This blog contains material I wrote and posted on multiply.com between the years 2005 and 2011 only. It does not contain any new material. For newer writing, please check my main blog (Bill the Butcher).
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
"Things Are Improving In Iraq" (From November 2007)
While mainstream Indian media now quietly refrain from mentioning Iraq almost completely - in case, I assume, that such mention imply criticism of our new American "allies" - the few mentions that come through are interesting.
They are interesting because they invariably claim (or parrot American claims made by such neocon luminaries as Frederick Kagan) that the situation in Iraq is "steadily improving."
Maybe we should check out how the situation is "improving"?
First, the Iraqi militias are (allegedly) ganging up on Al Qaeda.
Now, there is no such thing as Al Qaeda inside Iraq. The organisation is called Al Qaeda In Mesopotamia (AQIM) (formerly Al Qaeda in Iraq, AQI) and is an independent franchise started by the late unlamented Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, and given belated recognition by the Osama bin Laden - Ayman Al Zawahiri duo. Still, if this is true, it's certainly good news, because AQIM had no plans to liberate the Iraqi people from occupation. What they wanted was for the Americans to stay indefinitely in Iraq so as to bleed them white and also so as to recruit a generation of Islamic holy warriors - the opposite of the secular opposition to the occupation. What happened to the Iraqis mattered not at all to them.
Even President Saddam Hussein, in the days prior to his "capture", had issued a statement asking Iraqis to beware of foreign jihadi elements.
Then, when the Iraqi resistance started (as even Bush has admitted) there was no such thing as Al Qaeda in Iraq, in whatever form. That began after the Iraqi resistance - led by such folk as the 1920 Revolution Brigades, the Al Qassas Brigade, Al Rashedeen Army, and other outfits that were either left-secular or Islamic but not jihadi, and all domestic - had taken off and was in fact flourishing. It was only then that the jihadis whom the Ba'ath party had kept crushed began operating, and began trying openly for major internecine fighting between Shias and Sunnis - which is now an open civil war.
The domestic Iraqi militias, who had never wanted the focus to shift from the anti-American struggle to a civil war, hated the AQIM and (even if for purely tactical reasons they may have co-operated with it on rare occasions) would love to get it out of the way so that they could go back to their primary purpose – fighting the Americans.
Remember that AQIM attacks made up only a tiny fraction of anti-occupation attacks in Iraq – destroying AQIM is not going to have any adverse effect on the freedom movement. Far from it.
Thus, it’s no surprise that they may join hands against AQIM and may even successfully destroy it. All that its destruction will mean is that the Sunni militant groups can get back to fighting the Americans without having to bear the tag of association with jihadis.
If it also means a reduction in mass suicide bombings, not all of which can be conclusively proved to be the handiwork of AQIM (why were two British SAS men captured in Basra in Mahdi Army uniforms in 2005, in a car crammed with explosives, and why did the British storm a police station to release them before they could be interrogated?) – all the better.
Secondly, the claim is that things are improving because the number of deaths in sectarian violence has fallen and because people are returning to Baghdad. Duh, of course the number of deaths has fallen. Sectarian violence has just about ethnically cleansed all mixed population areas and turned Sunni and Shia areas into gigantic armed camps. When there are no victims any more, who are you going to kill?
And as for people returning – spare me. Countries like Lebanon andSyria have reached saturation point – they simply cannot accept any more refuges and are turning them back. What the hell are the refugees supposed to do, apply to Bush for visas? How about earning a living, however precarious? Of course they are going back, because the chances of dying of electric drill and bomb, however high, are better than the certainty of dying of starvation.
Meanwhile, Shia militia control Basra and the Kurds are becoming the top point of new violence in Iraq, which is slightly ironic – in 2003, when the Indian pro-American fifth column were agitating for Indian troops to be sent to Iraq, they kept saying that the soldiers would be posted in Kurdish areas, where there was no danger of any conflict for ever and ever, amen. And there is still no “Iraqi national government” and never will be – once the Americans are forced out, they will be at one another’s throats again. Just wait for it.
The Indian media, however, is not where you will find any news of all this.