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I’m Pretty Sure that the Dayton Marriot Would Be Glad to Play Host

March 15th, 2008

Here is how it is going in Iraq, according to the ‘hero’ general Bush used as the legitimizing front for his “surge” strategy:

Iraqi leaders have failed to take advantage of a reduction in violence to make adequate progress toward resolving their political differences, Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said Thursday.

Petraeus, who is preparing to testify to Congress next month on the Iraq war, said in an interview that “no one” in the U.S. and Iraqi governments “feels that there has been sufficient progress by any means in the area of national reconciliation,” or in the provision of basic public services.

Okay, here’s my question: in the whole process of Iraqi national reconciliation, where the hell has Bush been?

As far as I have been able to tell, Bush’s visits to Iraq have been limited to serving up turkey; if there has been much in the way of diplomatic efforts, it has been very low-level and certainly not well-recorded in public. What has come out seems to show that it is more a military operation than a diplomatic one, and there has not been a great effort by the Bush administration to rally for a grand solution.

I am certainly no expert here. I do not know the intricacies involved. But if anything seems clear to even a layman like myself, it is that diplomacy has taken a rather clear back seat to military control. Where the hell is the Iraqi version of the Dayton Accords? Why hasn’t the Bush administration been making a high-level effort to bring the factions to a settlement? Why hasn’t he staged a grand international conference with those leaders brought together to a table, where things could be hammered out under moderation closely monitored and controlled by the best experts on the region? And why didn’t this get started years ago?

Is there some cultural element I’m missing in which Iraqis resent unifying conferences? I am under no illusion that all we have to do is bring them to some city in the midwest and magically everything would get fixed; what I am saying is that I see no effort on the part of this administration to even try to fix things over there at the diplomatic level. Remember how the Iraqi government had to take a two-month break because it was “too hot” in Baghdad? Where was the high-level diplomatic effort then?

Like I said, I’m no expert. Maybe there are really good reasons why the diplomatic approach has not been in high gear for some time now. But the impression I get is that this administration has, quite simply, been jerking off for the past several years. Someone correct me if my impression is off base here.

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  1. Kenzo
    March 16th, 2008 at 00:44 | #1

    Hmm. War likers out there should realise the reality of REAL HELL in the battle fields. I have to do so, too. I’ve loved violent films like Rambo series so much, but now NOT, because I’ve realised what/how the reality in the world is going on. In fact, they were quite fake stories, what were those films for me? By the way, I heard that Emma Watson said that she wished there was peace between America and Afghanistan after that bloody 9/11 in 2001. She was only about 11 years old at that time? Should that British Prince know her words? Oh, is that so-called noblesse oblige? How confusing the reality is! It’s even annoyingly insane. Anyways, I have to say that a powerful, winning murderer should never be called a ‘hero’, but a person like her who can behold peace in any situation should be called a hero. Have a good night.

  2. Paul
    March 16th, 2008 at 10:52 | #2

    You’re right- they’re pretty much a bunch of jerkoffs. They talk big but don’t follow through; a good example is how the US talked all big in the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian conflict/talks, but didn’t actually DO anything to ensure that the lid would stay on the situation.

    And now, guess what? The lid is coming back off, and it’s bad because since you essentially have TWO Palestinian states- Gaza, with Hamas in charge, and the West Bank, with the PA in charge, it’s become even more complex than it was before (if that’s possible in that part of the world).

    Bush and pretty much the entire Bush Administration are going to be viewed, in history, as one of the biggest collection of utterly incompetent morons that we ever allowed to run the nation.

  3. Tim Kane
    March 16th, 2008 at 13:52 | #3

    If you combine the non-Jewish Israeli population (mostly Muslim and Christian Arabs, i.e. Palestinians) with the population of the West Bank and Gaza you arrive at a situation where Jewish people are now the minority in the lands between the Jordan River and the Egyptian boarder.

    This is, ultimately, a big problem.

    Palestinians can now claim they are being herded into Bantustans. Like South Africa, they can just cry out for one man, one vote, one country.

    Israeli’s needed a two state solution. But that problem is made difficult by the fact that the land is just two small. Its a matter of slicing hairs. It’s too easy for a home made rocket to be sent into adjoining areas.

    I don’t see a way out of these problems for the Israelis. Their big mistake was not doing ethnic cleansing at the end of the seven days war back in 1967 – by that I mean pushing nearly all the Palestinians out of the West, and perhaps even, Gaza. Back then it would have ‘only’ been a few hundred thousand refugees. But now, there are are 5 million Jewish people and 5 million Palestinians with the slight edge to the Palestinians, who have a much greater growth rate. That situation only gets worse, then for the Israelis.

    Short of ‘ethnic cleansing’ they should not have so totally disenfranchised these people, at least economically. Can there be anything more hopeless than to be born into Gaza? The per capita GNP of the Israel is over $20,000 a year; while that of the Palestinians is around $200. Their high demographic growth rate is fueled by their underdeveloped economic status (as is the trend globally the last 25 or so years) so that by economic disenfranchising the Palestinians, the Israeli’s lay a down payment on their own Political disenfranchisement somewhere down the road as a minority ethnic group in their own homeland.

    The two state solution was always hard to justify in such a small land. The current arrangement cannot not long endure. I don’t see an easy way forward for the Israelis. This is truly ashame for them because Jewish people needed Israel to work. If I were Israeli, I would have left by now, probably around the time that Rabin was assassinated. He was the last stateman who saw the writing on the wall and tried to do something about it. When extremist shot him, they were driving a nail into the coffin of a liberal democratic Jewish free state.

    Now the choices are much more bleak: either minority rule, or two state solution constantly at war, or single state plurality shared with the Palestinians. There are other solutions, but they involve some pretty fine splitting of hairs.

    That land is a place to pity.

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