The American General who spearheaded the invasion of Iraq and commanded an armored division here before his retirement has become a constant critic of this war. His change of heart is just a useless and belated confession of the mistakes that have robbed Americans of a portion of their peace of mind. And if support for the failed policies and politicians that have brought about these failures continues, what remains of their peace of mind may also be lost.
These parties and politicians have triggered a catastrophe in this country, including a refugee crisis for millions, rivaling or even surpassing the Palestinian refugee crisis of 1948.
The name of that former general is John Batiste , who has concluded that “Historically, armed forces in the (Middle East) region have been perpetually ineffective due to social factors deeply rooted in Arab culture, to include secrecy and paranoia, pride, class differences, an inability to coordinate, and no individual freedom or initiative.” One wonders what the retired general’s sources were when he gave this testimony to the U.S. House Foreign Relations Committee.
It is obvious that what he said has absolutely nothing to do with the military, is totally arbitrary, is extremely irresponsible and shows his complete ignorance of Arab culture, which is absolutely not based on paranoia and pride. Had we applied these standards to the handful of theorists that launched the Iraq War, we would find that it is they who are submerged in pride and megalomania and that it is they who failed to recognize their mistakes and their historic responsibility for this war. Now as the official number of American deaths approaches 4,000 and with the U.S. Congress and American people tired of being enmeshed in an un-winnable war, top U.S. military figures have finally begun to speak out.
And hasn’t Batiste seen with his own eyes how barefoot, poorly armed and poorly-equipped Iraqi insurgents have humiliated the most formidable military machine the world has ever known?
Batiste’s comment that a lack of freedom is the reason for the inability of Iraqis to have a strong army is equally mistaken. Perhaps the general was referring to an earlier stage before “individual freedom” and before a new Iraqi army had yet to be reconstituted.
No one can explain his use of the term “initiative,” when Batiste stated during his testimony that when armies are at war, they must “take the initiative.” He failed to mention that such a thing was rendered impossible when the previous Iraqi army was disbanded by Batiste’s former colleague Paul Bremer, who should be tried by Iraqi Justice (now truly absent).
However today, this army is not in control of its own affairs, so cannot possibly take the initiative. In any case, what kind of initiative can one expect under occupation?
That is a prime example of the failure of the American mind to understand what’s going on in Iraq. That is how wars are won and lost.