Portents of Things to Come?

An online Financial Times article (which seems only accessible by going to antiwar.com first) reports that The Iraqi Coalition of National Unity (ICNU), which appeared in the city last week riding on US special forces vehicles, has taken to looting and terrorising their neighbourhood with impunity, according to most residents….
Other Iraqi exiles, brought in by the CIA and US special forces to help assemble a local government over the next few days, say the militia is out of control.
“They are nobody, and nobody has ever heard of them, all they have is US backing,” said an Arab journalist.”

Rumsfeld is so arrongantly convinced that America’s presence is going to ensure Iraq’s slow-but-sure emergence as an orderly democratic nation. On TV today, he stated that he was certain that the embedded journalists will come home with wonderful stories about how efficient and successful the American armed forces are in handling the the growing chaos and keeping unnecessary harm at a minimum. I guess he doesn’t bother to investigate factual first-hand accounts; he prefers to make up the news in advance and then let the American press know exactly what he expects them to report.

7 thoughts on “Portents of Things to Come?

  1. I’ve made this point elsewhere…. it stems from being in complete agreement with you.
    The anit-war protesters spent alot of time and energy to no avail. This war was always about to happen whether 50,000 protested or 50,000,000 did. Sorry, but that just the way it is. Thus, trying to influence anything in regards to waging war was almost a waste of time.
    It’s working to influence waging peace that needs to be addressed. No matter how you look at it, 70% of the global population can’t really dispute driving Saddam out of power. Where the US is going to _really_ makes it’s mark is how we wage peace. And the thought of Bush and Co doing it just downright scares me.
    Please please please people…. if you want to organize and march and discuss and protest and work hard to influence something, make it be about how to wage peace. We need you!

  2. Yes the war happened despite the millions of people all over the world who actively protested America’s action. And yes, now we have to turn our attention to how Iraq will be helped to build itself up into the country its people want it to be. If it’s left up to our American president to provide the leadership there, Iraq will quickly find itself forged into a tool for western capitalism. Yes, activists’ efforts now need to be focused on what happens next — including waging peace from now on.

  3. I’m answering/commenting in… um, ascending chronological order? LOL…
    Elaine, I replied to your last comment on an earlier post already. Sorry for the flippant reply there. I’m guilty of trying to have a way with words there – which I acused you of. There’s nothing constructive that will come of that, and for that I apologize.
    I will however stick to my point. I asked a sincere and specific question to which I feel you have not given any specific nor realistic answer. I’m willing to learn and listen with an open mind, but without a specific answer that addresses both realities of human nature and is constructive I have no alternative to saying sometime you have to have aggressive actions.
    Anyways Elaine, I agree completely with you here. While I personally have no problem with western capitalism – nor with Iraq taking up such a form of society – what matters to me is that Iraq chooses the form of government it wants freely. I believe Bush desires this too, but I feel his relationship with various other powers that need to be involved with ‘waging peace’…. from the Arab world to the UN to many other things…. leaves much to be desired.

  4. Given the fact that we helped Saddam to become who he is and did nothing to subvert his power over all of those years, we found ourselves where we found ourselves. While he needed to be taken down, and there would be no way to avoid some violence no matter what approach was taken, the approach we opted to take was the wrong one, for lots of reasons, including that it was the most destructive to America, both internally and externally. Not being a statesperson or political scientist, and not being privy to all of the info that the United Nations has, I can’t offer specific instructions on how we might have handled Saddam. But I do believe that there were other options and that we didn’t have to lead the invading charge.

  5. Thanks for a detailed reply. Yet I do notice you spend more time addressing how wrong America is than you do speaking of how wrong Saddam is. It’s this sort of slant that makes one wonder about the motivation of various anti-war arguments. You see, it IMHO really doesn’t address the question still. Discussion and discovery did not work. Agression is the wrong approach. Then, again, exactly what IS the right approach?
    As for saying this was ‘destructive for America’, well, that is certainly subjective at best. Destructive to…. the economy? our world stature? in whose eyes? Palestinians? Iraqis? French?
    Finally, don’t overlook that being privy to all of the info the UN has is quite different than the info the US has. The UN is every bit as subjective as the US. Bliz had a defintite slant to his oral reports as shown by comparison to his written reports. ANd let’s remember who was going to head up the UN Human Rights for the next few years…. Iraq. Who thought THAT up?
    What is gets down to is you have your opinions that differ from mine. You continue to say to people who share my opinion that there are alternatives to “leading the invasion charge” but you have no clear ones you can speak of. However valid your opinions are (and they ARE valid), until you can give us those details, your argument is very weak and not likely to convince anyone who is on the fence on this.
    This is why the majority here feel differently than you. Where your opinions and arguments gain strength is in how we now wage peace. We must do this in a more inclusive and compassionate way than we waged war. (Please note the different between waging war – the event leading up to war – and fighting war. Our military showed extreme compassion IMHO in regards to fighting this war, which gives me hope for how we will wage peace.)

