While the overall impact on National Security of having nearly 500,000 classified military documents (about the conduct of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq) exposed has to be rated an unequivocal disaster . . . some seemingly shocking but harmless (from America’s point of view) details about the conduct of the war in Iraq also came to light. These items were revealed in the latest (2nd ) Wiki leaks disclosures:
1) That, yes, Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs) were found in Iraq in 2004.
2) Incredible savagery between civil-warring tribal elements in Iraq threatened to blow the whole country apart.
3) Despite complaints and accusations to the contrary, it appears that the United States handled its trust in Iraq with remarkable fairness and long-range balance while striving to leave Iraq better for our presence.
4) And most importantly, the huge role played by Iran in arming, training, and transporting saboteurs and instructors (and then in providing logistic support for this shadow organization harmful to Iraq’s quest for peace is also very well-documented.
A. A few comments seem in order: the poison mustard agents found in two separate caches as well as the blister agents (more a personnel incapacitating agent then a WMD) discovered elsewhere can certainly be called “WMDs” . . . they weren’t the manufacturing facilities that the Bush administration was hoping for . . . but they were certainly WMDs. Why then wasn’t the public notified? Who knew about this? If President G.W. Bush knew and refused to reveal it for whatever purpose, it certainly shows a strong resolve considering the lambasting he received from anti-war groups over the next four and a half years.
B. The idea of Vice President Joe Biden to create three separate nations of Iraq for the Kurds, Sunni and Shiite populations is surely shortsighted – for example why not make it four different countries and include the Christians (there are more Christians (3%) than there are Kurds and there are also plenty of Jews, Mandaeans and Zoroastrianists as well)? However, it is fact that the tribal animosities especially those between the Sunni and Shiite peoples constituting the two major blocs and of Iraq’s Muslim population are part of Sadaam Hussein’s legacy but historically also go all the way back to the death of the Muslim prophet Mohammed. Overall 94% of the Iraqi people are Muslims and Shia and Sunni Muslims constitute 98% of that 94% and they both call each other infidels. The Shaykhist Muslims are a tiny minority constantly striving to keep out of the other two sects’ gun sights at all times. Really we’re talking about tribes here. In Afghanistan the tribal nature of lifestyle there is quite evident, but despite Iraq’s seeming sophistication, tribal hatred is alive and well even today.
C. After reading some of the Wikileak releases, it’s easy to understand why so many Iraqis are so pessimistic about the future and why so many of them called for the United States to maintain a presence for up to ten years . . . we had our problems but generally dealt with matters in Iraq in a very even-handed manner.
D. Could the reason that the WMD discoveries in Iraq went unreported be that Iran’s interference in Iraq might be at least partially justified by fear of WMDs? Hard to say. Nevertheless, there are a good 640 items dealing with the Iranians among the Wikileaked communiqués . . . and their role cannot be called “benign.” Now what do we think about the Iranian nuclear program, in light of the state-sponsored terrorism Iran has been guilty of?
E. How does President Obama’s decision to pull out of Iraq so precipitously look in light of these Wikileak revelations?
Ya’ll live long, strong and ornery,