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18 May 2008

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mike

Marshall Foch: “Boche is bad and boue is bad. But Boche and boue together . . . ah!”

I like to translate and paraphrase that one from the trenches to Bush and his so-called allies in the MidEast as well as the 2008 elections here in America.

mike

John Hammer

I saw Talibani's son up at Fordham about 18 months ago. He said "yes, the Iranians are our brothers, but we don't get to choose our families".

anna missed

As far as I can tell, the (humongous) invisible elephant in the room has always been Iranian influence WITHIN the Iraqi government. Of which Talabani is only a part. I find it amazing that there has been so little press on this, that people seem willing to adopt hook line and sinker the exclusively evil role of Iranian meddling in Iraq. Good grief, the Iraqi government and its security forces and intelligence ministries are themselves largely formulated around Abdul Azziz al-Hakim and his Badr organization. Which itself was formed by Hakim's brother and the Iranian IRGC. Is it not logical that Iran has been instrumental in this entire process, since they left Iran (after the invasion), to filling the ranks of the Interior Ministry(& armed forces), the establishment of the UIA, and its grip on political life? The recent attempts to marginalize the Sadr trend have been instructive in this regard, as it, along with the Talabani quote mentioned, have brought to light a whole host of other symptoms of Iranian involvement - not so much with the funding or weapons to various militias, but within the government itself. Interesting, isn't it that every time an important intra-sectarian Shiite crisis erupts they immediately all fly to Tehran to negotiate a settlement with IRGC Quds Force General Soleimani. The question I suppose then is why does the U.S. seem not only ok with the arrangement, but also facilitates it - as they did with the Talabani Quote(by not challenging it), and failing to produce all the disappearing stockpiles of Iranian weapons.

One has to wonder that with the Sunni's placed on hold with the awakening, Sadr's forces walled in (literally), and Maliki's various political enemies being rounded in Mosul - what prevents the Maliki/Badr government from morphing into a one party security state beholden to Iran, and then taking Bush up on his offer of "if the Iraqi government asks us to leave, we will"? An interesting way to end the war,no?

Homer

PL: Bush and Co. want us to believe that their "allies" are angels from the realms of glory. No angels in the Middle East, folks..

Rogue President and rogue Parliament.....

I am still waiting to hear our so called allies officially proclaim their support for the right of Israel to exist. (yaaaaawn!! wake me when it happens)

Remember....

1) U.S. Feels Out Iran Groups Trying to Oust Iraqi Leader. Wall Street Journal. July 31, 1998 [snip]

Hamad Al-Bayati, a Sciri representative in London, says his group doesn't want U.S. funds, and, "We have doubts about the seriousness of
the administration."

Dr. Al-Bayati, who met with Mr. Indyk last month in Washington, says the
U.S. should crack down on Iraqi human-rights violations as hard as it cracks down on Iraq's weapons programs.

For example, he says, when two Shiite religious leaders were assassinated in southern Iraq, the U.S. was silent.

A State Department official says the U.S. had prepared a condemnation, but the issue never came up in news briefings.

2) Anti-Saddam Forces Hope to Enlist Army; Exiles Seek to Rejuvenate Campaign; Colum Lynch. The Washington Post. Oct 30, 1999. [snip]

More than 300 members of the Iraqi opposition gathered at a Times Square hotel tonight to rejuvenate their U.S.-backed campaign to overthrow Saddam Hussein, but last-minute cancellations punched holes in the opposition's newfound unity.

[snip]

But on the eve of the event, Hamid Al Bayati, a representative of a key Shiite group, the Tehran-based Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, decided not to attend. Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Democratic Congress, also declined to come, though he sent a large delegation to meet with his longtime rival, Jalal Talabani.

A few other Iraqi opposition organizations--such as the Iraqi Communist Party, the Islamic Al Dawa party and the Syrian Baath Party- -also stayed away, said Mike Amitay, an analyst at the Washington Kurdish Institute.

Amitay said many of the invitees were afraid to be too closely associated with Washington. "They are reluctant to do anything to upset Saddam Hussein, because the U.S. has not given them ironclad assurances that [the United States] will prevent the Iraqi leader from moving against them," Amitay said.

3) Saddam's enemies start training in US as rebels seek unity, Julian Borger in Washington. The Guardian. Oct 29, 1999. [snip]

Writing to Iraqi dissident leaders on the eve of the conference, the US undersecretary of state, Thomas Pickering said: `We, and most of all the Iraqi people, need such a partner with which to cooperate - both to help liberate Iraq from its current nightmare, and to help rebuild it when Iraqis reclaim their freedom and national dignity.

`Until such a partner comes into being and action, there is little the United States or United Nations can do to help free Iraqis from Saddam Hussein's tyranny.'

But several groups, including the Iran-based Shi'ite group, the Supreme Assembly for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, say they will boycott the conference because it is dominated by the INC and orchestrated by the US.

4) Iraqi Shi'i Opposition Leader Visits Syria and Lebanon, Praises Kuwaiti
Support BBC. February 27, 2000 [snip]

Hakim, meanwhile, criticized the American plan to remove Saddam Husayn
from power.

"This plan is vague and lacks support to the field issue," he said.

