Many analysts believe that the United State has failed in Iraq . In fact, it has not.
Analysts, who measure the American success by the yard stick of Bush and Blair’s rhetoric for democracy and liberation, and the noble causes for invasion promoted by the “mainstream” media, are right in their conclusion. But the problem is that achieving those noble causes was never the objective of war on Iraq and Afghanistan.
If we keep medium and long-term consequences aside, the Bush administration has been fully successful in what it wanted to achieve in Iraq. The country is occupied. Oil resources are under full control. The military threat that Iraq could pose has been fully neutralized. The country is divided. Iraqis are pitted against each other. The civil war is on and the co-opted media still limits its description to “fear of a looming civil war.”
The objective of occupation is evident from the suggestions of the U.S. administration’s favorite advisors. Daniel Pipes writes in his October 24 column in the New York Sun:
“I suggest pulling coalition forces out of the inhabited areas of Iraq and redeploying them to the desert. This way, the troops remain indefinitely in Iraq , but remote from the urban carnage. It permits the American-led troops to carry out essential tasks (protecting borders, keeping the oil and gas flowing, ensuring that no Saddam-like monster takes power) while ending their non-essential work (maintaining street-level order, guarding their own barracks).”
Being in the position of power and authority is no guarantee from mental sickness. The sickness of this proposal is clearly reflected in the Bush-Blair policies in Iraq . Pipes recounts benefits of this “change the course” proposal, ignoring that the U.S. policy is already revolving around the same sick principles, such as:
- Giving Iraqis the impression that they are responsible for their country despite controlling their borders and resources and deploying troops outside their urban centers “indefinitely.” This is not “letting the Iraqis run Iraq ” as Pipes is sickeningly suggesting to his sick bosses. This is letting them legitimizing and sustaining the U.S. illegal invasion and occupation.
- Seeing problems in Iraq as Iraqi problems. The sickness of warlords become more evident when Pipes argue that violence in Iraq is “verging on civil war.” It is “a humanitarian tragedy but not a strategic one, an Iraqi problem, not a coalition one.” This is what the United States is doing already. It does not consider the bloodletting in Iraq as the result of its war of aggression and war crimes. The coalition should realize it has no more responsibility for keeping the peace between Iraqis than it does among Liberians or Somalis.
- Giving up on the unattainable goal of a democratic, free, and prosperous Iraq. This is what was not on the U.S. wish list from day one of this war. Iraq as a beacon to the region and a model of democracy were the invention of warlords in the garb of “liberal,” “neutral” reporters such as Thomas L. Friedman of the New York Times, who left no stone unturned in justifying the war and making a case of sending more and more troops.
So, it is not the U.S. administration that has failed. It is those who presented the war as a noble project and sold it to public as such have failed.
The question is, where does the U.S. go from here? Will it fail? Will it withdraw from Iraq ? Should the Western governments go into sobering reassessments and launch contingency plans for the consequences of a possible American failure in Iraq ?
The simple answer to these questions is that the United States is going nowhere. Despite the much publicized time tables for withdrawal, the U.S. will never leave Iraq . It will never admit defeat until it is removed from its imperial pedestal. So, will the Iraq war leave the United States in a position in which former Soviet Union found itself after its war in Afghanistan ? The answer is no. Iraq is not capable of doing so, but the United States is. It can undermine itself. That will happen as a result of the next wars on the U.S. agenda.
America’s inability to learn from history is unlikely to be remedied by the humiliation of failure in Iraq , which is not considered as a failure in the myopic circles which are busy planning next wars. But if one simple lesson is too hard for Washington to gr asp, perhaps the rest of the world can hold the following idea in mind and use it to restrain the United States from any future efforts to impose its ignorance on others.
In a contest between foreign power and native resistance, foreign power –” however much material and military strength it can wield –” will always lose regardless of staying in the Urban center or outside in the deserts and mountains. Even in an era when a sense of racial superiority and colonial entitlement led Western nations to have few qualms about subjugating others, eventually native power based on native knowledge and determined resistance would reassert itself. Nowadays the reclamation of power asserts itself much more quickly but it always rises out of the same awareness: this is our land, not yours; it is our life and we must live our way of life.
The tragedy is that American leadership, both democrat and republican, does not seem to be in a position to understand and recognize that vis-Ã -vis the world suffering under its de facto colonization, the United States does not now possess the power that it fears losing. This denial of the reality will keep pushing it into more wars regardless of who is in power in Washington . That will ensure the actual failure of the United States and total destruction in the rest of the world it is trying to conquer completely.
* Abid Ullah Jan’s latest book "The Ultimate Tragedy: Colonialists rushing to Globar war to save the crumbling empire," co-authored with Rory Winter, will be released in December 2006.