February 24, 2007 /

Did We Reinvade Iraq?

It was just a little over a month ago that Bush said he told al-Maliki that the U.S. forces would “operate more freely”. This raised a lot of questions in Washington, and rightfully so. It appears that the U.S. was taking it’s cues from the Iraqis on our military presence. Now we have the case […]

It was just a little over a month ago that Bush said he told al-Maliki that the U.S. forces would “operate more freely”. This raised a lot of questions in Washington, and rightfully so. It appears that the U.S. was taking it’s cues from the Iraqis on our military presence.

Now we have the case of the alleged rapes in Iraq. For those that haven’t heard about it, then let me bring you up to speed. On Monday a Sunni woman alleged she was raped by the police for (which is predominately Shi’ite). On Monday night, al-Maliki announces an investigation into the allegations. On Tuesday morning, al-Maliki doesn’t just clear the police officer of any wrong-doing, but also commends them. This caused an uprising and Ahmed Abdul Ghafur al-Samarrai, who was head of the state body that controls the Sunni religious sites, called for an international investigation. After that, al-Maliki fires al-Samarrai.

Remember – this is a secular war we are in the middle of in Iraq. It is also a Muslim secular war, where Rape is an extreme taboo. In this secular war you got Sunni versus Shi’ite. al-Maliki is a Shi’ite, just like the alleged assailants.

al-Maliki based his decision on a medical report from a U.S. medical facility in Iraq, where the victim was treated. Now this has General Petraeus upset and he is calling for an investigation:

In a sign of how seriously it viewed the affair, U.S. military spokesman Major-General William Caldwell said the top American commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, had ordered an investigation into her treatment.

There has also¬†been other reports that the military is investigating the entire case. Now al-Maliki is using the fact that a U.S. soldier was present during the raid on the Sunni women to clear the police of any wrong doing. Of course this comes on the same week that a U.S. soldier was sentenced to a 100 years in prison for his part in the rape and murder of a 14 year old Iraqi girl. In other words – just because a U.S. soldier was present doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.

Oh and it should be noted that another accusation of rape has surfaced now.

So let’s move on to the other big story in Iraq this week – the detention of Shi’ite politicians son by U.S. forces. This has caused an outrage in Iraq and even prompted demonstrations (get that – possible rape of Sunni is ok, but arrest a Shi’ite and it is bad!). The U.S. has apologized for this, but they are also defending the arrest:

Backed by coalition forces, Iraqi border security troops initially stopped Ammar al-Hakim on Friday because “the vehicles met specific criteria for further investigation in an area where smuggling activity had taken place,” the military said in a statement Saturday.

U.S. military troops then arrested al-Hakim and his companions when “at the time” they failed to “cooperate with coalition forces and displayed suspicious activities.”

Al-Hakim is the son of Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the leader of the United Iraqi Alliance and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

Now this brings me back to my original point – did we reinvade Iraq? In under a week we have a case of rape that was investigate and cleared by the Iraqi government (even though I don’t agree with their handling of it). We also have the military arresting a politician’s son. When you put the two together it sounds like we aren’t treating Iraq like the “sovereign nation” that Bush claims it to be.

These problems also help guide us to the bigger answer in Iraq – what to do with it. We have only one presidential candidate who has laid out a clear plan on Iraq. The single person is Joe Biden (I do like Joe Biden, but I don’t think he has a chance in hell of winning). Biden has been on the same page for a long time. He feels that Iraq should be split into three regions; Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurdish. There should be a federalized government that is responsible for military, protecting the borders, dispersing funds from natural resources and other high-level type activities. In turn the three regions set their own rules and laws and can base them upon their religion.

This plan is the only one that is viable in the region. If you look at the history of the Middle East then you will realize that this is one of the only options that have ever been viable. Another option is to put a dictator in charge of Iraq. Unfortunately they killed the only dictator who could keep the country under control (yes- I am talking about Saddam).

We keep hearing that the Democrats have no plans on Iraq, but do the Republicans? Joe Biden has laid out this plan, but for some reason the Republicans are deaf to it. They try to dismiss it by saying we can’t divide a country. Again history fails them. Iraq has not been a country that long and this would be the best way to fix the problems there, while saving countless lives. The problems that happened in Iraq this past week alone shows that the surge is prone to fail as well as the Iraq operation over all. It also emphasizes the need for a new direction.

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