Monday, June 16, 2014

The Diemming of Nouri al Maliki

We come again to that phase
we always appreciate in the
pursuit of our serial wars,
when the retirement of their
pretexts focuses on the Diem-
ming of our puppets. In Iraq
we observe the disintegration
foretold quite neutrally, to
all who were undeceived, as
long ago as 2006, although if
anyone had felt like it, he
could have read the wartime
letters of Lawrence in Car-
chemish, where he dined with
the country's compiler, Ger-
trude Bell. But I was remind-
ed of the more recent volume
in an exchange of notes with
an expatriate of here, and the
reason we never hear of it now, 
is that it was hostile to our
preposterous pretexts, and the
work of a friend of the Kurds:
Peter Galbraith has been shun-
ned but his analysis has matur-
ed in the rise of ISIS. The End
of Iraq is worth a read today;
The New York Times drew his map
for us again last weekend, and
very prettily, too.

If no one can ever be in synch
with today's American policies,
who learned of the world before
the dawn of Fox News, we'll still
always have Casablanca, in which 
the default text of authority's 
hypocrisy immortalised Claude 
Rains, shocked, shocked to dis-
cover gambling at Rick's.

But I stray. The beat beat beat
of the tom-toms of propaganda,
which wafted so musically to our
upright ears as John F. Kennedy
prepared us for abandonment of
the sectarian, the corrupt, the
exclusionary, the arrogant head
of our visibly failed state in 
Saigon, echo loudly now, to Nouri
al Maliki, you you you must go.
Ngo Dinh Diem was surely those
things, which we now so sagely
discern to be incompatible with
a viable state, but which are
exactly what we specified and
engineered in boosting Maliki, 
made him available, and made him
expediently dependent and culpable.
All he lacks is a Crawford twang,
to articulate his lineage. 

What was to be expected of a war
to celebrate the death of history?

Now, a rug can be pulled out from
under embarrassing satraps, more
than one way, as Mr Noriega can
attest. No one can suppose we in-
tend the Diemming of Iraq's head
of state to imitate previous art.
But our honor now perfumes the air,
to edify the senses of the latest
generation to mature in this land.

I do not like to reflect on such
things in this setting. I like the
way my lawns are being groomed this
season, by some earnest and learned
youngsters, in whom caring to do a
good job translates into a brighter
glow than ever in the quiet acres I
enjoy with my dog. I'd be uneasy a-
bout paying them money for their la-
bor, without repaying their care. 

Peter W. Galbraith
The End of Iraq
  How American Incom-
  petence Created a War
  without End
Simon & Schuster, 2006©

Ellen J. Hammer
A Death in November
  America in Vietnam, 1963
Oxford University Press, 1987©

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