Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Iraqis don't get it

They might say it's the other way around, but that's how I see it after reading about the rush to hang Saddam Hussein. The Iraqis don't understand, or choose not to concern themselves, with the impact that their actions have on the United States and its soldiers in the Middle East.

The New York Times described a late-evening meeting involving American officers and officials of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. In the meeting, which happened just hours before Hussein's hanging, the U.S. representatives questioned the need -- and the constitutionality -- of the Iraqi actions. The story quotes one participant as saying of the meeting:
The Iraqis seemed quite frustrated, saying, ‘Who is going to execute him, anyway, you or us?’ The Americans replied by saying that obviously, it was the Iraqis who would carry out the hanging. So the Iraqis said, ‘This is our problem and we will handle the consequences. If there is any damage done, it is we who will be damaged, not you.’
Um, no. Even if the Americans took no role whatsoever, enemies of the United States would interpret the execution as more Yankee imperialism. Witness this quote from Shaul Cohen, a University of Oregon geography professor who spoke to Eugene's KVAL television station:
I think this will be seen as vengeance by America rather than justice. And it's done in the name of democracy, but not in a very democratic way. And so I think that things will continue to spin out of control in Iraq between the Iraqis, but that this does hurt the image of the United States, regionally, and probably globally as well.
I feel that a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in midstream would be disastrous for the Iraqi situation and for America's security. However, if the Iraqis can't show more cooperation and recognition of the impact that their decisions have on the lives (and deaths) of our soldiers, it may be time to tell them exactly when we plan to leave. And to leave on that date, if not earlier.

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  • At 1/05/2007 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A 'surge' or 'targeted increase in U.S. troop strength' or whatever the politicians want to call dispatching more combat troops to Iraq isn't the answer. Adding more trainers and helping the Iraqis to help themselves, is. Sending more U.S. combat troops is simply sending more targets


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