Saturday, September 22, 2007

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss

Story: Its strategies shattered, a desperate Washington is reaching out to the late dictator's henchmen.

Here's a sample:
When Gen. David Pet­raeus, commander of the multinational force in Iraq, appeared before Congress with Ambassador Crocker to testify about the results of President Bush’s “surge” strategy, he talked a lot about these tribal militias and the success of Anbar. It is the only progress the U.S. has made in Iraq for years. It’s unclear whether the additional 30,000 troops that make up the surge have had much effect on the Anbar Awakening. But watching Gen. Petraeus, I was struck by how familiar his words sounded. The general talked like every Sunni I’ve ever met in Iraq—hell, he sounded a bit like Saddam. The old tyrant would have had one of his characteristic chest-heaving guffaws watching Petraeus as he intoned the old Baathist mantra about the dangers to Iraq: Iran, Iran, Iran. Bush took up Gen. Petraeus’s views a few days later in a nationally televised speech about Iraq, in which he talked about the threat Tehran posed. It seems that Petraeus and Bush have come to the same conclusion as Saddam: the main enemy is Iran, and you can’t govern Iraq without the Sunni Arab tribes, even as you encourage anti-Iranian nationalism among the Shia. This is what Saddam did during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, and what Washington is trying to do now. One of the main problems with this strategy is that both the Sunni tribes and Shia nationalists are profoundly anti-American and don’t trust each other—a potential recipe for further disaster.
Hat tip: McBride's Media Matters. (She just wanted you to look at the picture, not read the article.)

1 comment:

  1. It's telling that this university "lecturer" in journalism found a link to Maclean's, a venerable Canadian newsmagazine ... at