Sunday, June 20, 2004

Allies Must Step Up

The WaPost has an article by regular columnist Robert Kagan (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace) and guest co-author Ivo H. Daalder (The Brookings Institution) entitled 'The Allies Must Step Up'. I'm not kidding - that's really the title, only, as you might expect - it gets much, much worse should you decide to actually read the White House's their patronizing prose. From the title you can guess what kind of hooey we're about to be fed, but I wanted to contact these guys and let them know that they're going to get called when shilling for this, or any, Administration. Hounding people to be honest brokers of information does have an effect, though how much is debatable.

Here's my email (with HTML reformatting for this blog) to Kagan and our Ivo. Ivo, for all his degrees and honors, doesn't have the guts to list a contact email address, so I used the 'Foreign Policy Studies' email address provided as a link at the bottom of his Brookings page. I also copied the WaPost ombudsman. Why not?

Dear Mr. Kagan and Mr. Daalder,

I found your recent article 'The Allies Must Step Up' to be misleading and dishonest. I'll address only the primary argument you use to push this Administration's position that it is now time for our allies to 'step up'.

Your statement that 'Iraq will enjoy full sovereignty after June 30, not limited sovereignty' is plainly not true, not symbolically - by way of UN Resolution 1546, nor in actuality - by way of continued 'back-door' U.S. influence over Iraq.

In the very first bullet point of UN Resolution 1546, we have: [The UN Security Council] endorses the formation of a sovereign Interim Government of Iraq, as presented on 1 June 2004, which will assume full responsibility and authority by 30 June 2004 for governing Iraq while refraining from taking any actions affecting Iraq’s destiny beyond the limited interim period until an elected Transitional Government of Iraq assumes office as envisaged in paragraph four below;. Of course, a government cannot be 'fully sovereign' if it may only take actions which will only be in effect for the next seven or eight months. This statement is truly Orwellian: You are free to govern Iraq - just don't do anything that might affect Iraq's future. Brilliant.

Most major news organizations in the world that reside outside U.S. borders have rightly claimed the handover of Iraq a 'sham'. Yet even the Wall Street Journal reports in its May 13 column, 'Behind the Scenes, U.S. Tightens Grip On Iraq's Future': The new Iraqi government will have little control over its armed forces, lack the ability to make or change laws and be unable to make major decisions within specific ministries without tacit U.S. approval, say U.S. officials and others familiar with the plan. Full sovereignty, gentlemen?

Your dishonest shilling for the current Administration brings disrepute upon yourselves, and both of your organizations. Your allegiance to this Administration is neither patriotic nor helpful to U.S. interests. We need honest policy discussions - not further disinformation from 'independent' think tanks and 'peace' organizations.

Should either of you have a genuine interest in helping the U.S. become successful in Iraq, I suggest you read a couple of articles by Middle East scholars with more allegiance to the truth than this Administration:
  • The New and Improved Iraq, Juan Cole, In These Times
  • Government Attacks on Area Specialists Called Disservice to U.S. Middle East Policy, Leslie Evans on remarks by Rashid Khalidi, UCLA International Institute, Center for Near Eastern Studies

  • Thank you.

    p.s. The UN Resolutions mentions the not-so-secret, secret and non-institution, institution Paris Club. Hmmmm. Reminds me of Richard Perle's involvement with the Bilderberg club during the run-up to the invasion. The Asia Times does a good write-up on Bilderberg here. The Asia Times also prints a bunch of unfriendly letters about that write-up. I don't know which is true - I'm just kind of amazed that such an exclusive club even exists! It's like crazy international espionage James Bond-type stuff.

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