America in Eyewrack, only Aristophanes could capture the strangeness of the US neoconservatives!
Donald Rumsfeld with Saddam Hussein, February 2003. The US, long engaged with Iraq, armed Iraq during the 8 year Iran-Iraq war. Oil drove the invasion of Iraq, 2003. The US did not understand Iraq which became patently obvious within 3 weeks of the illegal invasion. This photograph much used is deliberately out of focus.
A European produced, elitist, twilight view of the modern world was allied to the sunny all-American politics of triumphal capitalism, cultural piety and flag-waving nationalism, under the most anti-intellectual US president since Warren Harding. Neoconservatives make the logical (?) connection between ancient philosophy and the latest press release from the American Enterprise Institute. A comic genius, an American Aristophanes, could capture the strangeness of this little world.
There were never enough US troops in Iraq. Donald Rumsfeld, US Secretary of State, overruled US Commander-in-Chief, Iraq, General Franks, who ruled through fear, to reduce troop levels from the required 350,000 to 150,000. First contact with Iraqi confirmed the stark reality that there were not enough troops to patrol the road from Baghdad International Airport to the Green Zone. There were insufficient US troops to patrol the streets to deter ordinary crimes. US troops could not guard the many munition dumps all over Iraq which were being steadily looted by Iraqi insurgents. Entire provinces were controlled by insurgents due to poor US troop deployments.
The Baghdad morgue estimated 5 cases per week involved Baathists executed in reprisal killings, their families retrieved the bodies without informing the police. A weak often corrupt, new police force, a foreign occupier failing to provide security, and a general atmosphere of lawlessness - kidnappings, carjackings, highway banditry, shootings by nervous US soldiers at checkpoints, suicide bombings, urban firefights, murder for revenge, for money, for every and no reason - Iraqis expected no justice which was denied them under Saddam Hussein for decades.
The British were accused of inventing Wahhabism and therefore al-Quaeda. Hempher, in Confessions of a British Spy written by a Turkish Sunni Muslim probably in 1750, befriended Mohamed ibn Abd al-Wahhab and urged him to found a heretical sect of Islam in order to bring Muslims into disrepute and turn them against each other. This is a hoax. 19 of the September 11, 2001 hijackers were members of the Saudi Arabian extremist Sufi Wahhabist sect. Shia extremists were much encouraged.
The US public supported the US armed forces in Iraq but not the US administration. Abu Ghraib the abuse and torture of Iraqi prisoners confirmed the deception of the coterie of Wolfowitz, Rice, Rumsfeld, Cheney and George Dubya. A Company Commander in the 1st Armoured Division ensured the troops under his command were retrained, courteous and respectful
towards Iraqi civilians thereby ensuring this was te best way of winning over Iraqis who were unsure of the US occupation.
A man whose son died in Iraq remembered Lincoln's 1862 message to Congress 'As our case is new, so, we must think anew, and act anew. We must dis-enthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.' This man wanted to hear these words from a wartime leader. Bush made so many mistakes but admitted to none, for an educated man he knew little about the world.
The media strategy of the insurgency eluded seasoned journalists. The security situation ensured journalists were cut off from Iraqis. 'No foreigner really knows what is going on in Iraq' a former British CPA official and Arabic speaker, confirmed. Iraqi politicians, translators, those who could enter and leave Iraq freely, they did know about about conditions in the slums and rural areas where the only security forces were insurgents or militia.
It is possible the war's architects will be realised in a generation or two, that regime change in Iraq will advance democracy and reduce extremism across the Middle East. In fact Western liberal interests have been badly damaged by the fighting in Iraq. Failure in Iraq has been marked by a complete lack of accountability in Washington prompting a group of retired US generals to speak out publicly and blame Donald Rumsfeld.
The withdrawal of US troops from Iraq in 2011created a dangerous vacuum with ISIS moving in and claiming territory in Syria and Iraq which found US, Iranian and Iraqi, including Kurdish forces, combining to eventually defeat them at huge cost in cities turned to rubble and civilian deaths. Iraq went from Sunni domination to a Shiite governed country. The US interference in the region brought chaos ad left chaos. Iran and Russia rescued Syria from its civil war and now dominate the Middle East. As the US withdrew from Eyewrack under Donny from Queens and lost prestige Russia took over the Middle East.
Source: The Assassin's Gate, America in Iraq, George Packer, Faber and Faber, 2007ns