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Friday, June 08, 2007
(11:52 AM) | Stephen:
Taking Responsibility

From the article quoted in my last post:
The Washington commentariat has suggested recently that Bush seems ready to pronounce the imminent end of his “surge,” which by several accounts has failed both to secure large parts of Baghdad and, on a more strategic level, to prod the still-paralyzed Iraqi government to govern. (emphasis mine)
I really hate the way the Iraqi government and citizens are portrayed as not taking responsibility for their own affairs. When the Democrats were still willing to challenge Bush with benchmarks and timelines, part of the rhetoric employed by the Dems - especially Hillary Clinton - was that the Iraqis also needed to be held accountable by benchmarks and timelines passed by Congress. And of course Bush has long talked about training Iraqi forces so that they can take control of their own affairs.

What rubbish. It's unrealistic and condescending, completely unnecessary to cast the Iraqis as layabouts unwilling to step up and get to work. It implies that the US invasion and occupation has actually done something other than create a leadership vacuum, destroy a nation's infrastructure and inflame sectarian tensions. Bush forced the Iraqi government to violate its own constitution with the botched execution of Saddam Hussein, and then complains that the Iraqi government isn't willing to govern.

And that's only one example of the way the US has bullied and undermined Iraq's elected officials when it has been politically convenient, and then complained that Iraq's elected officials aren't making their own decisions enough - even to the point of saying that they're so weak they should be replaced!

The US invasion and occupation of Iraq has taken away the population's access to clean water, to food, to regular electricity and even petroleum products. We failed to secure massive weapons and ammo caches, disbanded the Iraqi army, placing thousands of soldiers out of work in an instant, and set about abducting and torturing Iraqi citizens at random. We have continually declared one sect or another the "enemy" and supported Sunnis over Shiites, then Shiites over Sunnis. We attacked the nation's most popular religious leaders, making the population furious at us and then failed to accomplish the mission even then, which allowed those leaders, most notably Moqtada al-Sadr, to come back even stronger.

Families torn apart, Saddam's jails reopened with American jailers, destroyed infrastructure, weapons flowing freely all over the country, repeated bullying and manipulation of the government, and the problem is that the Iraqis aren't taking responsibility for themselves.

Of all the things that we've done over there, that's probably the worst one. It's the argument that the abuser makes to his victims, asking them why they have to be so bad, why they are making him injure them. This argument is what really shows the deep pathology of not only the Bush administration but most of our politicians and media in DC.

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