Sunday, August 12, 2007

False Histories

My coherent thought--such as it is-- in my free time-- such as it has been-- has been given over to homework lately. Which is what I'm paying for. The job has been bustling so much I stagger out the door each day, which is what I'm paid for. So I suppose this is normal and good. The blog has suffered, though. (Or not, if you don't like how I think.)

Drowsily browsing the Web, I've noted the emerging False History of Iraq. Let me give an example:

It is significant, for example, that a Defense Intelligence Agency team received orders to find links between al-Qaida and Hussein. That there were none was ignored. Key adviser Paul Wolfowitz's immediate reaction to Sept. 11 was "war on Iraq." Anarchy in that land was all but assured when the Iraqi army was disbanded against urgent advice from our people in the field. That meant that a huge number of competent military men, most of them no lovers of Saddam, were rendered unemployed -- and still armed. How was this disastrous decision arrived at? People directly involved said it came as an order from administration officials who had never been to Iraq.

That's Roger Ebert, huge critic of the war, reviewing a war policy flick.

Let me give another example:

A few months ago, the American people, discouraged by an American War effort that was clueless and ineffective, wanted to abandon the Iraqi people to whatever Hobbesian fate might await them...Since David Petraeus took over operations in Iraq, America has had a clear and coherent strategy...Kristol said
words to the effect of, “2006 was a disastrous year in Iraq, and for the President and Rumsfeld and Casey to have allowed it to degenerate as much as it did then almost excuses the voters turning Congress over to the Democrats in November.”...Alberto Gonzales is still sadly the attorney general, but David Petraeus has removed the stench of incompetence and indecision from the Iraqi theatre...With a disastrous war effort afoot, emotional political appeals to bring the troops home immediately had some resonance and made at least a little sense...When a war is being mismanaged (or non-managed) as the Iraq War was for
an extended period, the accompanying stumbling serves to accredit a reactionary sort of peacenik politics that thinks it would be a swell thing to have tea with Ahmadenijad and Kim Jong Il.

That's Dean Barnett, huge supporter of the war, reviewing the Democratic Party.

Ebert feels the whole war is one big snafu, and Barnett speaks with the "I'm With You" pragmatism of the center-right. But there's something seriously wrong when supposed opponents frame their opinions around the same falsehood: In 2006, the United States was losing in Iraq.

Let's move through the list. The 9/11 Commission, which finished deliberating over three years ago, denying it 36 months of captured Al Qaeda records and operatives, did not find "no links" between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Bin Laden's #3, said there were. The Czech intelligence service said there were. Mukhabarat archives said there were. That the 9/11 Commission chose to find those facts insufficient proof of an Iraqi conspiracy to further 9/11 is a quotable, arguable conclusion; but it doesn't erase the links themselves. Just as it is historical fact that Hitler met with Indian separatists to discuss a revolt in the British Empire, and historical fact that nothing came of the meetings. The links are there, the policy is not.

It would be news to the Kurds and other minorities of Saddam's Iraq, that the Iraqi army by and large "did not love Saddam". Their apathy didn't stop them slaughtering tens of thousands of opponents of the regime. The history of six continents demonstrates what happens to states whose armies have older, deeper loyalties than the regime. I still can't understand why it's soooo dumb not to have hired assassins and snipers, because obviously they're just violent over being unemployed! Saddam's Army did not radiate an aura of respect that quelled crime nonviolently: they killed people. What Ebert is lamenting, basically, is a failure of neofascist repression.

As for Wolfowitz's "immediate reaction"--perhaps, but this is part of the wider "Rush to War" lie that the Left loves to spin. If Saddam had done a Ghadafi for the Security Council, today he might be a bigger "strategic partner" than Musharraf. The war, up until 2003 itself, was not inevitable, and its the "Warmonger-in-Chief" who spent a year on the diplomacy of "Saddam's last chance".

Barnett, in another post, raked Paul Bremer over the coals for blocking Baathists from holding office--another popular "self-evident truth". But History relates that Paul Bremer held authority in Iraq from June 2003 to July 2004. Uday and Kusay Hussein were not killed until July 2003, and Saddam himself was only captured in December 2003. Was Bremer supposed to fill Iraq with open conspirators for the fugitive "President of Iraq"? Or was he just supposed to retain independent administrators as "at-will" hires, to be fired once it was safe to bring in the real government of Iraq?

Such questions are in poor taste in 21st century America, they challenge the voter to give serious thought to objective answers, instead of just presenting a head on a pike to boo at. Do that often enough and you find yourself with an "agenda". How 20th century.

2006 was not a year of defeat for the United States, or absence of policy, or the brink of defeat. 2006 was a year where our plans and allied efforts didn't work as well as what weve tried in 2007. That is sufficient reason not to repeat what we did in 2006. It is not a sound basis to slander the war Administration as "clueless, ineffective, incoherent, disastrous." That is not just. The political machinations, the Surge, are possible because of the tremendous good we achieved in 2006. We turned over local administration to Iraqis. We not only allowed them to sell oil contracts to countries like France--we helped them do so. We kept training and arming Iraqi forces who are today fighting for victory. How big a Surge could we scrape up if we still had to maintain direct control of 18 military districts? Again, a tactless question. Just ignore it as a right-wing koan.

Not only is it unjust, it is also dumb. Considering foriegn opinion, postcolonial Africa is full of winners who had worse decades than what the Coalition and the Iraq state suffered. Egypt lost 13,000 troops in two months of the Yom Kippur War, and had to give land back, and they celebrate it as a victory. Such nations are not going to be impressed by American kvetching over our low losses securing national borders and a friendly government. Considering domestic opinion, I can't be the only American who remembers Barnett & Co. speaking just as enthusiastically about Rumsfeld and Casey prior to November 2006.

I think I know, and share, what the center-right wants to achieve, but is the Memory Hole really a tool of the New and Improved GOP?

Truthfully remembering the world as it was, is part of having real integrity. And nothing good comes of surrendering integrity.


Hydrocodone said...

NLRO7j The best blog you have!

cheap health insurance new york said...

wnfa9i Hello all!

alps tour golf said...


discount fioricet site said...

Please write anything else!

celebrex overdose said...


bridge loans and best deals said...

Wonderful blog.

phentermine result said...

Please write anything else!

xenical online order said...

Wonderful blog.

xenical home page said...

Hello all!

compare valium to xanax said...

Good job!

buy phentermine online genuine cheap phentermine ph said...

Nice Article.

JohnBraun said...

WzXfxi write more, thanks.

comix virtual sex said...

Good job!

donkey sex girl said...

actually, that's brilliant. Thank you. I'm going to pass that on to a couple of people.

antonella sex pics said...

Nice Article.

latin sex express said...

Good job!