Recognition of the realities of the situation that has been created in Iraq is all well and good and important, but... and it's a big but.
This from Jay Ackroyd's post at TPMCafe really bothers me:
If you saw Taylor Marsh at YKos, you heard a clear delineation of this DC consensus. This isn't a matter of reflexive use of force as the only solution by crazy neocons. This is a recognition that Iraq is a failed state without a sovereign government and without the capacity to defend itself. The US Congress passes resolutions declaring what laws Iraq must pass, while the Pentagon makes all military decisions. Iraq's government plays no role other than certifying US policy. And, these days, we're hearing talk of changing the government. That talk is taking place in Washington. And there can be no freely elected, sovereign government in Iraq, because, in the Washington consensus, those bases are more important than a reprentative government--and no represesentative government would permit military bases defending Israel and threatening Iran.Iraq is a mess. That's undeniable reality. It's not going to be fixed easily. I think that's also undeniable reality.
This leaves the Democratic candidates in a very difficult position. They are part of this Washington consensus.
Taylor Marsh is describing another, separate reality, however. The Washington Consensus. Which appears to distill down to the attitude that Washington must make the decisions for Iraq, almost as if Iraqis are incompetent children who cannot manage their own affairs. And I see nearly no recognition, if any at all, even grudging recognition, that is is Iraqis who are going to make the decisions. As they are doing now, successfully or not from their point of view.
The whole of the "recognition of reality" by the Washington consensus described in Ackroyd's post seems to me to be excuses and justifications for imperialism/colonialism/control of Iraq and the countrys resources, regardless of and without concern for what Iraqis want.
One of the things we know Iraqis want is to NOT be occupied by American military.
Every time Iraqis kill another American soldier, it is, in my view, a "request" to Washington to withdraw all the troops. Some of the puppet government of Iraq would deny that I think. But they are a puppet government, and a large percentage of the social groups in Iraq are rejecting that puppet government and doing their damnedest to force it to collapse.
Iraqis don't want US troops in their country, and they don't want a US puppet government running their country for the benefit of America. I think that's also undeniable reality.
The "Washington consensus" is focused only on what the "Washington consensus" wants.
I don't think Iraqis, in the main, care in the least what the "Washington consensus" wants, and I think that's also undeniable reality.
I think that if there are any "benchmarks" to be set or to be met, or "decisions" made by anyone about what is or is not "progress" for Iraq, rightfully those benchmarks and those decisions should be being set and made by Iraqis. Required benchmarks to be met by Washington for the "right" and the "privilege" of being allowed to stay and "help". And I believe now that in actual fact that is exactly what is now happening in Iraq.
Both the rate, with upwards of 10,000 Iraqi deaths from foreign terrorism each month now, and the total number of Iraqi deaths from foreign terrorism, are huge problems, that are probably creating hundreds of thousands of people who absolutely hate America and would like to kill as many Americans as possible.
Saba Ali Ihsaan, Baghdad, Irak
The American "surge" as with everything else they have done is a failure...I think that, for good or for ill for the people of Iraq, it is not up to anyone in the US to decide for Iraqis what is or is not "progress".
All I care about is that your country has its troops in my land raping its people, raping its resources, slaughtering our children, and defiling our Holy Places...
The Americans in Irak are reflecting their culture. Racist, callow, shallow, and seemingly unable read a map, it's just that they are a little more honest, a little bit more openly barbaric about it.
There is only one measure of progress that matters in Irak and that is the progress in chewing the invader forces into pieces and then spitting them out. Progress on that is excellent.
They came here as predators and now they are prey. The only thing an American understands is force, we sand nig*ers know a thing or two about that.
To metaphorize a bit, since we destroyed the infrastructure of the house before we started the fire and made no effort to rebuild it, once we stop throwing fuel in and get out of the way before we are thrown out of the way, someone else will rebuild it.
It probably won't look anything like what we'd like it to when they're done, but too bad.
It's their business, in other words. Not America's. Regardless of how often the "national security interests" line is uttered.
The U.S. presence in Iraq, and the U.S. refusal to leave, is the problem.
It is in Americas interest obviously, to NOT have a failed state of anarchy in Iraq, and to not have Iraq aligned with Iran.
But that can't be forced on Iraq. Iraqis have the right to, and will, decide for themselves.
And they are.
All that Washingtons "help" has ever done for Iraq is make the situation worse. Continually. Never better. Only worse.
Iraq will get fixed. Eventually.
But I think it will not be republicans or democrats, or even the U.S. that fixes it. If Iraq can be fixed it will be Iraqis that fix it. They will, and do, set the benchmarks. I think not recognizing that is delusion.
When Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah opened the Arab Summit in Riyadh [...] speaking about Iraq as a land where "blood flows between brothers in the shadow of an illegitimate foreign occupation and hateful sectarianism," he offended many policymakers in Washington. But the statement was only one signal among many that, in the face of explosive conflicts that the Bush administration has caused or failed to contain, the king is out to assert Saudi Arabia's role as an independent leader in the region. The goals--to stabilize Iraq, build an Arab-Israeli peace and contain the growing influence of Iran--are the same as Washington's. But the means to those ends are very different. In an exclusive interview, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal sat down with NEWSWEEK's Christopher Dickey to trace the dramatic changes in his country's policy over the last year.What will fix Iraq is not staying there and fantasizing that continuing to do the same things that are causing the problems there will somehow magically begin to solve the problems.
What will fix Iraq is not "doing" something.
What will fix Iraq is "not doing" something.
Not that I expect it will ever happen, but not funding the occupation any longer and complete and total withdrawal of all U.S. military from the country is what will begin fixing Iraq.
Along with massive reparations paid to the Iraqi people, perhaps equal to the trillion dollars spent to destroy their country.