Wednesday, July 26, 2006

With Us or Against Us?

President Bush likes to portray the invasion in Iraq as part of the "war" on terror. In December last year he said this:
"We believe that Iraq will be a democracy and know that Iraq as a democracy will be a strong ally in the war on terror."
This claim, that the new government of Iraq will be "a strong ally in the war on terror", a claim so feted by the cheerleaders for the fiasco that the invasion of Iraq has become, epitimises for me the basic inability of those who supported the war to come to terms with the reality of the situation.

As I've said before, the very best case scenario for the future of Iraq is that the security situation improves to the point that the power of the current government is stabilised. If that happens, and that's clearly an "if" of enormous magnitude at the moment, what will actually have been achieved? We'll have enabled an Iran friendly, religious Shiite government to rule Iraq. Whatever you're views on the "war" on terror, it's hard to see how this could be proclaimed a victory.

This report illustrates the reality.
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Democrats in the US Congress called on Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to condemn Hezbollah's attacks against Israel and to recognize Israel's right to defend itself.

The lawmakers expressed dismay during a press conference over Maliki's recent criticism of "Israel aggression" in Lebanon, and called for a "clarification" from the Iraqi leader before he appears Wednesday before a joint session of Congress.

House Democrats wrote a letter Tuesday urging Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert to revoke his invitation to Maliki, whose steadfastness as a partner in the US-led war on terror, they said, is seriously in doubt.

"With evidence mounting that the Iraqi leadership's goals are not in the best interests of the United States -- nor the Middle East -- Prime Minister Maliki's address is inappropriate," the House Democrats told Hastert.

"We are unaware of any prior instance where a world leader who worked against the interests of the United States was afforded such an honor. We would like to know how Prime Minister Maliki was chosen to receive the honor, and absent an apology by the prime minister, urge you to cancel the address," they wrote.

The leader of opposition Democrats in the House, Nancy Pelosi, in a statement, called Maliki's remarks "unacceptable."

"At the White House this morning, Mr Maliki did not retreat from his comments on Israel and once again failed to criticize Hamas and Hezbollah's terrorist activities.
Juan Cole (hat-tip for the above link) has more on Mr Mailiki's Dawa Party.

I wonder if Harry's Place will attack Maliki for his refusal to condemn Hezbollah. It seems to be something of a sport over there to condemn those who refuse to show solidarity with Israel's collective punishment of the Lebanese people. Let's hear it boys. Isn't your man Mr Maliki guilty of "Jew-hating fascism" too?

(Btw, unlike Maliki, I strongly condemn Hezbollah firing rockets at Israeli civilian areas. These actions are no more justified than Israel's collective punishment of the Lebanese. Neither makes the other morally acceptable. I'm going to write a post on showing solidarity with the oppressed at some point soon. Solidarity with those who indiscriminately target civilians in the country of the oppressor isn't the way.)

It is a bizarre perversity of logic to see US Neo-Conservative Republicans and their supporters staunchly defending their decision to sacrifice so many lives in pursuit of the installation of a new ally for the Iranian government. It's an inconsistency of truly epic proportions. You're left wondering whether these people are genuinely ignorant of the situation or master practitioners in the art of double think. I'm inclined to believe it's a bit of both; wilful ignorance motivated by a refusal to address the nagging doubts which fester in their furthest reaches of their minds.

Presumably they repeat their mantra, "strong ally in the war on terror, strong ally in the war on terror, strong ally in the war on terror...", over and over until it drowns out the festering doubts just enough to allow them to continue to hold forth on the issue with the misplaced confidence which has become their hallmark.

Maliki is, of course, the democratically elected leader of sovereign Iraq and the Democrats are wrong to try to dictate to him what he can and cannot say. Any attempt to do so by the Bush regime would simple bolster the notion that Maliki is a US puppet thus damaging further his already tarnished reputation in Iraq. That's a whole different farce though.

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1 comment:

BondWoman said...

I think that if this upstart Iraqi leader does not come to heel quickly, the Americans should invade Iraq and install a new government...Oh no, they've done that already, and this is what they've got!