<b>By: Rowan Wolf</b> of Uncommon Thought Journal
One might wonder if Gen. William Caldwell and Alberto Fernandez, “director of public diplomacy in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the U.S. State Department,” (NY Times) might soon be seeking “other career opportunities.” Most particularly, Mr. Fernandez is quoted as saying:
“We tried to do our best (in Iraq) but I think there is much room for criticism because, undoubtedly, there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq.” (AP, 10/21/06)
It is bad news when Iraqi’s “look to gunmen” for protection rather than to either U.S. troops, or Iraqi police and soldiers.
It is bad news when the U.S. looks to two nations it will not talk with – Iran and Syria – to end the violence in Iraq. This recommendation is not some propaganda piece by the “terrorists,” but the recommendation of a special Congressional panel.
Not even al-Maliki’s missive to not release mortality figures to the UN is likely to counter the Lancet report of 654,000 dead. While I’m sure that Bush and Rumsfeld (who have refused to publicly keep track of this information) see it as a sign of continued “alliance” from al-Maliki, it only heightens the issue. Active censorship of information does not look like “security,” but the worst kind of politics – the politics of propaganda. Such a move is likely to heighten distrust in both Iraq and the US. Meanwhile the death toll of Iraqis and U.S. troops continues to accelerate.
It is hard to imagine that even a campaign ad that says bin Laden will strike the U.S. if people are foolish enough to vote Democrat, will drown out the drum beat of bad news out of Iraq.
10/22/06 Salahedin et al, Independent, Iraq: Battle of the militias
10/22/06 Smith, Guardian, Online video: Iraq – The Real Story