For much of this year, the U.S. military strategy in Iraq has sought to reduce violence so that politicians could bring about national reconciliation, but several top Iraqi leaders say they have lost faith in this broad goal.
Iraqi leaders argue that sectarian animosity is entrenched in the structure of their government. Instead of reconciliation, they now stress alternative and perhaps more attainable goals: streamlining the government bureaucracy, placing experienced technocrats in positions of authority and improving the dismal record of providing basic services.
"I don't think there is something called reconciliation, and there will be no reconciliation as such," said Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, a Kurd. "To me, it is a very inaccurate term. This is a struggle about power."
This is what Bush and the Republicans have sent more of our soldiers over to Iraq in the "surge" for - the "struggle about power." One in which the US is caught in the cross-fire.
The so-called "surge" - which really did nothing except push US troop levels in Iraq back to 2005 numbers - is not and will not be a failure because our military has been in any way ineffective. On the contrary, the military side of operation is generally successful - as is almost any US military operation, because we have the absolute best military in the world. Rather, this POLICY has been an unmitigated disaster because Bush and his advisors are fundamentally wrong on Iraq. We won the war - and we should have come home. Instead, he is attempting to advance American Empire around the world - and that foreign policy choice is a disasterous failure.
Iraq is a calamity. It has been an exercise in historically poor judgment. And it is telling that we are not learning from our failures. Look at this quote from the article:
"I, as deputy prime minister responsible for the portfolio of security and services, until now, have never been consulted on any security operation taking place in Iraq," said Salam Z. al-Zobaee, Iraq's second-highest Sunni official. "The Sunnis, even if they've been participating in the government, are still marginalized in decision-making." ...
Th[e] imperfect balance of power, deemed the "national unity government," entrenches these sectarian divisions and prioritizes a politician's ethnic or sect background above experience or ability, Iraqi officials say. The system makes selecting Iraqi ambassadors or cabinet ministers an exercise in horse-trading subject to bitter disputes.
For some reason, our President is asking the US military to arbitrate this conflict. It is not in the interest of our nation as we have existed for over 200 years. It is only in the interest of American Empire. Without political reconcilliation, the President's "surge" will be just as much a folly as the President's occupation of Iraq. This Administration simply does not learn from its mistakes - to all of our detriment.