Here’s another digest of articles on Iraq. I’ll probably make this a regular thing, just for articles by Taheri. Of all the information sources I’ve read, he has been the most informative on the situation in the Middle East, and Iraq in particular.
- There Is No Civil War in Iraq, published Dec. 6, 2006 in Gulf News – Taheri argues there is no civil war because the forces that oppose each other are difficult to define, and it’s difficult to discern what they stand for. I’ve heard others characterize the conflict as a form of gang violence.
- The Boom Outside Baghdad, published Dec. 26, 2006 in the New York Post
- Facing Iran: Arabs See No Choice But to Prep For War, published Jan. 10, 2007 in the New York Post
From “How Iraqis See W’s New Plan” (Update 12/31/14 – original article is now gone, so no link):
Jihadists have fought not because they hope to win on the battlefield, but to strengthen the antiwar lobbies in the United States and Britain. Some in the new political elite have become fence sitters because they regard the United States as a fickle power that could suddenly change course. Others have created or expanded militias, in case the United States abandons Iraq before it can defend itself against internal foes and predatory neighbors.
The new Bush plan has raised Iraqi morale to levels not known for a year. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who had been dropping hints he might resign because of sheer fatigue, now says he is committed to restoring Baghdad’s sobriquet of Dar al-Salaam (The Abode of Peace) by clearing it of al Qaeda and Saddamite terrorists, militias and death squads.
“The plan that President Bush has announced is based on our plan,” says Ali al-Dabbagh, al-Maliki’s spokesman. “We presented it to him during the summit in Amman last month, and he promised to study it. The result is a joint Iraqi-American plan to defeat the terrorists.”
As if to underline that claim, the Iraqi army, backed by a U.S. helicopter gunship, launched a major operation in Baghdad two days before Bush’s announcement of the new plan. Over 50 jihadists were killed, and an unknown number captured.
Taheri has acknowledged in a couple articles I’ve seen that there are some in the Iraqi government who have displayed a “room service” mentality towards the U.S. military, calling them up to handle the hard problems rather than taking care of it themselves. This is what the Democrats have been complaining about, and the reason why they believe a gradual pullout will help them become more self-sufficient. Taheri has not said that the entire government is this way, however. And as I’ve said, a pullout would have larger consequences than what the Democrats have talked about.
Edit 3/6/2009: Benador Associates no longer hosts Amir Taheri’s articles. This is where I used to reference all of them. I’ve searched out other sources for the articles. Some of them are not the sources I cite above. Unfortunately I had to delete one of the articles from this list, because it doesn’t exist anymore on the web.