Mowaffak al-Rubaie goes to DC and Gordo tries to keep it in his pants but has a difficult time doing so. The article's entitled "Official Takes Case to U.S., but Skeptics Don’t Budge" (New York Times) but it might as well be called, "Gordo gets The Bedroom Tapes and Performs 'I Forget'." Check my math, but I count twelve. Twelve paragraphs before Gordo tells readers that we're dealing with yet another Iraqi who left the country and didn't come back until after the start of the illegal war. Gordo can't bring himself to tell readers when. It was near the start of the 80s. He was gone for roughly 20 years.
It's not minor. At one point, near the end, al-Rubaie is trying to sell Congress on the idea that Iraq will be a 'generational' thing and Carl Levin states that's too long. The paternalistic attitude doesn't just come from the US administration, it comes from their proxies: a whole host of exiles who saw an illegal war as just the thing to put themselves into power.
He returns in 2003 and the US government appoints him to the Iraqi Governing Council, then in 2004 he's appointed to the Coalition Provisional Authority and then, in 2006, puppet Nouri al-Maliki appoints him the country's national security adviser.
Now does anyone, for even one damn second, believe that someone gone for two decades has the popular support among Iraqis to lead? No, of course not.
In June 2006, he penned an op-ed for the Washington Post:
The eventual removal of coalition troops from Iraqi streets will help the Iraqis, who now see foreign troops as occupiers rather than the liberators they were meant to be. It will remove psychological barriers and the reason that many Iraqis joined the so-called resistance in the first place. The removal of troops will also allow the Iraqi government to engage with some of our neighbors that have to date been at the very least sympathetic to the resistance because of what they call the "coalition occupation." If the sectarian issue continues to cause conflict with Iraq's neighbors, this matter needs to be addressed urgently and openly -- not in the guise of aversion to the presence of foreign troops.
Moreover, the removal of foreign troops will legitimize Iraq's government in the eyes of its people. It has taken what some feel is an eternity to form a government of national unity. This has not been an easy or enviable task, but it represents a significant achievement, considering that many new ministers are working in partisan situations, often with people with whom they share a history of enmity and distrust. By its nature, the government of national unity, because it is working through consensus, could be perceived to be weak. But, again, the drawdown of foreign troops will strengthen our fledgling government to last the full four years it is supposed to.
The exile nature of the puppet government goes a long way towards explaining what someone who's had a seat in all the post-invasion Iraq governments would have tow rite about 'legitimizing' the puppet governments. The government is not made up of Iraqis and never has been. The ones in charge are repeatedly exiles. They are handpicked by the United States.
They have no legitimacy. When it happens once, an Iraqi might think, "Well, good he came back." (It's always a "he.") When it happens over and over?
al-Rubaie came to DC to do a song and dance: Keep sending money, keep letting your service members die to prop a government by those of us who spent decades in exile.
They aren't Iraqis. They were born there, they chose to leave. After US troops are on the ground, they choose to return, after having made their homes elsewhere for decades (al-Rubaie set up shop -- like many -- in England). They have no legitimacy and they have no right to rule. When they speak of the 'time under Saddam,' it's greeted with derision because while many Iraqis lived through that time, the exiles were off in other countries.
All they've brought back is a patronizing attitude that they are so much better than the people of Iraq. That's been one of the many repeated reasons that, government after government, the puppets have no legitmacy in the eyes of the Iraqi people.
There is no 'generational' thing to overcome, just excuses offered by the US government and exiles for why Iraqi people are not allowed self-rule. As hollow as the excuses seem from the outside, they seem even worse on the ground in Iraq.
Meanwhile the US military attempts to justify the slaughter of school children yesterday. Reuters notes:
A U.S. attack helicopter killed five bystanders including two children when it fired on insurgents north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said on Wednesday.
Eye witnesses put the number of children at six. An elementary school was fired upon by a "US attack helicopter." The e-mail address for this site is email@example.com.
the new york times
michael r. gordon
the washington post