Sunday, March 12, 2006


Stop Meddling: Iraqi Minister Tells US

If this reminds people of the situation in Viet Nam, back in the ‘sixties, yeah, it sure does. Back then we insisted we were there to preserve South Viet Nam’s “sovereignty.” But were we? We were there to prop up one corrupt government after another, the U.S. was firebombing and poisoning great expanses of sovereign territory, and, considering every dead body a dead enemy.

We seem to have an enforced absence of historical memory in this country; the United States of Amnesia, as Gore Vidal calls it. There’s a national cult, encouraged by the government, to not look back, to consider everything in the past as resolved, as having received “closure.” That’s as big a fantasy as a Doris Day movie. The past doesn’t go away. We don’t put everything behind us. If we try to ignore the past—our own or our nation’s—it’s going to come back and bite us on the ass, again and again. Life isn’t like a TV series, where every half-hour show finishes one plot line at the end of that half-hour. The national plot-line of imperialism and hubris has been carrying on for over one hundred and fifty years, now. It’s really time to change the story.

First, of course, we have to change the cast of characters...

Stop Your Meddling, Iraqi Minister Tell U.S.

By Paul McGeough Chief Herald Correspondent in Baghdad
Sydney Morning Herald
March 11, 2006

Amid rising American frustration with the political
deadlock in Iraq, the National Security Minister, Abdul
Karim al-Enzy, has rebuked Washington for interfering
in Iraq's domestic affairs.

In a remarkable broadside against the US, Mr Enzy
charged that it was deliberately slowing Iraq's
redevelopment because of a self-serving agenda that
included oil and the "war on terror".

The attack came as the US Defence Secretary, Donald
Rumsfeld, told a Senate inquiry in Washington that
Iraq's political leaders needed "to recognise the
seriousness of the situation and form a government of
national unity that will govern from the centre, and to
do it in a reasonably prompt manner".

To that end, US diplomats have demanded a more generous
sharing of key portfolios among Iraq's religious and
ethnic populations than the dominant Shiite religious
parties are willing to concede.

In particular, they are urging the dismissal of the
hardline Interior Minister, Bayan Jabr.

But in an interview with the Herald, Mr Enzy snapped:
"The last time I checked, Bayan Jabr was Interior
Minister of Iraq - not of the US or the UN. He is one
of our best and this is interference in our business."

Mr Enzy argued that if the US-led coalition in Iraq had
been more serious about rebuilding the country's
security forces in the first year of the occupation, it
could now be making substantial cuts in foreign troop
numbers in Iraq. "We don't want foreign forces here,
but it's impossible for them to leave now, because
we're on the edge of civil war," he said.

"The truth is the Americans don't want us to reach the
levels of courage and competence needed to deal with
the insurgency because they want to stay here.

"They came for their own strategic interests. A lot of
the world's oil is in this region and they want to use
Iraq as a battlefield in the war on terror because they
believe they can contain the terrorism in Iraq."

Asked if the West - and the US in particular -
understood Iraq and the region, Mr Enzy said
significant differences of culture and tradition
complicated the relationship.

"We don't want to be a part of international problems -
the US has a problem with Iran, but as an Iraqi
government, we don't. We are not a part of the Israel-
Palestine problem, but the deployment of foreign forces
in Iraq puts pressure on that issue."

The minister's spiel was symptomatic of a rising anti-
American sentiment among Iraq's Shiite majority. Mr
Enzy said many Iraqis believed the US wanted civil war
in the hope it would break the power of the religious
parties still struggling to form a government.

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