Thursday, December 30, 2004
Iraqi war is a disaster.... opinion of Pentagon pundits
Summing up several interventions, with some serving and former Administration officials (many speaking behind anonymity) and several military analysts, it seems that what is underway is the result of US policy of pitting one ethnic group against another. This was precisely what the Soviets did in Afghanistan when they realised they were losing the war, and it hastens the process of losing the war as well.
The US policy in Iraq has been to unleash historical enemies against one another. There have been reports of mass assassinations, of ethnic cleansing and of expulsion of those belonging to ethnic groups which are seeking control of one area or another, or purely out of acts of vendetta for crimes committed in the Saddam era, as is the case with the Shiites who had been the numerical majority but bereft of political power.
A major mistake was the disbanding of Iraq's 400,000-man army. "At a stroke, we went from a liberator to an occupier," one of the officials said. This was especially dramatic for Iraqi society, because the army had been a respected institution and a focal point for national identity.
The Iraqi Middle Class is almost entirely anti-American. They had been economically strangulated by the UN sanctions, and their expectations of the war aftermath were far too rosy for the reality which has befallen them. They are not contributing to sustaining US forces.
Those whose point of reference are religious groups, which comprise the vast majority of the Iraqi population, are against the occupation and want the US to leave Iraq immediately. They believe that security is the major problem, and in light of the current state of affairs, believe that this is a task best left to themselves.
Prospects for the future are extremely bleak, including the Kurds declaring independence or that the chasm between the Shiites and the Sunnis could widen. The new Iraqi State could fail completely and not guarantee even territorial integrity or unity. All of which points to a civil war.
Summing the situation up, former senior CIA Iraqi analyst Judith Yaphe said, "Elections will not solve anything -- we are grasping for events that will enable us to get out of Iraq, but there are no such thing. Democracy is not an event but a process."