Sanctions? We Don't Fear Your Stinking Sanctions!
After nearly four years of bombings, from the air and from roadside ditches, after four years of blood, death, murder, torture, rape, beheadings, and a host of other unspeakable acts perpetrated on a daily basis by one faction, or militia or clan, or sect upon a rival clan or sect or militia, the Iraq study group is talking of threatening the Iraqi Government with....Ready?...Sanctions?
This from the Iraqi Study Group's "Executive Summary:"
"If the Iraqi government does not make substantial progress toward the achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security, and governance, the United States should reduce its political, military, or economic support for the Iraqi government," the report's executive summary says.
This, in a country where the electric power is on for maybe six hours a day, clean water is sometimes available, three thousand people a month are being slaughtered, major portions of the physical and social infrastructure have been destroyed , remain unrepaired and the National Regatta is a Sunny Saturday spent watching bloated corpses drifting lazily down the Tigris.
I believe that this is where I came in, where we all began four years ago, with Sanctions.
At the urging of the United States, United Nations Sanctions, great long lists of them were imposed on Saddam's Iraq and when they didn't work the collection of knuckle heads known as the "Bush Administration" with the approval of a collection of bought and paid for sniveling cowardly chowder heads known as "The Congress of the United States" agreed to a new program code named Operation "Bomb The Ever loving Piss Out Of Them."
The sanctions we imposed through the United Nations caused severe hardships for most of the Iraqi people but were barely noticed by their intended targets, Saddam and his regime.
Saddam and his Baath party henchmen had plenty of dough stashed away to weather the storm and although they may have been weakened they were able to pay the military, the secret police and the rest of their predominantly Sunni Baath Party hired thugs and maintain their iron fisted control of the Army, the Republican Guard, the general population and fund the Uday's developing Fedayeen Saddam through the same methods that had served them so well for the preceding thirty or so years.
Fear, Intimidation, Prison, Torture and Murder.
(Methods that we have sadly added to our foreign policy play book during the reign of Bush the Abyssmal.)
They had plenty of help along the way, financial and otherwise from our "allies" in the area like Syria, Jordan and the ubiquitous Saudis.
So the sanctions which didn't work for the twelve years preceding our current Iraqi fiasco will be trotted out again by this "Bipartisan" study group composed,n James Bakers words, of "old has-beens" and the cycle begins anew based on the same old misinformation, hare brained notions and misconceptions which got us embroiled in Mess-Opotamia (A nod to John Stewart) in the first place.
Does anyone believe that the flow of guns and money to the Shiite militias from Iran will dry up? Does anyone really believe that Syria, Jordan and Bush's favorite "ally" the Saudis will turn off the spigot that pumps the money, arms, poison, hatred, and madness throughout the Middle East?
I've said it before in these pages but it gives me a renewed personal perspective on futility to restate it. I first remember the phrase "Middle East Peace" from about 1954 or so when Gammar Abdul Nasser was flexing his muscles and preparing for the seizure of the Suez Canal and other Pan -Arabist dreams like the alliance with Syria that would become the United Arab Republic.
I remember this from the Weekly Readers we were supplied by our beneficent Federal Government (probably the USIA) which we read while seated at our tiny student desks when we weren't in the basement hunkered down with our heads between our legs kissing our little asses good bye over the collective fear of the Soviet Union.
Nothing has changed in the half century since, perhaps the Soviet union but remember that Bush came to office trying to reinstate Star Wars and immediately hired a noted Russian expert (Condi Rice) as his National Security Advisor while ignoring intelligence that the real threat was from terror and the worst of the worst was al Qaida.
No, nothing much has changed over the last fifty years, the Middle East is still a cesspool of violence and terror, our "Leadership" in Washington still has it's collective head up it's collective anus (perhaps a hangover from all those trips to the schoolhouse basement) and I still enjoy a "fifth grade lunch," tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.
Gotta' go now, breaking news, something about the "Middle East."