Friday, March 28, 2008

The Endless War of Divide and Conquer

It's hard to understand how the US occupation of Iraq will lead to lasting peace and democracy--if that ever was a real goal. Rather, the US continues on its strategy of divide and conquer, pitting wealthy and powerful Shiites (The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and the Badr Brigade) against the poor (Sadr's Mahdi Army). Chris Floyd of the Baltimore Chronicle states:

"The Bush regime – which is intimately involved in every step of the Basra operations, despite its rote denials – is trying to keep the war boiling on a high simmer. This is the only option it has left to achieve its primary war aim: a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq."

Floyd adds:

"The only possible move that could even potentially defuse the situation at this point is the total withdrawal of American forces. This could, perhaps, compel the various Iraqi factions to come to some accommodation. It is unlikely that such an accommodation would be reached without bloodshed; but blood is being shed copiously now. And as along as the American presence remains, as an artificial, alien – and ever-aggravating – factor, skewing the playing field, taking sides, killing people, and serving as a focus and fomenter of nationalist rage (and a handy pretext for avoiding accommodation), the situation will only grow worse. And certainly no other possible resolution – internal negotiation, a UN or pan-Arab peacekeeping force, etc. – will ever be possible as long as American forces remain in Iraq.

But let us be clear. The withdrawal of American forces from Iraq is not a "good" solution. It will lead to blood and suffering. But there are no good solutions to what Bush and his willing executioners in Congress, the media and Establishment have wrought in Iraq. There were never any "good" solutions. All hope, all potential for a "good" solution evaporated in the very instant that the first bomb fell on March 19, 2003. From that moment, the only thing – the only thing – that one could hope for and work for has been some kind of mitigation of the murderous consequences of this abominable crime."

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