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  • Iraq is succeeding

    Just read this article and thought I'd post it here for review and comment.

  • #2
    Re: Iraq is succeeding

    Interesting read, and the comments about people in our own administration being paid off to promote a loss were certainly creative. As corrupt as I think our government can be, I'd hope we were at least above that. Who is this person, anyway?

    I disagree with their overall opinion, though. Two things that are apparent.

    Iraq is succeeding because the Iraqi state has weathered the worst of the insurgent storm and survived, and because the Sunni insurgency is fatigued. "What about all the bodies? What about all the bombings?" Indeed, it's the worst it has been, but not the worst it can be.
    So, even though the violence is the worst it's ever been, we're succeeding simply because it could be worse? That's some really sad logic if I've ever seen it. "Hey, I'm afloat in the middle of the ocean with no land or rescue boats in sight, but the sharks haven't shown up so surely I'll be saved!"

    Given that the insurgents kill municipal trash collectors for simply doing their jobs, it is no small feat that any garbage is being picked up at all. The insurgents continue to threaten teachers and professors, yet schools are open. It is these simple acts of courage to keep going amidst all the threats of terror which were on display during the elections, but they keep happening daily even when the cameras stop rolling.
    People have to try to live no matter the circumstances. You can't just lay down and wait for things to be handed to you. I don't doubt the courage of people going about their daily lives when they know they can be blown up just going to the market. But I don't think that's a sign of commitment to the overall cause; rather just trying to get by the only way they can. Until I see the general populace rise up and turn out the insurgents, to the point of fighting the enemy themselves, I'll continue to believe that the Iraqi populace doesn't want what we're "giving" them.
    [squadl]
    "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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    • #3
      Re: Iraq is succeeding

      How would you differentiate between the general populace rising up to turn out the insurgents and civil war death squads?

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      • #4
        Re: Iraq is succeeding

        That's an interesting point, leejo. There was an opinion piece a week ago (I wish I could find it again - Inteldump, maybe?) asking why the Iraqi police and army hadn't been actively combatting the insurgency despite all the training we had given them. The obvious answer, of course, is the death squads - that is their method of combat. Unfortunately it's brutal, bloody, and sweeping up thousands of civilians in the process.
        In game handle: Steel Scion
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        • #5
          Re: Iraq is succeeding

          Yep. Did those civilians live in luxury while their countrymen were shipped off to torture chambers by the thousands? I don't know. I think the situation isn't simple or clear.

          I think the people of Iraq have to sort things out for themselves, and US policy won't allow us to just pick a side and lay waste to the other. That would piss off a lot of spectators with whom we want to maintain good relations. Also, it's pretty ugly. We want to work with the Iraqi people to establish a rule of law instead of mere payback. Right? The death squads in police uniform may very well be a group of police who know damn well who was responsible for those bombs yesterday and are taking care of business like they used to do in the wild west - quickly. They may be imposters merely sowing fear and death to a tribal enemy. Or both. Or neither. How can you tell?

          Why bother trying? Well that's the tough question, isn't it?

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          • #6
            Re: Iraq is succeeding

            Vigilanteism is antithetical to a stable democratic society. Any stable society, really. I don't think we can tacitly endorse the death squads or the militias just because we think they might be getting the job done right now. Down the line they will undermine the very institutions we're trying to support.

            Remember, we supported Saddam as a secular bulwark against the Iranian revolution. See how well that worked out.
            In game handle: Steel Scion
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            • #7
              Re: Iraq is succeeding

              What makes you say that? Back in the day the sherrif would round up a posse and when they caught the guy they were seeking they'd hang him on the spot. Somehow democracy was carved out of anarchy in this fashion.

              And if your friends and family are under assault day in and day out, and the police or military cannot or will not respond, what do you do? Either we want to see the people of Iraq rise up and take care of business or we need to be patient while they are slaughtered and accept the US casualties necessary to clean house truly until the Iraq police are capable operationally and ethically of enforcing the justice you describe.

              My guess is that the violence we see on tv and in the news is part terorrism, part politics, part people sick of the other side's "stuff". I don't think there's anything in the world that can be done about that combination that doesn't take time. Think 1985 Compton.

