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May 12, 2010

The War Goes On Part 2

Roy Meachum

In Iraq, the Bush White House was caught between two juggernauts.


Israel wanted Dictator Saddam Hussein to disappear under the ruse of his weapons of mass destruction, which United Nations inspectors said didn’t exist – before the American invasion. The Jewish state sits cheek-to- cheek with Iraq and could risk no chances. Taking out his nuclear power industry was not enough for Jerusalem that wanted the man himself gone.


The president’s father, experienced by time as the CIA director, did not agree to permit the ready, armed and very capable Desert Storm forces to take Hussein out. Furthermore, George H.W. Bush was the intended victim of busted Iraq assassination plots. When the son took over, in 2001, it’s accurate to say he had an itchy gun finger that was ready to complete the elder President Bush’s triumph and avenge his family.


The public has no role in that part of the world. Democracy exists only in Israel and only for Jews, not most Arabs. Elite Muslims and Christians are content to go along with whatever’s happening; they live with the reality they are “guests,” subjected to prison and expulsion for saying and doing anything the state judges against its best interests.


The second crushing factor entered the ragout on the eve of the invasion, maybe sooner. Iraqi politician Ahmad Chalaby took over and provided guidance to foreign policy neophytes George W. Bush and Richard Cheney. Mr. Chalaby provoked March 19, 2003, as the date America entered Iraq. Wanting to curb a major weapon against his own ambition, he convinced the administration the Iraqi army had to go. This was, by far, the biggest blunder of the current war.


The only way to curb insurgency and to keep men and women safe was the army, dismissed on the basis it was dominated by Sunnis in the Ba’ath party run by the dictator. In other words, the U.S. allowed itself to be thrust in the middle of an Iraqi political peeing match. That’s our record in the seven years we’ve been in Baghdad; even longer in Kabul.


Furthermore, Ahmad Chalaby, on the same premise, managed to veto some 400 candidates in the recent election. Being elected was no guarantee of serving voters; the same cunning hand more recently cut the political throat of another Sunni that won a seat in the parliament.


To confuse things further, the former White House pet Iraqi wound up in the camp of America’s sworn enemy. Muqtada al Sadr still lives in Iran where he fled several years back to escape U.S. attempts to jail him: the Bush administration’s Iraqi “expert” is playing with the region’s most dangerous – to the United States – national leaders, in Teheran.


That’s fine with my fellow citizens who insist on remaining ignorant on the region and the world’s fastest growing faith, by their own choice.


Plans to build a Muslim information center and mosque in lower Manhattan, near the 9/11 atrocity, have bumped into a wall divided by levels of knowledge and intelligence. Having friends in Egypt, from my stay in Cairo and by continuing contact with Middle Easterners, I cannot recognize the human beings that prompt such outbursts of fear, stupidity and harsh bigotry.


Similar tirades prevailed during my Louisiana childhood; but they were directed against African Americans. Maybe because most Arabs have darker skin. Maybe not. At least, this country’s blacks swear to allegiance with the same God.


So do Muslims! Look it up.


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