In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

The Shift- Is the tide turning against the War Party?

Posted by seumasach on July 9, 2008

Justin Raimundo(antiwar.com)

9th July, 2008

The tectonic plates of the geopolitical landscape are shifting, visibly, as the consequences of our crazed foreign policy are being felt at home and abroad. That alarming crunching sound you hear is the impact of the sudden realization that, in Iraq, the government our troops are fighting and dying for is openly demanding that we leave.

As I’ve written on previous occasions, this has been a long time coming, but now, alas, the moment has finally arrived: the “liberated” peoples of Iraq, under the tutelage of their elected leadership, are now telling us that it’s time to say good-bye. In recent remarks to Arab ambassadors in Abu Dhabi, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the assembled officials:

“The current trend is to reach an agreement on a memorandum of understanding either for the departure of the forces or a memorandum of understanding to put a timetable on their withdrawal.”

The U.S. reacted swiftly and negatively, albeit within a framework stressing the areas of agreement between Washington and Baghdad. According to U.S. State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos:

“The U.S. government and the government of Iraq are in agreement that we, the U.S. government, we want to withdraw, we will withdraw. However, that decision will be conditions-based.”

How telling is it that, apparently, those “conditions” do not seem to include the political conditions on the ground in Iraq, where the overwhelming majority of Iraqis want us out. U.S. casualties, the position of our troops, the number of enemy killed, etc. – all these factors are counted, yet the wishes of the “liberated” Iraqi people don’t count one iota, and this discourtesy is extended to their elected representatives.

Has the world ever known such arrogance in a superpower? Not since the Rome of Nero and Caligula have we seen its like. Yet the Iraqis, bless their hearts, aren’t taking it lying down. When Iraq’s top national security official, Mouwaffak al-Rubaie, held consultations with the country’s chief religious figure, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, in the holy city of Najaf, he had this to say to reporters:

“Our stance in the negotiations underway with the American side will be strong. … We will not accept any memorandum of understanding that doesn’t have specific dates to withdraw foreign forces from Iraq.”

Negotiations over the status of U.S. forces in Iraq, and the future relationship between the liberator and the liberated, have been going on for months and seem now to have hit a major snag: the Iraqis want us out, and we aren’t budging. Conflict between Washington and its former puppets is coming to a head, and it isn’t hard to imagine that our next battlefield opponents, after the demise of the “dead-enders” and al-Qaeda-in-Iraq, will be the armed forces of the Maliki government, on whom we have lavished billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.

It’s kind of like one of those relationships that, after a while, sours to the point that, instead of getting them little gifts and passing love notes, you’re handing them a restraining order.

As things go badly for the War Party in Iraq, so, here at home, the tide is also turning. Actually, it turned quite some time ago, but you’d never know that from what has been going on in Washington, where any talk of withdrawal is deemed too “radical” to take seriously.

However, some modicum of reality seems to have broken through the solid wall of self-sustaining ignorance that surrounds the Washington crowd with the news that U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen has “sent Israel an unequivocal message stating that Israel does not have a ‘green light’ from the U.S. to attack Iranian nuclear facilities” and that it will not get U.S. support if it chooses to go ahead anyway.

This is clearly an indication that the revolt of the generals – who are horrified by the prospect of another war in the Middle East – is undergoing a “surge” as fresh war clouds darken the horizon. Whether that is going to be enough to tamp down the war cries of the uber-hawks in the Pentagon and their allies in the chattering classes – and the White House – is doubtful, at best, but, on that score, I’ll take what I can get…

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