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              • #8
                Re: Iraq is succeeding

                Originally posted by leejo View Post
                How would you differentiate between the general populace rising up to turn out the insurgents and civil war death squads?
                From what I can tell, the death squads seem to be vendetta squads; that is, killing whoever pisses them off at the moment. My differentiation would be your normal citizen out there trying to interfere in an ongoing operation and helping out the authorities within the grand design of the new plan. Helping authorities, handing over bad guys to the appropriate people. Not lynchings.

                A perfect example in my mind would be in Amarah. When the rebel militia rose up and starting fighting the police, citizens coming to the aid of the police would have been a nice show of support for the new way of things.
                [squadl]
                "I am the prettiest african-american, vietnamese..cong..person." -SugarNCamo

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                • #9
                  Re: Iraq is succeeding

                  That's a romanticized Hollywood West you're describing wholly irrelevant to Iraq. Posses were organized under a public and common code of justice. They weren't conducted under cover of darkness, they didn't kidnap people out of their homes, and they didn't leave tortured, mutilated bodies anonymously in the street for the morning garbage collectors. They didn't hack off fingers and put drill through skulls. If you're looking for an American analog, the closest you'll find is a good old-fashioned lynch mob.

                  Edit: Tarpan beat me to it.
                  In game handle: Steel Scion
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                  • #10
                    Re: Iraq is succeeding

                    If the author thinks Iraq is succeeding I would hate to see his definition of failing. It's this very sort of thinking and self denial that permeates the Bush Administration.

                    "The "Iraq is a failure" crowd is not only craven but also mistaken. If pressed to the wall to give a verdict on Iraq, I'd say that Iraq is succeeding. A strategic corner in the counterinsurgency campaign has already been turned, but the tangible results will take longer to register in the public mind. Should America retract now and walk away from the victory at hand, many more Iraqi and American lives will be harmed and disrupted down the road."

                    This is almost beyond comment. Has the author been writing Vice President Cheney's speeches? The insurgency has been in it's last throes for, what, four years now?

                    "Iraq is succeeding because the Iraqi state has weathered the worst of the insurgent storm and survived, and because the Sunni insurgency is fatigued."

                    Really? The Iraqi government has no real authority outside of the green zone and would collapse immediately after the withdrawl of US forces. The insurgency is growing according to the Defense Department, CIA and intelligence analysts. Where is the author getting his information?


                    I could site other parts of the article but what seems to be the point? It's all fantasy that Iraq is succeeding and all we need to do is "stay the course" Ooops, sorry, forget we are not using that phrase anymore.
                    |TG-9th| TheFatKidDeath
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                    • #11
                      Re: Iraq is succeeding

                      This opinion piece is frustrating because the writer is mixing U.S. policy questions with legitimate questions about the future of Iraq. It is the exact mixture of these two questions (and answers) that is at the heart the American political battles taking place right now.

                      He's also hinting at some kind of international conspiracy to make sure that Iraq fails - intelligence services and people in Washington under the 'pay of the Saudis.' Are you kidding? It's beyond juvenile to simply lump all of the 'Iraq is a failure crows' into one basket and claim that it's a grand conspiracy. If he wants to find an conspiracy, he needs to look no further than the news organization he is writing for - the NY Sun is a wholly owned subsidiary of News Corp, and has been slanted to the right ever since Rupert Murdoch bought the paper.

                      I'll give him credit for an excellent editorial at putting the overall situation in Iraq in perspective and providing multiple reasons why this new Iraqi state will be facing a very bumpy road, it is far from doomed. Many years from now, though, Iraq could very much look like another West Bank or Lebanon, still violently struggling to achieve some kind of peace.

                      But will American troops still be there?

                      It's a terrible editorial at making arguments as to why America should have sparked the instability in Iraq (or rather created it with a big bang), and remain actively involved in the ensuing struggles today. From a terrorism standpoint, Iraq is far more of a threat to America today than it was under Saddam's rule. This will remain the case for years to come.

