Few paid attention late last year when the Islamist leadership of this most ferocious of Arab rebellions proclaimed Bush a war criminal but asked him not to withdraw his troops. “We haven’t yet killed enough of them,” their videotaped statement announced.
Well, they will have their chance now. How ironic that it was the ghastly Saddam, dignified amid his lynch mob, who dared on the scaffold to tell the truth which Bush and Blair would not utter: that Iraq has become “hell” .
And on how Bush’s escalation only compounds past, irrevocable, errors:
“Democracy” should have been introduced at the start Â not delayed until the Shias threatened to join the insurgency if Paul Bremer, America’s second proconsul, did not hold elections Â just as the American military should have prevented the anarchy of April 2003. The killing of 14 Sunni civilians by US paratroopers at Fallujah that spring set the seal on the insurgency. Yes, Syria and Iran could help George Bush. But Tehran was part of his toytown “Axis of Evil”, Damascus a mere satellite. They were to be future prey, once Project Iraq proved successful. Then there came the shame of our torture, our murders, the mass ethnic cleansing in the land we said we had liberated.
And so more US troops must die, sacrificed for those who have already died. We cannot betray those who have been killed. It is a lie, of course. Every desperate man keeps gambling, preferably with other men’s lives.
It now seems like ancient history since the Baker-Hamilton report urged a change of course (albeit an overly moderate one) and also urged engaging Iran and Syria diplomatically (however unlikely they would be to throw Bush a lifeline). Now Bush responds with an escalation and with a military raid on an Iranian diplomatic office. The incident, widely and justifiably condemned internationally, took place in Kurdistan, and has angered the US allies in control of that part of the (former?) state of Iraq.
Will anyone stop this rogue elephant?