Iraqis' Lackeys

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Great
news from Iraq! Tribal leaders who used to be fighting against US
forces have turned their forces against Al Qaida instead. These
tribal forces are working with US forces and the stars are now properly
aligned in this epic battle of good against evil.

Desperate
for any good news out of Iraq, the Administration has selected the
tribes of Anbar as its latest poster child for Mission Accomplished
and no Mission Accomplished commercial would be complete without
the staged appearance of The Decider himself. Heeeeeeere’s
Dubya!

Do
not take too much from the realignment of the tribes of Anbar. In
Arabic there is an old proverb which translates as "The enemy
of my enemy is my friend." This not only explains what is going
on in Anbar, but throughout Iraq.

The
Kurds have been America’s greatest benefactors in Iraq. Protected
and encouraged by US economic and military aid for decades they
gratefully threw their militias into the US campaign to topple Saddam’s
regime. We can count on the Kurds…or can we? When it suited their
immediate objectives the Kurds proved willing to align themselves
with anyone including Saddam. When US interests — such as our
greater interest in preserving a relationship with Turkey —
run afoul of Kurdish national
ambitions
, will the Kurds continue to be the friendly lapdog
we have come to know and love?

The Shiites took arms and support from the US following Gulf War
I, but fought the hardest against the US invasion of 2003. Since
the invasion they have fought with US forces and against them. When
they sensed that the US shared their objective of subduing the Sunni
ruling class they were willing participants in our plan for democracy.
As US forces turned on Shiite
militias
and cozied up to disaffected Sunnis, they came out
fighting,
probably using the same arms we had provided them to fight Saddam.

Sunnis, who suffered the most from America’s takeover, transformed
into the insurgency and quickly began dispatching American forces,
their private mercenary army and their multi-billion dollar Halliburton
infrastructure. The Sunnis were our darlings when they were fighting
Iran in the 1980’s. Post-invasion they became our worst nightmare.
In a kiss-and-makeup move, US forces have now decided to woo all
manner of Sunnis from local tribal leaders to former
Baathists
. Yes, this wooing comes complete with American firepower
for use against their designated enemies be they Al Qaida, the Shiites
or opposing tribal leaders with whom they have a blood feud.

The Administration’s talent for deception is only outweighed by
its talent for self-deception. Rather than making friends and influencing
people, American forces have become an extension of the private
armies at war with each other
in Iraq. While we fancy ourselves
as the party calling the shots, it is the Iraqis who are skillfully
manipulating US forces like the pea in the shell game. Iraqis at
war with each other are more than happy to make a
temporary accommodation with US forces in order to eliminate their
enemy du jour.
They cannot believe the kind of firepower and
logistical support that is placed at their disposal on a handshake
and a promise. And let’s not forget infrastructure.
"Yes Colonel, I will supply you with the names of the terrorists.
Now, could you put the swimming pool a little closer to the Starbucks?"

September
5, 2007

John
M. Peters [send him mail]
is a practicing attorney in Michigan.

John
M. Peters Archives

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