Friday, November 17, 2006

neocon apologia

Charles Krauthammer: Blame the Iraqis.

I think the guy is usually pretty full of it, but I have to admit in a weird way I totally think it's great he'll just say whatever comes to mind.

The first was relatively easy. But Iraq's first truly democratic government turned out to be hopelessly feeble and fractured, little more than a collection of ministries handed over to various parties, militias and strongmen.

The problem is not, as we endlessly argue about, the number of American troops. Or of Iraqi troops. The problem is the allegiance of the Iraqi troops. Some serve
the abstraction called Iraq. But many swear fealty to political parties, religious sects or militia leaders.

What was left in its wake was a social desert, a dearth of the trust and good will and sheer human capital required for democratic governance. All that was left for the individual Iraqi to attach himself to was the mosque or clan or militia. At
this earliest stage of democratic development, Iraqi national consciousness is as yet too weak and the culture of compromise too undeveloped to produce an effective government enjoying broad allegiance.

Is this America's fault? No. It is a result of Iraq's first democratic election. The United States was not going to replace Saddam Hussein with another tyrant. We were trying to plant democracy in the heart of the Middle East as the one onceivable antidote to extremism and terror -- and, in a country that is nearly two-thirds Shiite, that inevitably meant Shiite domination. It was never certain whether the oppressed Shiites would have enough sense of nation and sense of compromise/govern rather than rule. The answer is now clear: United in a dominating coalition, they do not.

If the system was so destroyed (and it was), the culture forced to be reactive, suspicious and fractured (and it was), then why did Krauthammer and his neocon allies push for democracy so hard? Particularly when many voices argued that precisely these things that Krauthammer knows so well.

Although Krauthammer mentions an exile-government. That is codeword for neocon ally Ahmed Chalabi--who sent secret US intelligence to Iran, involved in bank frauds, got less than 1% of the vote in the election, and gave the US "Curveball" the source of Colin Powell's speech at the UN on mobile labs (which was all fabricated as part of Chalibi's sell to the neocons).

His point about the fracturing of the Shia bloc--United Iraqi Alliance--is an interesting one. Unfortunately what Krauthammer's analysis shows but he does not seem able to admit/comprehend is that the Iraqi central government has never been the issue. They have no effective power outside the Green Zone.

The Shia are using the Army, police, government, ministries to their end. They have been, as Krauthammer notes, since the beginning. The talking heads and so-called experts spent so long looking at the situation through the lens we wanted not the one that existed. After the recent Vanity Fair article of neocons blasting Bush, Krauthammer looks to be joining in the fray, wiping their hands.


Post a Comment

<< Home