Washington Brief

The War in Iraq

Anyone who believes that the Iraqi people will let the mighty rich US of A off the hook for invading their country and destroying their way of life as easily as the Bush Administration believe is marginally insane. The Shiite majority have swapped a secular dictatorship for an embryonic theocratic dictatorship. The Suni minority have lost power and see their life of consumption and material wealth replaced by a return to the Middle Ages. The average worker sees his job supporting the benevolent murdered Saddam replaced with unemployment, bombed infrastructure and foreign soldiers kicking in his bedroom door at 2 am in the morning looking for Jimmy Hoffa. The Kurds believe they will be granted an independent state protected by the USA, along the Israel model. They haven't yet realized that the granting of a State will be the prelude to the invasion by Turkey.

On the ground the US military are doing a fine job, and it is great training for when a real enemy comes along for them to fight. I hope their sacrifices will be recognized by the Fat Cats making billions off the conflict. Its a hard learning curve for the first waves of troops, but their experience will help mould the next generation of military, and bring tactics and procedures back into the real world. It's one thing climbing up the promotion ladder dreaming up scenarios of Soviet phantom forces sweeping across Germany and Norway, and another watching your carefully planned convoy be decimated by a roadside bomb. I wonder how many Generals now wish they had spent more time guard securing the bomb dumps, than worrying about the Oilfields for the Oil Barons. It's hard to make a car bomb from Sweet Crude, but very easy if you have huge open stockpiles of munitions at your disposal.

As to the Iraqi youth learning to fight and die for their country. Why should they? The US has grabbed their olifields and is syphoning off their oil. They see slow progress to restore their life. And above all let the Infidel die for desecrating their land. If the planners believe they can pull another Vietnamization of this conflict they had better start developing alternate fuels to replace Oil.

The whole war has been mismanaged from the very outset. The driving force has been what Israel believes in it's paranoia and desire to create a Greater Israel. The rhetoric about Freedom and Nuclear weapons is starting to seem very stale. Not only stale but expanding to the point of becoming an obsession. First Afghanistan, then Iraq for threatening the US with phantom missiles tipped with weapons of mass destruction. Now it's Syria and Iran for not rolling over and dismantling their nuclear program. Keep in mind Israel has allegedly several hundred nuclear weapons pointed at Damascus and Tehran. I say allegedly for they refuse to accept UN Inspectors, nor allow any acountability for their weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a religious group.

There needs to be a level playing field in the region, free from weapons of mass destruction and free from support of terrorism and military incursion, or occupation of adjacent lands. That applies to all, not just one group of religious extremists.

Until the youth of the Middle East see a fair and equitable solution they will continue to fight for what they see the end of injustice.

Alan Simpson brings you regular commentary from the corridors of power in Washington DC . With experience of working in over 80 countries he looks at events from a global perspective.