Seldom does one get to read an article that is more than words slapped to paper. Fellow blogger and journalist Phil Carter's recent article in Slate is the real deal. Carter is obviously dedicated, insightful, intelligent and brave, possessing qualities that are the best of America. So how did he get it wrong?
How did America get it wrong? And what can we do to minimize the damage to America and collaterally to Iraq.
". . .I think we made a difference by training the police, equipping them, mentoring their leaders, and doing what we could to promote the rule of law."
Have we and do we support the rule of law in this endeavor? The rule of law cannot flow from an illegal, aggressive invasion and war that toppled an onerous regime, though the efforts of most of the troops like Mr. Carter are performed in the very best spirit of everything America stands for.
From the inception, the question hangs like a damoclean sword: what rule of law allows for the complete removal of one government to be replaced by another totally funded and directed by the invading power? Not an auspicious carpet on which to roll out democracy.
Counterinsurgency is a fine strategy, but why is there fighting in the first place? What America calls the rule of law is actually a veneer of U.S. dominance overlaid upon a non-unified country in name only.
We all got it wrong when we accepted the lie that Iraq was a threat to the security and safety of America. Building a new, modern Iraq in our image was a fool's errand, doomed to failure before the first troop set foot into Iraq.
The question was never about Iraq, but America. The violence being unleashed in the area is born in America, but is played out in the streets and back alleys of Iraq.
At bottom: If you were an Iraqi of Sunni affiliation, would you support a Shite government? If you were a Shia, would you want the U.S. to leave your country? The Kurds alone have an intrinsic reason to support the U.S., and only because they seek the formation of a separate Kurdish entity.
Until the U.S. leaves the invasion and occupation business, there can be no long-term peace in the region.
What happens in Iraq should stay in Iraq, and among the Iraqis. America is what is wrong.