Friday, May 11, 2007

Former 'LA Times' Baghdad Chief Says Iraqis Are 'Humiliated'

From Editor and Publisher courtesy of AlterNet:

"Iraqis are rather hostile and feel humiliated. And that's the key thing that maybe some of our policymakers don't understand. The presence of the U.S. soldiers is very humiliating to the Iraqis. Even those who, in their minds know that it's necessary to have the soldiers there, at least some kind of force there preventing an all-out civil war from getting even worse...I don't think they appreciate American culture."


"Because there is not - even according to General Petraeus' own guidebook for fighting counterinsurgencies, they're not using soldiers, they're not using enough troops to accomplish their goals...But also, more fundamentally, I don't think that they can do this militarily. I don't think the fundamental problems in Iraq right now are military problems."

More here.

Okay, this has been obvious for quite some time now, but it's nice to hear it from somebody who was on the ground over there for an extended period of time. The US military presence does nothing but aggravate an already bad situation. Sure, if we just pulled out without any planning, the civil war would probably get worse, but why the hell would we leave without any planning? No less than Henry Kissinger has asserted that the only way out is to use a regional approach: bring Iran, Syria, Pakistan, the Saudis, the UN, and others to the table, and hash out something, anything, as long as it doesn't include US troops. It'll be messy, to be sure, but what's going on now is unsustainable.

I mean, the money we're spending should be incentive enough. Not to mention the ever increasing death toll.