Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A Well-Functioning Machine

The plan has always been a civil war (via UO):
But what do you think “As they stand up, we’ll stand down,” means, anyway? It means and meant getting Iraqis to fight other Iraqis. We’ve taught Shiites and Kurds - in Iraqi Security Force uniforms - to attack Sunnis. Increasingly we enjoin Shiites to attack other Shiites (ISF vs Mahdi Army) and Sunnis to attack other Sunnis (tribal alliances versus Al-Qaeda in Iraq).


No, I don’t think the US intended grand-scale ethnic cleansing and mass-casualty sectarian bombings. I think that even so reptilian an overlord as Dick Cheney regrets that part, at least reflexively. But it’s a spiraling dynamic we set in motion. Want to bring armed elements of Iraqi society to heel using Iraqi forces? Do those armed elements have a level of popular support? Congratulations: you want an Iraqi civil war. A nice tiny one, maybe. But a civil war.
We quibble with Jim in only one respect - whether or not Cheney "wanted" massive internecine slaughter in Mesopotamia. We suggest that, frankly, he didn't care.

This is how you can tell your imperialist machine is working - when the gross, awful evidence of what you intend stands in naked view (Iraqis slaughtering each other at the behest of their Western overlords) and nobody seriously objects. If Dick Cheney kidnapped Kurds and Iraqis and made them fight to the death on a private island for his own enjoyment, the world would recoil in horror. If he says it's "so we don't have to fight them here," people debate him on those terms (how effective is the bloodsport in Fallujah at preventing terrorism in the U.S.?). But nobody asks whether it's objectionable on face that the U.S. is there in the first place.


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