HUMINT: Blame Game

THORTON: The fact is, it is the Iraqi people who are failing, the Arabs who are failing, and Muslims who are failing. The same cultural pathologies that keep Palestinian Arabs sullen welfare clients, that keep Lebanon a political basket-case, that keep millions of Middle-Eastern Muslims mired in poverty and oppression and ignorance and gender apartheid, are the same forces that are keeping Iraqis in some Road Warrior dystopia. Not our blunders, or cultural insensitivity, or arrogance, or whatever other excuse concocted by self-loathing Americans. No, Iraq is failing because too many Muslims love sectarian hatred, love resentment and envy of a successful infidel West, and love their belief in their own God-sanctioned superiority and righteousness more than they love freedom and prosperity and human rights. We have spent our citizens’ lives and our money to give Muslim Arabs a chance to create a better life, and they are blowing it, all the while neighboring Muslim nations either sit on their hands or actively support the forces destroying that opportunity.

HUMINT: Blame is often heaped on societies with the capacity to absorb blame, regardless of whether or not the targeted society deserves it. From the looks of it, the current elected Iraqi government doesn't have the capacity to absorb and process blame. Honestly, I’m surprised how little thought is given to Iraqi policy. When you look at what they’re doing, they aren't really taking responsibility for the hardest questions of the day; questions only they can answer. What is amazing is that Americans will skip over the details like “who is who in Iraq, and which Iraqi is responsible for which failure”. At first glance, these observations might lead a person to think less of Americans. The pattern is pretty clear. Instead of thinking it through, Americans will accept blame for things entirely out of their control.

In fact, this kind of behavior is the exact opposite of stupid. In terms of social intelligence, accepting more responsibility is the smart thing to do, but it causes serious problems in the midst of this War. By accepting fault, Americans remain the masters of Iraq and Iraqis become near insignificant derivatives of what Americans either do, or do not do. IMO, the first act of liberating Iraq is for Americans to accept blame only when it is reasonable to do so. The second act of liberating Iraq is to specifically blame Iraqis for their faults. This second duty is impossible to accomplish if we do not know who to blame, even when we think we do.

Case in point; the enemy is portrayed, in their own words, by a media that elevates their concerns (the media’s concerns and the enemies concerns) above the objectives of allied forces. The media’s concerns are for increased ratings. The enemy’s concerns are for more influence in the battle space. Therefore the problem is systemic. There exists a naturally symbiosis between enemy action and broadcast ratings. We can rant about the media all day long and nothing will change the fact that ratings are a function of what we all do together.

So I ask the question to the ether, without expectation of reply… Who in Iraq is responsible for the problems there, beyond Maliki, beyond Sistani, beyond Talabani, beyond Hakim and beyond Al Sadr. Why is Iraqi society not taking responsibility to competently answer the most important policy questions of the day? What are the points of failure that Iraqis themselves must repair in order to transcend the hell of their own making? I have no interest in accepting faux responsibility to remain a faux master. Iraqis are not insignificant, and so deserve every bit of blame and praise befitting their unique behavior.




  • HUMINT: Blame Game

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