Taking a political Ba'ath
Posted by aogTuesday, 13 December 2005 at 08:25 TrackBack Ping URL

Via Brothers Judd comes this report that the Ba’ath remants in the ANbar province of Iraq are now openly supporting the elections and offering to protect voting areas from Al Qaeda.

This doesn’t surprise me very much. As I’ve argued in the past, the Ba’ath are about power and money. In contrast, Al Qaeda works on a fantasy ideology that has far more to do with their internal psychological state than anything we would think of as strategy. This is one of the real points of the much mocked by the MAL of staying in Iraq because we’re committed there. Convincing the Ba’athists of our will in this matter is the primary driver of their change of attitude, as if the USA is committed, their best option is to cooperate. The soft bigotry of low expectations of the MAL with regard to Iraqis prevents them from realizing this. Sadly, I think it unlikely that the MAL will ever realize how much they have retarded this situation by their efforts in Old Media to portray the USA as wanting to surrender and making the Ba’athists appear much stronger than they really are.

One is left wondering whether the Ba’athists are trying to grab what little political power remains available to them, or working on a longer term plan. This would be to get in to the government, wait till the Americans leave, then follow in the footsteps of Allende and Chavez. Obviously, such a plan would fail as long as Iraq is American occupied, so both plans will lead to the same short term behavior we are seeing. It’s even possible that, like the Sandanistas, the Ba’athists are so convinced of their natural leadership abilities that they believe they will inevitably come to dominate the emerging political system. Regardless, such support for the electoral process is a definitely positive.

Comments — Formatting by Textile
cjm Tuesday, 13 December 2005 at 12:24

the sunnis will be pushed out of iraq (the ones that aren’t killed outright, that is).

Annoying Old Guy Tuesday, 13 December 2005 at 19:55

If the Sunni attitude doesn’t get an adjustment, I expect exactly that. But it’s still possible for the Sunni to get a clue and be part of the new Iraq. Keep in mind that while the people who benefitted from Ba’ath rule were Sunni, that’s very different from saying that all Sunnit benefitted from Ba’ath rule. I would expect most of them were stomped on just like everyone else.

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