Thursday, April 10, 2008

Not a Good Way to End Pledge Week


This morning Steve Inskeep at NPR seemed genuinely confused and shocked that Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki might resent having an occupying army in his country. They were discussing the Iraqi army’s recent failed offensive into Basra:



Bing West: “He [Maliki] didn’t want anything to do with the Americans. He cut General Petraeus out of the loop on this and that was extremely rash and shows a man who is very resentful.

Inskeep: Resentful?!

West: Resentful. On the good side, he did move against Sadr and against the militias. It’s a very mixed message. He is highly erratic and we are just going to have to wait and see. His heart is in the right place but he has a huge ego.

Inskeep: What reason does Iraq’s leader have to be resentful?

West: I think he believes that as the sovereign leader of a sovereign nation, he should be making many of the decisions, not General Petraeus. This was his way of saying ‘I’m the commander in chief around here’ but he was imprudent in what he did.


Imagine the gall of Shite PM Maliki believing he should be making decisions about how to respond to Shite militias in his country.

And is Inskeep playing coy for the audience, or does he really not understand why the presence of an occupying army might cause resentment?

For quite some time now, the standard talking points among conservatives is that when things go right in Iraq, it is because of our glorious leadership. When they go wrong, it is because of those backward Iraqis. I'm not arguing that Maliki is some kind of great military leader. But we can't pretend to have it both ways - that we believe in democracy and self-reliance for Iraqis, but only when they do what we tell them.

Let’s reverse this and see how it sounds:

Iraqi expert on US: “Bush didn’t want anything to do with the Iraqis. He cut General Maliki out of the loop on this and was extremely rash and shows a man who is very resentful.”

Al Jazerra anchor: Resentful?!

Iraqi expert: On the good side, Bush did move against the Timothy McVeigh and against the Michigan Militia. It’s a very mixed message. He is highly erratic and we are just going to have to wait and see. His heart is in the right place but he has a huge ego.

Al Jazeera Anchor: What reason does America’s leader have to be resentful?

Iraqi expert: “I think Bush believes that as the sovereign leader of a sovereign nation, he should be making many of the decisions, not General Maliki. This was his way of saying ‘I’m the commander in chief around here’ but he was imprudent in what he did.


Oh wait. I think I would agree with that assessment of Bush. Never mind, I guess.



Also, there's this tidbit from later in the interview:


West: “No one simply rushes into a city and picks a fight when there are 1.5 million people in the city. But they [Iraqis] knew that. The Iraqi military did this because they were ordered to, so I don’t have any particular beef about how the Iraqi army performed.


What?? It is foolish to rush into an area with lots of people and pick fights? Geez, now they tell us. If only we had known that five years ago...or three years ago...or last year...

3 comments:

Fingtree said...

It was not that hard to see from the beginning what this war was all about. There was plenty of sources here and abroad that warned against such a foolish idea. Follow the money $$$$

brownie said...

Oil companies making record profits for Darth Cheney, the US budget deficit gone wild to benefit the Bush family (granddaddy Prescott was on the first board of the Federal Reserve Bank who sells US dollars to the US govt at a percentage), a congress that complains about the war but does nothing but vote themselves more raises or set new records on the amount of pork barrel spending?

Amen fingtree. It's all about the money.

Puke.

PG said...

It's also about power and control, hegemony. That picture in the paper today of the new 750 million dollar U.S. embassy, the largest in the world -- where the conquerors are about to be whisked into from their crouching positions in the Green Zone -- looks like the new Mid-East Power Headquarters to me. We're never leaving. We own Iraq.