Monday, May 28, 2007

The Best Interests

The following is a rant that was exhaustion and red bull fueled. Enjoy.

A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests.
--Niccolo Machiavelli

The US finally comes to its senses and begins to talk with its enemies:
Pool photo by Hadi Mizban

BAGHDAD, May 28 — The United States and Iran held rare face-to-face talks in Baghdad on Monday, adhering to an agenda that focused strictly on the war in Iraq and on ways the two bitter adversaries could help improve conditions here.

The meeting between Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker of the United States and Ambassador Hassan Kazemi Qumi of Iran — held in the offices of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki — produced no agreements nor a promise of a follow-up meeting between the nations, participants said.

But Mr. Crocker said at a news conference afterward that the meeting “proceeded positively” and was “businesslike.” Both sides, he said, articulated a common desire to help stabilize Iraq.

Just some random thoughts I've been massaging my brain with:

In the Algerian War, de Gaulle was forced by his own dwindling days, the electoral cycle and and fairly disheartened home population, while the Algerians could wait as long as they had to - they weren't going anywhere. The Arab world knows that, and as we are currently well aware, they are also aware of what happened to the Harkis, the Muslim Algerians who fought on the side of France during the war. There will be a comeuppance once the US leaves.

So, let's skip back to the current debacle - The war is lost. What's interesting is that despite all of the massive fuckups, Jay Garner almost pulled this whole thing together before Bremer destroyed the chances of Iraq - that's an aside beyond all asides. Anyways, what we can take from the Algerian War, and this current war is that eventually, if you have destroyed the chances of a moderate third force as the extremists on both sides (and when the regime and his party are pro-torture, and that's a description of the Iraqi...and US governments) have done, there are few to negotiate a sensible solution.

So, who's left? The hardliners - queue the entrance of the emerging power of Iran. De Gaulle, too, had to sit with the FLN, the uber-terrorists that were far worse (believe it or not) than the thugs running around Iraq today. De Gaulle and the leadership of France realized that despite the military victories they were winning, the people of Algeria had once and for all had it with the occupiers. We see the same phenomena in Iraq. The insurgency has been around for far too long, and no real political solution is possible - the time for diplomacy was always at the front end of the occupation before the bloodlettting set in. After the sheer chaos unleashed by Rumsfeld, et al, there was really little chance of a solution after Garner left Iraq.

Just another side note: in 1958, when de Gaulle rose to power, he actually took a tour of Algiera, to the enourmous delight of the Muslim population - and he still knew then that the Algiera was lost. Could Bush ever tour the streets of Baghdad to a groundswell of applause of Iraqis?

You know the outcome. De Gaulle knew it. Historians have seen this show before, and it never ends well. The US needs to get out. Now.

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