Last week, Malaki came to Washington and begged the U.S. Congress to stay the course in Iraq. He and young Mister Bush agreed to send more American troops to Baghdad to restore order there.
Now Malaki is unhappy with the way U.S. troops are restoring order.
Theater of War and Theater of the Absurd
From Qassim Abdul-Zahra of AP:
Iraq 's prime minister sharply criticized a U.S.-Iraqi attack Monday on a Shiite militia stronghold in Baghdad, breaking with his American partners on security tactics as the United States launches a major operation to secure the capital…
…Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's criticism followed a pre-dawn air and ground attack on an area of Sadr City, stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and his Mahdi Army militia.
Police said three people, including a woman and a child, were killed in the raid, which the U.S. command said was aimed at "individuals involved in punishment and torture cell activities"…
…"Reconciliation cannot go hand in hand with operations that violate the rights of citizens this way," al-Maliki said in a statement on government television…
…[Malaki] apologized to the Iraqi people for the operation and said "this won't happen again."
The situation in Iraq has gone from ridiculous to sublimely absurd. First, Malaki established his reconciliation plan that offers amnesty to insurgents whose only "crime" has been to fight U.S. and other coalition occupation forces. Then he came to the U.S. and begged Congress to keep American occupation forces in his country, and asked Mister Bush to move more of them into Baghdad, where they would help fight insurgent forces who, theoretically, will be eligible for pardons afterward.
Now he's telling U.S. troops how he does and doesn't want them to conduct operations aimed at bringing Baghdad under control.
Th-Th-Th That's Not All, Folks!
Not only does Malaki plan to give amnesty to the insurgents he wants U.S. troops to fight, he wants the power to prosecute U.S. troops under Iraqi law. When four American soldiers were charged in July with the raping a young Iraqi woman and murdering her and her family, Malaki called for a review of the regulation that grants American troops immunity from trial by Iraqi courts.
Malaki wants to be his own man in the international arena as well. Malaki publicly denounced the "Israeli aggression" against Lebanon, a direct criticism of America's backing of Israel in its present conflict, and ignored demands from some members of the U.S. Congress to apologize for those remarks. In May, Malaki's Foreign Minister Hoshya Zebari announced Iraq's support of Iran's right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes despite Bush administration insistence that Iran suspend all uranium enrichment activities.
The best-trained, best-equipped land power force in the history of humanity is trapped in the middle of a Hobbesian conflict it cannot win or resolve. American troops in Iraq have become, in essence, a private mercenary force of Malaki's government, fighting Malaki's fights for him because his own troops don't want to fight his fights for him.
I've said this before, but it's worth repeating: Iraq is a goat rope tied in Gordian knots and wrapped around a Mobius strip. The Israel-Lebanon situation is going to Hebollah in a handbag, and is exacerbating the fiasco in Iraq. America's military has become a half-trillion dollar per year pawn in an international game of hocus-pocus politics, but I don't blame Malaki for this pathetic state of affairs.
The American neoconservative cabal--which includes Dick Cheney, Bill Kristol, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Charles Krauthammer, Scooter Libby, Bill Bennett, John Bolton, Jeb Bush and other luminaries of the war hawk right--are the Bozos who've driven this bus over the cliff. But there's one guy at the top of this unholy pyramid, and to date he's virtually managed to escape blame for America's fall from grace.
It's high time for young Mister Bush to take a trip to the woodshed. He's 60 now, and regardless of anything his mom might say to the contrary, he's old enough to be held responsible for his own actions.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.