George Bush . . . “One dead American for every day in office.”
President Bush’s latest milestone in the war on terror has been predictably ignored in the mainstream media. Bush, who is now in the fifth year of his presidency, has served 1,727 days in office. With the death toll in Iraq currently at 1,873 servicemen, Bush can now boast that at least one American has died for every day he’s been in office, a sobering tribute to a man who wants to be remembered as “a war president.”
Every day, another Casey Sheehan or some other faceless patriot dies in Bush’s war of choice.
The tragedy of the war cannot be fully grasped simply by listing the number of American casualties on Bush’s watch, but it’s a good place to start.
We should also be paying careful attention to the deteriorating situation in Iraq, which is lurching in an even more deadly direction.
The sudden breakdown in the talks on the proposed constitution is an ominous sign that the violence in Iraq is likely to escalate dramatically in the coming months. The Sunnis, who represent 20% of the population and the vast majority of the Iraqi resistance, have played a minor role in drawing up the constitution. The Shiites and Kurds have dominated the negotiations and composed a document that will divide the country into three nearly autonomous regions, leaving the Sunnis in an area with miniscule oil resources.
The Shiites have managed to introduce Islam as the religion of the state and “a primary source of legislation,” ensuring that it will be an integral part of the legal system all the way up to the Supreme Court. Americans who may have thought that we were fighting for democracy in Iraq may want to read Article 2 of the constitution:
Paragraph 1: …Islam is the official religion of the state, and is a fundamental source for legislation. No law may be legislated that contravenes the essential verities of Islamic Law.
“By specifying Islamic Law this text enshrines Shariah or Islamic Canon Law quite explicitly in the constitution and would allow religious jurists to question secular legislation” (Juan Cole)
Cindy Sheehan has every right to ask if this is the “noble cause” for which her son died.
In just two years Bush has managed to achieve bin Laden’s dream of establishing an Islamic Theocracy and rebuilding the Caliphate. Who could have guessed that it would take the ham-fisted policies of the Bush administration to accomplish that goal?
Even more noteworthy, is the language in the constitution that provides for “vast autonomous regions” in the oil-rich north and south that will be controlled by the Kurds and Shiites respectively. That means that the central oil-poor region will be left to the Sunnis, who will lose political power accordingly.
Was the United States behind this strategy to divide Iraq into three parts?
In a word, yes.
Acting viceroy Zalmay Khalilzad is one of the founding members of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), and has been actively involved in the negotiations from the beginning. Khalilzad oversaw the writing of the Afghanistan constitution which, according to the New York Times, “declared it an ‘Islamic Republic’ in which no law could contradict Islam.” Khalilzad has played a similarly supportive role in Iraq and produced the very same results.
In view of this, it is absurd to say that the administration is committed to democracy in the Middle East. Quite the contrary, they are looking to duplicate the Saudi regime which has served American colonial objectives for over 50 years.
Does the Bush administration support the division of Iraq, as well?
Of course. It was the US that introduced the deceptive language of “federalism”, probably conjured up in a right-wing think tank, to disguise their real intention of breaking the country up into smaller, more manageable mini-states. The principle of “divide and conquer” is still the time-honored strategy of imperial powers. There’s nothing new here.
Two weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that, “The United States no longer expects to see a model new democracy, a self-supporting oil industry or a society in which the majority of people are free from serious security or economic challenges.” It was an astonishing admission of failure in all the original objectives of the war. The constitution moves the US mission in Iraq from mere disappointment to catastrophe. It is the calculated partitioning of the country and the destruction of Iraqi society through civil war. The administration’s plan to break up Iraq will end the political process, energize the resistance and, ultimately kill more American soldiers.
Bush is now in a great position to smash his previous record for “more dead Americans than days served in office.”
Mike Whitney lives in Washington state, and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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