Monday, November 28, 2005



The Observer UK relates comments by Ayad Allawi, who served as Prime Minister for the Interim Iraqi government until April 2005:,6903,1651789,00.html

Stating "'People are doing the same as [in] Saddam's time and worse... It is an appropriate comparison. People are remembering the days of Saddam. These were the precise reasons that we fought Saddam and now we are seeing the same things," Allawi relates a bleak story of Iraqi turned against Iraqi with accelerating violence and degenerating methods.

He singles out the now in control Shia as being "responsible for death squads and secret torture centres."

The Observer concludes with remarks from a Liberal Party spokesman: "The assertions by Mr Allawi simply underline the catastrophic failure to have a proper strategy in place for the post-war period in Iraq."

Really, now... What would that strategy have looked like? What stratagem applies to the governance of a newly liberated people who only want to cut each other's throats?

An exercise in empathy:

Iraq in 1979 was superficially a pretty nice place. The country was, by middle eastern standards, religiously diverse and socially liberal. The people were relatively well-educated and well-off; there was a lot of money from oil.

Iraq had a lot going for it.

How did a bastard like Saddam Hussein seize and hold power in Iraq for over twenty years? The Baathists were never more than a large, well-organized minority.

Well, who was the opposition?

There wasn't one, at least not a popular plural one. Just factions, of which the Baathists were the baddest. Eliminating Saddam Hussein's control apparatus has let the genies out of the bottle.

But it didn't create them.

Almost everyone accepts the idea that Saddam had to go and screw the details. Even among the people who want to use the details to screw GWB you find zero support for Saddam Hussein or his former regime, a fact that sometimes leaves antiwar extremists conflicted.

It may be argued that the current violence could have been and even was predicted and that the dislocations of war abet it but neither amounts to causation. Is anyone willing to argue the cause is the overthrow of the Baathist regime? If this is causual, do you argue for their return?

Who will champion this argument?

The reason there are death squads in Iraq today is that Iraqis want to kill Iraqis, and we're not responsible for that. They are, and therefore only they can effect a remedy.

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