The US military did a superb job of proving its immense superiority in arms, technology and training in winning the war in Iraq. It is the peace that is elusive. The administration has put the military in the most untenable situation owing to its duplicitous rationale for war.
Under brutal Saddam, there was no political liberty in Iraq. All the thugs were part of the regime thus the streets were safe. Iraqis learnt to keep quiet to have a reasonably good lively-hood. After Saddam Iraqis have political freedom but living is a nightmare. Iraqis are getting angrier with the US and more sympathetic towards the guerrillas.
The numbers of guerilla groups are growing and better organized. They are Bathists, Al-Qaida infiltrators now that Saddam is gone, nationalist resenting a century of Western exploitation, religious extremists of all kinds and many others. They subsume their differences against the occupiers.
Options in Iraq
There are five options and none of them are good.
First: the military should be patient in response to the attacks because the guerillas vanish in the population and innocent people are hurt. This frustrates the soldiers and strengthens the guerillas garnering support from successes.
Second: draconian response to flush-out the guerillas and intimidate civilians into cooperation, engendering greater hatred for the US. Helping US means inviting attacks. Iraqi policemen helping the occupation are considered collaborators targeted by the Guerillas.
Third: fast Iraqification, similar to Vietnamization, will inevitably attract infiltrators to sabotage the effort. This will help US to cut and run rather than leaving a stable democratic Iraq.
Fourth: troops from other countries. No Islamic government will cooperate. US policy is seen as anti-Muslim. Europeans stung by the Bush deceit oppose the occupation, even the Australians have withdrawn and Spaniards are withdrawing. No country wants to send its citizens to be killed in a war it opposed.
Fifth: get the UN involved. UN will take part only if US yields the civilian authority and still foots the bill. This will be open-ended, complete reversal of the Bush policy, full of uncertainty.
American soldiers have been put in a no win situation, a quagmire.
The key to democracy and peace
The key to peace and democracy in Iraq and the Middle-East, even before the neo-conservative-Likud contrived invasion of Iraq was and still is — the resolution of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict.
Arab dictatorial regimes have drawn sustenance from the Israeli occupation of the UN mandated and internationally recognized Palestinian territory. Saddam Hussain used it effectively towards bonhomie in the Arab world.
Blind support of Israeli occupation of Palestine has completely isolated the US. World criticism is muted, as the US is a hyper-power. US has used 37 out of 78 vetoes since 1970 to block the Security Council resolutions condemning the most egregious violations of the UN charter by Israel.
In September-October 2003, US vetoed two resolutions condemning Israel’s plan for expelling Arafat, and bombing of Syria. In response, the UN General Assembly condemned Israel by 131 to 4, in the first and 144 to 4 in the second resolution. The world was on one side and the four opposed were – US, Israel, Marshall Islands (H-Bomb test fame) and Micronesia, (US protectorates until 1986). Not even the supposed coalition partners in Iraq supported the US.
The world has no animus against Jews. Accusing critics of the murderous policies of Sharon as anti-Semitic, dilutes the heinousness of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is a specific hatred practiced by the Christian West prior to the World War. The most eloquent critics of the oppressive Israeli occupation are the thousands of Jews whose parents and grandparents knew first hand the agony and humiliating dispossession culminating in holocaust.
Bush administrations complete dominance by the Neocon-Likud lobby is impossible to ignore. Bush hailed Ariel Sharon is a man of peace. It may have shocked Sharon. Nobody, even in Israel has ever accused him, of being a man of peace. Bush advisor on Middle East is Eliot Abrams a confessed liar of Iran-Contra Affair and a former lobbyist for Likud line preaching obliteration of Palestine.
In effect the sole superpower, when it comes to the Middle-East is perceived by the world and particularly Arabs as a vassal state of Israel. Administration says that the settlements in the occupied territories and the wall are illegal, then finances them by massive military aid and loan guaranties. US is seen as a dishonest broker, an impediment to peace.
In the wake of holocaust, Jews have an understandable empathy for Israel, and passion for its survival. Thousands of peace loving Jews in Israel and the US fear that inflicting dire injustice on Palestinians and occupation by conquest is terribly injurious to the Jewish ethos and without justice for the Palestinians, Israel will never have peace.
Millions spent by the State Department’s propaganda that the US is not at war with Islam is wasted by bigoted anti-Islamic statements by people in the administration, such as Attorney General Ashcroft, General Boykin, Daniel Pipes and many others. Similarly, anti-Islamic bigotry of Bush religious mentors, Franklin Graham and others is more potent anti-American propaganda than Bin-Ladin could ever hope.
Freedom of expression is great, but had these been anti-Semitic or anti-black diatribes they would have been legitimately kicked out of the administration.
Likud-Neocon tutelage of Bush has acquired a Gaza Strip in Iraq for the Americans and a fertile system of spawning more terrorists for Bush to kill and claim credit for.
The best way for the propagation of democracy in Iraq and the Middle-East is the creation of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. All the Arab States have accepted it. Palestinians have practiced democracy even without a state in the most difficult circumstances for years.
Solution to this dispute will guarantee the security of Israel. US will not have to prop-up corrupt dictators, Arabs including Iraqis, will see it as a religion neutral policy, thus not anti-Islamic, and the war on terrorism and Afghanistan will be back on track. Truth trumps propaganda.