Hvordan går det i Irak? Svar: SEE NO EVIL
I en artikel i Harper's Magazine fortælles det, at den amerikanske efterretningstjenestes arbejde i Irak reelt er sat ud af spillet, fordi regeringen kun ønsker at høre om, hvor godt det går:
A number of current and former intelligence officials have told me that the administration's war on internal dissent has crippled the CIA's ability to provide realistic assessments from Iraq. "The system of reporting is shut down," said one person familiar with the situation. "You can't write anything honest, only fairy tales."(Via Aardvark.)
The New York Times and others have reported that in 2003, the CIA station chief in Baghdad authored several special field reports that offered extremely negative assessments of the situation on the ground in Iraq - assessments that later proved to be accurate. The field reports, known as "Aardwolfs," were angrily rejected by the White House. Their author - who I'm told was a highly regarded agency veteran named Gerry Meyer - was soon pushed out of the CIA, in part because his reporting angered the See No Evil crowd within the Bush administration. "He was a good guy," one recently retired CIA official said of Meyer, "well-wired in Baghdad, and he wrote a good report. But any time this administration gets bad news, they say the critics are assholes and defeatists, and off we go down the same path with more pressure on the accelerator."
In 2004 Meyer was replaced with a new CIA station chief in Baghdad, who that year filed six Aardwolfs, which, sources told me, were collectively as pessimistic about the situation in Iraq as the ones sent by his predecessor. The station chief finished his assignment in December 2004; he was not fired, but according to one source is now "a pariah within the system." Three other former intelligence officials gave me virtually identical accounts, with one saying the ex–station chief was "treated like shit" and "farmed out."
Er det en målestok for, hvordan det går, at the powers that be ikke ønsker at vide det; eller er det en målestok for disse powers' lederevner; eller måske begge dele?
En anden målestok for, hvordan det går, er situationen i Basra, hvor de engelske troppers angiveligt langt bedre håndtering af besættelsen blev fremhævet som et eksempel på, hvordan amerikanerne kunne have reddet situationen. Eller?
Da en britisk helikopter blev skudt ned over Basra for nogle uger siden, hvad så vi da hos de tililende irakiske civile - medfølelse eller ønske om at hjælpe?
Nej, vi så jublen og had - vi så folk smide sten mod såvel helikopteren (hvori fem mennesker havde mistet livet) som dé britiske soldater, der forsøgte at komme dens besætning til hjælp.
Succes for de populære, høflige britiske befrielses-besættelsesstyrker?
Jonathan Steele skriver om netop dette i en
Tony Blair's folly in taking Britain to war in Iraq is blood under the bridge, a blunder that cannot be reversed. But Blair made a second mistake that is less often discussed. He should have withdrawn British troops from southern Iraq as soon as it was clear that they were not serving a useful purpose. Instead, out of the same "strategic" motive of wanting to show George Bush that Britain was Washington's most faithful ally, Blair has kept British forces long after he needed to. He was wrong to send British forces in. He is wrong not to take them out.I går alvorlig fejl, og at de italienske tropper vil blive trukket ud i løbet af få måneder.
With 111 dead, the rate of British fatalities is about the same as the American rate, given that the US has 20 times as many troops in Iraq. US forces mount large offensives more frequently than the British, so the drip-drip of British soldiers' deaths by attrition is actually worse than in the US-occupied areas.
Iraqis resent British forces with a passion that surprises the troops themselves. "You think you know these people but you don't," exclaimed a British sergeant when he found young Iraqis excitedly gloating over the downed helicopter last week. His confusion is as old as colonialism, the shock of truth when occupiers realise the populace is not as grateful or contented as they thought.
For to år siden erklærede Spaniens den dengang nye premierminister Zapatero, at krigen mod Irak havde været en fejltagelse, og at Bush og Blair var nødt til at se kritisk på sig selv, for man kan ikke basere en krig på lutter løgne - og at de spanske tropper ville blive trukket ud indenfor få måneder, medmindre USA overgav kontrollen med situationen i Irak til FN.
Hvorlænge går det mon, før en nyvalgt dansk statsminister - og, forhåbentlig, en nyvalgt amerikansk præsident - åbent stiller sig op og siger det samme?
Den eneste ærefulde udvej - for USA såvel som for Danmark - er efterhånden Jarrar-planen.