                      The final paragraph of the editorial could have been scripted by the GOP. I take it as an insult to my intelligence whenever I see the word 'bad guys' in the same paragraph as 'terror-free lives in America.' No - the world is not simply made up of 'bad guys' that we need to go and fight in order to lead peaceful lives at home. We will always live under the threat of terror. We need to learn how to do that instead of insisting on trying to 'neutralize' the threat. Looking more closely at the Israeli situation would be a good start.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Iraq is succeeding

                        Originally posted by SmokingTarpan View Post



                        People have to try to live no matter the circumstances. You can't just lay down and wait for things to be handed to you. I don't doubt the courage of people going about their daily lives when they know they can be blown up just going to the market. But I don't think that's a sign of commitment to the overall cause; rather just trying to get by the only way they can. Until I see the general populace rise up and turn out the insurgents, to the point of fighting the enemy themselves, I'll continue to believe that the Iraqi populace doesn't want what we're "giving" them.
                        The reason that the insurgents are killing the garbage men is because the find the MAJORITY of the IED's. That is where 90% of them are hidden is in the garbage. Then they in turn tell Coalition forces where they are at.
                        "Dirtboy is super awesome, and chicks dig him too!"- Everyone



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                        • #13
                          Re: Iraq is succeeding

                          Interesting read. I also like this piece by him. Nibras is a member of the Hudson institute. One of the many great "Think Tanks" which brought us "Iraq will be a cakewalk." "the insurgency is in it's last throes" and my favorite, "the war will only last a few months." Nibras is one of the 'havent lived in iraq much but am iraqi' iraqis who helped to get us into this war. As a sideline the Hudson institute likes to deny theres any such thing as global warming.

                          My Pal George Bush

                          Nibras Kazimi on Iraq’s approaching milestone

                          Nibras Kazimi Mr. Kazimi is an Iraqi writer living in Washington D.C. He can be contacted at [email protected]

                          Let me tell you a thing or two about my good friend George. I like this George fellow. He’s been kicking ass recently, and hardly anyone but the bad guys has noticed. He himself is probably unaware of this turnabout since the diplomatic and intelligence bureaucracies that are tasked with briefing him are themselves more or less clueless.

                          The greatest victory so far in the war on terror occurred last week: The evil-doers have ceded the press and broadcast industry battleground and are now scrambling for legitimacy in fending off democracy. Their rhetoric is no longer riddled with loaded catch-phrases like “Zionism” and “colonial occupation”or even the “new crusades.” No,today’s talking points for the jihadists go something like this: Democracy is a Greek word that means power through the people and not God, which is a heresy that must be eradicated.

                          The Army of the Ansar Al-Sunnah and the Islamic Army,respectively numbers 2 and 3 on the Top 20 terrorist charts, issued a communiqué last week saying that they intend to treat polling booths in the upcoming Iraqi elections on January 31 as military targets,since they consecrate the power of the people and not divine sanction. It is as if Christian Scientists took their prayer-inspired natural therapy to the extreme and began blowing up hospitals and assassinating medical practitioners and patients alike. This is bigger than the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the September 11 mastermind, or the overthrow of the Taliban.With Osama bin Laden reinventing himself as a policy wonk, as some have aptly described him, and interminably chiming in on the same theme to instruct Iraqis not to vote, this recent terrorist press blitz is an indication that they are quickly losing the battle of ideas and visions for the future of the Arab and Islamic world.

                          And to my friend George, the whole thing can be summed up in one word: freedom.

                          George is sometimes unfairly described as the Latter-Day Cowboy,or the “Bring It On”Gangsta. His detractors sought to tag him with these and all sorts of other epithets in an effort to deride his policies. However, George’s political enemies are doing a fine job and their sniping is crucial to winning the war on terror: The stubborn gung-ho image they created for the 43rd president is exactly what terrorizes the terrorists. The message emanating to the rest of the world is that George is serious about kicking the bad-asses in the ass. Al Qaeda got a crash course in Americana-infused wisdom: Don’t go messin’ with a Texan. Especially one armed with cruise missiles.

                          My friend George also has an instinctive understanding of the forces of history. The Central Intelligence Agency, the New York Times editorial board, the Arab governments, the current unpopular Iraqi government, and most of Europe and America’s loony left have launched a press blitz of their own that basically runs in parallel to Al Qaeda’s: Delay the Iraqi elections since Arab Sunni nonparticipation would delegitimize the results. George to all the aforementioned: “No!”

