Saturday, March 29, 2008

Bush's Defining Moment in Iraq?

Is this the penultimate, mother-of-all [you know what] we have been waiting for?

It is impossible to keep up with events in Iraq. Several times in the past week I have started a screed, but events in southern Iraq are dramatic and fast changing.

I just want to get in on the ground floor of this week's clusterfook which only comes to us wrapped inside the mother of all clusterfooks in history. I'll just reiterate what I have said many times in many ways in the past: Muqtada al-Sadr is part of the solution and not part of the problem of Iraq.

But there's a big assumption - da big IF - in my argument. I call it the ASAP Assumption. That's the assumption that the goal of American policy is to get Iraq back on its feet ASAP ... and extricate ourselves from Iraq ASAP ... so that we can put the whole Bush debacle behind us ASAP, and restore America's world leadership and reputation ASAP.

It's clear that other goals are in play.

Bushism has undergone a number of overlapping transmogrifications from the start. Let's forget the oscillation of reasons and rationales put forward to justify invasion and occupation. There are too many of them to discuss here. And let's confine ourselves to the big picture because the moving parts are a blur to us, mesmerized as we are by the uncivil war in the Democratic primary. Let's just remember these:
  • The unprovoked invasion of Iraq: begun 20-Mar-03 and completed Mayday 2003, as announced on that day on the Carrier Lincoln.
  • Regime change and decapitation: achieved by the capture of Saddam Hussein 15-Dec-03.
  • The on-going pacification and occupation of Iraq: this is the pretense of standing Iraq back on its feet by promising that the occupation will end as soon as the puppet government of the Green Zone can 'stand up'
  • The latest of Bush's 'defining moments' for Iraq: polarizing Iraq between pro-Iran and anti-Iran divisions ... so that it will resemble North and South Korea ... so that our bivouac can remain there for 50 to 100 years.
And the immediate mechanism for all of this is to kill Muqtada al-Sadr and smash the Mahdi Army, thus removing one of the last remaining nationalist building blocks,
essential for a unified and independent Iraq. And that's why Bush is cheer-leading it.

This is truly Bush's defining moment.