  6. I can agree in idealistic way Elaine, but again, we need to deal with realities.
    You say we should have spent the decades following the Viet Nam war doing this and doing that as though the US government speaks with one mind, one purpose. That will never happen over the course of decades. While there is not much more than a 2% changeover in any one election, over the course of 3 decades there is MUCH more. Tough to be consistant in your ‘actions’ in a bad democrqacy like ours, much less a good one.
    Sponser intelligence? Foriegn intelligence and have it lead to effective assassinations? Well, in fact that _was done in the 70s and 80s. All the way up until (1) the public did not trust one of those intelligence guys (George H Bush) and the man who succeeded him slashed our budget for intelli9gence to the point of embarrassment.
    If you really think about it, that action is yet another example of the realities at play here. Man becomes head of CIA. Man becomes president. Man even fights a UN backed war, yet due to a lack of trust gets voted out of office for…. a man who becomes president. A man who changes the ‘actions’ of his government to his political leanings. But term limits prevent him from seeking reelection and his VP is so lacking in people skills thast he wastes nearly a decade (again!) of building public confidence that…. another man get elected to be president.
    And so on and so forth.
    Now, let’s say Bush actually can be trusted. He really wants Iraq to elect their own leaders – whether he likes who they elect or not. Tough to believe I know, but bear with me for a minute and just accept this for purposes of argument.
    Will it really take 18 months to rebuild Iraq? To rebuild the infrastructure, their economy and rebuild their citizens trust? Probably not. ZCertainly not if you include rebuilding trust in the entire Arab world – something that solving the Palestine/Israel situation is necessary for.
    So now in 18 months Bush fails to get reelected because (a) he can’t strengthen the economy and (b) this war hardened many liberals and skyrocketed their resolve to actually come out and vote – something which did not happen in 200 or 2002 BTW.
    What does the next president inherit? A bad economy and incomplete distrust in the Arab world since the rebuilding of Iraq is not complete.
    Do you really think a Democrat Bush oppoment will handle Iraq in a consistant manner a la Bush?
    Do you really see a viable and credible Democrat candidate? One that might even stay in power as president? (Remember, over the course of these decades since the Viet Nam war there were only 2 presidents who were successfully reelected.)
    So now we fast forward…. 2004, 2008. Democrat running for reelection has muddled through a more normal economy – some good times, some bad times – and managed to put his/her stamp on the Arab situation. Thouroughly unspectactular, this person loses reelection to…. a post-post Bush presidency.
    See the inconsistancies that creep into the picture? Oh, and BTW in places with less freedom than the US – Iran, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait to name a few critical ones – the power elite are still in power for those decades and decades.
    nNe last thing…. these Arab power holders…. they certainly fit the mold of “arrogant, elite, small-minded and unethical men who rationlize their self-indulgent decisions and have learned to pay well for good propaganda-spinners. LOL…. did you see the Iraqi Information Minister at all the last 3 weeks? Now that is a propaganda-spinner capable of becoming a SNL fixture a la “reports today say that Fanco is still dead”. Simply amazing.
    Look at it this way Elaine. At least we could vote out our scum every 4 years. Iraq requires something more than a single assassination. Realities suggest all that would do is have Uday attain power. After he is assinated it’ll be another Ba’ath tyrannical dictator. Then another. No, by your plans, Iraq would need an assassination-of-the-week for about 6 months before any real changes would have happened. And realities also suggest doing so would have created exactly the same power vacumn – except whatever inadequate military precense we have there right now would be frightfully less.
    The only point I’ve ever tried to make is this situation is COMPLICATED. This situation is REALISTIC and UGLY. Way too many people protesting our actions do not grasp the facts that (1) these were very violent leaders in Iraq, (2) they consider the US to be somewhat they would love to take out in any way possible and (3) they have continued to support the terrorist model around the world in any way possible. Lines WERE crossed on 9/11/2001. Like it or not, there IS a connection. If there is this conscious conspiracy of Bush, oil interests and Republicans…. shouldn’t it not follow that there is also a global conspiracy among terrorists?

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