by Robert Fisk
Always, we have betrayed them. We backed "Flossy" in Yemen. The French
backed their local "harkis" in Algeria; then the FLN victory forced them to
swallow their own French military medals before dispatching them into mass
graves. In Vietnam, the Americans demanded democracy and, one by one - after
praising the Vietnamese for voting under fire in so many cities, towns and
villages - they destroyed the elected prime ministers because they were not
abiding by American orders.
Now we are at work in Iraq. Those pesky Iraqis don't deserve our sacrifice,
it seems, because their elected leaders are not doing what we want them to
Does that remind you of a Palestinian organisation called Hamas? First, the
Americans loved Ahmed Chalabi, the man who fabricated for Washington the
"weapons of mass destruction" (with a hefty bank fraud charge on his back).
Then, they loved Ayad Allawi, a Vietnam-style spook who admitted working for
26 intelligence organisations, including the CIA and MI6. Then came Ibrahim
al-Jaafari, symbol of electoral law, whom the Americans loved, supported,
loved again and destroyed. Couldn't get his act together. It was up to the
Iraqis, of course, but the Americans wanted him out. And the seat of the
Iraqi government - a never-never land in the humidity of Baghdad's green
zone - lay next to the largest US
embassy in the world. So goodbye, Ibrahim.
Then there was Nouri al-Maliki, a man with whom Bush could "do business";
loved, supported and loved again until Carl Levin and the rest of the US
Senate Armed Forces Committee - and, be sure, George W Bush - decided he
couldn't fulfil America's wishes. He couldn't get the army together,
couldn't pull the police into shape, an odd demand when US military forces
were funding and arming some of the most brutal Sunni militias in Baghdad,
and was too close to Tehran. . . .
Katrina Vanden Heuvel, "The Enormous Cost of
War," Nation, August 17, 2007