Friday, December 7, 2007

Just When It's All But Dead In The US, Bush & Co. Plan A New Deal For The Forgotten Iraqi

By Manifesto Joe

Amid grotesque news about the CIA destroying torture videos, and Bush pretending he didn't know until last week the "latest" intelligence about Iran's supposed "nuclear program," the irony of this item may have been lost on some. It wasn't lost on me. The Washington Post reports that:

"The U.S. military plans to establish a civilian jobs corps to absorb tens of thousands of mostly Sunni security volunteers whom Iraq's Shiite-dominated government has balked at hiring into local police forces.

"The new jobs program marks a sharp departure from one of the most highly touted goals of the so-called Sunni awakening, which was to funnel the U.S.-paid volunteers, many of them former insurgents, into Iraq's police and military. ...

"The Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has lagged in hiring the volunteers, more than three-quarters of whom are Sunnis. Sectarian concerns are "still an obstacle. I won't lie to you about that," said Col. Martin Stanton, who tracks the program for Petraeus's command. "They're deeply suspicious of any organized group of Sunnis," Stanton said of the government. ...

"He said the pilot program would be called the Civil Service Corps and compared it to the U.S. Civilian Conservation Corps, the Depression-era federal public works program created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt."

Shiites, you have nothing to fear but Sunnis themselves.

This program will probably be administered as though Warren G. Harding's administration had been placed in charge of the New Deal, and then expected to run it in a war-torn country that ill-conceived U.S. occupation has turned into a disaster area. For all the horse manure in which the Bush administration has tried to veil this move, the bottom line is that the Shiite-led government doesn't trust Sunnis with police powers, and so they will have to be "put to work" in civilian capacities.

Not that a country so ravaged couldn't use that, but don't expect the al-Maliki government to start putting up money for it anytime soon.

The money pit, and the military quagmire, just keep growing deeper. But maybe by the time the Iraqi version of the CCC has disbanded, they'll have some decent bridges in that country. After 70 years, we don't have so many of those here.

(If you want to get technical, yeah, I know: That was the WPA. My grandfather worked for them.)

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.

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