Step one in a long program

The resignation of Donald Rumsfeld is welcome news, though hardly the root of the problem. Too many pundits will now blame Rumsfeld for the failed Iraq mission because he didn’t send enough troops or provide a better anti-insurgency plan. This misses the point. The Iraq war was flawed from conception, both immoral and illegal, and the results are clear to see.

Rumsfeld will spend the remainder of his days worrying, like Henry Kissinger, where he should and shouldn’t travel internationally, such will be the justified attempts to haul him before a war crimes tribunal. A fitting way for the man to go.

Former Bill Clinton adviser Dick Morris is worried about the US election result, however:

Divided government in the US is paralysed government. Bad news for Bush. Bad news for America. Good news for the enemies of freedom.

The “enemies of freedom”, eh? Well, little Dick seems a tad confused. Those “enemies of freedom” aren’t too fond of being invaded and occupied. They aren’t too happy with a US administration that ignores repeated requests to leave their country. Perhaps Dicky should stick to commentating on Fox News, now even more irrelevant than before.

Meanwhile, back in the real world:

The Facilities Protection Service (FPS) created after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 has become the principal set of death squads in Iraq, senior leaders say.

“The first accomplishment of Paul Bremer (former U.S. administrator in Iraq) in Iraq was dissolving the Iraqi army and all security establishments,” a consultant with an Iraqi ministry told IPS on condition of anonymity. “The man was granted the highest decoration by his President for a job well done.”

The U.S. occupation authorities and the Iraqi leaders working with them set up new army and police forces under supervision of the Multi National Forces (MNF). It was decided that each ministry could establish its own protection force away from the control of the ministries of interior and defence.

Under Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Order Number 27, the FPS was established on April 10, 2003, the day after the fall of Baghdad.

This document states: “The FPS may also consist of employees of private security firms who are engaged to perform services for the ministries or governorates through contracts, provided such private security firms and employees are licensed and authorised by the Ministry of Interior.”

It seems highly likely that the US will remain in Iraq for many years to come (and Australia will simply do whatever lame-duck Georgie asks).

The struggle for a full “Coalition” withdrawal from Iraq has a long way to run. Rest assured, the US empire won’t die peacefully. It’ll need much more than a gentle push.