In understanding the madness of our entanglement in Iraq I find it helps to reject out of hand everything the administration says and ignore the distorted center of polite opinion maintained by the corporate press, while continually reminding yourself that the point of the occupation is the occupation. For all of the shifting goals and serial failure, what we have, still, is less a war seeking resoultion than a committed government enterprise experiencing cost overruns.
The administration has shown admirable resourcefulness in utilizing its very failures to obscure and further, even now, its intentions. But no matter how much our might has degraded our sense of national responsibility, I suspect that to operate on the premise that regardless of everything we must remain in Iraq to prevent the consequences of our invading Iraq, while refusing to impeach those responsible for this deadly chain of causality, indeed, while so much as an apology to the people of Iraq is absolutely out of the question, a notion for marginal cranks, must come with its own unanticipated consequences.
Dennis goes on to discuss the importance of oil in US calculations on Iraq. The US insists on Shia submission to the Maliki Baghdad government to a far greater extent than it tries to enforce Sunni submission. The reason? Lots of oil in the Shia south. On the one hand I think that the value of Iraq's oil to US interests is exaggerated by many critics of US policy. On the other hand, I sometimes think our leaders share this distorted view.
Still, Dennis makes good points. Bush really does not want to admit making a mistake. Also, a disruption in oil flow of a million barrels per day would cause a large increase in world oil prices. So maybe US policy makers are trying to prevent that. Maybe US policy makers are afraid of the transition phase should the US basically withdraw from Iraq and let the Iraqi factions work out (probably violently) who gets to rule Iraq and get its oil revenue.
Steve Sailer admits to being baffled as to why the US supports Maliki and the Badr Brigade against Moqtada al Sadr and his militia given that the Badr Brigade is much closer to our (or at least Israel's) supposed enemy Iran.
So, why are we against Mookie and for Maliki? Possible answers include:
- Mookie wants us to leave Iraq, which makes him anti-American. But the majority of Americans wants America to leave Iraq, so I guess that just means the American people are anti-American, too. It's simple logic.
- The Badr Boys are more middle class, while Sadr's guys are more slummy.
- More Badr Boys than Sadr Slumsters speak English, so that's why we're on their side: we can understand what they're telling us, while Sadr keeps rambling on in that moon man gibberish that people in Iraq seem to speak.
- Badr is weaker than Sadr, so we support them because they need us more, and thus tolerate us more. And, the whole point of our being in Iraq has become our being in Iraq -- we can never leave until we prove that we don't have to leave, because that would show weakness; but we can only prove that we don't have to leave by not leaving. So we are going to be there, roughly, forever. It's simple logic, but Mookie doesn't seem to get it.
Do our policy makers want to prop up Maliki's government because it is (partly) the product of a democratic process? How important is that to them? The US has played Machiavellian intrigue to change Prime Ministers in Baghdad. So it is not like the Iraqi people freely chose the current government. The attempt to achieve democratic legitimacy for US involvement in Iraq is pretty weak.
My guess is the primary reason we are still in Iraq is in order to avoid admitting it was a mistake to invade in the first place. The secondary reason is that our withdrawal might cause a large disruption of oil flow and the ensuing even higher oil prices would cause a world economic recession.
My question: When will the US populace loose patience with our continued burning of wealth and people in the Iraq war?
My second question: Shouldn't we prepare for that potential oil flow disruption upon our withdrawal? Maybe we could lessen the size of the disruption by shifting our support toward that Iraqi Shia patriotic Moqtada al Sadr.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2008 April 12 05:32 PM Mideast Iraq Exit Debate|