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Fighting and Dying in Iraq to Make Room for Politicians

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Message Ron Fullwood
"Politics is war without bloodshed while war is politics with bloodshed." --Mao Zedong

It is utterly grotesque to hear the Bush administration and their accomplices at the Pentagon describe our soldier's mission in Iraq as an effort to provide "room" or "space" for politicians to operate. Consistently, in every defense of his escalated occupation, Bush has maintained that his increased deployment of troops to Iraq was meant to facilitate political agreements between members of the Iraqi legislature and the Maliki regime.

The argument Bush has made as he's lobbied in favor of his "surge" is that the violence in Iraq has prevented the Iraqi politicians from coming to political agreements which would, in and of themselves, reduce the sectarian tensions which Bush's intelligence agencies have repeatedly concluded are fueling the majority of the violence.

"Our strategy does not rely on the military alone to ensure success in Iraq," Petraeus told the the al Watan al Arabi weekly. "Eighty percent of counterinsurgency is political and politics -- in both Baghdad and Washington -- will ultimately determine the outcome of this war," he said. "Having said that, we must establish a secure environment in which politics can function."

Reducing the impact of the violence on the average Iraqi isn't a primary concern of the administration in their surge; defense of their installed government is the most significant goal Bush can conjure.

"This new strategy will not yield an immediate end to suicide bombings, assassinations, or IED attacks," Bush told Americans in January from the White House library as he hawked his defiance of the will of Congress and the American people that he withdraw from Iraq.

"Over time," he said, "we can expect to see Iraqi troops chasing down murderers, fewer brazen acts of terror, and growing trust and cooperation from Baghdad's residents. When this happens, daily life will improve, Iraqis will gain confidence in their leaders, and the government will have the breathing space it needs to make progress in other critical areas."

Bush's quaint description of what normalcy would look like in the occupied nation after years of destabilizing violence against the population is ignorant of the actual state of destruction and chaos in Iraq which has been brought on by his invasion, overthrow, occupation, and unyielding assaults directed against those residents who would actively resist his swaggering advance across their homeland. Bush speaks from a position of privilege which afforded him the opportunity as a young man to avoid war and bloodshed in Vietnam, leaving many other Americans to do all of the fighting and dying in his place. It's not surprising in his adulthood to find him in a state of obliqueness about the difficult and tragic consequences and realities of the crusade he's waging in Iraq behind the sacrifices of our nation's defenders -- both for our own soldiers and for everyone else affected by his blundering militarism.

What makes Bush's abuse of authority in defying the demonstrated will of the American people that he end his occupation, so despicable, is the manner in which he expects the increasingly autocratic Iraqi regime to effect all of those aspirations to democracy. On the ground, the military strategy behind the increased occupation has been to fight their way into those communities which have actively resisted the propped-up regime, kill as many resisters as they can and tally them up as 'insurgents' who thwarted by their cynical protection scheme.

The Maliki regime has resisted all of the 'benchmarks' Bush has laid out for them as the price for his providing an endless supply of American soldiers to defend the ground Iraqis are to legislate their politics on. The Iraqis' defiance of Bush's weak and irrelevant benchmarks is actually an open refusal by the new regime to play along with his charade any longer. No one in Iraq believes that 'de-Batthification' or some oil agreement is going to resolve the unrest in Iraq when most there feel it is the U.S. occupation which has generated and fueled most of the resistant violence.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that the draft report on the "surge" by the General Accounting Office has concluded that Iraq has failed to meet all but three of 18 congressionally mandated benchmarks for political and military progress. By Bush's own standards, his escalation has failed -- both in its logic, and in its reliance on Iraqi politicians to accomplish anything at all which would satiate the feuding population and satisfy all of the individual factions' struggle for power, influence, territory, and resources.

Moreover, the Iraqis who've assumed and maintained power behind our forces in Iraq have all but ended the pretense that their politics should reflect Bush's. The American lame-duck loser's "evil" nemesis at the head of the Iranian regime was literally hand-in-hand with his supposed-puppet Maliki during a state visit last month. The Iraqi prime minister, in an interview with McClatchy Newspapers released Wednesday, defied Bush's patronage and declared that his own political maneuvering was responsible for whatever reduction in violence the Bush administration has been bragging on in their campaign to declare their "surge" a success.

"The positive development in the security situation is owed to national reconciliation much more than to our security forces or coalition troops," Maliki was quoted in the interview. "Some would want to hide this fact, but it is a fact not to be hidden," he said.

Still, Maliki couldn't bring himself to tell Bush to pack up our troops and bring them home. The Iraqi politicians have become enamored of the efficacy of using the force of our nation's defenders (to the tune of over $3 billion-a-week) as the means to achieve their political ambition to remain in power. "Now there is a need for them to stay on," Maliki told McClatchy. "When the security situation becomes stable, the need will no longer be there."

Maliki was also quoted in his McClatchy interview autocratically defying any attempt to remove him from his seat of U.S. enabled authority.

"I wish to give reassurance," Maliki said. "Those who speak about pushing out the present regime, whether Carl Levin or Mrs. Hillary Clinton or the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, who apologized for his remarks — none of these pose a real threat to the continuance of this government and the continuance of the political process," he said.

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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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