Iraqi Reconcilation Lessons For Republicans
Iraqis are reluctant to forgive those who abused power under Saddam. The Republicans should not be surprised when American voters demand accountability for Republican Party abuses under this President.
The American voter rebuke of the Republican Party, President, and Senate was the start of a long process to lawfully pummel the GOP into something which fits into civilized society. The White House and Republicans don't like what free people do: Lawfully oppose and prosecute criminals.
The GOP is responsible for providing leadership. The US leadership might have some credibility if the White House staff were as interested complying with US law as it has in lecturing the Iraqis how to live. This GOP-led transformation would be a fine example for the American puppet government in Baghdad.
The United States does not includes Iraq within its sovereignty, but acts as if Iraq and the Iraqi people were as unresponsive to Supreme Court decisions as some boards of education in Brown v. Board of Education.
Put aside the absurdity that the US ignores the law and has not demonstrated a credible reconciliation process.
The US without offering a reasonable security plan for Iraq, is shifting the burden for the failed US planning and leadership onto the Iraqis, blaming them for not getting along.
It's no wonder why the US is confused, baffled and irritated: Uncooperative Iraqis have temporarily set aside their differences, and are waging combat against the United States.
For Republicans, reconciliation is good if it means ignoring illegal activity; it's bad if it means accountability for those illegalities.
America wants reconciliation so long as the Iraqis agree with the United States' definition of reconciliation. So much for sovereignty and the supposed benefits of "Freedom" and "self determination." Do as we say while we beat you.
It is absurd to suggest the US is treating Iraq as a sovereign country. The fact that there are disagreements with the US and Iraqi leaders is not a new phenomenon.
What is curious is when the Iranian and Syrians government disagree on trivial issues, the White House absurdly calls this a crisis between two nations; yet when the White House disagrees with Iraq, the problem is one for the Iraqis to solve.
If the US is going to blame Iran and Syria for "not getting along," the US might show its example in getting along with its puppet government in Iraq. Alas, the American clowns get tangled in the strings they pull.
The US spent after the Civil War more than 100 years unable to resolve the issues of racism, bigotry, and class conflict. It is unrealistic to expect the Iraqis to more quickly reconcile on an issue they have not openly confronted.
Indeed, as the US leadership following the civil war did put aside their difference and move on, so too must the Iraqi government be permitted to exercise sovereignty and decide how it will reconcile.
The Germans banned the Nazis; Americans banned communists. It's not appropriate for the Americans to decide what other nations should do to manage the unmanageable. American's no-fly list, despite its errors, is a permanent ban. If the Americans want others to lift their bans, America should move first and lift its absolute bans on travel.
The Bush Administration and the GOP have blocked reviews in Iraq. There is no basis for the US government to reverse itself, and argue that the Iraqi government's lack of agreement is a problem.
Agreements take time. The US government cannot compel the Iraqis to meet a specific timeline to resolve these issues. If the US leadership is frustrated, it has itself to blame: For ignoring the competent CIA analysts who well outlined the divisions which Saddam was keeping together. These were known to be explosive, volatile, and uncertain. Hardly something that is forced back into the American crafted genie bottle.
The Iraqi leadership, not the US embassy personnel in Baghdad, have legal control. Whether the United States grows impatient and wants to implement a coup remains to be seen.
The Iraqis have yet to resolve this issue. There is disagreement. How the US officials in Baghdad can say with certainty what is getting in the way is absurd. Certain knowledge would imply superior insight; this is meaningless: US HUMINT resources are wanting.
___ How does the US know the basis for the disagreement?
___ Which concerns do people have that are reasonable?
___ Has the US bothered to listen to, much less acknowledge, the concerns of those who are reluctant to throw their hat into the ring and support the government?
It is absurd for the US to talk about problems in Iraq, while the US government refuses to face war crimes legal issues. For the US to whine that the Iraqi leadership is in retro-grade motion would have us believe that the assent to tyranny under this President is something to celebrate.
The clash of factions is desirable. It forces people to discuss their concerns. The US is wrong in compelling the Iraqis to advance steadily. There are setbacks.
Rather than lecturing Iraqis on how they should reconcile; perhaps the Republicans should openly discuss the principle of reconciliation in America:
What is to be done to resolve the Republican led insurrection against the American Constitution; what would reconciliation look like; and what happens if the voters (again) rebuke this vision?
Perhaps if the arrogant Americans reform their government and prevent illegal warfare, they might be in a position to lecture other about whether the pace of reform is or is not satisfactory.
Rice would be better to spend her time reviewing the reckless conduct of the National Security Council. That's something the US leadership has not addressed, much less accepted was a catalyst for the November 2006 voter rebuke. Rather than listen to the voters, the Americans continue with discouraging attacks on the Rule of Law around the globe.
