Monday, July 18, 2005

Bush War Training Insurgents Part II: Iraqi Army Filled with Insurgents

Well the question could have been asked a long time ago: since we don't know who the "good guys" are in the Iraqi army, how do we know we're not giving the world's best marksmanship lessons to guys who only want to use it against Americans? Along with handy tips on urban combat, modern weapons, and how American soldiers think when they fight guerrillas? Now troops like Sgt. Rick McGovern express these worries, in a report from the Washington Post: "We can't tell these guys about a lot of this stuff, because we're not really sure who's good and who isn't," said McGovern, a "tough-talking 37-year-old platoon sergeant from Hershey, Pennsylvania." We learn that most Iraqis had enlisted in the new army only for the salary -- $340 per month, big money there now.

Jonathan Schell in the Nation writes:

"The American press often discusses the political makeup of the insurgency, but no one until now has suggested that some of the very forces being trained by the United States might be longing for the return of Saddam. To the extent that this is the case -- or that these forces are otherwise opposed to the occupation -- the United States, far from improving "security," is now training the future resistance to itself."

Which is why Bush's "fight them there rather than here" sales pitch is a load of crap. This was the real centerpiece of his June speech, that invading Iraq gives jihadists a place to go, away from us. The argument is aimed at fearful simpletons who want to believe we'll be safe if we lash out at enough of the wrong people. The reality is we'd be safer if we hadn't motivated all these new jihadists in the first place, gone after bin Laden, and if we stopped tolerating Saudi support of the madrassas.

Bush called Iraq the central front in the war on terror. News for George: bin Laden is in Pakistan. With this guy's aim he couldn't hit the broad side of a barn at 20 feet.

Democrats need to start calling the American presence Iraq what it is: an incubator for terrorists, not flypaper, as the theory Bush invoked in his speech has been called. People need one nice, simple word to remember things. The Republicans are great at this. The Democrats stink. We aren't drawing them there so we don't have to fight them here. We are training them before they come here, and we are making more of them. Good going, George.

Get ready: the spittle will fly wide with Republicans saying "They are demoralizing the troops by saying they are training terrorists!" But the troops didn't start this war. Bush did. Troops don't choose where they go; they are ordered, something everyone seems to forget. And Bush ordered them there, the dumb bastard. It's not the troops training terrorists, it's Bush's war that's doing it.

During the Vietnam War politicians sold it by saying, "we'll either fight the communists in the jungles of Southeast Asia or on the shores of San Diego." It's fearmongering, and if they are going to send our children to be killed they could at least be more original. As for the farsighted experiment in starting a "March of Democracy" to attack terrorism at its roots, the simpler way is for us to stop overthrowing democratically-elected governments, and to stop supporting tyrannical regimes like Saudi Arabia's. Democracy would take hold in the Middle East if we just stopped stopping it. No war necessary for that, just good foreign policy. The war should be our troops combing the Pakistani tribal areas for Al Qaeda, and securing Afghanistan.

Iran is the closest to a true democracy of all the Islamic countries in the region. But that's exactly who the Neocons want to attack next. Bush says that all real power in Iran rests in the hands of the Mullahs. That's like saying all real power in the US rests in the hands of the corporations: it's true, but it doesn't mean we're not a democracy.

That timeline thing. A New York Times editorial basically reiterated Bush's chuckleheaded position, saying: "It makes no sense to encourage the insurrectionists by telling them that if their suicide bombers continue to blow themselves up at the current rate, the Americans will be leaving in six months or a year."

Big DUH for the NYT: Our troops are the encouragement for the insurrectionists to blow themselves up. They're not fighting democracy, they're fighting us. We have chosen sides in a civil war, the Shiite side, which is going to take it's orders from Iran anyway once we leave. Not a good place for our soldiers to be. The best thing we can do is get out and cut a deal with Iran to keep a lid on the most radical elements. They know who they are, they can do it. Believe it or not, the Iranians used to be our friends, before the CIA overthrew the great democrat Mossadeq, and put the Iranians under the bloody Shah. We may pay a terrible price for our ignorance of history.

The rebels will blow themselves up as long as we are there, not because there is no timeline. Bush doesn't understand the mindset when he says a timeline would give them hope. Mike Scheuer writes that a US diplomat, during the Afghan war against the Russians, once suggested that the Mujahadeen back-off because Gorbachov wanted to withdraw, and maybe a ceasefire would encourage him to. The commander said, "No, they will leave because we are killing them, and we will kill them until they leave." Bush only shows he doesn't know how people who are driving out foreigners think.

Sadly, none of this will matter once we get hit here again, thanks to GWB. Our withdrawal from Iraq could wind up being forced. As former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke wrote in his imaginary look-back from the year 2011, "Ten Years Later":

"Most analysts now agree that Subway Day and Railroad Day not only caused the Senate filibuster to end, permitting the passage of Patriot Act III, but also finally triggered the withdrawal of some 40,000 troops from Iraq. The Army was needed in the subways."

Bush has badly bungled the war on terror through his own arrogance, vanity, and desire to strut around on an aircraft carrier in a flightsuit. Impeach. Now. Impeach.


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