Among the multiple, ever-shifiting reasons George Bush has given for keeping U.S. forces in Iraq, the most current rationale is that our soldiers are required because, after five years or so of training, Iraqi troops are useless as peacekeepers.
the only “war” in Iraq is a civil war, and that U.S. forces are there as occupiers, not combatants aligned with either side, the Sunnis or the Shia.
Now Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has declared that forces under his command has successfully taken down a Shi’ite militia uprising in Basra:
[Maliki] says the military operation to crack down against Shi’ite militias in the southern city of Basra was a success.
Mr. Maliki also said Tuesday that his office will recruit 10,000 more troops and take steps to enhance public services in the city.
Iraqi officials said the recent fighting between Shi’ite militias and security forces in the south of the country helped make March the deadliest month for Iraqis since August 2007.
Combined figures from Iraq’s interior, defense and health ministries show nearly 1,100 Iraqi civilians and security personnel were killed last month. That figure is nearly double the number of Iraqi deaths tallied in February.
The March figure includes about 923 civilian deaths.
At least 400 people were killed in the last week during fighting between militants loyal to Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and Iraqi and coalition forces in Baghdad and the southern city of Basra.
This illustrates, first, that the only “war” in Iraq is a civil war, and that U.S. forces are there as occupiers, not combatants aligned with either side, the Sunnis or the Shia.
Despite the Bush-McCain rhetoric, because U.S. troops are not combatants in the Iraq civil war, the United States can neither “win” the civil war, nor can we “surrender” in it.
There are only two only options for the United States occupation forces: Staying or leaving but, again, staying is not the equivalent of “winning,” just as leaving as not equal to “surrender.”
This also illustrates Bush’s true rationale for keeping U.S. in harm’s way — a motivation that is as emblematic of the Bush era as it obscene and vile. Our troops are there, not to ensure security of the American homeland or even U.S. strategic interests in the region, but rather as a means for Bush to prop up his shaky, treacly legacy: “By God, the U.S. didn’t surrender to the terrarists on my watch.”