Subject: Middle East
There is so much insanity now in the media with the candidates sniping at each other and so far we know that each one thinks the other one sucks……and that seems to be what the unpaid surrogates in the blogs are echoing…..but as we Americans sloganize our selves into a stupor…….there is much happening in the middle east that could impact this country…..for that reason I will dedicate the next several days on posts about the ME and the problems brewing…….
I know that Americans right now are focused on whether a stay at home mom really works or if women that take the pill are sluts or …..I am sure if we wait a little longer another made up controversy will pop up……..but until then…..
Iraq! Remember that one? It was the hub of AQ activity in the world…..Saddam was in cahoots with them and there were WMDs lying undisturbed in the streets waiting for the moment to be used against the US. Remember those days?
Let me share a few thoughts on Iraq from the days before the first war……the streets were virtually spotless, the people had total healthcare from cradle to grave, education was free and gas cost about 15 cents a gallon….the first gulf war made a mess of Baghdad….after the ceasefire and cleanup after wards returned Baghdad to the clean thriving city it was before the massive bombing and such…..
Then came the 2nd war and the total destruction of Baghdad and the rest of the country….and the US decided to re-build the country in the democratic image that is the United States….then came the fun (at least for the contractors like KBR, etc that would be making 10s of billions of dollars)……
But now we Americans are all but gone from the country (we will NEVER be gone as long as we are permitting contractors to game their way to billions upon billions)…….and now the Iraqi people can get on with their lives as a free people and a birth of a Middle East democracy….and that is what the media and the administration would have us believe…….and so the saga continues, right?
My question was….will Iraq ever return to the days when the country’s people were well off and prosperous? I found my answer in a copy of the magazine Foreign Policy………
Nine years after U.S. troops toppled Saddam Hussein and just a few months after the last U.S. soldier left Iraq, the country has become something close to a failed state. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki presides over a system rife with corruption and brutality, in which political leaders use security forces and militias to repress enemies and intimidate the general population. The law exists as a weapon to be wielded against rivals and to hide the misdeeds of allies. The dream of an Iraq governed by elected leaders answerable to the people is rapidly fading away.
The Iraqi state cannot provide basic services, including regular electricity in summer, clean water, and decent health care; meanwhile, unemployment among young men hovers close to 30 percent, making them easy recruits for criminal gangs and militant factions. Although the level of violence is down from the worst days of the civil war in 2006 and 2007, the current pace of bombings and shootings is more than enough to leave most Iraqis on edge and deeply uncertain about their futures. They have lost any hope that the bloodshed will go away and simply live with their dread. Acrimony in the political realm and the violence in the cities create a destabilizing feedback loop, whereby the bloodshed sows mistrust in the halls of power and politicians are inclined to settle scores with their proxies in the streets.
Both Maliki and his rivals are responsible for the slow slide toward chaos, prisoners of their own history under Saddam. Iraq today is divided between once-persecuted Shiite religious parties, such as Maliki’s Dawa Party, still hungry for revenge, and secular and Sunni parties that long for a less bloody version of Saddam’s Baath Party, with its nationalist ideology and intolerance of religious and ethnic politics. Meanwhile, the Kurds maneuver gingerly around the divisions in Baghdad. Their priority is to preserve their near autonomy in northern Iraq and ward off the resurrection of a powerful central government that could one day besiege their cities and bombard their villages, as Baghdad did throughout the twentieth century.
The country, Iraq, may NEVER return to the beautiful country I knew in my youth……..Iraq is destined to be a failed state and will be open to yet another dictator to come along…..and this cycle will most likely begin all over again….but for now…all the Iraqis have to look forward to is more misery and a failed state waiting for the next strongman to appear…..
A now it looks like he is trying to emerge from the shadows…….
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has demonstrated an increasingly authoritarian rule as he consolidates power over the country’s institutions and security forces. He has marginalized his political opponents through force and coercion, which has stoked sectarian tensions and even threatened a break-up of the nation. And Obama is supporting all of it.
Maliki, a Shiite, ordered the arrest of his Sunni Vice President Hashemi just as the last U.S. troops left Iraq. The U.S. ambassador to Iraq expressed approval in January of this quest to detain Iraq’s vice president on trumped up terrorism charges, despite a virtual consensus that it was a blatant attempt to eliminate a political rival.
Maliki also betrayed an agreement that would have limited his ability to marginalize the Sunnis and turn the military into a sectarian force and ended up arresting hundreds of former Baath Party members on charges that they were involved in a coup plot. Because of the turmoil, Sunni and Kurdish blocs in the Iraqi parliament committed themselves to a boycott, and later threatened secession.
Alaa Mekki, a senior lawmaker with the mostly Sunni Iraqiya bloc, said of the U.S., “Their goal of a united, democratic Iraq is now under threat because of what we describe as the dictatorship attitude.” Angered Kurds and Sunnis say their disenfranchisement has never been greater.
Just wait! Iraq has not been stabilized and the US has done what it does best…put strong men in power….and it could eventually bite us in the ass…