The plan, said Hakim, did not consider the protection of the Iraqi people, the opposition operations nor the field and practical issues.

He said the Iraqi people were doing "a wide and active" operations but they were facing relentless oppression.

"Among the obstacles facing the Iraqi people to remove their regime is the international position which does not care with the humanitarian side, oppression and the destruction of the weapons of mass destruction,"
he said.

Montag

Colonel, the Afghans have a story they tell with great relish about opportunism. A man is visiting Hell and the Devil is proudly showing him around. They come to some pots cooking on a fire and the Devil says, "Here is where I put all of the bad people." He lifts the lid off of one pot and the man sees tiny people in the pot screaming in agony at the heat. The Devil points to each pot, "There are Christians, very bad people--these are Jews, very bad--Muslims, very bad--and these are Afghans. You see I do not even need a lid on their pot to keep them from escaping. That is because they are so jealous of one another that whenever one Afghan almost climbs out of the pot the others pull him back down again." I take it we can substitute the Kurds for Afghans without ruining the joke.

otiwa ogede

I don't see how being a rogue US puppet necessarily translates into being a 'rogue president' of Iraq.

condfusedponderer

otiwa ogede,
I wouldn't say Talabani went 'rogue'. He certainly is a rogue, in the sense that he is a flag in the wind, and first of all working for Talabani. Him 'going rogue' would imply that he was reliable once. He never was. In that sense, it is false to call him a puppet.

The overwhelming impression I got from looking at all these little Isnogud's * is that if anything, folks like Talabani, Jumblatt or Chalabi are trying to lure bumbling western governments into taking their side in their local power games (and thus usually into becoming a party to their more or less cold civil wars). Milking some money is fine too.

* Isnogud, the name is program, is a cartoon character from Goscinny, whose punchline is "I WANT TO BE KALIF INSTEAD OF THE KALIF!" (link loads an illustrative gif-file)

Homer

otiwa ogede: puppet

This is a commonly thrown around epithet which is never fully explained or qualified to even a slight degree.

Please, what exactly do you mean by "puppet"?

If you are suggesting that al-Maliki, al-Hakim, et al are puppets of the Bush admin, please demonstrate exactly how this can be so?

E.g.:

What pro-US legislation has been passed or even been seriously taken up that undoubtedly proves that this puppetry exists?

When did the Iraqi Parliament ever announce its support for the right of Israel to exist?

Why did the puppets not attend Anapolis?
Al-Maliki, al-Hakim, et al while exiled in Iran and Syria have been trying to transform a secular Iraq into a Shiite fundamentalist republic for well over twenty years, so when exactly did they stab the Iranians in the back and start embracing American values?

otiwa ogede

Anyone willing to become the "President" of a country under foreign occupation is a puppet of the occupier.
It's simple, yet eloquent.

Babak Makkinejad

Talibani and others like him are not rogue: they are men (and women) that belong to a different time and place than the contemporary Western scence which is hyper-rational, hyper-efficient, and hyper-pretentious to a Modernity that it does not posess.

People like Talibani are best understood as pre-Modern (in the European senes) - they are at once chivalrious, grand, treacheorus, mercurial etc. Men and women who are raised in the hothouse middle-class millieu of Europe and North America cannot fathom people like Talibani; much less liking him.

He is not Modern; think of him as the Duke of York and you will go far.

Homer

otiwa ogede: Anyone willing to become the "President" of a country under foreign occupation is a puppet of the occupier. It's simple, yet eloquent.

Bush keeps pouring oceans of blood and treasure into Iraq basically so that an anti-American and anti-Israeli pro-Iranian government can take firm root and flourish and you claim Talabani et al are puppets?


Just like the flower of American style democracy that was instantly vaporized in 2003 with the electing of Shia fundies, so does that metaphor vaporize under even the weakest level of focus.

You, like countless others, cannot flesh out the strings of the puppet master.

You cannot show how the puppet master controls the puppet.

Wondering who the real puppet and master are.

In many ways, the US is dying a death of a thousands cuts in Iraq (physically, socially, economically, politically, spiritually, etc).

Clearly, Bush is the Puppet.

Radicals in Iran are the puppet masters.

Look at what they are making Bush do.

anna missed

I'm afraid you're right Homer,

As an illustration of just how precarious the U.S. position, politically, is in Iraq - try to imagine the same set of affairs imposed on that other war, Vietnam. If the same political alliances the U.S. is confronted with in Iraq, existed in Vietnam then, the Thieu government would not have been a willing anti-communist ally. It would have instead been a somewhat disgruntled menshevik brother to its bigger North Vietnamese bolshevik, and every time a family squabble would erupt the South Vietnam government would all hop on a plane and fly to Hanoi so that General Giap could negotiate a little peace treaty. Under those circumstances how long do you think that war would have gone on? In the M.E. when we substitute secular ideology with the prism of sectarian ideology the analogy is probably not so far off, and that is what we're doing. Relying our strategic position on even less substance than we did in Vietnam? Unless of course,there is some secret or stealth appeasement going on between the U.S. and Iran, and all the bluster is to make the unthinkable, unthinkable.

otiwa ogede

Doesn't that just also make Talabani a puppet of the Iranians?
More simplicity.

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