Following on from my post yesterday about the Iraqi government's determination to disband the various Awakenings so beloved of pro-occupation pundits, Kevin Drum points to an NY Times article which should be read in full.
In interviews with Awakening groups in 10 locations — four interviewed during a week in Anbar, and six groups in and around Baghdad interviewed over several days — it was evident that the groups were improving security in their areas. But it is also clear that there is little loyalty, in either direction, between the Sunni groups and the Shiites who run the government.Kevin spots the money quotes, though:
"The Americans are haunted by the possibility that Iraq could go the way of Afghanistan, where Americans initially bought the loyalty of tribal leaders only to have some of them gravitate back to the Taliban when the money stopped."The Awakening movement as it has been encouraged by the U.S. military is classic colonialist divide-and-conquer as perfected by the Brits in South Africa and India. Keeping the most warlike minority group as a private mercenary arm of the occupiers while staffing the main security forces with the main ethnic group's people. The trouble is, as the the Brits frequently found out, this isn't a stable dynamic unless you're willing to pay a periodic price in blood as tensions spill over into open rebellion by one of those two groups - either against the occupier or the indigenous puppet government. The carefully set-up opposition force can then be employed to ruthlessly put down dissent. Until, in time, a Mandela or Ghandi comes along and makes further occupation untenable.
And then there's this from the Iraqi side: "Many people believe this will end with tens of thousands of armed people, primarily Sunnis, and this will excite the Shiite militias to grow and in the end it will grow into a civil war," said Safa Hussein, the deputy national security adviser and a point man on the Awakening program for Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.
“We don’t want to create a parallel government,” General Odierno said. He's right there. He wants neither to be capable of governing, just of scaring their opposite numbers into acquiescence.