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Now We Pay Iraqis to Kill Each Other

Jeff Koopersmith on Junior's policy geniuses and your tax dollars at work.

April 4, 2008 – Lugano ( – Over a thousand Iraqi soldiers are deserting their posts or refusing to battle against their Shiite countrymen is Basra this week. These are not just President Nouri al-Maliki’s general infantry, but also his officers including very senior military leaders who don’t have the stomach to murder their neighbors it seems.

I suppose that it makes no difference to most Americans who support this war who we pay to do the gutting – our boys and girls or Iraqi boys and girls. One way or the other George Bush and his sidekick Dick Cheney want to prove to Americans that their so-called surge worked well, and that now Iraq can finish off the rest of the troublemakers without much American help. It’s the Bush-Cheney legacy, no?


While the President of the United States and his marioneta suprema pesadilla Secretary of Non-Diplomatic State Condi Rice were in Bucharest yesterday, they provided the world and the press an illustriou showcase of American non-influence, revelaing not only how powerless they are to expand NATO in the company of the Ukraine and Georgia but concurrently kissing the grander-every-day buttocks of Russian czar Vladimir Putin at a swank Romanian dinner party.

Mr. al-Maliki-ibn-Puppet-Delusimani was crying in a paroxysm or humiliation at Baghdad on the subject of his AWOL fighters. “They swore on the Koran and they lied!” he wept.

I am no expert on Islamic Law, but I am certain that the Koran does not castigate those who refuse to kill their Islamic neighbors – Shiite, Sunni, Sufi, Hashemi, Wah'habi or whatever, even if they have sworn on it. I would think Mohammed, in his wisdom, might regard this murder-for-hire scheme as a kind of thuggish entrapment that does not count. Under the Koran, it is not a sin to turn one’s back on an immoral plan before it’s too late, even if Ann Coulter thinks so.

The story of Bush’s delayed-for-years inspiration to “Iraqify” the military and police reads like a cheap musical comedy if so many innocents were not victims of his dawdling mind. First, had he listened to anyone with a brain – instead of heeding those with wallets fit to bust – he would have from the start put the Iraqi armed forces and police back in action. Instead he placed Boy Wonder and Kissinger klone L. Paul “Jerry” Bremer III in place as the Viceroy of Iraq – insuring the death of thousands of our kids almost immediately.

Jerry the Third came in last.

Since that worked out well, Bush decided to up the ante and slaughter more American boys and girls and innocent Iraqis per day by using his ‘magic surge.’ Despite what you hear from the sworn putative deaf, this is not working either. Yet he is “A War Preznit” – so what else should we expect?

Remember, George Bush Junior promised military wives and children that many of their dads would be home sooner rather than later. Well, that’s off as well. It appears we will have to continue to kill Iraqis for Mr. al-Maliki and crank up the hatred against us to new levels once again.

Nouri al-Maliki (It is rumored that Bush’s nickname for the Iraqi president is “Al”) didn’t waste a moment after the grand desertion and called up ten thousand Shiite troops to join his armed forces ignoring the Sunnis as usual. Now he has almost 40,000 braves in Basra. The Pentagon believes that only a couple of thousand will desert based on the number that deserted yesterday. This works out to four percent a day – so I give Maliki another 25 days or less before he calls in the Marines and lures back the British.

Iraqi Boy Wonder Moqtada al-Sadr, leader of the Madhi Army Militia, withdrew his forces this week, but now he is organizing a little tiny protest, the Million Iraqi March, to the holy city of Najaf to protest American occupation. He wagged his index finger at al-Maliki (which was painted like a bearded finger-puppet wearing a tiny white turban) and warned him again not to continue to break the terms of their “contract” made when Moqtada agreed to withdraw his troops. No one knows what this contract contained.

The spokes-mouths for our military assure us that most of the Iraqis who went AWOL were not officers. So what? Of course most of them weren’t officers – aren’t there fewer officers than enlisted men in any army? This really is tending toward the ludicrous.

American military on the scene also offered that some of the deserters probably didn’t want to fight other Shia. Now that is what I call insightful. But does that mean that al-Maliki should turn them against Sunni instead? I seem to recall that they lived in peace with each other before we invaded Iraq. Well, maybe it was forced peace. Why not have forced war instead?

