opinion web
Liberal Opinion Conservative Opinion
Roland Martin
Roland S. Martin
11 Apr 2014
GOP: Dial 1-800-Ask-A-Black-Man Before Commenting on Race

Every time a Republican gets into hot water, Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee, … Read More.

4 Apr 2014
Baseball Should Always Come Secondary to Family

A few weeks ago my niece, Raquel, was jumpy and excited about going to her first basketball practice. The 10-year-… Read More.

14 Mar 2014
Florida Must Feel Economic Pain to End 'Stand Your Ground' Law

A few years ago, when my parents and other family members were angered by the actions of a new priest at the … Read More.

Bush Administration Finally Shows It's Delusional With Post-Saddam Iraq


"It was wrong."

Can you believe those words actually came out of the mouth of Vice President Dick Cheney?

For four years, we've had to listen to Cheney, President George W. Bush and their minions constantly spin, dance around — some will just say flat-out

lie — in order to justify the war in Iraq.

Disgraced former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld often told the American people that the Iraqis would greet American troops with open arms, and only a few thousand soldiers would be enough to restore order — and diplomacy — to Iraq.

We're still waiting.

Now, Cheney finally comes to the conclusion that many of our own generals always knew: Ending the insurgency is not going to be easy.

Coming out of hibernation — or off the shooting range — to talk to CNN's Larry King, Cheney said he thought it would all end because an interim election was held, they ratified a constitution and elected a president, and, of course, captured Saddam Hussein, who was later hanged.

"I thought there were a series of these milestones that would, in fact, undermine the insurgency and make it less than it was at that point," Cheney said. "That clearly didn't happen. I think the insurgency turned out to be more robust. And the other thing that happened, of course — this was prior to the actions of Al Qaeda in Iraq — Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, with his bombing of the mosque up at Samara in early '06 that, in effect, helped to precipitate some of the sectarian conflict that led to a lot of the Shia-on-Sunni violence."

Now what's nuts is that while all of these "milestones" were being achieved, Iraqi blood was being spilled on the streets in a daily basis. And the longer the United States occupied Iraq, the more radical Muslims became enraged by our actions, thereby flooding the country with insurgents ready to do battle.

But Cheney continued to buy into the hype built up by the neo-conservatives, who sat in their spacious offices and played war games on their computers, somehow suggesting that everything was going to go according to their well-defined plans.

The same can be said about the sectarian violence that has led to a civil war.

Rumsfeld's replacement, Robert Gates, offered up a truthful admission when he admitted the United States underestimated the "mistrust" between Iraqis.

"In some ways we probably all underestimated the depth of the mistrust and how difficult it would be for these guys to come together on legislation," Gates told reporters Thursday aboard his plane as he headed to the Middle East.

"The kinds of legislation they're talking about will establish the framework of Iraq for the future so it's almost like our constitutional convention. … And the difficulty in coming to grips with those, we may all have underestimated six or eight months ago."

I'll give Gates some leeway because he wasn't at the Pentagon when this mess was created, but how in the world did they not know?

Now, I'm not a Middle East expert, but I do have some common sense, and it's obvious that it's just not too common these days.

Saddam was the leader of the Ba'ath Party and stood behind the Sunnis, which was the minority group in the country. That didn't sit well with the Shia majority or even the Kurds, who are non-Arab Sunni Muslims. Is it a bit confusing? Yes. But that's the complexity of the region and why America was thoroughly confused.

Yet if you study history, you will see that in many nations where a dictator or ruling party was tossed out — and especially where the majority was repressed — they will never sit back and accept a power-sharing agreement. It's called payback. No one in the world would expect that after all these years, the Shias and Sunni Muslims wouldn't fight every effort to run the nation. It's called distrust. Does anyone remember that even in the United States we fought a civil war because of the distrust of one faction — Southerners, who desperately wanted slavery, over Northerners, who wanted to end it?

This is why no matter what happens with our troops, nothing will change. Forget a surge. Like it or not, the Iraqis are going to have to fight this one out. And yes, only the strong will survive. It will be bloody and brutal, but history says this is how it always ends.

It just would have been smart for the Bush administration to have figured this out before 3,600 of our soldiers had to die for a terribly misguided policy.

Roland S. Martin is a CNN contributor and a talk show host for WVON-AM in Chicago. Please visit his Web site at To find out more about Roland Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



0 Comments | Post Comment
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Roland S. Martin
Apr. `14
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
30 31 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 1 2 3
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month
Author’s Podcast
Marc Dion
Marc DionUpdated 21 Apr 2014
Mark Shields
Mark ShieldsUpdated 19 Apr 2014
Mark Levy
Mark LevyUpdated 19 Apr 2014

17 Oct 2008 Time for Palin To Answer Tough Questions

4 Jan 2012 Enough With the ‘It's Iowa or Bust' Talk

10 Oct 2008 Why the Ayers Case Is Risky for McCain-Palin