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Available options for U.S. policy in Iraq

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Options for the US administration are so limited that one leading analyst has called them the "almost good, the bad and the ugly."

Americans say they  invaded Iraq with the intention of making that state a model for the Middle East, promising that success in Iraq would be followed by efforts to transform the political systems of Iraq's neighbors.

But their actions belie their claim. It can be judged from their actions that the  U.S. is carrying out a plan to destroy Iraq and colonise its people and national resources.

Firstly, they invaded Iraq without the authorization of United Nations. The pretext they used for invasion proved to be false.

Secondly, The administartion's overreaching de-Baathification policy turned to be counter-productive and terrible blunder.In their burning zeal to purge Sadam loyalists. They sacked thousands of  low-level Sunni employees  and  replaced them with Shiites.This action alienated the Sunnis. It can be easily seen that the U.S. introduced and strengthened  encouraged sectarianism and ethnic nationalism.

Thirdly, The senseless disbanding of the Iraqi army further angered the Sunnis. The armed, unemployed and alienated Sunnis joined the insurgency in large numbers. The US-recruited Iraqi army is drawn from Kurdish nationalists and Shiite fundamentalists who are being employed to suppress the largely Sunni-based resistance movement alongside American forces.

<i>The Independent</i> newspaper acknowledged that “the Iraqi government does not really control its own armed forces, which often take their orders from Kurdish, Sunni or Shia communal leaders.

Fourthly, the US-sponsored constitution allows for the de facto partition into a Kurdish north and a Shiite south. Not only does this exclude Sunnis from any share in the oil-rich areas, it means that the various parties have a vested interest in fortifying their control by enforcing communal divisions.

These developments have angered the traditional Sunni Muslim powerbrokers of Cairo and Riyadh . They see their influence waning. They blame US for all these upheavels.

The Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, warned the US President about the the many unforeseen ramifications of US-Led invasion of Iraq in February , 2003.  Had Bush heeded his advice Iraq would not now be on the brink of full-blown civil war and disintegration.

The Saudis have made clear that they will not accept a situation in which Iraq falls into the hands of the Iranians. Moreover, domestic pressure to intervene is intense. Because Major Saudi tribal confederations, which have close historic and communal ties with their counterparts in Iraq, are demanding action.

Now The US needs to learn to talk, listen, and engage more and condemn less.  Bush's rhetoric about promoting democracy is less convincing than pictures of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. He should  press for a strategy that pays more attention to attracting hearts and minds.

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About munaeem

  • SFC SKI

    I don’t know if you are in Iraq, but I am in Ramadi, and from my perspective, you are wrong on so many levels:
    “It can be judged from their actions that the U.S. is carrying out a plan to destroy Iraq and colonise its people and national resources.”

    None of your supporting statements actually support your initial claim.

    IF all that was important was the oil, the US troops would be securing only the oilfields and supply lines, period. Instead, we are spending money rebuilding infrastructure and trying to make the Iraqi Security Forces self sufficient and ready to take over the responsibility for security in all 18 provinces of Iraq, not just the 14 or so the ISF now operate in.

    Colonize Iraq? See above.

    The UN? After Saddam broke or ignored UN resolutions for over 12 years, it was obvious that he was not concerned with the UN; the UN in turn was more than happy to allow Saddam to siphon off billions of dollars in Oil For Food money at the expense of his citizens, and blame the UN and the US for those hardships. If the UN is a paper tiger, they have no one to blame but themselves.

    De-Baathification: The issue is not as simple as you make it out to be, but I agree that it might have ben done better. Then again, would keeping a bunch of corrupt low level bureacrats in place presented its own set of problems? As for the US encouraging sectaranism by thei action, I completely disagree, and you present insufficient eveidnce to make me change my mind. Anyone with a passing knowledge of the violence that erupts after the removal of a dictator knows it was always there. I wil agree that it should have been planned for, and detaining or shooting Moqtada al- Sadr back in 2003 would probably have prevented a lot of the Shia militia’s power from ever building.