Mastermind that he is, and in an attempt to mollify his troops – al-Maliki was quick to guarantee that all deserters would end up in military courts. That, I assume, is a sure way to keep them on your side. The New York Times quoted him as saying, “Joining the army or police is not a trip or a picnic, there is something that they have to pay back to commit to the interested of the state and not the party or the sect.”

Okay, I am not certain that joining the Iraqi military can be considered “not a trip.” It would be sort of trippy don’t you agree? Picnic no. Not with those rations. Yet the only payback I’ve heard of is the graft taken by Iraqi recruiters such as a percentage of the recruit’s American-paid salaries.

Not to be outdone, Moqtada al Sadr – whom Beltway denizens like to call “Mookie” – started making his own demands and predicting that the Koran guarantees “doom” to anyone who breaks a promise. It’s funny how everyone blames the Koran.

Of course, since we turned Southern Iraq over to al-Maliki and Iraqi forces, we aren’t helping….(much) except for a few airstrikes here and there shot from our multimillion dollar war-craft, not affordable to Iraq…yet.

The United States, through our infallible Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, excuse me Ryan “C.” Crocker, gives Mr. al-Maliki three thumbs up for his work recruiting only people from his own religious sect.

Although I must say that al-Maliki is not really “recruiting” these fellows. He is buying them from Sheiks who he pays off in one way or another. This is not a criticism. After all we Americans do the same. Instead of paying off sheiks though, we pay our guys and their families and promise potential recruits the world and deliver what appears to be a sinking island of despair, maltreatment, low wages, and poor health care. So who am I to criticize? One need only sit in a congressional hearing on how to save money within the Veteran’s Administration to see how that goes.

Mr. Maliki has mastered the ways of the West quickly. Well, not so quickly, but he is learning. You see, he phones up a powerful Sheik and says, “Hey Sheik, give me 300 young strong men and you can take credit for giving them good jobs. I’ll also throw in a new Range Rover and a couple of ground to air missiles in case you are attacked by the Kurds.” Then he telephones a weak Sheik and says, “Hey Sheik, give me 25 young strong men and you can take credit for finding them good jobs. I will also toss in a Kia and pellet gun.”

Mr. Crocker does not deny that al-Maliki is bribing community leadership to deliver the bodies who may become future corpses. Crocker puts in wonderfully preposterous terms. “… that is not an engagement you win purely by military means.” Tee hee. He calls al-Maliki’s pay-offs “the economic dimension of power” and finally gives in and says it straight – “Money is in many respects his most important weapon and he is using it.” Sounds sort of like General Electric who went from building cheap stoves with non-working clocks to designing and building nuclear guided missiles touting “Progress is our most important product.”

Remember that one?

Mr. Crocker seems proud that Mr. al-Maliki finally “gets it” – that money is the mother’s milk of war and politics. Yet I am confused – didn’t Saddam Hussein think the same?

And wait a minute – who’s money is it? – ours I suppose.

al-Maliki doesn’t stop there. He also promised the people of Basra that if they are pleasant and bow to his whims and our caprices that he will give them $100 million and create 25,000 jobs in Basra in a year, and throw in a water park.

Gosh. Ohio could use 25,000 jobs right now.

Maliki assures us that all “tribal” recruits will be investigated carefully. I’ve always been interested in how this is done. Really how is some member of tribe vetted? It’s not like there are a lot of records still around. Maybe they just ask the neighbors questions?

“Hello. I am here in your village to vet Saddam Liebowitz. Is he a good boy? Did he hate Saddam? Great, great. Now, is he willing to kill other Iraqis who don’t like President al-Maliki and President Bush? You’re not sure? Oh, you are sure – he will, okay. Great – he’s in. Here’s a Hershey Bar.”

Keep in mind of course that al-Maliki is requisitioning only Shiites. So far he’s ignored the Sunnis keeping to his secret promise to Allah to favor his own sect. al-Maliki is a Shia.

What’s so bad about that? Didn’t Abe Lincoln do the same before the Civil War broke out in America?

Jeff Koopersmith is a political consultant, opinion research authority, policy analyst, and self-described "renegade lobbyist." He lives in Philadelphia, Washington and Geneva.

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