Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Iraq: Democracy Takes Time Bombs

The tone of our recent elections was ugly, but at least when our politicians attack each other, they do it with nasty ads. Iraq's politicians attack each other with bombs. From Edward Wong of the New York Times:
BAGHDAD, Nov. 21 — A bomb exploded in an armored car among those belonging to the speaker of Parliament, wounding the American security guard who was driving it out of a parking area in the government Green Zone and disrupting a meeting of lawmakers nearby, a parliamentary aide said.

Doesn't that make you glad we liberated all those freedom loving people in Iraq?

The speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, wasn't in the vehicle when it exploded. Wong's article doesn't specify whether the wounded American guard was active duty military or a contracted, but that really doesn't matter. The pertinent points are that a) an American was wounded in the course of protecting an Iraqi politician from other Iraqi's and b) Iraqi politicians can't trust other Iraqis to act as their security guards.

And let's not overlook that this was not a roadside ambush. Someone managed to penetrate the Green Zone, get into an armored car, and plant a bomb in it.

A hard-line Sunni Arab nationalist, Mashhadani does not suffer from lack of enemies. Wong tells us that last summer "…senior Shiite and Kurdish leaders, backed by some American officials, called for his ouster because of inflammatory comments he had made about various groups in Iraq and about the American presence."

It sounds like this Mashhadani guy is as popular in Iraq as Donald Rumsfeld is here.

Wong also tells us that young Mister Bush has agreed to meet with also reports that young Mister Bush has agreed to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in Jordan next week to "discuss security in Iraq." What a sorry state of affairs. The security situation is so bad in Iraq that Bush and Malaki have to go to another country to talk about it. I can't wait for Bush to come out of the meeting and say he thinks the security in Iraq is "darn good."

Wong also reports that on Tuesday, U.S. and Iraqi forces raided Sadr City in eastern Baghdad and captured a man thought to be the ringleader in the kidnapping of an American soldier last month. The raid sparked a battle that involved fire from an American aircraft. A Shiite official in the district said that five civilians were killed in the raid and 15 others were wounded. (A U.S. military spokesperson said that, "There may have been civilian casualties."

Hoo-boy. I sure hope the U.S. had al-Maliki's permission to conduct that raid. There'll be hell to pay otherwise.

Play the Course

Iran, Syria and Iraq are exploring the possibility of holding a three-way summit on Iraq's security situation. Influential voices in Washington have urged the Bush administration to engage in direct talks with Iran and Syria as well, but as the Baltimore Sun discloses, "many of Bush's advisers oppose that idea." Who do you reckon those "advisers" might be? My guess is they're the same advisers Bush has been listening to all along. You'd think Bush would have learned by now not to listen to them anymore, but heck, learnin's hard work.

Advisers are about to present Bush with "alternative" Iraq strategies that have jingoistic names like "Go Long" and "Surge Option," but that amount to little more than "Son of Stay the Course."

I think it's now safe to say that this is the most embarrassing period in American history. The neoconservatives who wanted to create a Pax Americana have squandered the gains it took our country over a century to accumulate. By overplaying the war card, they've made our military might into a next to useless instrument of national power. Our Bolton-esque diplomacy is so inept that we have to tie a steak around our neck to get our British bulldog to play with us, and our Rovewellian information environment is so corrupt that no one believes a word we say.

Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and the rest of the neocon anvil choir are pushing for a war with Iran. I guess the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan weren't enough for them.

The way things are shaping up, the Bush administration will go down as the regime that inherited the most powerful nation ever to get its heinie thumped in three separate war in the course of eight years.


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.


  1. Anonymous3:23 PM

    One doesn't often read much about the significant presence that mercenaries (private security) play in the Iraq war. As in Rome, when the money dries up, they'll likely bite the hand that feeds them if it is the highest bidder.

  2. They stick around long enough, the Russians and Chinese will pick up the mercenary tab.