Friday, May 12, 2006

Weapons for civil war

If you want to start a civil war somewhere like Iraq, the best thing to do is seed it with a lot of weapons.  We’re already seen evidence of this with the Berettas being used by the insurgents. 

Bush has expressly tied the success of his Presidency to the need to keep enough order and stability in Iraq to allow the phony Iraqi government to function.  The appearance that the phony government is functioning has been tied to the success in the war on terror, and the illusion of success in the war on terror is the essence of Bush’s Presidency.  Bush in a recent speech in Cleveland :

“The terrorists who are setting off bombs in mosques and markets in Iraq share the same hateful ideology as the terrorists who attacked us on September the 11th, 2001, those who blew up commuters in London and Madrid, and those who murdered tourists in Bali, or workers in Riyadh, or guests at a wedding in Amman, Jordan. In the war on terror we face a global enemy - and if we were not fighting this enemy in Iraq, they would not be idle. They would be plotting and trying to kill Americans across the world and within our own borders. Against this enemy, there can be no compromise. So we will fight them in Iraq, we'll fight them across the world, and we will stay in the fight until the fight is won.”

and (my emphasis in red):

The security of our country is directly linked to the liberty of the Iraqi people - and we will settle for nothing less than victory. Victory will come when the terrorists and Saddamists can no longer threaten Iraq's democracy, when the Iraqi security forces can provide for the safety of their citizens on their own, and when Iraq is not a safe haven for terrorists to plot new attacks against our nation. There will be more days of sacrifice and tough fighting before the victory is achieved. Yet by helping the Iraqis defeat the terrorists in their land, we bring greater security to our own.

As we make progress toward victory, Iraqis will continue to take more responsibility for their own security, and fewer U.S. forces will be needed to complete the mission. But it's important for the Iraqis to hear this: The United States will not abandon Iraq. We will not leave that country to the terrorists who attacked America and want to attack us again. We will leave Iraq, but when we do, it will be from a position of strength, not weakness. Americans have never retreated in the face of thugs and assassins, and we will not begin now.”

Bush said much the same thing a few days later at Freedom House (my emphasis in red):

“. . . some Americans are asking if it's time to pull out our troops and leave the Iraqis to settle their own differences. I know the work in Iraq is really difficult, but I strongly feel it's vital to the security of our country. The terrorists are killing and maiming and fighting desperately to stop the formation of a unity government because they understand what a free Iraq in the heart of the Middle East means for them and their ideology. They know that when freedom sets root in Iraq, it will be a mortal blow to their aspirations to dominate the region and advance their hateful vision. So they're determined to stop the advance of a free Iraq, and we must be equally determined to stop them.

The irony is that the enemy seems to have a much clearer sense of what's at stake than some of the politicians here in Washington, D.C. One member of Congress who has proposed an immediate withdrawal of American forces in Iraq recently explained that what would happen after American forces pulled out was this: He said, ‘They'll fight each other, somebody will win, they'll settle it for themselves.’ While it might sound attractive to some, it would have disastrous consequences for American security. The Iraqi government is still in transition, and the Iraqi security forces are still gathering capacity. If we leave Iraq before they're capable of defending their own democracy, the terrorists will win. They will achieve their stated goal. This is what the terrorists have told us they want to achieve. They will turn Iraq into a safe haven. They will seek to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction. They will use Iraq as a base to overthrow moderate governments in the Middle East. They will use Iraq as a base from which to launch further attacks against the United States of America.”

That’s why American troops are staying, and won’t be coming home soon.  By tying the situation in Iraq to the war on terror and the security of America, Bush has painted himself into a corner.  He can’t afford to let Americans see the Iraqi government fail when American troops are withdrawn.  Therefore, there can’t be a withdrawal as long as he is President. 

On the other hand, the longer American troops stay, the more likely the country is to eventually break up.  Ensuring that the insurgency is well armed keeps the necessity for American troops in Iraq, and thus eventually ensures that the country will end up in a full civil war, just as the neocons planned.