My, They Learn Quickly, Don’t They?
Granted, Saddam, too, had his torture palaces and murdered his countrymen but Iraqis, as with the rest of us, have short and forgiving memories. The tyrant is dead. Long stay George W. Bush!
So, how surprised do we have the right to be when we hear of the discovery of Iraqi insurgent torture chambers near Muqdadiya in Diyala province?
Gee. Wasn’t it Bush who’d said last July, “There is progress in Diyala province, where there is a big push against insurgents” (I guess they learned to push back)? And, gee, isn’t the “troop drawdown” (slashing our brigades from 20 to a much more manageable 19) slated to begin in that very same Diyala Province? Gee, this wouldn’t be the same Muqdadiya in which about 100 insurgents armed to the teeth with RPG’s stormed a police station in March of ’06 and killed about 18 Iraqi cops the very day before Bush told Helen Thomas that he was fully planning on punting an exit strategy all the way to 2009?
Is the discovery of this torture complex and the 26 corpses that were found there what Cheney loves to call “enormous progress” or an unfortunate setback that will put the kibosh on even this all-too-little de-escalation and give us an excuse to stay in Diyala?
Either way, this represents a no-win situation: Either the already-reviled United States renegs on its promise to begin troop exits in Diyala or we look as if we’re walking away without doing a damned thing about the evil that was taking place under our very noses.
Sort of like the mess the British are leaving behind in Basra.
No doubt, however, the Bush administration, those fresh-faced eternal optimists, God luv ’em, will find some way to turn this into something positive, such as another cost-plus, no-bid contract for KBR, Halliburton or Blackwater (that is, if they can spare the manpower being allocated to poisoning the troops, bilking the American taxpayer, raping their own female employees or murdering the indigenous population.).
But if you ask Doug Feith, former gofer for Paul Wolfowitz, how this insurgency could’ve developed, don’t expect many answers. A week and a half ago, Feith said to the American Enterprise Institute, that fine neoconservative bastion for peace and Muslim-Christian brotherhood, that while mistakes were made, de-Baathification wasn’t among them. Feith, with the stubbornness of a dead mule, still insists that we didn’t create a ready-made insurgency when Paul Bremer, the anti Lawrence of Arabia of Iraq, abruptly threw tens of thousands of soldiers into the streets.
Soldiers already whipped and now angrier and desperate for money and payback. Enter al Qaeda largely funded with bin Laden’s bottomless pockets and a sophisticated financial network, aided in no small part by our allies the Saudis, that we still haven’t completely smashed or frozen.
And then, of course, there’s the inevitable repugnant reaction to anyone else, insurgents or otherwise, actually using torture that a verbally- and politically-waterboarded Congress gave Bush the latitude to legally engage in by ratifying the Military Commissions Act last year.
This administration is by now so closely allied with torture and practices that harken back to the Nazis, Soviets and even the bloodiest years in the Tower of London, that any expression of pious revulsion at anyone else using torture may be viewed upon as merely protecting a proprietary interest, as if someone, somewhere in a small dark office of the Justice Department will actually sue the Iraqi insurgency for a violation of intellectual property statutes.
Meanwhile, anonymous Iraqi artists paint graffiti, trying to imagine better days that will be a longer time in coming than they dare imagine.