Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Truck bombs and mortars exploded across Baghdad yesterday killing scores and wounding hundreds in coordinated attacks. Without the American forces standing watch over their every move, the former seat of the Abbasid caliphate is steadily reverting back to petty, corrupt and bloody form. Is there an Arab society that is not utterly and intractably violent and corrupt?
We waste our American military forces, honorable volunteers all, by using them to fight as surrogates in intra-Ummah battles; a no-win scenario if ever there was one. Just look at the recent victory party Maliki threw to celebrate the withdrawal of the American 'occupiers'. In that sense, Afghanistan will be just another not-so-instant re-play. Where is the overarching strategy for the West? This was President Bush's entirely avoidable error.
GWB had the courage of his convictions, but lacked knowledge and historical imagination or he couldn't have done what he did. He also gets a 'D' for the quality of his political leadership skills in my view (speaking as a 2-time GWB voter). All-in-all, Iraq has been and continues to be, just another in a long line of corrupt Islamic tribal sinkholes for American lives and treasure. Remember, the successes of General Petraeus' tactics were driven by American cash money--greasing the palms of the sheiks. When the money ran out as the Iraqi government took over, so did they.
As far as this having been an illegal war--such a meaningless thing does not exist, and can't--war is entirely about the intention of imposing one's own idea of what 'legal' is by use of force. Either you win or you don't. But fighting and winning a war only to install a Sharia-based Islamic constitution is just plain stupid.
Afghanistan president Karzai takes a page out of Maliki's playbook to put distance between himself and the U.S.A. for domestic political advantage as the Afghan election results get sorted out. Whichever Muslim comes out on top, be it by way of the ballot box or force of arms, Western aims will be inevitably degraded and diminished because Shariah law is consistently allowed to trump the naive "hearts and minds" suasions of the infidel. Playing with Muslims by Muslim rules, so as not to "offend" them by adhering to our own culture, will always produce the same sorry outcome.