Skip to main content.

Back to: >> Editorial


The White House and Congress agreed in May 2007 to a series of benchmarks that could lead to an end of American occupation of Iraq. The second report on progress is due 15 September.

Our take is that too little has been achieved to justify continued support. True downtown Baghdad is a basically safer behind the equivalent of an iron wall that is not quite impervious. Like the eye of the hurricane, Baghdad is relatively calm while being surrounded by the high winds of violence.

Like the eye of a hurricane, violence moves in the direction of least resistance. The primary violence is among the three ethnic groups; it is not restricted to Baghdad. Yet there is a benchmark having specifically to do with solving ages-old ethnic grievances.

The benchmarks are the product of a system, of exactly the same kind that Zimbardo recognized in his Stanford Experiment and Abu Ghraib. Yes, the Democrats are caught up in it, too, and are extending the damage that has already done. The System is not just Bush's doing, both political parties helped build it with help from special interests (CORRUPTION) exemplified by industry (defense and energy mostly), and the religious right.

In a Zimbardo System, it does not pay to complain, you get put down hard.

Look for this feature as things play out this week. Zimbardo Systems are inherently corrupt. And while you are at it, look for the chasm between the reality on the ground as voiced by those whose feet have been on Iraqi soil and their top commanders in Washington. This too is a product of the Zimbardo System.

The benchmarks follow:

1. Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the constitutional review.

2. Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Baathification.

3. Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources of the people of Iraq without regard to the sect or ethnicity of recipients, and enacting and implementing legislation to ensure that the energy resources of Iraq benefit Sunni Arabs, Shia Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable manner.

4. Enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semi-autonomous regions.

5. Enacting and implementing legislation establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections.

6. Enacting and implementing legislation addressing amnesty.

7. Enacting and implementing legislation establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that such security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the Constitution of Iraq.

8. Establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.

9. Providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations.

10. Providing Iraqi commanders with all authorities to execute this plan and to make tactical and operational decisions, in consultation with U.S commanders, without political intervention, to include the authority to pursue all extremists, including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

11. Ensuring that the Iraqi Security Forces are providing even handed enforcement of the law.

12. Ensuring that the Baghdad security plan will not provide a safe haven for outlaws, regardless of sectarian or political affiliation, as Bush says Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has pledged to do.

13. Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security.

14. Establishing all of the planned joint security stations in neighborhoods across Baghdad.

15. Increasing the number of Iraqi security forces units capable of operating independently.

16. Ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected.

17. Allocating and spending $10 billion in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, on an equitable basis.

18. Ensuring that Iraq's political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the Iraqi Security Forces.


No comments yet

To be able to post comments, please register on the site.