Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mark Danner on the Third Act in Iraq - Tom Dispatch

David Seaton's News Links
What has happened in Iraq cannot be explained as simple ignorance or ideology, incompetence or even plain stupidity. This is criminal. I have thought for some time that Iraq must have been destroyed deliberately. Certainly it could not have been done more thoroughly if it had. Why and to whose benefit are the questions we must ask and answer in order to find the guilty and demand accountability. For we are talking about the most serious war crimes since 1945. A country destroyed? Hundreds of thousands of people killed and mutilated, tortured and humiliated? A region on whose resources the health of the entire world economy depends. The prosperity and future of millions and millions of human beings has been and will continue to be put in jeopardy. Why, for what, for whom? There has to an international investigation and those responsible have to be put on trial... Just like at Nuremberg!!! DS
If for some reason you have never heard of Tom Engelhardt's"TomDispatch" it time you did!!
Excerpts: (...) One can make arguments for a "deep de-Baathification" of Iraq. One can make arguments also for dismantling the Iraqi army. It is hard, though, to make an argument that such steps did not stand in dramatic and irresolvable contradiction to the Pentagon's plan to withdraw all but 30,000 American troops from Iraq within a few months. With no Iraqi army, with all Baath Party members thrown out of the ministries and the agencies of government, with all of Saddam's formidable security forces summarily sacked -- and with all of these forces transformed into sworn enemies of the American occupation -- who precisely was going to keep order in Iraq? And who was going to build that "new and fresh army" that Bremer was talking about?(...) Nearly four years into the Iraq war, as we enter the Time of Proposed Solutions, the consequences of those early decisions define the bloody landscape. By dismissing and humiliating the soldiers and officers of the Iraqi army our leaders, in effect, did much to recruit the insurgency. By bringing far too few troops to secure Saddam's enormous arms depots they armed it. By bringing too few to keep order they presided over the looting and overwhelming violence and social disintegration that provided the insurgency such fertile soil. By blithely purging tens of thousands of the country's Baathist elite, whatever their deeds, and by establishing a muscle-bound and inept American occupation without an "Iraqi face," they created an increasing resentment among Iraqis that fostered the insurgency and encouraged people to shelter it. And by providing too few troops to secure Iraq's borders they helped supply its forces with an unending number of Sunni Islamic extremists from neighboring states. It was the foreign Islamists' strategy above all to promote their jihadist cause by provoking a sectarian civil war in Iraq; by failing to prevent their attacks and to protect the Shia who became their targets, the U.S. leaders have allowed them to succeed. LINK TO TOMDISPATCH

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