Snapshots from the Office: Public Affairs Staff Show Strains of Social Discord
June 20, 2006 10:04 AM   Subscribe

June memo from US embassy in Iraq to the Secretary of State, describing the strains on the Iraqi public affairs staff. Roundup of comments from the Christian Science Monitor. They're not even safe from their own families: of nine employees in March, only four had family members who knew they worked at the embassy. That makes it difficult for them, and for us. Iraqi colleagues called after hours often speak Arabic as an indication they cannot speak openly in English. Via Daniel Drezner.
posted by russilwvong (11 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: same issue discussed yesterday

Well, that's depressing. I want to point to one section or another as particularly bad, but all points of the memo are horrible.
Temperatures up to 115°? Good god.
posted by boo_radley at 10:11 AM on June 20, 2006

Discussed yesterday.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 10:15 AM on June 20, 2006 [1 favorite]

I missed this yesterday. That sounds totally crazy. I'm not even sure at this point how you go about fixing the country, or what a 'fixed' country would even look like.
posted by chunking express at 10:21 AM on June 20, 2006

Oops, thanks monju.
posted by russilwvong at 10:29 AM on June 20, 2006

We aren't trying to fix it. We aren't even trying to win anymore. The official administration strategy is that we will stand down as soon as the Iraqis can stand up.

In other words, the goal *is not* to eliminate the insurgency or rebuild the country. The goal is to have a large enough group of Iraqis willing to admit they're in the army. Just that. Once there is an Iraqi army with even a marginal chance of defending itself, we can leave and declare victory.

Yesterday Cheney confirmed that he still thinks the Iraq insurgency is "in it's last throes". The underlines the administration's plan. We already beat them. We've accomplished our mission. And now we just need to get some troops in uniform.

The fact that this completely contradicts the facts on the ground and everything we've been told about why we're in Iraq doesn't matter. Much like the smoke and mirrors we got as the WMD motive for war was replaced by the War On Terror motive, we'll be told this was the plan all along.
posted by Binkeeboo at 10:35 AM on June 20, 2006

Yes, the Bush administration is fucking retarded. Please continue to state the obvious. Eventually I'll completely get over my desire to sit at MetaFilter and hit F5.

Keep up the good work russilwvong!

posted by tweak at 11:04 AM on June 20, 2006

We aren't even trying to win anymore.

To win something, you have to have a defined victory condition. I haven't read any detailed plan that spells out any concrete goals. Draw your own conclusions.
posted by mikeh at 11:08 AM on June 20, 2006

Yes, the Bush administration is fucking retarded. Please continue to state the obvious.

Doesn't have much to do with Bush. Just try to imagine being one of the Iraqi employees.

Besides, I like cables.
posted by russilwvong at 11:49 AM on June 20, 2006

Islamic theocracy = Hell on Earth. Somalia is next.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:03 PM on June 20, 2006

Complete, total repression- Dark Ages style:

A week ago, when Mexico and Iran were still playing the first half of their World Cup soccer match, gunmen allied with the Islamic courts burst into a tiny theater in the Hiliwaa neighborhood of north Mogadishu, condemned the place as ungodly and angrily switched off the television set.

When they caught sight of a man with a trendy Afro, with lines shaved into it, they tied his hands behind his back, took out a pair of scissors and evened it out into a scalp-revealing buzz cut.

"They said, 'Your hair is against our culture and is not Islamic,' " recalled the man, Abdi Fatah, 26. They whipped him with a belt, then jailed him for three days.
. . .

But one of his disciples is Mohamed Ali Aden, 19, who commanded 350 men in the recent war and said he would settle for nothing less than a full-fledged Islamic state.

"We've neglected God's verses for so long," Mr. Aden said in an interview. "We want our women veiled and we want them at home. We men have to grow our beards."

posted by The Jesse Helms at 12:06 PM on June 20, 2006

When has an open-ened (i.e., no clear exit strategy) occupation ever worked? For that matter, when has it ever been pretty?
posted by bardic at 12:19 PM on June 20, 2006

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