Prague Twin

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Iraqi Probe into Haditha Killings

Maybe I am reading too much into this, but it seems like the Iraqi prime minister is trying to strut his stuff a little. Here is a strong statement from the article by al-Maliki...

"We cannot forgive violations of the dignity of the Iraqi people"

Fair enough. Who can argue with that logic?

Also, yesterday's declaration of a state of emergency in Basra, again by al-Maliki, has me feeling like the guy is really stepping up to be a leader. I have to say, he seems to be doing a pretty good job under the circumstances. The pressure is on to show the world he is serious and he seems to be up to the challenge.

However, declarations are easy, but real results are hard to come by. Just ask President Bush.

We will see if Basra can be quelled, and if the Iraqis are capable of conducting a serious investigation. If these two things can be accomplished, al-Maliki is on his way to being a legitimate ruler.


  • To truly gauge the Iraqi leadership, here is my gold standard: At some point in the near future (near as in before the next Iraqi national elections) the official government policy of Iraq will have to be one of asking coalition forces to leave. The presence of coalition forces is highly unpopular amongst the citizenry. Any true representative type government has to reflect the wishes of the people who elect them.

    This leads to a couple of questions. Will the situation ever allow for the Iraqi's to mean it when they ask, or will they merely be making the public noise on withdrawal while behind the scenes the government works tooth and nail to keep us there. And if we are disinvited by the sovereign government of Iraq while Bush is President, will he accede to their wishes?

    I suppose one other question people who read this comment may ask is... why the heck is frik posting these insane ramblings? Shouldn't he put down the crack pipe before he starts pontificating?! But thats neither here nor there...

    By Blogger bhfrik, at 11:31 PM  

  • I don't see it as anything more than talking to his domestic audience. Much the same as Blair did before he finally come clean when he was standing next to his old buddy George.
    They all seem to forget that communications is now widespread and reporting much further than the intended market.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 12:51 AM  

  • Dear Bhfrik,

    Pass the pipe and praise the ammunition. I am still taking the under on democracy in Iraq. After all, the matyrdom of Husayn is occurred < 1400 years ago. Time wounds all heels.

    The government of Iraq will never be self sustaining until it can provide internal security. The major impediment to being able to provide internal security is the lack of a security force. The possibility of the formation of such a security force is somewhere between nil and nonexistent in a country where peoples' loyalties are to family, tribe, and sect rather than governmental institutions. Apres nous, le deluge.

    I argue w/ my friend Roger regularly about this subject. I am a Sun Tzu kind of guy and believe it is important to know your enemy, or perhaps adversary, on a cultural basis to which Roger responds, the U.S. didn't need to know the Japanese culturally to defeat them, at least militarily. Until Japan managed to stifle its economy, I began to wonder who actually won WW II, but I digress.

    If the neocons who promulgated the Iraqi war appreciated the fact that the paradigm for Iraq was Yugoslavia; and that ironically, maybe having Saddam as a buffer for the nuclear aspirations of Iran would not be an entirely bad thing; well, we would not be having this discussion.

    I reasonably expect Iraq to devolve or revert to anarchy and dictatorship. When it does, rest assured the neocons will stop drinking their own bathwater and pretending it's Dom Perignon.

    By Anonymous Tony Sokolow, at 3:37 AM  

  • Great comments everyone.

    I think Tony's point about providing internal security is key (as an aside, the U.S. is charged with providing basic security under the 1907 Hague Convention as an occupying power).

    bhfrik is correct in saying that the presence of coalition forces is very unpopular amongst the citizenry, but I think they also realize that if the coalition should magically disappear chaos will increase. Shrewd politicians like al-Maliki will have to balance his attention between the desires of his constituancy, and the reality of the situation. I.E. sure, they may all be saying "Ami go home!" but in reality, the Iraqi's can not provide even the limited security that coalition forces are providing now. So yes, a two-faced approach is absolutley necessary, at least for now.

    Cartledge, I have to confess that this post was largely a set-up piece. I don't actually believe that he can get either of these things accomplished. I'd be happy to be proven wrong, but this does mark the first time that he has come out and set some clear goals. I wanted it to be on record.

    We will see. And unfortuantely what we will probably see is exactly what Tony describes at the end of his comment. I can't see things working out differently. There will come a time when Iraqis will want a tyrant.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:51 AM  

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