    The Iraqi Army did not suffer from disbanding, most of it had run away or been ordered to form resistance movements long before we got to Baghdad. Angering the Sunnis? They were already pretty angry, and they threw in their lot with a bunch of firebrands who persuaded them that resistance would bring about a return of Sunni dominance; they backed the wrong horse and are now trying to play catch up.
    Furthermore, the Sunnis held themselves from any participation and bitterly fought against it, until they realized they could not prevail and were going to get cut out of the planning entirely. Not that I think partition will solve the problems in Iraq, though.

    As for those extranational powerbrokers, theie unwillingness to encourage any type of rational participation, adding to the funding, weapons, and personnel they send to Iraq, have only made the situation worse.

    The Saudis can’t even control their own borders to prevent its citizens from joining the fighting in Iraq, as well as the growing unrest in the Kingdom. They refused to exert any influence over the clerics who encourage Sunni sectarianism, that’s how much their advice is worth. If they’d been so concerned they ‘d actually work with the Iraqi government, rather than joining its GCC partners in snubbing it as a US puppet. How much have the Arab and Muslim countries done to support the Iraqi people? Not one Arab country has offered to send even a token force to help root out terrorists, not even civil affairs personnle to assist in rebuilding infrastructure. The Saudis can demand all the action they want, but they only time I have seen a Saudi do anything more physically strenuous than order a Filipino or Pakistani to do it for him is when a Saudi actually crosses the border and gets an AK or a suicide vest and does his part for jihad.

    The Saudi government could be a very positive influence in Iraq, but it doesn’t have the collective guts to buck the consensus of the “Arab Street”.

    Iraq is still a very dangerous place, but if the US press would do more than take faked reports from local propagandists, the world would see that progress is being made, albeit slowly.

  • Munaeem

    Shiite Majority

    The Shiites are NOT the majority in Iraq, and there is no census that even suggests that. Why do American keep saying that ?

    The last census (2003) which the UN approved (including the US Ambassador on the 661 Embargo Committee) for the distribution of the food coupons during the embargo clearly shows the Shiites are barely 40% in Iraq (the Sunnis, who are close to 60%, are divided up along ethnic lines: Sunni Arabs 40%, Sunni Kurds 15%, and Sunni Turkomans 4%).

    ANSWER MY QUESTION FIRST ?

  • Carl

    First of all the UN doesn’t even matter. They have no real power for they are merely a useless committee. Anyone who disagrees should read Dore Gold’s Tower of Babel.

    If the US was really out to “detroy Iraq and colonize its people and natural reasources” Iraq would be destoyed, itspeople not even living there, and the oil sucked dry.

  • Munaeem

    Saudis have invested about 892 Billions dollars in USA. What will happen if this investment is moved from America to EU or other countries?

    The US Administration’s romance with Shiite in Iraq will prove to be fatal for American people and interest.

  • Munaeem

    Iraq has fallen off its secular wall and broken into its religious and ethnic components – Sunni, Shiite and Kurd. It is not going to be put back together again.

  • Zedd

    Carl:

    The UN had better matter. I know that it was popular in talk radio circles a few years back, during the first Bush administsration, to bash the UN and to demonize it, well we are in Iraq right now because America at that time set out to weaken the UN. We would pay our dues and yet required a seat among the decission makers of that body. We however strong armed the poor small nations to pay their dues…. shamefull.

    We need a world body. A strong one at that. We don’t want to be the ones responsible for the world. Besides, I don’t think the other contries would like it. In other words it would make us even more suseptible to attack and we don’t want that.

    I have to say that Kofi Annan has done a phenominal job, under the circumstances. He delt with a lot of bullying, set ups and just plain foolishness from us, and mantained his dignity and kept that body alive. In the end we are weakened, Chavez may worm his way in to the seat of heavies and Kofi is leaving, still calm and diplomatic. Bush however is seen as the idiot that he is and poor Powell is shamed for life for his ridiculous statements… “irrefutable evidence” refering to a truck being loaded and unloaded (ha!) what a joke.

  • Zedd

    I didn’t edit.

    We would NOT pay our dues to the UN

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Zedd, your last comment presents such a delusional view of the UN I have to wonder if you’re at all familiar with the institution. What part of Kofi Anan’s great job would be the massive fraud and embezzlement he’s taken part in? What part of it would be his unwillingness to commit the UN to any of the crises around the world where its help was needed?

    Dave

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