February 21st, 2007

When Allies Go Desperately Wrong

by Philip Baruth

So let’s refresh our memories, shall we?

The United States has spent nearly half a trillion dollars installing a fundamentalist Shiite government in Iraq, contrary to decades of US policy bolstering secular Sunnis as a bulwark against the Iranians.

bush, as el diabloThat Shiite-dominated government has made a practice of using death squads, ethnic cleansing and torture to shore up its generally weak security position.

We’ve lost roughly 3,150 American lives in the fight, and President Bush says he’s willing to lose as many as it takes to keep this “young democracy” in power.

Of course, even an apple-cheeked young democracy can have a bad day. Like today: Shiite Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki fired one of the country’s top Sunni officials, one Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Ghafoor al-Samaraei.

Why? Apparently the Sheikh made the mistake of calling for an international investigation into claims that Shiite soldiers had raped a Sunni woman they suspected of insurgent ties.

Sounds bad, right? Not to worry: al-Maliki released a “medical report” from an “American-run medical facility” supposedly disproving the woman’s claims. A bit irregular perhaps, but the advantage here is that you avoid not only the expense of a trial, but the inevitable stealth-visits by a burka-wearing Greta Van Susteren.

Ah, the New Iraq: Americans and Shiite fundamentalists working together for the greater good. That’s what VDB calls total victory, and a bargain at any price.