There are just some comments you make on another blog (Eschaton: #1, #2) that you feel need to be said again - they're that important. Not that anything you say is that important, in and of itself, but the information you direct people to is that important. So, without further adieu:
I don't believe in committing the 'supreme international crime' (i.e. invading a sovereign country), but to suggest that incompetence wasn't the reason this invasion/occupation went badly is to just ignore reality.
If Bush/Rummy weren't in charge, we would have had 500,000+ soldiers on the ground, and that would have made a difference. If the U.S. was actually interested in democracy, we would have set up elections immediately - within 6 months for all posts in a short-term government, with more elections in a year from the first. We would have declared our intentions to leave fully and completely, and we would have begun withdrawal on the first day of occupation. We would not have built four permanent bases. We would not have implemented our own laws to make Iraq's oil industry ripe for takeover by U.S. and British oil companies. The list goes on and on. If anyone but some Rethugs in America believed we were intent on withdrawing and not dominating Iraq's economy and government, there would have been no civil unrest and suicide bombers and all that. Of course, reality dictates that there be an insurgency to kill anyone attempting to help the U.S. and Britain steal Iraq's money/resources/honor/etc.
Outside of these facts of incompetence and bad intentions, as Chomsky has said, the U.S. only cares about democracy when that democracy will benefit U.S. interests. It is obvious that democracy in Iraq will *not* benefit U.S. interests, which is why Bushco is doing everything in its power to prevent it. That's right, Bushco is trying to prevent democracy in Iraq, and elsewhere (Haiti, Venezuela, etc.). This is not new foreign policy for the U.S. - this is standard operating procedure for both Rethug and Dem administrations going back at least to the 1950's. [See Chomsky's Deterring Democracy. If you haven't read any Chomsky yet, you'll shit yourself when you realize what's been going on (even the Cold War is explained and it's just truly unbelievable - all sourced from U.S. government documents, the New York Times, etc.). These are 'big picture' realities explained in this book - corruption and treason and all that are small topics compared to what is explained and analyzed in this book. If you don't love the content of this book, and learn about 800,000 new things in the first chapter alone - yes, 800,000 new things - I'll give you your money back. Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and other books like NoLogo are good on the economic front, both with some level of political insight. But Chomsky's writing, to me, is the best. His dry humour is awesome. I've never heard that in the press about him, but he's funny as all get out. The problem is that he uses his humour in pointing out the most horrible atrocities committed by the U.S. and its allies around the world. So, it's funny, but funny in the way that Bushco is funny - tragically.]
All you have to do is look at the evidence. Bushco first tried to appoint their own king - Chalabi. When that didn't work, they tried to have Chalabi work his way to the presidency/premiereship/kingship by virtue of 'elections' with continued U.S. support. It didn't work. So, Bushco finally relented and allowed 'elections' to occur. When the 'elections' finally came around Bushco interfered with them bigtime. These facts are all strong evidence of U.S. intentions in Iraq - and those intentions do not want to see a democracy in Iraq that wants the U.S. to withdraw or give up control of Iraq's oil resources, so a true democracy can not be allowed to occur there - no matter what. The people of Iraq want to own and conrol the oil under their own ground - imagine that.
Uncontrolled democracy in Iraq is the worst possible outcome for U.S. national security interests, because what then would we then have? A soon-nuclear-capable Islamist state who is way-too-friendly with Iran and controls the second biggest oil reserves in the world - and through oil control has 'critical leverage' against the U.S. The U.S. economy would be on a leash. <ruff!> Good dog.
Thomas Carothers says as much in his new book - though he's too hospitable on how far the U.S. will go to prevent democracy.
Stop buying the propaganda. The U.S. was never interested in democracy in Iraq. It's a sham. The U.S. was always interested in controlling Iraq's resources, in de-nationalizing its national industries/assets and selling them off to private U.S. and British companies. If that required some form of a democracy which the U.S. could control - fine. If not - fine - Bushco would just have to work a little harder to show that the new dictatorship was, in actuality, better than Saddam's. It's all bogus - don't believe the hype. Don't listen to the jingoistic expressions of 'freedom' and 'democracy' and all that - read the actual headlines, read the laws being enacted, use your common sense.
Immediate and complete withdrawal, with no permanent military bases, is the only morally righteous answer. What's right is right. Give the Iraqis self-determination. If U.S. national security interests suffer even more because of this illegal invasion, so be it. We'll hold those responsible for it accountable. War crimes tribunals. Life imprisonment without parole for all of them. It's that simple.
Deterring Democracy, man. Deterring Democracy. Talk about flippin the script. Took a while for it to sink in, but I finally got it. Facts are facts - as sad and pathetic as they may be - as sad and pathetic as they show our political leaders to be.