Thursday, August 23, 2007

Is there a Coup afoot in Iraq?

If the rumors are true then things in Iraq are going to get exponentially worse. One rumor is that Republican operatives with intimate ties to the White House are plotting to overthrow Iraqi Prime Minister al-Makili and replace him with a reliable puppet, Ayad Allawi. Juan Cole hears rumors of a military coup plot that will place a US-backed dictator in control of the country.

The current theme among war supporters is that the war itself is going peachy, it is only the Iraqi government that is failing. Republicans are unanimous in this opinion and are joined by Democrats like Carl Levin and Hillary Clinton which makes the belief Conventional Wisdomtm. Ignoring for the moment that the basic premise (peachy war) defies reality, having an American organized coup to instill an American puppet government will only insure a permanent Iraqi rebellion.

Since George Bush has brought up the Vietnam War as a comparison, a history lesson is in order. The Vietnam War was lost on November 1, 1963 when a CIA-backed coup overthrew South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem. While the fighting continued for a decade the South Vietnamese government ceased to be a significant structure. Within a year the American military occupation was the only effective government in South Vietnam. There were additional coups as petty thugs fought over who would be head puppet. The South Vietnamese army (ARVN) quadrupled in size to over 1 million soldiers during that decade, but that was useless as they no longer has a government to lead them. The coup marked the last chance for South Vietnam to be an independent country.

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