Forget Washington's simplistic view. There is no war in Iraq.
There are many. Multiple groups are fighting for multiple goals in Iraq. This isn't new information:
Despite what you may have heard, there is no "war" in Iraq. Rather, there are many wars raging through the Shiite, Kurdish and Sunni territories. These wars are complicated and deep-seated, with roots that, in some cases, go back centuries.As usual, the simple-minded president presents things in a simplistic way:
The perception portrayed by the White House and the Iraqi government in Baghdad -- and all too often reflected, I'm sorry to say, in the news media -- is that the violence in Iraq is the result of a straightforward struggle between two opposing teams: the Freedom Lovers and the Freedom Haters.
This part stood out to me (italics are mine):
Many Sunni groups in Iraq are also fighting a war that seems to have little in common with the official U.S. and Iraqi characterizations. Al Qaeda in Iraq and its allies now fight under an umbrella group they call the Islamic State of Iraq. In April, the group issued an Internet statement saying it is fighting a "Zionist-Persian" conspiracy to rule Iraq. From what they wrote, they seem to believe that they are fighting an attempt to take over their country by Israel and Iran -- not against a U.S. mission to bring democracy to Iraq.They said that? "Al Qaeda in Iraq" is not fighting democracy, "our way of life", our freedoms, our Levis, or Britney Spears? What a newsflash. So that means that President Cheney and V.P. Bush are---what's that word again? Oh yeah---lying. Like I said, nothing new here. Engel makes the point that our young men and women simply can't mediate with machine guns. Here's what they have to contend with:
- Muqtada Sadr, who has ...tapped into the frustrations of Iraq's poor, uneducated and unemployed Shiite community, which is increasingly fed up with the continued presence of U.S. troops.
- The Kurds: Iraqi Kurds want independence in northern Iraq and control of the oil rich city of Kirkuk.
- Abdelaziz Hakim: The infirm leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (now known as the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council) wants to control southern Iraq and carve out a ministate allied with Iran.
- Iyad Allawi, who wants to ...overthrow Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and unite Sunnis and Shiites under his secular rule. He wants to be Iraq's pro-American strongman.
- Nouri Maliki, whose goals are unclear... At times, he is reading talking points from the White House, but he also is beholden to Sadr.
Perhaps the question should be: "Which job?" American soldiers often ask me when the Iraqis will "step up and fight for their country." The problem is Iraqis are already fighting for their country, and fighting savagely. They are just not fighting the war of the Freedom Haters versus the Freedom Lovers that many in the U.S. administration would apparently like them to be fighting.And now there's that familiar crescendo of bleats from the 4th Branch of Cheney about how much fun it would be to go after Iran. Because, you know, they hate our Freedom too. Welcome to 2002.