August 22, 2006

Waiting For The Next Excuse

First we had the "Saddam's WMDs" excuse, then the "links to terrorists" threat. When both these rationales fell apart, we were told (after the invasion) that it was all about bringing Democracy to the people of Iraq. So this shift away from Bush's "democracy-building" excuse is worth noting:
Bush administration officials now admit that Iraqi government’s original plan to rein in the violence in Baghdad, announced in June, has failed. The Pentagon has decided to rush more American troops into the capital, and the new military operation to restore security there is expected to begin in earnest next month.

Yet some outside experts who have recently visited the White House said Bush administration officials were beginning to plan for the possibility that Iraq’s democratically elected government might not survive.

“Senior administration officials have acknowledged to me that they are considering alternatives other than democracy,” said one military affairs expert who received an Iraq briefing at the White House last month and agreed to speak only on condition of anonymity.

“Everybody in the administration is being quite circumspect,” the expert said, “but you can sense their own concern that this is drifting away from democracy.”
As one wry commenter at RTS says, Bush & Co have actually been exploring such "alternatives" for a long time:
That’s how Bush became president in the first place.
It is easy to get swept up in the whirlwind of spin that constantly insists we are in Iraq to "spread Democracy", even though the opaque farce on offer in Baghdad has always been far from a true Democracy. So it is worthwhile reiterating that "spreading Democracy" was never a primary goal of the invasion, it was just a convenient post-facto excuse.

It may be that full-blown US military control of Iraq will prove the best way for Bush & Co to (a) minimise the ongoing violence and (b) finally get some revenue out of Iraq's oil fields. But then what excuses are left for the occupation? Expect to see a few quotes like the following:
"Iraqis were not ready for Democracy."

"We can't leave now because things will fall apart again."

"We are setting up education programs which should lead to a new round of democratic elections in the next ten years or so..."
UPDATE: TomDispatch says:
As long as Americans believe that Iraq is some kind of imperial Rubik's cube, where what's at stake is hitting on just the right combination of tactics, plans, and political mix inside Baghdad's Green Zone, as long as we believe that we are indeed part of the solution, not part of the problem, matters will only continue to worsen.
Tom's links to a Michael Schwartz article, which provides evidence to support the following hard facts:
1. The Iraqi Government Is Little More Than a Group of "Talking Heads"

2. There Is No Iraqi Army

3. The Recent Decline in American Casualties Is Not a Result of Less Fighting (and Anyway, It's Probably Ending)

4. Most Iraqi Cities Have Active and Often Viable Local Governments

5. Outside Baghdad, Violence Arrives with the Occupation Army

6. There Is a Growing Resistance Movement in the Shia Areas of Iraq

7. There Are Three Distinct Types of Terrorism in Iraq, All Directly or Indirectly Connected to the Occupation


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