Monday, January 08, 2007

How to read the "new Baghdad security plan"

The Al-Quds al-Arabi editorialist makes a good point this morning when he asks: If Prime Minister Maliki was unable to control a simple sequence of events in the small execution-room on Saturday, how can he be expected to manage the affairs of a big complex country like Iraq? "He harmed his own party, and perhaps his sect too, not to mention his American allies, when he permitted the provocation of a man of the stature of Saddam Hussein who stood within moments of being executed, with the repetition of disgraceful sectarian slogans and then [permitting] some to dance around the body and kick at it with their feet".

The editorialist goes on: The main challenges facing this man in the coming period of time will be dealing with the additional 30,000 US troops, and the disarming of the militias, particularly the Mahdi Army, which is being particularly targeted by the Americans because it, or key parts of it, are accused of involvement in most of the incidents of sectarian killings and purges in the Baghdad area. It is quite possible that the Americans will try to arrest him or liquidate him, or have him changed in a court with a variety of crimes... And Maliki, who didn't hesitate to sign the death-warrants for Saddam and the others, will hesitate quite a long time before bending to the will of the Americans in the liquidation of the Mahdi Army (given the key political support of the Sadrists in making him Prime Minister in the first place).

All of this the editorialist presents by way of explaining the recent remarks of Maliki to the effect he wouldn't care if he didn't serve out his full term as Prime Minister. The editorialist says it is either that he realies his mission has been completed with the execution of Saddam, or else that he has become aware of some kind of semi-confirmed agreement between SCIRI leader Hakim and Bush at their recent meeting in Washington to dispense with him.

If you accept the hypothesis that Maliki is a sectarian incompetent who knows his time is up, then I think the outlines of the "new Baghdad security plan" come into better focus as an additional US-inspired move to further inflame the sectarian troubles.

Just to take the one new point that is agreed on, namely the involvement of two brigades from the north with a big Kurdish component: This was decided on to help satisfy Bush that the Iraqis are shouldering their fair share of the new initiative, but the fact is this will be divisive in more ways than one. Azzaman this morning summarizes remarks by Kurdish member of the national parliament Mahmoud Othman, as follows:
[Othman confirmed]the agreement of Talabani and Barzani to the participation of Iraqi army units that include Peshmerga members in the execution of [the new plan], based on the request of the Iraqi government and the US administration, and he indicated he didn't agree with this, because he fears this will bring an additional racial character [to the troubles] and will lead to fighting between Arabs and Kurds.
The journalist then quotes Maliki adviser Sami al-Askari confirming the participation of three additional Iraqi brigades in the Baghdad plan, two of them from the north, mostly Kurdish, and al-Askari says this will particularly target the purging of areas that are still strongholds of terrorist groups, and to occupy these areas permanently. Othman is then quoted to the effect that the northern units in question do in fact include Arab and Turkmen members, addition to Peshmerga members, but he adds: "The use of Kurdish forces in an Arab area is not the right thing to do, because it will foment hatred and it will lead to charges of Kurds killing Arabs."

Others complained that the new Baghdad security plan hasn't been discussed or approved in the Iraqi Parliament, but that is an argument easily disposed of by noting the remarks of Joe Biden who said even the American elected representatives can do nothing about this. According to the NYT, he said "that as a practical matter, there was little that lawmakers could do to prevent Mr. Bush from expanding the American military mission in Iraq".


Blogger dancewater said...

I have heard there are three way to do counter-insurgency - bribery, civil war and genocide.

I think Bush picked civil war, and we have to get him out of office and our troops out of the Middle East before they try genocide.

They are all too stupid and greedy to try bribery.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Veronica said...

Democratic leader Joe Biden claims "that as a practical matter, there was little that lawmakers could do to prevent Mr. Bush from expanding the American military mission in Iraq." The reason for such ridiculous claim is that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have any intention of getting out of Iraq. They both have the same goals to control the entire region and their resources but each Party wants to compete at who kills best and most.

Biden and Congress can

1. Cut off all funding for all wars instigated and conducted by USA and Israel since they control the monies.
2. Revisit the "authorization of war" resolution and revoke it since they have the power to declare or not declare war.
3. Impeach the criminals, Bush and Cheney, hold them accountable and punish those who lied and instigated these wars. They have the power to impeach.
4. Stop troop escalation/"surge".
5. Allocate reparation funds for the suffering and destruction they brought upon innocent people.
6. Demand that all US military bases be shut down throughout the world - no funding, no military bases.
7. Stop funding Israel and stop building its military arsenals.
8. Redirect US foreign policy; mind your own business and stop meddling in every other country's affairs.

All of the above are within their means and powers if they really want to end the madness.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

After a lot of thought, a couple of comments:

The term "insurgency" is like the term "terrorists." Both are terms intended to get a reaction at an emotional level, not a rational one. They have both been effectively used, especially on the American people. Therefore "counter-insurgency" has no real meaning.

Technically, the U.S. Congress has the power to stop this entire Iraq folly (if like-minded people hold a majority of seats), using the °power of the purse, the °power to revoke or revise a previous resolution (to declare war etc.), the °power to impeach, the °power to pass new and different resolutions and laws, and so on.

All of that is according to the Constitution of the United States.

However, the reality is that Congress has ALREADY been stripped of these powers. We now have an "Imperial Presidency" that has declared itself "above the law." It has demonstrated that it could rewrite the laws that Congress passes before going through the motions of signing them. All by itself it has declared that the United States is not beholden to ANY previous international agreements the U.S. has signed in the past, it has already begun a whole series of REINTERPRETATIONS of laws passed by earlier Congresses throughout the 200 years of the existence of the U.S.A.

AND, it has packed the Supreme Court with sycophants.

Most Americans will make the remark, "Look how Bush and Cheney have shredded our Constitution," without really realizing that they actually have done exactly that. Constitutional protections are gone.

I know this sounds like a defeatist statement, but these are realities that we just don't want to face. I would love for someone to be able to tell me that I am wrong.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Rosemary said...

Perhaps I should explain what I think "insurgents" are.

To me, "insurgents" are people defending their homes and their country. Therefore "counter-insurgents" are the opposite.

It is easy to see why many Iraqis will see those who help the "counter-insurgency effort" are helping the invaders. The result will be an increase in chaos and far more of those "insurgent"/defenders will be activated.

3:39 AM  

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