Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Fattening frogs for snakes: the US in Iraq... a homely parable

David Seaton's News Links
Bush in Iraq reminds me of a story I once heard about a very drunk self-made millionaire showing off his new mansion to visitors. "See, this house? It's a French château, brought it here stone by numbered stone from the Loire valley... Cost me ahunner million bucks! S' mine! See this carved bronze door with gold inlays, same as in the Vatican? S' mine! See this chandelier, over a thousand pieces, Bohemian crystal? S' mine!" The millionaire led his visitors up the winding stairs. "See, these stairs, Carrera marble, brought specially from Italy? Mine! Old master, genuine oil paintings, Rembrandt, Vermeer? Mine!" He took them into the master bedroom. "See this canopied bed, mahogany, inlaid with ivory, belonged to Louis XIV? Now s' mine!." He peered down at the bed and proudly declaimed, "See this beautiful, blond, young woman sleeping naked in my bed? S' my wife, she's mine!" Through his inebriated fog, he took a closer look at the bed, did a double take, gulped, turned to his visitors and triumphantly said, "See this handsome, athletic young man, sleeping naked in my wife's arms? ... That's me!" DS
The Missing Partner in Iraq - Editorial - New York Times
Abstract: The one crucial assumption behind everything President Bush proposed on Iraq last week was that Washington would have the wholehearted support of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. None of Mr. Bush’s ideas — his plan to send more American soldiers to fight alongside Iraqi units in Baghdad, his program for jump-starting the Iraqi economy, his hope of reconciling rival sectarian communities and heading off civil war — can possibly succeed without the full cooperation of the Iraqi government.(...) Any hope that this campaign will prove more effective than past failed efforts depends on soldiers’ being able to finally move against Shiite militias. If General Qanbar and Mr. Maliki plan to continue shielding militias like the Mahdi Army, this new drive will be doomed before it begins.(...) Consider also the grisly decapitation over the weekend of Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Saddam Hussein’s co-defendant and half brother. Two weeks of watching how the lynch mob atmosphere of Mr. Hussein’s execution instantly turned a monster into a martyr throughout the Sunni Arab world should have put Mr. Maliki on notice to get this one right. But whether deliberately or through breathtaking incompetence, the Iraqi government did not get it right, once again fanning sectarian flames. Unless President Bush insists that Mr. Maliki accept specific and enforceable policy benchmarks and timelines — starting with the disarming of sectarian militias — the United States will remain hostage to the Iraqi prime minister and his radical Shiite agenda. READ IT ALL

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And the band played "Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be" as the last British soldiers in Aden marched to the quay. Only after they had left did the British gain some sense of how duplicitous their "allies" had been.