Saturday, December 30, 2006

How Would You Measure Success ?

Friday Iraq killed Saddam Hussein and he probably won't be mourned by many. So BushCo has now:
Had some exciting combat footage courtesy of the somnolent media
Gotten rid of Iraq's WMDs, well they're not there, anyhow
Removed murdering despotic Saddam from power
Instituted an appointed government
Had a couple elections in Iraq
Won one in the US and lost one
Gotten Saddam hanged
Made up a bunch of slogans they denied - so now A New Way Forward

December 25th 1400 British and Iraqi soldiers stormed a police jail in Basra. A what? Why? This was the serious crimes unit jail in Basra and the reason was evidence of torture and imminent execution of 127 prisoners. Over 100 men were in a 30 foot by 40 foot cell. The police unit was backed by various militias including Moktada-al-Sadr's. You can find details in The NY Times about the level of torture and the attack.

BushCo has made Iraq safe from the abuses of power under Saddam, now the abuses of power come from cabinet members of Iraq's democratically elected government. I'm sure those who are fond of murderous thugs of the Islamist persuasion will find Moktada vastly superior to the murderous secular thug Saddam. It is going to take a bunch of hangings to sort this out. They may run out of rope.

Now exactly how would you measure success? Iraq is a damned dangerous place to be American, Sunni, Shiite, or Kurdish (not so bad). The power runs some times, sewage and waste disposal seems to be non-existent, unemployment is huge (astronomic by our measure of real bad), oil may or may not get out, the government, police, and army are populated with murderous thugs. Iran is licking its chops, Saudi Arabia is horrified, Iraqis are fleeing the country. Somehow the American President seems to think tossing some more troops into the meat grinder will make it all better.

We started breaking the place March 20, 2003 and this is what we've gotten for our trouble.


Ed Bickford said...

I dread tuning into any TV news any time soon, the way they were breathlessly anticipating the execution, and then slavering over the reports that video of it existed. Shades of Madame Lafarge, I don't want to see it! I recognize the necessity of the death penalty; society cannot be safe with some of the worst monsters that people become, and even prison is part of our society. It is the most unwelcome duty of maintaining civil order and simultaneously a grave threat to it. This footage caters to our most primitive instincts and I don't want to watch us or Iraq slip further away from a civil society. As to measuring success in Iraq, I suggest deploying your finest micrometer, to wit: quoting the referenced NYT article,

"In southern cities like Basra, dominated by Shiites, the fighting is a combination of battles between rival militias vying for power, warring tribes and organized crime, Major Burbridge [a British military spokesman] said."

I'm pinning my hopes on the newly Democratic Congress. Witness Senator Biden's latest statement:

"In January, I intend to hold a series of hearings in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Iraq... It is my hope that these hearings will generate a bipartisan consensus around the best way to move forward in Iraq and convince the President that 'surging' additional forces into Baghdad is not the answer."

Godspeed, Joe.

Chuck Butcher said...

Thanks for checking out NYT, I reference these when I think they have much more to say than I want to cover.