Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sunday morning reading

Independent Online reports that Iraqi death squads within the Interior Ministry are adding fuel to the civil strife.

This was the sort of killing that touched off Lebanon's civil war in 1975. Already an exchange of populations is taking place in Baghdad as members of each community move to districts in which they are in the majority.

The ability of the US occupiers to influence the situation is not only limited, but some of their actions are seen as making things worse. The Americans have been trying to dislodge Mr Jabr as Interior Minister, accusing him of turning his ministry into a Shia bastion. But the Shia believe that the US and its allies, the Kurds, simply want to prevent the majority community from gaining full power over security despite winning two parliamentary elections in 2005.

Also in the Independent, a report of the deployment of British troops in Afghanistan. The U.S. is pushing the government there to eradicate the heroin crop. There are no plans to compensate the farmers who grew those crops. The Americans will not be sending troops in to quell the understandable animosity created. That will be done by the British and the Afghan troops. Rock. Hard place.

Afghan forces themselves are concerned, however. "It will be a big mistake to cut the crop this year," said Abdul Shakur, police commandant in Helmand's provincial capital, Lashkar Gar. "The people have nothing else and they will get angry."

Lt Shabaz Ali, of the 3rd Battalion of the Afghan army, said: "If I am ordered to destroy the crop, then I shall have to do so, [but] we should leave them alone this year and then give them compensation next year before cutting the crop.

"The farmers will turn against us and the British. They have guns and they can fight."

Rox Populi is urging readers to take a look back in history to the cult of personality surrounding Stalin. She's asking you to read Krushchev's words on the subject.
Stalin originated the concept "enemy of the people." This term automatically made it unnecessary that the ideological errors of a man or men engaged in a controversy be proven. It made possible the use of the cruelest repression, violating all norms of revolutionary legality, against anyone who in any way disagreed with Stalin, against those who were only suspected of hostile intent, against those who had bad reputations. The concept "enemy of the people" actually eliminated the possibility of any kind of ideological fight or the making of one's views known on this or that issue, even [issues] of a practical nature.


Scott said...

Alas, I'd be more surprised at the Bush regime not being linked with death squads, than the opposite. Negroponte anyone?

B.D. said...

My guess is that they are or are going to align themselves with particular death squads. As the country's civil war continues, the Bush administration will decide that they will have to support Kurdish and Sunni death squads in order to counter any Iranian influence in the region. They will do this as they draw down troop levels or, possibly, pull the U.S. out altogether. This policy will cause not only instability in Iraq, but also in Turkey, where the Kurds will eventually turn their weapons regardless of what we do and possibly elsewhere.

Unfortunately, history suggests that future administrations - Democrat or Republican - will feel compelled to follow this strategy, much as what happened when the Soviets were in Afghanistan and beyond. The American public won't stand for our troops and our money being spent there in the sums we're spending it, but they are perfectly happy funding a guerrilla war which will be sold to them as funding a democracy insurgent campaign. Never mind that we just fought a war to remove this particular secular group from torturous rule (the Sunnis at least).