I Told You So.

If this source is not George Casey I would be surprised.  Anyone else who said this would be on his way out of Iraq by now.  Pat Lang

“Both Americans and Iraqis need "to start thinking about and talking about what it’s really going to be like in Iraq after elections," said the military official, who spoke in an interview on the condition he not be named. "I think the important point is there’s not going to be a fundamental change."The official stressed that it was "important to calibrate expectations post-elections. I’ve been saying to folks: You’re still going to have an insurgency, you’re still going to have a dilapidated infrastructure, you’re still going to have decades of developmental problems both on the economic and the political side."”  Washington  Post

It is ungracious to say, "I told you so, but I am not feeliing gracious about this.  I would not write about this subject in this way but the claim has often been made by those "exposed" by the failure of policy in Iraq that "noone could have known."  Rubbish!  In fact any number of people of my acquaintance who had knowledge of Iraq, the Arabs, guerrilla warfare and a variety of similar subjects were easily able to forecast that the present situation was likely to result from the flawed logic that dominated planning for Iraq.  I cite my own example becasue I know it best.

From the apparent beginning of serious planning for intervention in Iraq, I have said, and written and preached that:

-Occupation of Iraq would be widely resented by a lot of the population who would likely rise against a prolonged foreign military presence.

-An effort to define poliical power in Iraq based on "one man" one vote" rather than community interests would be seen as a direct threat by the Sunni Arabs who would act accordingly.

-Dissolution of the Iraqi civil service and military would leave Iraq in a chaos that would facilitate the insurgency or insurgencies and deprive that state of the means of resistance.

-I believed that the dissolution mentioned previously might prove a fatal mistake.

-Counterinsurgency operations required by the rising that the policy we intended to follow would incite would require a much larger counterguerrilla force than we intended to keep in the country.

-Such a rising would center on the resentment and fears of the Sunni Arab population who would not want to lose the position of dominence which they have enjoyed in Iraq for over a thousand years.

-Iraq would prove to be not a "nation-state," but rather a melange of ethno-religious communities who only very imperfectly saw themselves as related and who would lapse into communial struggle for dominance in the event of our prolonged presence and intervention in their affairs.

-Elections in Iraq which ignored communal interests would be a praiseworthy effort in themselves but would not be seen by disadvataged communities as a solution to their communal problems.  In that context no amount  of constitution writing or referenda on constitutions would be likely to affect the willingness of dissidents to end support for the revolt.

-The war will go on indefinitely until a political soution is found.  The constitution and its ratifying process will change nothing in the combat situation if they do not reflect the perceived interests of the Sunni Arabs.

I see no reason to change my opinion about present and future conditions.  It would appear that this "Senior officer" source agrees with me. Pat Lang


This entry was posted in Current Affairs. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to I Told You So.

  1. b says:

    Thanks, good post. I would like to add one point.
    The Iraqi economy has changed from a socialist system with guaranteed food, free healthcare, free education and pensions to a neoliberal anarchic capitalism.
    For may Iraqis this must have been and still be a the biggest shock of all.
    Somehow this is never mentioned but just imagine how this must have changed life for many, many people in Iraq.
    There are already reports about food shortages and undernurishment. When the big Iraqi famine will start late this year it will be a new push for the insurgency.

  2. Some Guy says:

    Pat, I have always really appreciated you insight on the Newshour and was quite pleased to find you were blogging. It is bittersweet because the sobriety of your posts confirms what I have felt, but it is still good to know that things are what they seem.
    I so wish the administration had a couple cooler, wiser heads like yours making policy.

  3. angela says:

    Guess who got invited into the Shanghai cooperative organization by Russia and China?
    Starts with an I, end with an n.
    Another member Uzbekistan cut off US access a few weks ago.

  4. marta says:

    One also has to wonder about their views of the Iraqi populace. It is unfathomable to me that, when Iraqis were dealing with no electricity in 120 degree heat, enormous arms caches were being looted, the history of all civilization was being stolen, that Bremer and co decided it was a good time to implement a friggin flat tax and allow Iraqi govt assets to be bought up by foreigners. Those conferences held for contractors, with their wild-west atmosphere and gold-rush like claims, were digusting. I could not believe that a US admin, especially one that claimed to be “liberating” a people, would sanction, would encourage, such wholesale looting.

  5. ismoot says:

    Thanks for that thought. pl

Comments are closed.