[Marxism] "America" finds a scapegoat: Those awful Iraqis have ruined our wonderful invasion!
ffeldman at verizon.net
Wed Nov 29 04:04:59 MST 2006
The "what an awful country" propaganda also poured out about Vietnam as it
became clear that the US could not impose its will on the nation.
The Iraqi people have been a great big disappointment or worse for
Washington. They have failed the test.
Well, hooray for them!
The most underestimated thing about this crisis is the tremendous
contribution the Iraqi people have made to the people of the entire world,
including the United States, by refusing to go along with the occupation and
by resisting, including arms in hand.
I doubt that any of the gains we are seeing in Latin America could have
taken place without their resistance -- not to mention the awful effects
their defeat by Washington would have had on the people of the United
States, including the left.
They have many fundamental problems, all of them exacerbated by the invasion
and occupation, but their chance to resolve them begins with the total
withdrawal of US and allied mxmai;ltroops. Out Now!
Under excruciatingly unfavorable conditions, and without anything close to
equal to the leadership that defeated the United States in Vietnam, they are
defeating the imperialist monster's "war against terror" offensive against
the oppressed of the world.
What a wonderful country this suffering Iraq is!
As Iraq Deteriorates, Iraqis Get More Blame
U.S. Officials, Lawmakers Change Tone
By Thomas E. Ricks and Robin Wright
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 29, 2006; A01
>From troops on the ground to members of Congress, Americans increasingly
blame the continuing violence and destruction in Iraq on the people most
affected by it: the Iraqis.
Even Democrats who have criticized the Bush administration's conduct of the
occupation say the people and government of Iraq are not doing enough to
rebuild their society. The White House is putting pressure on the government
of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, and members of the bipartisan Iraq Study
Group have debated how much to blame Iraqis for not performing civic duties.
This marks a shift in tone from earlier debate about the responsibility of
the United States to restore order after the 2003 invasion, and it seemed to
gain currency in October, when sectarian violence surged. Some see the talk
of blame as the beginning of the end of U.S. involvement.
"It is the first manifestation of a 'Who lost Iraq?' argument that will
likely rage for years to come," said Bruce Hoffman, a Georgetown University
expert on terrorism who has worked as a U.S. government consultant in Iraq.
Americans and Iraqis are increasingly seeing the situation in different
terms, said retired Army Col. Jeffrey D. McCausland , who recently returned
from a visit to Iraq. "We're just talking past each other," he said, adding
that Americans are psychologically edging toward the door that leads to
disengagement. "We're arguing about 'cut and run' versus 'cut and jog.' "
Iraqis' role in their own suffering has been an issue since shortly after
the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003, when looters ransacked the
national museum and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld dismissed it by
saying, "Stuff happens." But more than three years later, with schools and
hospitals struggling, electrical service faltering, and police and
government agencies infiltrated by sectarian death squads, the question of
blame is more urgent.
For example, a Nov. 15 meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee turned
into a festival of bipartisan Iraqi-bashing.
"We should put the responsibility for Iraq's future squarely where it
belongs -- on the Iraqis," began Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), the
committee's next chairman. "We cannot save the Iraqis from themselves." He
has advocated announcing that U.S. troops are going to withdraw as a way of
pressuring Iraqi politicians to find compromises.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) followed by noting: "People in South
Carolina come up to me in increasing numbers and suggest that no matter what
we do in Iraq, the Iraqis are incapable of solving their own problems
through the political process and will resort to violence, and we need to
get the hell out of there."
"We all want them to succeed," agreed Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.). "We all want
them to be able to stabilize their country with the assistance that we've
provided them." But, he added, "too often they seem unable or unwilling to
Later the same day, members of the House Armed Services Committee took their
turn. "If the Iraqis are determined and decide to destroy themselves and
their country, I don't know how in the world we're going to stop them," said
Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.).
Iraqi Ambassador Samir Sumaidaie said he worries about the growing chorus of
official voices blaming Iraq, and suggested that a little introspection on
the U.S. side could help.
"I am indeed concerned about this trend," he said in an interview. "The U.S.
through its actions and omissions has helped to create the current
conditions in Iraq. Therefore the U.S. also bears responsibility in putting
right the situation."
It isn't just politicians who have decided that the problem with Iraq is the
Iraqis. In the military establishment, said Joseph J. Collins, a professor
at the National Defense University, "there is lots of disappointment in the
performance of Iraqi officials of all stripes."
Thomas Donnelly, a hawkish defense expert at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies, said he considers blame a legitimate issue.
"Ultimately, just like success rests with the Iraqis, so does failure," he
said. "We've made a lot of mistakes, but we've paid a huge price to give the
Iraqis a chance at a decent future."
The blame game has also been playing out somewhat divisively within the
secretive Iraq Study Group. The bipartisan commission, led by former
secretary of state James A. Baker III and former congressman Lee H. Hamilton
(D-Ind.), is deliberating policy recommendations to put forward next month.
"I'm tired of nit-picking over how we should bully the Iraqis into becoming
better citizens of their own country," former CIA Middle East expert Ray
Close wrote in an e-mail to the other advisers to the study group.
Several other experts of various political stripes said this tendency to
dump on Baghdad feels like a preamble to withdrawal.
"It's their fault, and by implication not ours, is clearly a theme that's in
the air," said retired Army Col. Andrew J. Bacevich, a Vietnam veteran and
longtime skeptic of the war in Iraq. It reminds him, he said, of the sour
last days of the Vietnam War, when "there was a tendency to blame everything
on the 'gooks' -- meaning our South Vietnamese allies who had disappointed
"People never understood the culture and the challenges that we faced in
trying to build a new Iraq," a senior U.S. intelligence official said.
"There's incredible frustration . . . but it also shows a great deal of
"Definitely," said Paul Rieckhoff, who served in Iraq as an Army officer in
2003-2004 and went on to found a veterans group critical of the conduct of
the war. "It is growing into an angry, scolding tone." He said he finds it
"sad" -- "especially after all the talk of our mission to 'save the Iraqis.'
The long-term effect of blaming Iraqis also could be poisonous, said Juan
Cole, a University of Michigan specialist in Middle Eastern issues. He
predicted that it will "infuriate the Iraqis and worsen further the future
relationship of the two countries."
The turning point in the blame game seems to have occurred in early October,
when both Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Sen. John W. Warner
(R-Va.) went public with their frustrations, warning the Baghdad government
that it must do much more much faster. Warner suggested that the United
States should explore a "change of course" if security had not improved
within 90 days.
During a surprise visit to Baghdad on Oct. 5, Rice said with
uncharacteristic bluntness that the security situation was not helped by
The Bush administration hoped the long-delayed formation of a government,
which took about five months after the Dec. 15 election last year, would
produce more initiative by Baghdad. But the security and political situation
continued to deteriorate, so the administration increased the pressure on
Maliki's government. Over the past three months, U.S. officials and foreign
diplomats said, senior U.S. military and administration officials visiting
Baghdad have conveyed the same message: Get on with it.
"Our role is not to resolve those issues for them," Rice told reporters last
month after pressing Maliki to be bolder about disbanding militias and
reconciling sectarian differences. "They are going to have to resolve those
issues among themselves."
Blaming Iraqis for the woeful situation disregards recent history, some
experts argue. Phebe Marr, an Iraq expert and adviser to the Iraq Study
Group, calculates that because of policy missteps and other errors, the
United States bears about 60 percent of the blame. "You can't say, 'We did
this and the Iraqis didn't rise to the occasion,' " she said. "There's
enough blame to go around."
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