Newsweek columnist Christopher Dickey writes this about our new Iraqi
Phalangist friend, the leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq*, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim (italics mine):
As a Hakim supporter in the government told me privately the other day, “Moqtada should be behind bars, underground or across the border–those are the three options he has–and a fourth one is for him to behave. The U.S. doesn’t need to tackle him. They don’t need to do the dirty work. We will do the dirty work. They should stay over the horizon.”. . .
The essential point is that Iraqis on all sides of the divide think they know precisely what an effective counterinsurgency campaign looks like, and it’s not the relatively fastidious one the U.S. would have them wage. “The Iraqis under Saddam [Hussein] were world champions at counterinsurgency,” notes [military historian Martin] Van Creveld. The former dictator has been standing trial, and already has received one death sentence, for doing what he thought needed to be done to crush rebellions by Shiites and Kurds–and it worked. Now the United States has turned the tables, the former victims don’t want to be held back. “Maybe they are not trained in the American sense, but they are very well trained to do what they have to do in Iraq,” said Van Creveld.
A friend asked me early on if I thought Iraq would become another Vietnam. I told him that I thought Iraq would resemble Lebanon during the 1980s–only bigger and meaner. If al-Hakim is to be our Phalangist, then what is to be our Sabra and Shatila? Get out now before we’re culpable for something even more horrible.
*If this is freedom on the march, I say, take that purple finger and shove it.