Adam Ash

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Monday, January 02, 2006

Adam's blogbox: We lost the Vietnam war, and now we've lost the war in Iraq, too

It’s almost impossible to measure how far America has fallen these days. And it all happened because of a single man: the President.

We went from having a president beloved by the entire world –- Clinton –- to one hated and despised by the universe, it seems.

Poor Bush. Wolfowitz talked him into a neocon dream -- to establish a friendly democratic government in the Middle East that would be a military ally and a place we could park our troops to help spread democracy to the rest of the region -- and Bush paid off Wolfowitz by letting him run the World Bank.

Now Bush has only Cheney and Rumsfeld to hang on to, as they sit stuck with the shards of the neocon dream -- another war lost by America, our biggest loss since we lost the Vietnam war.

Why have we lost the war in Iraq? Because we won’t get anything out of it that we started the war for.

Number one, we won’t get a place to park our troops in the Middle East. The Iraqis want us out. Having wisely decided that Saudi-Arabia is no place to park our troops (our troops there being the main reason Bin-Laden launched 9/11), the Pentagon will have to accept the fact that the entire Middle East is no place to park our troops (even if it’s found more than 140 other places around the world to put 'em).

Egypt and Israel may be our allies but they don't need our troops, because they’ve got good armies themselves (in a fair fight the Israelis would kick our butts through our skulls). Afghanistan has our troops but they serve little purpose there, except to put Karzai on an equal warlord footing with the other warlords who'll be running Afghanistan for the foreseeable future.

Number two, we won’t get our oil companies to control or exploit Iraq’s oilfields. Why? Because, number three, we won’t get the friendly “democracy” we wanted.

Our 1953 intervention in Iran led to the eventual fall of the puppet we installed, the Shah, and to his replacement in 1979 by a Shiite theocracy who doesn't like us. Our intervention in Iraq is doing exactly the same thing: Iraq will be a Shiite theocracy (with a small secular Kurdish north) who won't like us. As the only Muslim states with Shiite majorities, Iraq and Iran are natural allies, and it’s high time they got together. So instead of creating an American ally, we're creating an ally of Iran.

With one big difference.

We've given Iraq's Shiites the golden opportunity to exact a bloody revenge on its Sunnis, who are going to be paying heavily for their earlier oppression of the Shiites. Call it what you will -- an insurgency, a civil war, or chaos -- it's all rhetoric for the same thing: the systematic persecution of the Sunnis by Shiite militia until the Sunnis are crushed to the satisfaction of the Shiites, i.e. until the Shiites have exterminated all members of the Sunni leadership class who refuse to bend over.

So not only are we installing a theocracy, we're also creating a mini-genocide.

Those are the facts on the ground.

No fantasies about the recent "election," or a "victory" strategy, or a withdrawal "timetable," can change any of it. The war of Shiites vs. Sunnis will continue whatever our troop strength there -- 160,000, 100,000, 50,000, or 0 – or whatever theocracy the Shiite leaders establish now that the Iraqis have voted for a “democracy.”

What are our troops doing there? God knows; mostly they’re holed up in their bases. Whenever they leave on some moronic “mission” to “kill terrorists,” they kill a few terrorists and civilians, and get killed themselves. The country is controlled and policed by local militias, or terrorized by gangsters. The Shiites have been running most of Iraq and Baghdad for months now, and the Kurds their part of the country.

Our generals may complain that the Iraqi police are infiltrated by the Shiite militia, but they are simply mouthing empty rhetoric for the reality that the Shiites will continue to happily rub out recalcitrant Sunnis, whether they use the police, their militia, or receive help from US soldiers (of which we’ve lost over 2,000 so far in rubbing out Sunni insurgents, for a “cause” that’s nothing but a screwup we were lied into – like the 55,000 we lost in that other screweup of a “cause,” Vietnam, that we were also lied into).

Those are the facts, and Bush is either (1) too stupid or (2) too clever to share them with us:

1) Too stupid maybe, because his gentleman's-C brain can't figure it out, as his limited cortex may still be suffering from a neocon-failure hangover, along with the limited CEO brains of Cheney and Rumsfeld (being a CEO has to be the worst preparation for running a democracy, probably because it's the best preparation for being a dictator). Or maybe Bush has dumbed down himself -- as well as our nation -- by his silly "war on terror" rhetoric, a war which he gave up long ago when he outsourced the job of looking for Bin-Laden to the Pakistanis, who either won't or can't do the job we should be doing.

2) Or too clever perhaps, because maybe Bush knows exactly what's happened, yet Karl Rove can't figure out the right rhetoric to tell the American people straight and not look like a stupid failure at the same time.

We cannot and will not achieve what we wanted in Iraq -- a friendly puppet government or a "democratic" Iraq who'll allow us to keep military bases there and do big favors for Cheney’s Texas oil cronies.

In other words, we have lost the war.

We can pull our troops out en masse tomorrow, and it won't change a thing. Or we can keep them there for the next 10 years, and it won't change a thing, either. Iraq will be a theocracy that doesn't like us, and the Shiites will continue to punish the Sunnis.

We've lost the war, and for Bush to talk about "victory" at some point is the ravings of either a full-blown idiot -- or a total sucker who's trying to maintain a speck of dignity.


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