Friday, August 22, 2008

The hidden hands

A statement issued by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs yesterday described an Iraqi army unit's nighttime operation at one of the Labor Ministry's buildings as having been carried out in a way that was "an offense to the state," when what was supposed to be a checking or verification operation turned into break-ins and destruction of authorities' offices, smashing of furniture, and so on. The army said it arrested 100 individuals in that operation "which was based on intelligence", and is currently investigating why they were on the premises. Aswat alIraq publishes the bare bones of the Labor Ministry statement. makes it real:
Eyewitnesses speak of crude and provocative treatment by the members of the National Guard, which reminded them of the methods of the prior regime, in the sense that these National Guard officials lost sight of any standards of moral or civilized behavior, showing themselves like a mercenary force that knows nothing but terrorizing people, intimidating them and tyrannizing over them.

A senior official in the [Labor] Ministry, who didn't want his name mentioned, said "This raid reminded us of the regime of Saddam and his security intelligence people, and it shows that we are living a 'democracy and system of institutions' that is completely false and without reality".

He told Nahrainnet: "I can tell you I was taken aback and in disbelief at what happened, and for a considerable time I was discouraged and I had this strange feeling that Iraq is being controlled by hidden hands, and that what we have been saying and hearing about the [Iraqi] state of institutions is a deception without any reality. And that the real rulers of Iraq are not the ministers and the state authorities, but rather the generals and the security forces that are hidden within the state".
(Once you understand that way of looking at things, you might want to query any American involvement in these hidden hands. In which case please recall the Diyala operation of Monday, where the American involvement has been made clear (a "rogue operation" according to the deputy commander of US forces in the region), and this American involvement has elicited no follow-up whatsoever by those who purport to explain "counterinsurgency" to the American people from some kind of a supposedly progressive standpoint. Preferring instead to push ahead with the story about the American forces as a moderating influence.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

One reason for the silence is the serial capitulations the US is making. On elections, on time lines, even on their beloved Sons of Iraq program. All of which suggest they have fallen behind the Maliki makeover program into the new Saddam. It's a tough thing to come to terms with, after all the wasted energy over "democracy" and the COIN "enlightenment" path toward it.

11:59 AM  
Blogger badger said...

Or possibly this (suggested in this recent op-ed by Haroun Mohammed citing people close to Talabani following his return from Washington):

Namely: The idea that Bush, turning the whole idea of "conditional engagement" on its head, is telling Maliki et al that they should take advantage of their friend Bush's last months in power let him help them secure their grip on power, if they will just please sign something.

In other words, that the Americans aren't just capitulating but have actually joined the parade in a proactive way...

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think thats right, that the US is on board with Maliki's radical new make over. I meant that those doing the capitulating were those democracy and COIN folks towing the line - for what now appears to be at best, token propaganda.

6:15 PM  

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