It may be true that Iraq has problems. It is absurd for the US to point to problems the US helped created as the excuse to say the Iraqis have got it wrong. When have the Americans got it right, despite public humiliation and well known setbacks in combat?
The American strategy in Iraq is under water, gasping for air. There is no chance that the American strategy "might" have a problem; it is the problem.
American solutions to the Iraqi's security situation have failed. The Iraqis cannot be compelled to do what the US government does not do: Openly debate issues and talk about the problems.
It remains to be understood how the US, facing additional setbacks, plans to change the US mission in Iraq to match the deteriorating situation, and diminished expectations. Using that shifting standard, why wait for more bad news and not leave now?
Powerlessness does not require action. The US has no authority to permit or not permit events in Iraq to proceed. What the US leadership views as priorities is not important relative to the Iraqis decisions to manage their affairs.
Reconciliation is a process. Legislation is another process. The two may or may not be harmonized.
American expectations are secondary to the Iraqi requirements. Americans should confront the President, and then think about reconciliation before expecting others to do what the Americans refuse: Pass legislation to solve the American's leadership problem in the Oval office.
___ Why is the US expecting to have any input into which rules the Iraqis do or do not use to reconcile?
___ When is the US going to let the Iraqis move along the paths they choose or do not choose?
It may be true that reconciliation may be desirable, but as with the rule of law, the error was for the Americans to put up for a vote something that should never have been discretionary: Whether people will or will not get along under the Rule of Law.
The error for the Republican leadership has been to pretend that this is debatable. They are requirements. Congress has no power to deny the writ as it as done; it is a false debate to decide whether what was illegally denied should or should not be restored. The Republicans, GOP, and President cannot debate how illegal activity will be hidden or justified. It is an impermissible attack leaving the Constitution in an inferior state.
The Iraqis must choose their path. The world may offer ideas. Iraqis are free to choose how to best manage their affairs. The US supposedly went to Iraq to liberate them. American learns what happens when free people choose to remember the past and not blindly expose themselves to continued abuse.
If Iraqis are to forget the past, then the President should ignore the abuses his party has endured, and accept his defeat.
America's leadership made fine sport of abusing American civilians, physically detaining them for opposing illegal warfare in Iraq. The courts have ruled the authorities crossed the line.
The error is to believe that national policy can always be left to popular vote when the voters have been misled. If left to their own devices, the free citizenry might vote to bankrupt their nation, and ignore the rule of law. Some things cannot be left to the discretion of the voters or the leaders: The Supreme Law.
It is amusing to learn the Americans are attempting to guide the Iraqis -- using what principles, we can only speculate.
"This is how you should get along" is meaningless. America's idea of "getting along" is to silence dissent, abuse people with other views, and ask the world to believe "what a great place it is." America is a great place if you ignore reality.
Americans should learn to demand, and require, responsible government and the Rule of Law. Perhaps if Americans demand leadership, and get an inspiring response, the world might heed their example.
There is hope. Iraqi recocilation offers a case study for the Republiacn Party. If only the American government would pay as much attention to its oath of office as it spends time meddling i Iraqi internal affairs, Americans would be that much better off:
___ When will the US government review whether this President is or isn’t making progress in meeting his legal obligations?
___ Why are American government officials spending time reviewing whether Iraqis are or are not doing the right things; but ignoring whether this President is or isn’t doing the right thing?
___ What is US government diving into the affairs of Iraq, but ignoring the American government illegal warfare?
___ Who in the US government is engaged in talks with overseas entities, but refusing to disuses issues of war crimes with Americans?
___ Why is the US spending so much time closely monitoring things in Iraq; but when it comes to the US Constitution and Rule of law, the American officials can't be bothered?
___ What is going on in the minds of American White House officials who express interest at whether the Iraqis are or are not doing something, but there is no interest whether the US government is or isn't asserting its oath of office?
America’s leaders are arrogant when they expect others to change; but point to their arrogant commitment to war crimes as something to be proud of.
___ When is the US government going to heed the standard they apply to Iraq, and call for some flexibility in whether the US is or isn't committed to illegal warfare?
It's one thing for the US government to say they're for change, and refuse; quite another to compel the Iraqis to change, but whine when the Iraqis heed the American example: Refuse to change.
If the GOP is concerned with the backlash of reconciliation, rather than refusing to change in America, they might consider moving to Iraq where minority rights are given John Wayne respect.
The open distrust Iraqis have to their former abusers is fair notice to the Republican party of the contempt American voters have for the GOP. Calling for people to reconcile does not make the memory fade, nor solve what was exploited.
They way forwards is for the GOP, Senate, and President to outline their plan to reconcile themselves with the Constitution, and stop lecturing We the People how we should or should not respond to their illegal insurrection and rebellion against the Constitution.