency (which by most estimates continues to account for 80% of U.S. casualties), and sectarian violence in which Shias and Sunnis are killing each other. Shia militias are violent, destructive and radical, but Shia militias are a very different problem from the Sunni insurgency.
Shia militias, unlike the insurgency, are not targeting American troops. But it looks like the administration is set to change that.
So, as we’re about to mark another milestone to nowhere, and ‘running out of time’- it’ll be “A Rush to failure” says a senior military source.
[The] debate within the administration about what to do next is still to be resolved. Dick Cheney, the vice-president, is leading those in favour of the “surge” approach: sending a further 20,000-40,000 US troops to Baghdad to reinforce the present US force of 140,000 in a final attempt to subdue the Iraqi capital.[..]
“Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter argued that only a surge in troop numbers, of 300,000-400,000 would make a difference. Speaking on CNN, Mr Brzezinski criticised the core group gathered around Mr Bush to determine Iraq policy. With the exception of the new defence secretary, Robert Gates, he noted “a narrow decision-making group embedded in its own opinions … is now making the decision about a change of course.”
The money graphs:
“A senior US military source identified the core of the problem as the US pursuit of democratic government ahead of security and economic reconstruction.
What Washington had ended up with was an Iraqi government that shared different objectives from America: establishing the dominance of the Shia rather than fostering reconciliation and unity.
He said the view of the US military in Iraq is that the police force was so riddled with sectarianism that the only possible course was to disband it and start again; it was also rife in the Iraqi army, a trend encouraged by the Iraqi government.
“We are still in charge. The Iraqi government is a facade,” the military source said. “How can our strategy be to accelerate the handover to this government and the Iraq army. This is a rush to failure.”
Do we have a problem? Should Congress cut off the funding for this illegal war?
As Riverbend notes, over 3 years, the only thing we’ve accomplished is the toppling and execution….erm a `lynching’ of Saddam. In the process alienating our allies; the Kurds and the Sunnis throughout the Middle East.
That money graph in the Guardian, UK believe your eyes,
‘a senior military source states that the only possible course is disbanding of the [Iraq] police force and maybe the army as well.’
On our side, $300 billion spent, 3,000 dead, 25,000 wounded and maimed for life; tens of thousands of Iraqis dead, millions displaced and we’ll need to start over!!
And just maybe under Brzezinski’s estimate, if we follow Bush and his vice, the escalation of the war project requires at least another 300,000 troops. A potential reinstating of the draft for the long hall cannot be ruled out. The Selective Services recently tested the system.
If you think the troops will be home soon I have a floating iceberg – the size of Manhattan – for sale. Caution: It’ll melt before the troops come home.