Hat Tip to Ace of Spades: http://minx.cc/?post=282966
S.D. Liddick, a self-described ‘Marxist independent reporter’, is tagging along with American troops in Anbar Province.
He wrote a scathing response to Dahr Jamail’s HuffPo column: “Iraq’s Telfon Don”, aka Sheik Aifan Sadun, a tribal leader in Fallujah.
……He was the right sheik in the right place at the right time when the Americans, desperate over their failures in Iraq, decided to throw their support behind the reconstitution of a tribal elite in the province where the Sunni insurgency raged with particular fierceness from 2004-2006.
……The main goal of the Americans was never the reconstruction of devastated al-Anbar Province. That was just the label given to a project whose objective — from the U.S. point of view — was to save American lives and to tamp down violence in Iraq before the U.S. presidential election of 2008.
Jamail’s entire complaint revolves around the accusation that American forces ‘bought the sheiks’.
He thinks the reasons are:
The reasons — and they are indeed plural — why the tribal leaders were so willing to collaborate with the occupiers of their country are, at least in retrospect, relatively clear. Those in al-Anbar who had once supported, and had been supported by, Saddam Hussein, and then had initially supported the resistance became far keener to work with occupation forces as they saw their power eroded by al-Qaeda-in-Iraq.
Dahr Jamail, according to the leftwing London Guardian, ‘decided to become an independent reporter in Iraq reporting the war from the civilian side’, who thought that ‘if the people of the United States had the real story about what their government has done in Iraq, the occupation would already have ended’.
Jamail equates the American military to occupying mafia facilitators who compensated for ‘failures’ by bribing influential tribal leaders, and trying to affect the outcome of the 2008 election. Shit, if all it took was paying off sheiks to guarantee success, we could have saved ourselves all the trouble by simply dumping wheel barrows full of cash into their coffers. In reality, it takes a bit more to rid the planet of rabid Islamic jihadists. Like rounds from an M4, a Predator strike, or some Hellfire missiles from an Apache.
Still, the theory is a unique departure from the usual ‘it’s all about the oil’ and ‘U.S. troops are baby-killing murders’ shit. The real story is that Jamail is an abject loser depressed about America’s victory in Iraq.
Liddick, in his response to Jamail, describes a much different situation:
……I’ve researched similar figures, in Haditha, Bagdadi, Hit and Al Qaim, and I saw many of the same things you did. But I’ve come to very different conclusions. That, I believe, is because you had a pre-existing agenda you were determined to conform evidence to (i.e., war is bad, the U.S. is waging a war, so whatever it’s doing in Anbar is bad); and because you’re a coward.
The U.S. is an empire and the Iraq debacle is evidence of 21st century imperialism, no doubt. I still don’t think we should be here. But that debate became passé six years ago. Now it’s a question of how soon the U.S. gets out and what happens before and after it does. I’ve met too many good and decent people here to write this place off, smart and hard working Iraqis that want and deserve a first-world existence.
……What I realized, after some unbiased investigation, is that the players being prepped to take power in Anbar are in the positions they are for some very pragmatic reasons–namely they’re still alive and they can kill terrorists (thousands of their counterparts have been assassinated).
You overlook an essential point: this place is still a fucking war zone, you ignorant cur. Fallujah and Anbar are just out of an internecine civil war/insurgency (if it’s indeed finished), that’s followed a destructive invasion, which came on the heels of 12 years of debilitating international sanctions and 30 years of repressive authoritarian rule. It’s not a bastion of fucking Rotary Club nominees. When you pick from an attenuated (and flawed) lot, you take what you get–that’s a simple law of nature.
……If you talked to the military you’d find they have a very simple plan: security before all else. And talking to a Corporal or Sergeant as you indicated you did (to get your clever Teflon Don lede) was something like talking to the plumber at City Hall for an understanding of the mayor’s new financial policy. As a journalist, criticizing military policy without talking to the military is completely incompetent. But with you, it goes deeper. You hide behind political artifice to lob your mines of pre-conclusion, like a craven wretch. And really, I think that goes to the solid core of the dregs of the problem. You’re not a coward merely because you’re afraid to seek the truth when it might not conform to your views … rather your chickenshit views are shaped by the fact you’re a coward.
……Nearly every American Soldier on the ground–no matter how misguided vis-à-vis the underlying motivations that brought the U.S. to Iraq–is here because of a sincere and genuine desire to help; none of them, I wager, have come to further an empire. Whether it be to fight against terrorism so people back home feel a little safer in skyscrapers, or to relieve a weary Iraqi population of a dictator, they’re here for honorable reasons; just as is the case with the majority of those Iraqi soldiers (who still have targets on their foreheads). Which makes your fink agenda a slap in the face to about a million people who have fought and died and lost legs, brothers, and lots of blood in the hope of making something as simple as a secure place to live.
Holy epiphany, Batman. Looks like Mr. Lefty embed is getting a good dose of reality crammed down his throat. He still has to work on getting rid of the nihilist ‘misguided’, ‘U.S. imperialist empire’ bullshit before he achieves total credibility.
But, it’s promising.