In my last post I speculated that the US has temporarily reduced violence in the Anbar province of Iraq because the US has been cutting deals with the tribes.
Well, according to the New York Times, it’s true. So now we’re arming tribes and groups who say they’re going to fight Al-Qaeda as well as stop attacking us.
At its most basic level you’d think it makes sense. After all, we’ve been disarming the Iraqis since we arrived, making it easy for Al-Qaeda members to overrun towns and neighborhoods. Now that the arms race is more fair, Al-Qaeda doesn’t have free reign.
But history has shown how this policy works in the long run… Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq… Our own weapons will be used against us, and basic problems will not have been solved among the Iraqis. There is a new supply of weapons for sale, just like the weapons stolen from the supplies given to the Iraqi Army and National Guard, which went primarily to Shi’ite militia. Now the Sunnis will have more weaponry too!
UPDATE: I just wanted to add some stuff. It turns out that John Negroponte met with Al-Maliki in Baghdad to discuss security issues:
“We have several tasks ahead, on top of which is the development of our security agencies and armed forces to stand up against the terrorist al-Qaeda organization, Saddamists (people loyal to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein) and militias,” Maliki said in the cabinet statement received by the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).”
John Negroponte, the deputy secretary of state, was involved in funding covert wars in Nicaragua, part of which led to the Iran-Contra affair:
“”Special project” was code for the secret arming of contra rebels from bases in Honduras — a cause championed by Negroponte, then a rising diplomatic star. In cables and memos, Negroponte made it clear that he saw the “special project” as key to the Reagan administration’s strategy of rolling back communism in Central America.”
In possibly related news, a tribal Anbar leader has accused the Anbar Salvation Council and also the central government of using death squads to assassinate people and then blame it on Al-Qaeda.
It seems clear to me that at this point the Iraqi and American governments will try anything to quell the violence. They are selling their souls to do it.