News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Models and Plans: Is the devil in the blueprint?

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Models and Plans: Is the devil in the blueprint?

First impression: When will our leaders realize that is not the plan, model, blueprint or anything else "objective." The problem is: this entire effort to remake the world in our own image...

Bush adopts British colonial model for Iraq, By Alec Russell

The success of British colonial forces against the Malay rebellion in the 1950s is being commended in the United States as a template for victory in Iraq.
Rather than focus on hunting down the enemy, the American-led coalition forces should be concentrating on securing specific towns and making life so good there that no one will want to support the insurgents, Col Krepinevich argues.

In time, the success will spread slowly outwards as if from an "expanding oil spot" or ink blot, as happened in Malaya. "You focus on a spot segment by segment, area by area," he said. ...
My problem with this model or any model for that matter is that it proposes to impose something from the outside onto a society that has the potential for generating its own models. Any model imposed by outsiders will be seen by the indigenous populations as being done by an outside force. Not only is the motivation behind imposing models suspect for numerous reasons, but the historical facts in the region themselves point ot he failures of previous "models." Indeed, one cause of the present situation in the mideast is the desire of Imperial Britain and other colonialist powers to impose western-style political, social, and cultural institutions on the area.

Now, no doubt this model is simply a strategic tactic in a military effort. In that regard, the question then becomes how well this model will work in these circumstances in the mideast. Many will simply greet the fact that the Bushites have a plan as a good thing in and of itself. Yet, there are numerous military experts who believe that the introduction of armed struggle in the region is itself the problem--and any strategic model that involved armed forces will incite resistance and spawn further resentment against the US.

For a decent review of the British policy and how it worked in Malaysia and how it might work in Iraq, see Lenin's Tomb, who quotes a hisorical review of the model's actual workings in Malaysia:
A community of squatters would be surrounded in their huts at dawn, when they were all asleep, forced into their lorries and settled in a new village encircled by barbed wire with searchlights round the periphery to prevent movement at night. Before the 'new villagers' were let out in the morning to go to work in the paddy fields, soldiers or police searched them for rice, clothes, weapons or messages. Many complained both that the villages lacked essential facilities and that they were no more than concentration camps. (Cited in Mark Curtis, Web of Deceit, Britain's Real Role in the World, 2003, pp 340-1)
Now, I am not in Falluja, but from actual, enumebedded articles by reporters like Dahr Jamail, this sounds situations sounds exactly like what the US military has done there. In any case, the bad news is that if the Bushites sell this plan to the Democratic weeping willows like Clincton and Kerry and Biden, we are in for a long haul in Iraq--well past Bush's term in office and perhaps for the next 10 years, as was reported at the start of the war by knowing insiders and which I alluded to in earlier postings here.

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