Iraqis are worthless -- at least, compared to americans. When iraqis die in our stead, that's a good thing. We know this is true, because the president said so:
But I want to tell you this about the decision -- about my decision about troop levels. Those decisions will be based on a calm assessment by our military commanders on the conditions on the ground -- not a nervous reaction by Washington politicians to poll results in the media. (Hooah.) In other words, when we begin to draw down troops from Iraq, it will be from a position of strength and success, not from a position of fear and failure. To do otherwise would embolden our enemies and make it more likely that they would attack us at home. If we let our enemies back us out of Iraq, we will more likely face them in America. If we don't want to hear their footsteps back home, we have to keep them on their heels over here. And that's exactly what you're doing, and America is safer for it.
That was George W. Bush on his big surprise visit to Anbar. Don't you love how the White House transcriptionist was sure to include the troops yelling "Hooah!" in the transcript? If they'd actually yelled "You suck!" (not that they ever would), you know you wouldn't see in there.
Not surprisingly, this sort of talk doesn't go over as well in broader Iraq as it does here or in a well-fortified airbase in Anbar.
Leila Fadel, McClatchy's Baghdad Bureau:
In the pit of my stomach I feel nauseous. Many will hear that to mean that life is cheap in Iraq, by some estimates hundreds of thousands have died here in this fight but "if we don't want to hear their footsteps back home, we have to keep them on their heels over here."
Four times he referred to keeping the "terrorists" and the "enemies" that plague Iraq here and not bringing them home. Al Qaida became an element to be reckoned with in Iraq after the U.S.-led 2003 invasion. It is a symbolic fight for many extremists against the American troops now. Many Iraqis believe that the U.S. created an atmosphere to bring their enemies here and fight them on Iraqi soil. They say it to me every day.
"Why do you assume that America wants to make it better here," a friend once asked me in frustration.
Can you blame Fadel's friend for doubting? You can take Bush's "fight them over there" rhetoric two ways; it's complete BS propaganda or it's an expression of western arrogance. Actually, it's both. It's an evil argument -- that there's a nation of disposable people someplace and, if we can trick terrorists into killing them, then this is a brilliant strategy to keep americans safe. They are sacrificial lambs to the great god of Homeland Security.
And Bush sees no problem when his BS contradicts itself. We want terrorists to kill iraqis instead of us, but we want iraqis to do well -- despite acting as decoys for americans. Earlier in that same speech, Bush told soldiers, "See, Iraqis need this stability to build a more peaceful future. And America needs this stability to prevent the chaos that allows the terrorists to set up bases from which they can plot and plan attacks on our homeland."
That's right, in the very same sentence. Iraqis can have a peaceful future after the "terrorists" are done blowing the living hell out of Iraq. Terrorists, apparently, can't tell the difference between Baghdad and Boise. Talk about luck.
Of course, terrorism isn't the problem in Iraq. At least, not the terrorism we've been trained to imagine. The fighters in Iraq aren't the wahabist al Qaeda/Taliban brand. Wahabists are strictly Sunni, which does nothing to explain the Shiite fighters. It's got nothing to do with Osama bin Laden's big world-dom scheme; like all civil wars, the civil war in Iraq is about the country the war is fought in.
Kitabat (iraqi newspaper):
The country's organizations and ministries were diveed-up amongst the different factions, until the various ministries were staffed on a singularly sectarian basis to the point that Iraqi citizens knew when seeking employment, which ministry to approach, depending on their sect. For example, one ministry belonged to [Muqtda] al-Sadr, another to al-Hakim and still another went to the Kurds, one party controls appeals, one controls education, and another controls the registration of Iraq's population, and so on. In other words, an Iraqi citizen cannot find a position in modern Iraq without the endorsement of one of the warring parties.
Of course, this chaos has actually undermined democracy at all levels, and has resulted in the widespread murder of innocent Iraqis, by the various factions that encircle them. Then there is the kidnapping and displacement, and the looting of the country's wealth in all of its manifold forms by all parties to this "democratic" exercise. That's right - it's a democracy of murder, looting and displacement and the denial of Iraqi dignity.
They don't give a crap about "radical Islam," anymore than Bush gives a damn about Christianity. Both use the magic words to keep the fools on board, but the vast majority are political and cultural ideologues. They don't care about some damned pie-in-the-sky Caliphate that a bunch of lunatic cultists envision, they want to control Iraq. The people fighting in Iraq don't have anything to do with 9/11 or our "War on Terror."
Telling everyone that they do may work at home (although that talking point seems pretty dead right now), but it's not going to fly in the middle east. They know it's BS and they know we lie. There's no reason to trust us.
And that disincentive is aggravated by Bush's assertion that iraqis lives are worth crap. In trying to talk americans into staying in Iraq, he undermines the very goals he says we need to achieve. We swoop in to "save" them and then call them decoys and human shields.
No wonder they want us out. If Bush isn't telling the truth, then he's a typical invader. If he's telling the truth, he's completely insane.