The Iraqis

I like Eddie and his two blogs, Live from the FDNF and Hidden Utilities, a lot. He is one of my friends on shelfy, and (as he served and I did not) he is both braver and stronger than I am. However, one of his comments over at Coming Anarchy illustrates almost everything that is wrong about typical American opposition to the Iraq War:

At a noticeable level, [the execution of former Iraqi PM Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti] was quite like [al Qaeda’s] executions, considering the Sadr militias are guilty of mass murder in the form of ethnic cleansing of innocent civillians, whereas AQ is guilty of mass murder in the form of terrorism (and Saddam guilty of it in both forms as well as systematic rape and indiscriminate use of WMD against civilians). While various forms of evil are certainly not equal, it is the height of hypocrisy for the US to demean and betray itself aligning with one, especially the Mahdi militia.

I’ll concentrate on his accusation that A,erica demaned and betrayed itself by allowing members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s political party from participating in Saddam’s execution.

Excluding supporters of al-Sadr’s party amounts to political blacklisting in a friendly democracy. Among other reasons why this is a terrible, terrible idea:

1. “Blacklists” against members of political parties are in general a bad idea
2. “Blacklists” against members of political parties with elected seats in a national legislature are in general a bad idea
3. “Blacklists” against members of political parties which are part of a democratically elected governing coalition are in general a bad idea.
4. “Blacklists” against allies in the war against Baathism and the war against Qaedism are in geeneral a bad idea

The lack of basic respect for the Iraqi and Iraqi democracy shown by many anti-Iraq-War commentators is astounding.

A Friend, Not a Colony

For nearly a century the majority of Iraqis have suffered from tribal apartheid under a small Sunni clique (comparable in size to the white supremacist government of South Africa). In recent decades the Sunni Arab supremacists escalated the war against their own people to genocidal levels, using mass executions of entire families (such as Mr. Sadr’s), poison gas attacks (such as those against the Kurds), and other tools. After the American libration of Iraq, the Sunni Arab surpemacists responded with terror bombings that the American occupiers either pretended didn’t exist or blamed on the victims.

And once the Iraqi peopl became aware that the American strategy hinged on appeasing terrorists rather than defending civilians or supporting her friends, many (including anti-war commentators) prompted blamed the Iraqi people again for their heroic defense of their families, their communities, their nation. These commentators may or may not believe there is a right to self defense, but apparently not for the Iraqi people.

Too bad.

2 thoughts on “The Iraqis”

  1. While I serve, I am not exactly that stronger or more brave than you. I'm just in the Navy, that's not shit compared to the danger and stress folks over in Iraq & Afghanistan experience. I certainly respect you as a friend and a superior mind to mine, as well as a Shelfari buddy.

  2. I appreciate your point (and find myself feeling the same way in regards to how the US blacklists Islamist political parties outside of Iraq). However, Al-Sadr's party is guilty of ethnic cleansing. Al-Sadr's party has kidnapped a US solider, whom we've yet to recover. (1) Al-Sadr's party plays the key Shia role in prolonging the conflict with their countless atrocities against Sunnis. Al-Sadr at this point is just not someone we can do business with.

    The Shia and Sunnis have been trapped into a vicious cycle of blood feuds, terrorist attacks and ethnic cleansing. If the Shia intend to ascend to power in an orgy of ethnic cleansing (as it appears Al-Sadr's party intends to), America cannot support it, at least not openly and without question. Its bad for our image to be supporters of ethnic cleansing, and terrible for any potential influence we may still have that could help prevent a war between Shia and Sunnis in the Middle East.

    American troops should never have to stand by helpless in the face of ethnic cleansing. (2) I know it happened in Kosovo, I know it happened after Desert Storm, but its not good for the military, their morale or for our image.


  3. “Al-Sadr at this point is just not someone we can do business with.”

    Eddie, thanks for your service, regardless of deployment.

    As for the above quote, at some point in time the US is going to either choose a side or walk away from the Sunni/ Shiite conflict, IMO. How does one mediate such an obviously lopsided sectarian war? By proxi, carefully shoring up one side or the other depending on what the events are in an effort to exhaust the two into a cease fire? That might work if the US wasn't knee deep in the country at hand.
    Is it fair to place US troops in the position of an essentially static obstacle absorbing blows from two warring factions?

  4. Dan, even the most staunch supporter of the war, Charles Krauthammer, has condemned (1) this and is drawing a line in the sand with regards to Iraq and sectarian government.

    “The whole sorry affair illustrates not just incompetence but also the ingrained intolerance and sectarianism of the Maliki government. It stands for Shiite unity and Shiite dominance above all else.

    We should not be surging American troops in defense of such a government. This governing coalition — Maliki's Dawa, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq and Sadr's Mahdi Army — seems intent on crushing the Sunnis at all costs. Maliki should be made to know that if he insists on having this sectarian war, he can well have it without us.”


  5. Eddie,

    “even the most staunch supporter of the war, Charles Krauthammer, has condemned (1) this”

    Well, I think we should leave now [1] and I support the democratically elected Iraqi government.

    You weren't trying an argument from authority, were you? :-p

    Krauthammer reveals his absurdity in his second paragraph. He writes “For the Iraqi government to have botched both his trial and execution, therefore, and turned monster into victim, is not just a tragedy but a crime — against the new Iraq that Americans are dying for and against justice itself.” Iraq is a sovereign, democratic, ally in the war against terrorism. We are there at the request of the Iraqi government. For him to say that the workings of the Iraqi justice system of an Iraqi for crimes against Iraqis in Iraq are a “crime” against a foreign ally is bizarre. It only makes sense if one assumes that Iraq is a colony — which I believe Krauthammer does.

    The rest of his opinion is similar imperialist garbage. If I have time I'll try to comment on it in depth.

    “We should not be surging American troops in defense of such a government. “

    We should not have active fighters there in the first place. We have a template for success in fighting our enemies: find their enemies, give them money, materiel, and air support, and do not interfere. It worked against the Taliban, where we reduced a once fearsome 4GW adversary into just-another tribal conflict (in other words, the status quo ante talibani), and it has been the only strategy Western governments have used successfully against 4GW opponents. We also have a template for failure: attack our enemy's enemies. We tried this in Vietnam, and this appears to be our current strategy in Iraq. [2]


    “How does one mediate such an obviously lopsided sectarian war? “

    How about supporting the side that hates both al Qaed and al Baath — in other words, the enemy of our enemy? [3]


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