October 29, 2003

Three Threes Of Iraq:

Let's start with three Bush lies:

1. We will capture Saddam Hussein, alive or dead.
2. We will find WMDs.
3. The Iraqis will greet us as liberators.

Secondly, who are the Iraqis that are still shooting bombs all over Baghdad?

1. Former Ba'athist Party members, with or without Saddam and other senior members, who are just doing what they always did: intimidating the people to maintain power by force.

2. Islamic fundamentalists, including foreigners and growing bands of local recruits like "Mohammed's Army."

3. Conservative locals, predominantly Sunni tribesmen, increasingly angry at disrespectful behavior by US troops.

Thirdly, what can the USA do now?

1. Hand over Iraq to the international community. This means abandoning a major military "foothold" in the Middle East and relinquishing control of Iraqi oil. Don't wait for it to happen under Bush's administration.

2. Hang in there and tough it out. But US troops are fatigued, reserve forces are depleted, the death toll keeps climbing and there is increasing domestic resistance to the Iraqi "quagmire". Something will have to give and soon.

3. Hand over power to the Iraqi Governing Council. But these squabbling puppets still cannot agree on anything of substance, they still need to build an infrastructure that includes armed forces, border controls, police and other public services. Handing control to them and pulling back forces now would likely trigger a civil war involving the three aggressive elements above. If the chosen puppets could not maintain themselves in power, this would also lead to the US losing whatever military and financial gains they sought in Iraq.


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