A Brisbane based blogger, Arthur Chrenkoff, has been making a valiant effort for a long time to try to highlight every piece of good news about Iraq. Whilst the inevitable one-sidedness of such an enterprise has led to him being criticised for ignoring all the bad news by those like me who opposed the invasion and subsequent actions of some of the occupying forces, I must admit I have found his site useful to dip into from time to time for information (when I’m in a mood to be able to tolerate the relentlessly partisan neoconservative commentary that accompanies it).
However, regardless of how many bits of isolated good news are pasted together, the underlying trend in Iraq is exceedingly bad. When even the relentlessly pro-war, pro-Howard Australian newspaper acknowledges that “the fissures over the unfolding failures in Iraq have permeated the Bush administration, the US military and the Republican establishment …… and that “George W. Bush has no credible story to offer the American public about Iraq”, then things are clearly not going well.
The Editor-at-Large of The Australian, Paul Kelly wrote yesterday that
“The very best outcome the US will procure in Iraq now is a moderate Islamic state. The worst is either a civil war or the entrenchment in parts of the country of extremist Islamist political power that becomes a focus of anti-Western terrorism and regional de-stabilisation. The legacy that haunts the Bush and Howard governments is that Iraq may become a disastrous debacle in the larger war against terrorism.”
Yet another Republican congressman in the USA has spoken of his worries of civil war in Iraq. This time it is House Intelligence Chairman, Pete Hoekstra from Michigan, who has just returned from a trip to Iraq and surrounding countries and said “he worries about the possibility of a civil war erupting in Iraq because of disputes surrounding the drafting of a constitution.” This follows recent comments by Republican Senator and Vietnam veteran, Chuck Hagel and builds on the concerns expressed for a long time behind the scenes by many from the conservative side of US politics, including the CIA, State Department and National Security Council.
I quoted an article at the end of this posting which suggested that “Iraq may now be going the way of Yugoslavia”, and “just as in the former Yugoslavia, the separate countries – Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia – have a better chance of creating coherent and democratic systems than the old coercive Yugoslavia, the same may apply to Iraq.”
Maybe accepting that it is not tenable to try to hold the country together might be the best way to avoid civil war, ensure the Kurds have some of the independence they deserve, and generate a viable exit strategy from the mess that the USA and Australian governments are now in – although I must say don’t know how we could get to there from where we are now.
Patriotic posturing, propaganda, preaching and pontificating won’t be able to indefinitely cover up the mess which the Australian Government helped to create. The assertions and images of the past few years are coming back to bite us all.
This picture by The Daily Flute says it better than any words of mine can.