Tuesday, February 03, 2009

D'awa, secular nationalists and the Iraqi Awakening Alliance do well in provincial elections.

For the past few years I haven't dared read Juan Cole's Blog.

I assumed that the news from Iraq would horrify me.

Rumors that the provincial elections went rather well caused me to read his latest post.

Oh my oh my looks promising.


According to Juan Cole, many Iraqi's seem to have rejected federalism, sectarianism and dare I hope chosen peace.

D'awa is the party of Prime minister al Malaki and is, naturally, if favor of a strong central government. Iraqi Sunni Arabs are too, which is odd for a minority, but there is little petroleum where they live so central money flows to them.

A very dramatic result was the apparent good performance of the Iraqi Awakening Alliance, the political expression of Sunni Arab Iraqi's who agreed to stop fighting the central government in exchange for US money. Sounds like a vote for peace.

Also Arab nationalists won in Mosul whcih tends to settle the argument about whether it should become part of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Cole makes no mention of Moqtada al Sadr (or Ahmed Chalabi for that matter) in which cases I consider no news excellent news.

Very promising.

But Kirkuk.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would suggest reading Juan Cole's blog or possibly even the New York Times and thinking a little so as to actually know something before writing about a particular subject. However I am pleased that you are pleased, and sort of think that your being pleased makes having destroyed so many Iraqis and so much of Iraq worth the while.

I can hardly stand the wait till you are pleased with the results of the decimation of Somalia and Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Robert said...

I do read the times and obviously just read Cole's post which I summarized.

I don't see what makes you think I destroyed Iraq. I ineffectually opposed the invasion by demonstrating against it. Obviously that didn't do any good, but what else could I have done.

I also tried to explain why it was a bad idea on this blog which was equally ineffectual, since almost no one reads this blog.

Also I live in Italy and almost entirely pay taxes to La Repubblica Italiana which wasn't involved in the invasion (was involved in the occupation for a while). My tax payments to the USA are totally trivial because of the foreign earned income exclusion.

So how exactly did I destroy Iraq ?

I mean really why did you write that ? What should I have done differently ?

Anonymous said...

No; I never dreamed that you had destroyed Iraq but that Iraq has been destroyed in the aftermath of America's strategically needless and immoral invasion and occupation.

Having done what you could not to be part of the destruction and even to oppose it, is as much as could be expected and lots more than any number of Americans.

Here you are right and I was careless and wrong in writing angrily.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for complaining and explaining.

I am sorry, and I have long read the blog.

Robert said...

No harm no foul.

Maybe part of the problem is that English doesn't distinguish between you singular (thou) and you plural so I read "Robert Waldmann" when thou meant* "the USA."

I personally didn't destroy Iraq but we did.


* conjugation error it should be thou meantest or something.

Anonymous said...

Since I try to be precise in writing even notes, I realized immediately that I had been unclear and any reader could have though the complaint was meant to be about you, especially so because I was complaining about your too aloof stance. I am not willing to let the matter of Iraq go yet, and am thinking why I know it is important to avoid justifications now even wishing Iraqis well.

Anonymous said...

The problem is, who speaks for what has been lost? Not that the dead can be spoken for ever, but remembrance is necessary.

Anonymous said...

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/02/call-it-massacres.html

February 8, 2009

Call it massacre

"We saw Mr. Obama as a symbol of this justice. We welcomed him with almost total enthusiasm until he underwent his first real test: Gaza. Even before he officially took office, we expected him to take a stand against Israel’s war on Gaza. We still hope that he will condemn, if only with simple words, this massacre that killed more than 1,300 Palestinians, many of them civilians. (I don’t know what you call it in other languages, but in Egypt we call this a massacre.)" *

* http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/opinion/08aswany.html

-- As'ad AbuKhalil

Anonymous said...

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2009/02/from-corrupt-to-massively-corrupt-and.html

February 8, 2009

From the corrupt to the massively corrupt and criminal

Look at the American alternative to Karzai: "The Americans making Afghan policy, worried that the war is being lost, are vowing to bypass Mr. Karzai and deal directly with the governors in the countryside." *

* http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/world/asia/08karzai.html

-- As'ad AbuKhalil

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/09/world/europe/09munich.html?ref=world

February 9, 2009

Holbrooke Says Afghan War ‘Tougher than Iraq’
By NICHOLAS KULISH and HELENE COOPER

“There is no magic formula in Afghanistan,” Richard C. Holbrooke told an audience of European policy makers, warning of “a long, difficult struggle” ahead.

[This is all why I am so furious.]

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/world/asia/08karzai.html?ref=world

February 8, 2009

Afghan Leader Finds Himself Hero No More
By DEXTER FILKINS

Once supported by the U.S., President Hamid Karzai is no longer in favor with the White House or his own people.

[Where is a puppet I can call my own, or Vietnam come again?]

Anonymous said...

The comments I have routinely heard about the war on Gaza, have truly astonished me. There is an unreachable disdain for Palestinians among seemingly many well educated * friends that I am struggling with. Afghanistan is never mentioned, just taken for granted as a fine war.

* Well educated?

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/09/world/europe/09munich.html?ref=world

February 9, 2009

Holbrooke Says Afghan War 'Tougher than Iraq'
By NICHOLAS KULISH and HELENE COOPER

"There is no magic formula in Afghanistan," Richard C. Holbrooke told an audience of European policy makers, warning of "a long, difficult struggle" ahead.

[Beyond morality or even sanity.]

Anonymous said...

I had the intense misfortune to be invited to a celebration for a family and child on Saturday, and have to listen to a prominent cleric explain that Israel and Israelis were obligated to lay waste (my expression since the cleric even ruled away the term attack) to Gaza. The analogy to the celebration of the day was made in speaking of an Israeli officer who was called to Gaza immediately after being married (supposedly conflicting with religious law) and happily marched off to the destruction (my expression).

I was appalled, but all about there were only smile of agreement.

Yuck!

Anonymous said...

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/09/world/middleeast/09iraq.html?ref=world

February 9, 2009

Iraqis Say American Patrol Killed Girl, 8
By MARC SANTORA

The American military said that there had been an accidental discharge of a weapon and said it was starting an investigation of the incident.

[Accident.]

Anonymous said...

Public television having replaced actual international news with the American version of international news introduced Dan Rather as an expert on Afghanistan (to my surprise). The essence of the expertise being an analysis that has us necessarily staying in Afghanistan for at least another decade, taking for granted that Afghanistan is a critical American interest. No argument, just a given and accepted as such by the interviewer.

Pakistan, by the way, has to be part of the deal. There is just no question about America the imperial power, the new England only more so to the pleasure of Niall Ferguson and other Tories.