FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from
(DV) Garcia: Iraq -- To End the Occupation, End the Civil War







Iraq: To End The Occupation, End The Civil War
by Manuel Garcia, Jr.
November 8, 2005

Send this page to a friend! (click here)


I do not know when or if the United States of America and its globalized market empire will ever collapse and disappear, like so many other phantoms of history. If so, our relics are more likely to be large radioactive craters than stone pyramids, marbled arenas or elegant stupas. Nevertheless, I am quite certain of what our epitaph will be: “as a nation and empire they perished because as people they could not speak the truth.”

A topic that would benefit greatly from bathing publicly in truth is the ending of the Iraq War.

To spark public debate, William S. Lind has offered an exit strategy for the US. [1] In brief, his plan is to announce the intention for a prompt complete withdrawal, and to secretly negotiate with the Iraqi Sunni Insurgency. The US goals for the secret negotiations would be an end to attacks by the insurgency and the liquidation of al Qaeda in Iraq by insurgent forces. In exchange, the US would guarantee its withdrawal (set a date and keep its word) and use American power to keep the Kurdish-Shia constitutional alliance from encroaching on the Sunni's fair share of power in Iraq during the interim and implicitly after the withdrawal. Lind is quite right that “the time is past for arguing whether we need an exit strategy; the discussion should be about what that strategy might be.”

To complement Lind's proposal, let us speculate on how insurgency politics might speed a US decision to leave Iraq.

As noted by Lind (quoting a October 27 news report from the Christian Science Monitor), the Iraqi Sunni Insurgency has a political front, a coalition of political parties that is "Islamist, vehemently anti-American, opposed to foreign troops, and discreetly pro-insurgency." Lind believes "it is closely tied to the Baathist elements of the insurgency, which are both a large part of the resistance and strongly opposed to al Qaeda."

Let us assume there are five contenders for shares of power in Iraq: the Kurds, Shia, Sunni, Anglo-American occupation forces (and the puppet government), and al Qaeda. We assume that bordering countries, and specifically Iran, are not participants in the Iraq power struggle, though they can be assumed to have preferences on its outcome.

The Kurds and Shia now have a constitutional alliance of convenience, and they hope to advance their separate interests beyond what was possible under Saddam Hussein, and beyond what might be desired by the Sunni elite that was part of Saddam's Baathist regime. The Iraqi Sunni Insurgency is assumed to be motivated by a resistance to the loss of power by the Baathists (the war against the Anglo-Americans) and by the power struggle arising from the Kurdish and Shia pursuit of their ambitions (the civil war).

The invaders in Iraq are the Anglo-American forces seeking to control Iraqi oil, and the al Qaeda forces that seek to exploit the war to ignite an international revolution of their own vision.

What desires do the Iraqi Kurds, Shia and Sunni all share? Let us guess: expulsion of US invaders and al Qaeda opportunists, personal security, reliable functioning of utilities, a viable economy. These desires might form the basis of a grand Iraqi coalition -- a real government in the shadows of the imposed puppetry.

Imagine that an agreement is reached between these three major Iraqi political centers on these points:

1) “turf”, the boundaries between three regions of military control: Kurd, Shia and Sunni; this does not imply a partition of Iraq;

2) “protection”, the abolition of attacks on Iraqi civilians anywhere by all forces of the regional power, and the prevention of such attacks within the region by non-local Iraqi militias and foreign agents, for example ethnic and political revenge killings, and al Qaeda operations; the regional forces also oversee normal policing and crime prevention;

3) “business”, work to bring normality to the functioning of utilities, domestic fuel supplies, schools and economic life within the region, and an agreement to allow "normal life" and reliable infrastructure to cross regional boundaries without impediment;

4) “liberation”, cooperation in military and diplomatic operations to isolate and then expel the invading and occupying forces;

5) “nationalism”, while resistance to the occupation may entail operations against the puppet government, every effort should be made to minimize the killing of other Iraqis even if deemed "collaborators" (see 2), and instead undermine the puppet government by infiltration and by "turning" its Iraqi personnel to the resistance by the appeal to nationalism, which will increasingly be seen enacted in liberated territory (see 3).

To achieve such a grand coalition, the parties would have to set aside some old ideas.

The Kurds and Shia would have to give up on relying on US power to hold down the Sunnis to open up greater opportunities for them to achieve regional and possibly even state power. They would have to agree that arriving at a power-sharing agreement with the Sunnis in a unified Iraq (though perhaps regionally autonomous) is their best option to ensure a general prosperity.

The insurgent Sunnis would have to let go of any lingering attachment to Saddam Hussein and pre-invasion Baathist power. Like the Kurds and Shia, they would have to see their best interests as a united Iraq.

The fissures between the Iraqi Kurds, Shia and Sunni are wounds that allow for the continuing infection of a nation by opportunistic foreign powers and groups who care nothing about the Iraqi people -- clear from their behavior -- but lust to control the natural wealth and regional position Iraq occupies, to further what is nothing more than piracy. National unity is the force that can uproot the occupation, and it is the best protection against imperial intervention after the liberation. If the political power groups of the three major populations of Iraq could ally themselves independently of the occupiers and their puppet regime they would be able to undermine the puppet government and send the invaders home. Vietnam did it. [2]

Since the puppet government is a creation by force of illegal invasion, no "agreement" or "contract" of any kind made by it, or by any of the preceding administrators of the US occupation, should be considered as valid after the liberation.

The liberation of Iraq -- from the Anglo-Americans and al Qaeda -- by a unified popular resistance would immediately gain international recognition. Why? Because it would embody universal aspirations.

My aim in making these suggestions is purely selfish. I want the war to end as quickly as possible, I want Americans home, and I want the killing to end.

Manuel Garcia, Jr. works as a physicist, thinks as a poet, and can be reached at:


[1] William S. Lind, "Exit Strategy," CounterPunch, 4 November 2005.

[2] Gabriel Kolko, Anatomy of a War: Vietnam, the United States, and the Modern Historical Experience (NY: The New Press, 1994).

Other Articles by Manuel Garcia, Jr.

* Disasters Are Us?
* Industrialized Greed Produces Pandemics
* Fuel Conservation And Sustainable Mobility