Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Soapbox moment: The Surge

The surge is not a new energy drink. It is in fact, a polite term to describe an escalation of American troops in Iraq. Obama has just said he thinks it failed. Violence is down in Iraq and the whole point of the surge was to give the Iraqi government room to sort its self out with out factions taking to the street. It seems to have worked. Right? If we understand the surge to be a political move more than a military one, the surge has still failed for a number of reasons that go unreported in the American media.
Without using names no American can pronounce, lets just skip to the chase on this one. Iraq has three groups. Sunnis, Shias and Kurds.
Saddam was a Sunni. All the leaders under him and the vast majority of those who belonged to his ruling party were Sunni. When we stepped in, we got rid of every Sunni in power.
The Shia's were always a majority of the population in Iraq. Under Saddam, they were treated as less than second class citizens. Guess what America? Iran is almost entirely Shia. What years of war and thousands of years of fighting had not been able to accomplish, we did for Iran when we got rid of their opponent. Nice of us to help Iran out on that one, ha?
Why am I telling you all this? So you understand the situation. When that conservative family member who gets information only from Rush or Fox news starts vomiting the talking points they want you to have, you will have easy to check facts and an even more interesting question as to why we don't know these things.
We are told that the situation in Iraq is getting better. That the surge did it's job and the government of Iraq is finally getting stuff done. Nothing could be further from the truth. Violence has all but stopped. True. However the government of Iraq has never been more fractured. The Kurds in the northern part of the country are cutting their own deals with oil companies for exploration and development. They are operating like an independent nation. The Sunnis, who were always a minority walked out on the last government meting where everyone was to vote on a bill that would give America control to negotiate oil leases for Iraq. The shias remain in power and friendly to us because we put them there, but thousands of years of culture and other similarities are hard to break when the center of the Shia Muslim world is right next door in Iran. Thats right America, we gave Iran what they have wanted forever, a Shia Muslim government in Iraq.
In other words, we have pushed ourselves and all interested parties into a stalemate. A stalemate we created because until Iraq agrees to let us stay as long as we want and lets us decide on how to develop their oil resources, we will continue to tell the American public that the situation in Iraq is not stable enough for out troops to go home.
You see whats going on now? It's blackmail on a huge scale. We want their oil. Period. To think this was ever about something else is beyond ignorant at this point. The Iraq government said they want a time table for us to leave. This is coming from the leader we installed. Not hippies in America or Al Quedia forces we allowed into the country when didn't pay attention to the borders. Yet, we continue to say the time is not right. Until we get an agreement on the oil and the permanent bases that now dot Iraq, we are staying in force. That has been what has been going on for the last year now. The extra troops sent over in the surge were not to help stabilize the fledgling government, they were there to keep down the overwhelming decent among all groups in Iraq for the deal we want. Right now, we are just waiting for a signature on a contract that has been unsigned for more than two years.
Look folks, if you want to look at it from the perspective that we freed them, then you have to admit staying long after they have asked us to go makes us seem like an occupying army.
Being angry at Iran for helping their Shia brothers makes us look almost retarded when our actions have never made it easier for Iran and Iraq to communicate directly with each other. The Kurds, who everyone has fucked over in history, have decided they are going to pretty much do their own thing with or without the rest of the country. Meanwhile, 7 years after we invaded Afghanistan to get rid of the Taliban, they are still attacking U.S. forces. In fact, last month we had more troops die over there than in Iraq. If you think the surge has worked, then you just are not paying attention to the news you can get outside of America. Lets be honest here, we are not telling the Iraq's that we are staying until all power plants and hospitals are rebuilt. We are not telling the world that until Iraq's museums have their cultural treasures back, we are staying. We are very precisely telling Iraq that until we get exclusive rights to develop and profit from their oil reserves, we are staying. We are staying at a staggering cost to us tax payers and staying despite the overwhelming emotional toll it is taking on our dangerously over stretched armed forces.
So you tell me, what was this war all about and why are we still there?

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