Iraqis Finally Unite—Against the U.S. (Robert Scheer)

What part of “leave now” doesn’t Lieberman get? Speaking of the rally called by Sadr to blast the Americans as Iraq’s “archenemy” and to demand “that the occupiers withdraw from our land,” Lieberman surreally sought to find a silver lining of support for U.S. policy: “[Sadr] is not calling for a resurgence of sectarian conflict. He’s striking a nationalist chord. He’s acknowledging that the surge is working,” he said.

Ugh. What tortured logic. Ponder that sentence for the sheer mendacity of its optimism, which conveniently ignores the fact that the nationalist chord is a stridently anti-American one. Yes, there were Sunni clerics in the Najaf march and Sadr’s followers heeded his call to wrap themselves, literally, in the Iraqi flag while shunning sectarian slogans—but what united them was the demand to end the U.S. occupation, which Lieberman so fervently supports.

So apparently the surge is working … to unite all Iraqis against us. As Hazim al-Araji, one of Sadr’s top Baghdad representatives, described the by-all-accounts massive rally: “There are people here from all different parties and sects. We are all carrying the national flag, which is a symbol of unity. And we are all united in calling for the withdrawal of the Americans.”

What irony: The final refuge of the scoundrels who sold us on this war, Lieberman included, was that although it could not be justified by claims that Saddam had WMD or an alliance with al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden, the invasion would implant American ideals of democracy on Iraqi soil. What is being implanted instead is a virulent anti-American and anti-Israeli nationalism, Sadr’s current cause, competing with a smoldering sectarian civil war, which this multitasking demagogue has also fueled. Yet, spinning like a top, Sen. Lieberman desperately finds solace in a resurgent Iraqi nationalism based on hatred of the United States. read more


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