Dispatches: March 24
Krauthammer’s Bloody Road to a “New Iraq”
Pierre Tristam/Candide’s Notebooks, March 24
With the latest 24 hours reporting another 29 people killed in Baghdad (and that’s just Baghdad, we should always remember: Iraq sprawls with payback), Charles how-can-I-move-further-right Krauthammer admits it’s a civil war, but of course it’s just a trick, a set-up to awe us into the new shocker of this Mesopotamian excursion: We invaded Iraq to throw it into civil war. It was part of the plan all along: “Now all of a sudden everyone is shocked to find Iraqis going after Iraqis.” [Actually, not everyone: I, for one, predicted Iraqis would turn their country into a morgue manifest the week the United States launched the invasion, three years ago.] “But is it not our entire counterinsurgency strategy to get Iraqis who believe in the new Iraq to fight Iraqis who want to restore Baathism or impose Taliban-like rule? Does not everyone who wishes us well support the strategy of standing up the Iraqis so we can stand down? And does that not mean getting the Iraqis to fight the civil war themselves? Hence the gradual transfer of war-making responsibility. Hence the decline of American casualties. Hence the rise of Iraqi casualties.” It’s so natural. So logical. So satisfying. Hence the cretinry of the Fox News brigades still thinking this a game of Risk at Arab blood’s expense: as long as it’s their towel-headed blood spilling all over the place, it’s a good, necessary thing, because the war “will end when a critical mass of Sunnis stops supporting the insurgency and throws its lot in with the new Iraq.” Like Iraq will be a brand new model drumming off what’s left of the General Motors assembly line. Krauthammer’s smug reductionism makes me think of the latest from Fayrouz: “Many readers of this blog never experienced living in a country where life is so unbearable that a person would do anything to land into a country where (s)he can sleep at night knowing life will be OK the next day. You’re the lucky ones.” Or this post about “the New Iraq” from Attawie: “Whatever, in the new Iraq , the free Iraq , I'm free to say I don't like the new president. I'm free to say it loudly. In such a free country, we are free to say publicly what we want to say. Oh, and this freedom gives the right to other free citizens to disagree with me. Therefore, they are free to attack me, bomb my car and even kill me.” Or this March 16 piece from the Beirut Daily Star (and widely reported elsewhere): “Eleven members of an Iraqi family, including five children, were killed in a U.S. raid on Wednesday, police and witnesses said. The U.S. military said two women and a child died during the bid to seize an Al-Qaeda militant from a house. A senior Iraqi police officer said autopsies on the bodies showed each had been shot in the head.” The killings have a striking similarity to the November massacre of 15 Iraqis in Haditha, which the Pentagon is also, in its infinite skills at such things, investigating. The ongoing irony is that the military makes a difference between willful massacres and what it considers to be nothing more than legitimate acts of war, but are nothing less than massacres wrapped in the no-fault declaration of happenstance, like the killing of a 78-year-old man, while driving his car in a residential neighborhood. And on it goes. Lucky us indeed. Lucky Krauthammer.
[Photo from http://www.roadstoiraq.com/]