Saturday, August 01, 2009

U.S. Adviser’s Blunt Memo on Iraq: Time ‘to Go Home’

From the New York Times:

A senior American military adviser in Baghdad has concluded in an unusually blunt memo that Iraqi forces suffer from entrenched deficiencies but are now able to protect the Iraqi government, and that it is time “for the U.S. to declare victory and go home.”

The memo offers a look at tensions that emerged between Iraqi and American military officers at a sensitive moment when American combat troops met a June 30 deadline to withdraw from Iraq’s cities, the first step toward an advisory role. The Iraqi government’s forceful moves to assert authority have concerned some American officers, though senior American officials insisted that cooperation had improved.

Prepared by Col. Timothy R. Reese, an adviser to the Iraqi military’s Baghdad command, the memorandum details Iraqi military weaknesses in scathing language, including corruption, poor management and the inability to resist Shiite political pressure. Extending the American military presence beyond August 2010, he argues, will do little to improve the Iraqis’ military performance while fueling growing resentment of Americans.

More here.

Oh yeah. Iraq. I had almost forgotten.

Not really, but the oil rich desert nation we invaded six years ago has by and large dropped off the corporate media's radar screen. I mean sure, there's the occasional story on a car bomb or some such, but the US power establishment doesn't appear to care so much these days. Some of that has to do with President Obama's shift to Afghanistan as top military priority, but more of it has to do with achieving some relative stability in Iraq, either because of Bush's "surge" or more likely because Shiite and Sunni ethnic cleansing finally carved out permanent ethnic enclaves, with the former group solidifying the lion's share of political control.

Whatever. Either way, Iraq no longer seems to be the hemorrhaging wound it once was. There are no more excuses for an American troop presence there. Sure yeah, it's a "victory;" we "won." Time to withdraw.

Of course, that's not going to happen. We'll be in Iraq forever. As if we were simply going to abandon the five massive and fabulous multi-billion dollar bases we've constructed there. As if we were simply going to walk away from an extraordinarily strategic position right smack dab in the middle of the most oil rich region on the planet, with all the global economic influence such a position carries--I mean, that was the point to the invasion in the first place.

As if we were going to allow Iran to have hegemonic control over Iraq.

Nope. Not gonna happen. Democrat, Republican, it doesn't matter. Both parties are pro-establishment more than anything else, and posessing Iraq is good for US power. All this discussion about pulling out is moot from the start. We own Iraq. And we're never giving it up.

After all these years, I continue to be disgusted.