You might not know it from the headlines, but the war in Iraq is essentially won, and the good guys won.
Oh yes, you will still see reports of bombings, but then 50 years after Magsaysay here in the Philippines essentially ended the Huk uprising, we still get kidnappings, murders and killings here by the NPA, who are the Huks resurrected.
As for Iraq, as long as there are clan feuds, ethnic differences, corruption and poverty you will get violence. Again, nothing new there since wars between tribes are the norm in the Middle East for the last two or three milleneum…there is a 3000 year old tradition of settling things by war or a heavy handed tyrant who takes all the loot for his friends while killing his enemies. If you read history, Saddam Hussein was “normal”: What is revolutionary is trying to establish a government with some democratic feedback and discussion before it makes decisions.
The problem is that you probably won’t realize this from the way the news is reported. After all, “if it bleeds, it leads”, and as long as the few religious fanatics who are left in Iraq know a nice bomb in the capital will get headlines, they will continue blowing themselves up.
Take this CNN article…headlines blare about a mass grave….but the grave is at least two years old, and predates the surge.Â The article then goes on to mention a few isolated bombings, but if you hold in there, you will see a disdainful report in paragraph seven about the government “cobbling together” a “deal”. Yup. Democracy has been compared to making sausage: You don’t really want to see the messy details but the end result is good. So place it halfway down the page and people won’t notice that a country is actually making democracy work.
But essentially the war is over, and the US can withdraw their troops, since the Iraqi government with their retrained military and police will be able to take over security…unless, of course, a weak President Obama blows it the first time these bozos test him with a terror attack or worse.
The irony in all of this is that Senator Obama got his start by anti war groups that opposed the Iraq war and wished for immediate withdrawal. If that policy had been implemented two years ago, there would be a major civil war in Iraq, partly because the Iranians would not allow another Sunni strongman on their doorstep, while and the Saudi and Sunnis who had backed retaining Saddam after Gulf War I would not tolerate a Shiite Iraq that might allow a Persian empire redux…
TheÂ press rightly blasting Bush for his mishandling the problem, but never noticed that criticism came from experts…. who usually contradicted other experts who in other stories were busy criticizing Bush.
At the same time, the politicized reporting meant that the negative was stressed while positive developments were ignored. So when Obama arose, the press never bothered to investigate his anti war supporters, nor was there a public discussion on the “what if’s” of Obama’s wish for a hurried withdrawal…
But luckily for all of us, the war is over, and only a major gaffe by the Obama administration will start it again.
Yet another platform plank of Obama, to clean up Afghanistan, is more worrisome: As independent journalist Michael Yon points out, one of the problems is Obama’s much heralded European friends:
Most of our allies are not very helpful. With the exception of the British, Canadians, Dutch and a few others such as the Aussies, we are not fighting this with an â€œA-teamâ€ of international allies. …Â The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is proving nearly worthless and provides no credible threat to Armed Opposition Groups (AOGs) in Afghanistan.Â Most of the NATO member countries seem to break out in a cold sweat at the mere mention of â€œTaliban.â€Â They piled in when the war looked easy, and largely humanitarian.Â But now that itâ€™s getting harder and more dangerous, they would like to pile out.
So one suspects that Afghanistan might end up being Obama’s Iraq, or more likely his VietNam…
As for another frequent jibe by Obama that Bush never got Osama Ben Laden, well, Time magazine just noticed what Mark Steyn has joked about for years: The reason that he can’t be found is because his DNA had been spread under a rock pile in Tora Bora a couple years ago.
Finally, although the headlines have a constant drumbeat against Bush’s war on terror, the quiet war is going on in places you never knew about.
One place is banks: Even Iran is feeling the pinch. Combine the nutty president’s spending money like a drunk with the collapse of oil prices, and a new election, and a lot of Iranian pilgrims coming home from their pilgrimages to Shiite shrines in Iraq with positive opinions, and you have a possibility of peaceful regieme change…If Obama doesn’t make the stupid president look good by negotiating with him, or the Israelis, frightened by some of Obama’s pro Arab anti Israel advisors, don’t do something stupid like bomb their nuclear sites.
Finally, yesterday it was mentioned in the local press here in the Philippines that the government was going to seek more peaceful accommodation with terrorists. Sounds like Gloria is changing her successful war on these thugs because the fear is that Obama will cut off anti terror funding…alas, because it is thanks to the hard line of pressing war while offering peace and development, along with cutting off the terror funding that has made things calm here. Yes, Arroyo looks the other way when politicians steal stuff, kill their rivals, and eliminate reporters who spill the beans, and she hasn’t been too aggressive against the military hit squads, but at least we only have ferries sinking from incompetent captains, not from terrorists bombs…
So those looking for utopia will have to wait awhile. Wars are still going on as they have for a couple millenia…Of course, you probably will have a press who will now support the president instead of bashing him all the time, so the reports will be more balanced, or the bad wars (such as the nasty one in Central Africa) will be ignored.
My one hope is that Hillary and the Clinton’s clique will take over the Obama administration.
Madeline Albright might have been so dumb as to go out in public and swear she believed the president didn’t stain a blue dress, and Condie Rice is always a perfect lady, smiling and ignored by the press, butÂ no one thinks that Hillary would be that passive…
Boudicca as Secretary of State!
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She blogs at Makaipablog.