Dec 27, 2003 1:43 am


Here I go again with advice. We are winning everywhere except in the Sunni triangle and the reason is the same as it was in the beginning of the war. Then, I wrote: Watching southern Iraqis scramble to first grab hold of a box of American rations and then shout their loyalty to Saddam made me very uncomfortable. This is a movie I have seen once too often, and it never ends well for the U.S.

America tries to achieve its goals by capturing the"hearts and minds" of Arabs by showering them with goodies and promises, and once again it fails. That strategy is doomed not only because past betrayals have hardened Arab hearts, but because acting upon the heart's desires to begin with is the luxury of the strong. The weak (and those who need to be fed and freed are by definition weak) know that their survival depends on their minds — which is why those southern Iraqis were perfectly willing to kowtow to Saddam even as they took food from us. Like other Middle Easterners, the Iraqis now believe that American material largess is as unconditional as U.S. promises of protection are suspect. American success depends on convincing them otherwise. ( for the rest Click here: here

The Sunni minority see themselves as the losers they inevitably are. Cooperation with the US bear no benefits only dangers. On the other hand, non cooperation gets former members of the security forces rehired. Why exactly, should they cooperate? May I suggest redirecting American largesse to the North and South. No reconstruction should take place in the center. Neighborhoods in which coalition enemies swim should be punished with curfews not bribed with bridge openings which end up costing American lives. Schools in Sunniland should be closed until the security improves and family members of Baathists should be treated as suspects. In other words, its time to treat friend and foe differently.

The same is true about those who help the terrorists. The tale tell signs of Hizballa are clear to anyone who remembers that it was the Hizabala which perfected the"art" of blowing up humvies. Sending Israel to bomb an empty camp in north of Damascus is a joke even worse than a Clinton bombing which rearranged the sand in Afghanistan. Asked how active is Iran in the Iraqi guerrilla war, Rumsfeld said"active!" What happened to the Reagan doctrine? Why not unleash the"Mujahedin Al Kharq?"

In other words, Bush has been playing defense and American forces are hunkering down in Iraq - this is a losing formula if we have seen one and if we lose Iraq, we are going to squander the benefits accrued by the war. Bush has warned that if other nations do not act, the US will act. Other nations failed to stop the American led coalition from acting in Iraq, so"other nations" including France, Germany and China stooped acting as"free riders." That is what Tony Blair must have meant when he noted that"Iran's recent climbdown over nuclear cooperation was a direct result of the war in Iraq". The same can be said about North Korea. It would be so sad to blow it all on an incompetent counter-querrilla strategy. P>

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