August 23, 2007
The Independent

Those Pesky Iraqis Don't Deserve Our Sacrifice

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 do.

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

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