Victory Says He?
After President Bush outlined his plan yesterday, "Victory in Iraq," my erudite friend, Tony Seton, sent me an email containing this simple observation: "Dig more graves."
Here we go again. This guy has a flat learning curve. Just six months ago Bush was promising we were about to "turn the corner" because of upcoming interim elections to install an interim Iraqi government. That was his "plan for victory in Iraq," back then. I wrote at the time that that was exactly wrong. I warned that all an election would do is put the Shiites in charge and move the nation closer to civil war.
And so it came to pass.
I also wrote at the time that, regardless how long US troops stay, the day, no the hour, no the minute, the last US soldiers leaves, Iraqi will erupt into tribal war, fracturing into it's three historic and natural ethnic regions. That prediction remains to be tested. But already we see the sides gearing up for that day.
Americans forget that Iraq is not a nation that was created by folks who wanted to be together. The folks we lump together as "Iraqis" are in fact three different tribes. They were minding their own damn business in what we now call Iraq, until the British unilaterally decided to tidy up their region by drawing boundaries. That was nearly a century ago when it was the Brits who were at the height of their own imperial hubris. The three tribes were just another indigenous nuisance the Brits had long since learned to ignore. They had no say in the matter. When the Brits were done drawing borders, the Shiites, Sunni and Kurdish tribes discovered they had become one big unhappy family. Very unhappy.
What I'm about to say next is ever-so politically incorrect. But people are dying. This is no time to mealy-mouth the situation Bush has gotten us into. So, here goes.
The Iraqis... all three flavors of them ... are not nice people. They are products of a backward, religiously poisoned, misogynistic, brutal tribal culture.
Sorry, but someone had to just come right out and say it. They are a society with more "issues" to work between themselves than America has the time or money to solve. And if the real estate they occupy didn't have lakes of oil under it we'd have not shown a whit of interest in them. (Proof? North Korea.. all WMD'd up but no oil. So, who cares? )
Quite simply, we could not have picked a less likable or deserving group of folks to "save" from themselves than the Iraqis.
Oh, and by the way, they don't like us either.
Sure it can be argued that the way they are is not their fault, that they were abused by former leaders. Or that their minds have been poisoned by Mullahs who are themselves ignoramuses. True, all true. But none of that changes what we face over there now. And, in case you missed the point, what our troops face are three blood-thirsty warring tribes itching to kill anyone, man, woman or child, they catch wearing one of the other tribe's colors or anyone who tries to rob them of the pleasure of doing so.
Imagine if the Crips, Bloods and M13 controlled most of Los Angeles. Say hello to Baghdad today. And, it will still be that way when US troops leave, whenever that might be. Think they can change? Fine, you go ahead and try telling the Crips and Bloods they should learn to get along. Sell them on the benefits of democracy and the rule of law. (Sadie Safety says, "be sure to wear your bulletproof vest!") And if you should succeed, please let George know how you did it, will ya?
Frankly, I don't give damn what happens to the Iraqis. That's up to them. And it do mean it's up to them, not us. We can drag that jackass to the well from now until the sun burns out, but we can't force them to drink the waters of enlightenment, democracy or so-called Western values.
Go ahead, call me an ethnocentric, unfeeling, racist pig. But I'm am simply describing what's real as opposed to the politically correct mantras, like Bush's "Soft bigotry of low expectations." Hogwash. Democracy is not rocket science. It comes in all kinds of flavors the Iraqis could choose from, if they wanted it. They don't. What the three flavors of Iraqi want is power for their own tribe. And they are not interested in sharing.
Denying that may make you feel better about yourself as a person, but it won't change the reality our troops face over there. Sometimes you really do just have to call judge a group harshly. And, anyone who looks objectively at Iraqis will walk away shaking his/her head -- that is if they still have one.
Any cop will tell you that the most dangerous calls are to break up family fights. Well Iraq is three huge, armed to the teeth, dysfunctional families. They hate each other and they hate anyone who tries to break up their endless bloody squabbles. Which is precisely why nearly 2200 of our "cops" have died over there.
Sorry to be such a downer this morning. But George W. left me no choice with his speech yesterday. We are not going see "victory" in Iraq, as George defines it, because there is absolutely no set of circumstances in the real Iraq that would allow for such a victory. Period. All Bush did yesterday was to guarantee yet more US kids will be landing at Andrews AFB in the fully reclined, rather than upright, position – and not a single one of them will be even remotely related to the Bush clan. Of that you can be quite sure.
If you want to see what actual "victory" will actually look like once we leave Iraq, it's easy to do. Just get a 1970-era map of Europe. Put it alongside a recent map of the same region. Now find Yugoslavia on the old map. Next try to find it on the new map.
There you have, a window into the future. You now know what Iraq will look like after we leave. And yes, it will include mass graves as well. You betchya. The Sunnis and Shiites are itching to get on with that part and the Kurds will do their part by ethnically cleansing their fully independent Kurdistan of both Sunnis and Shiites.
Once the ethnic cleansing in post-US occupied Iraqi becomes horrific enough, the UN and/or NATO will step in.. The warring parties will be separated and new boundaries will be drawn. These pompous Europeans will claim, as they did when they carved up Yugoslavia, that the new boundaries separating the three tribes are not an endorsement of ethnic cleansing. But of course that's precisely what they will be. Reality -- what a bitch!
There is some good news though. This time the boundaries of the former Iraq will be set with the grudging approval of the three tribes. The nation's oil revenues will go into an escrow fund and dolled out in a per capita manner to the three tribal entities now pretending to be real countries -- like Kosovo and Bosnia.
After that a kind of peace will settle over the former Iraq. It will be shaky, iffy, and a day-by-day proposition for decades. Still it will be better than anything the three tribes have had since the British threw them together nearly a century ago.
There you are. That's what final "victory" in Iraq will look like when it finally arrives. The plan George W. Bush outlined yesterday will not change that, it will only delay it a few months or years.
But there was one item missing from Bush's 35-page plan yesterday. A strange omission since it was the only to-do item certain to be needed: "Dig more graves."