Iraq reconfusion

In a recent blog I wrote about the unwillingness by the United States to finish what they started in Iraq. And so I have argued for a complete withdraw. I think that we are doomed to fail in Iraq, much like we were in Vietnam, because we were lied to about the war’s justification. But, we decided to believe and perpetuate that lie once the truth was revealed to us. One of the primary differences between the wars we win and those we loose is our conviction in our motives for fighting, and our determination to achieve victory. How do we define success and victory in a war where we don’t know what we are fighting for. Who, exactly, are we fighting? Terrorists? Who are the terrorists? Define them, otherwise we are fighting ghosts, no? Well, the war effort continues despite its lack of defined purpose. Today I ran across an article with compelling evidence that the U.S. is  doing someting other than nationbuilding.

Here is a news article about the rebuilding effort in Iraq. Now, in most situations, we would have beaten the enemy before starting reconstruction. But given how confusing and frustrating it must be to fight in a war without knowing it’s purpose, I’m not surprised at the backwards operation. The article highlights a recent inspection of reconstruction projects that have been deemed a success for at least six months. What the inspectors found was machinery that was broken or misused, poor construction and maintenance, and looted facilities. One of the reasons for this situation was well cited by Rick Barton, co-director of the post-conflict reconstruction project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Mr. Barton noted that failures like this are common with reconstruction projects because locals are not part of the planning process. To me, its just another example of how the Iraq war looks more like colonialism than a mission to neutralize or civilize a country. In fact, Mr. Barton makes that exact correlation.

My point here is, if we went into this war saying that we are going to colonize Iraq so we can retain our lifestyle of massive resource consumption, we would be winning this war. For quite a while, corporations have used the American military as their arm of power while pandering to a noble cause for the people, and Iraq is the epitome of such utilization. In fact, I’m not sure the United States even wants the cooperation of Iraqis. Here is an article that shows a promising reconstruction development in Ramadi Anbar Province. There, the Iraqis are joining police forces, car bombs and sniper fire have dropped considerably, and people are working with the U.S. military against Al Qaeda. Yet the U.S. military and the Bush administration quickly suspect that it could all be a ploy to infiltrate American forces, and so they keep willing Iraqis from participating too closely with the development of their country. The situation shows a distrust in the people the U.S. purports to help. And why not? Would you trust someone you were trying to rob? I don’t think people are duped anymore, they know this war is all about oil and strategic positioning to gain control over that region of the world. Of course, we don’t say that, we can’t plan for that and perpetuate the lie at the same time, so we are doomed to fail in our efforts. - knockemdown

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