                          See, George is a visionary, and to him, the future instructs current policy rather than the “realist”credo of crises management.In 1864,America had an election during its Civil War,and Abraham Lincoln won a second term through a landslide while most of the secessionist South, understandably,did not participate.Is anyone today going to make the argument that these results were illegitimate? The causes for America’s fratricide were many and complex, but what elementary school children across America are learning is that there was no moral equivalency between slave owners and the unionists. In 20 years time, Iraqi children will also be taught that, during the height of an undeclared civil war that is currently ravishing the country, there was no moral equivalency between the democrats and the beheaders.

                          Yet again, according to my friend George, the whole thing can be summed up in one word: freedom.

                          George understands that the Iraqis need to get on with their future without delay, and that those who have been liberated by the concept of freedom are going to come up with their own means of securing the new post-Saddam era. These matters will no longer be decided by the Baghdad CIA station operating within the embassy compound. It will be decided by Iraq’s newly elected leaders through a succession of corrective steps in what has been tried and failed. On security matters, they will opt for a complete reversal of such poorly thought-out experiments like the Fallujah Brigade formed last April, where ex-Baathists still donning their Republican Guard uniforms were expected to battle the insurgency that stands for bringing the Baath Party and the Arab Sunni minority sect back into absolute power.

                          I have a hunch that a new government will implement De-Baathification Plus, i.e., the complete top-to-bottom cleansing of the ex-regime elements that had been invited back into the government through a failed policy of appeasement. There is no appeasing the bad guys; they will not suddenly undergo a mystical epiphany and swear off driving planes into buildings or decapitating aid workers.They must be destroyed. Being a terrorist must become a job-related hazard even before self-detonation at a chosen target.

                          The new era in Iraq will not flower with the begrudged participation of Saddam’s orphans, or those who had a stake in their past murderous glory.The future of Iraq lies with those who were orphaned by Saddam and whose parents ended up in mass graves.The talent and willpower of these victims and their reflexive loyalty to a new Iraq is the key.And believe me, there are plenty of them since, in case someone out there has forgotten this fact, Saddam and his henchmen killed a lot of people.

                          I’ve never met George, and he would have no clue who I am. But across the politically desolate landscape of the Middle East, young men and women are being emboldened to speak up and demand a better life through the heretical notion of democracy because they feel that they’ve got a friend in the White House.

                          George W. Bush has got the evil-doers and the despots on the run, both physically and ideologically. His hymn for democracy in the Middle East resounds like a death knell for Al Qaeda and the hated dictatorships and accurately projects through a values-oriented foreign policy what America is all about.And with friends like these, pretty soon, there will be fewer enemies.

                          ***

                          In other good news in the war on terror and terror inciters, score one down for the much-maligned Al-Hurra TV, the activist American public diplomacy broadcast effort targeting the Arabspeaking world. Last week, Al-Hurra put together a report with footage captured from Saddam’s archives in which Al-Jazeera’s former top boss, Jassim Al-Ali,kisses up and thanks Saddam’s psycho son ‘Uday, for all the crucial help he was providing over the years to the venom-spewing satellite station, and asking for more instructions. Mr. Al-Ali was fired shortly after the liberation of Iraq following embarrassing documents highlighting his collusion with ‘Uday had surfaced. Also last week, after the new report and footage were aired,Al-Jazeera issued a press release defending its “journalistic integrity.”Yeah, right.
                          =========================

                          Max Singer, one of the founders of the Hudson Institute was one of the people who insisted that the CIA was wrong prior to the war. Not wrong about wmds, but wrong about the evidence which stated there were no wmds.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Iraq is succeeding

                            Silly ad-hominem aside, here's the guy's blog. Interesting reading.

                            http://talismangate.blogspot.com/

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                            • #15
                              Re: Iraq is succeeding

                              Originally posted by leejo View Post
                              Silly ad-hominem aside...
                              Wait, we're not doing those any more???
                              ~~ Veritas simplex oratio est ~~
                              No matter how far a wizard goes, he will always come back for his hat. --T. Pratchett

                              <---- You know you're getting old when you rely on your forum meta-data to remind you how old you are.

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