Sunday, May 09, 2004

Excuses, excuses 

For the past several months as the situation in Iraq has deteriorated a constant theme has emerged amongst U.S military officials, the Bush administration, and the C.P.A.. That theme is that the increase in insurgent activity results not from a growth in the insurgency or increased support amongst the Iraqi population for the insurgency but rather from the insurgents supposed desperation at preventing the turn over of power to an "Iraqi" government on June 30th.

Of course, this is simply ridiculous. First, nothing of significance is going to change on June 30th. The U.S. will still be militarily occupying Iraq and will be the ultimate arbiter of all power. The unelected "leaders" who will form an "sovereign Iraqi" government will have no legitimacy, no support amongst the Iraqi population, and no power. Why would your average Iraqi support this new government given that they had no say in forming it? And what exactly will this new government do given that it has no ability to make laws and all military and police powers will still be carried out by the U.S.?

The new government will be nothing more than a puppet regime - no less than the puppet regime installed by the Soviets in Afghanistan or the various puppet regimes the U.S. installed in South Vietnam or the Vichy French puppet regime installed by the Nazis in France. These puppet regimes are always put in place so that the outside occupying power doesn't look like - well - an outside occupying power. And that is what the U.S. is hoping for come June 30th. They are hoping that when the daily press briefings in the Green Zone are given not by an English speaking Paul Bremmer but by an Arabic speaking Iraqi "leader" they will somehow be more palatable to the Iraqi population.

However, this will prove to be completely futile. The puppet regime installed by the U.S. will fare no better than any other puppet regime in history has. The Soviet puppet regime in Afghanistan managed to hold on for almost two years after the Red Army withdrew. And the South Vietnamese regime managed to hang on for a couple of years on its own too. However, as things stand now it is clear that the Iraqi governing council or whatever contraption they come up with on June 30th likely wouldn't last two weeks without the U.S. military backing it up.

So it is really quite clear that the insurgents, being astute people, attach no significance to the supposed "hand over of power" on June 30th. That is not what is driving the current fighting. The growing strength, military sophistication, and popular support of the insurgents are what is driving it. But of course the powers that be in the U.S. can't admit that publicly. To admit that would be to admit that, while we may being winning the battles, we are losing the war. And to admit that we are losing the war is, as Rumsfeld would put it, radioactive.

Hence the invented excuses. When it first started out the insurgency was just a few Ba'athist dead enders that needed to be mopped up. Once Saddams sons were killed there was to be a "temporary spike" in violence which would then diminish. When it didn't diminish it was because the evil Saddam was still on the loose. Once he was captured there was supposed to be another "temporary spike" in the fighting which would again recede as people realized the Ba'athists were never coming back. In fact, after the capture of Saddam we were told that the insurgency was all but finished as U.S. military forces supposedly got an bonanza of new intelligence which allowed them to break up Ba'athist cells.

But somehow the fighting has continued and even intensified. Hence the need for new excuses. And the excuse of the moment is the June 30th handover of power. Of course, June 30th will come and go and the fighting will continue and intensify so what will the excuse be then? Well, being the astute person that I am it is clear to me the new excuse will be the U.S. presidential elections. I can already hear them - "the insurgents are fighting harder than ever because they think that if they kill enough Americans before November they can influence our elections and get a new president who will pull are troops out just like what happened with the Spanish" Of course, that is complete B.S. but it will be credible to a segment of the U.S. population and hence serve its purpose of sustaining support for the war.

But, November will come and go and there will still be fighting and it will probably be still worse. So what will the excuse be then? Beats me, but I am sure they will think of something.


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