Friday, July 28, 2006

Iraq II: 'The Consequences Will Be Grim'

Herewith some reaction to the new Baghdad security plan from across the blogosphere:

David Frum at National Observer Online is one of an increasing number of conservatives who now understands the bankruptcy of the Bush administration's Iraq policy:
Hands up, everybody who believes that the "hundreds" of troops that the Pentagon plans to move from the rest of Iraq into Baghdad will suffice to secure the capital against the sectarian militias now waging war upon the civilian populations of the city? Anybody? No, I didn't think so.

. . . What then? Well, then ...

Uncontrolled militias (some of them working tacitly with the pro-Iranian Islamists at the Ministry of the Interior) will wage intensifying war against each other.

The Sunnis will use random terror: car bombings, suicide bombings, kidnappings and massacres.

The Shiite militias - supported by their friends in the Ministry of the Interior and in the police forces - will respond with increasingly coordinated terror . . . It is hard to imagine that a few hundred American advisers can put a stop to such atrocities.

As the tide of urban warfare turns in the Shiites' favor, those Sunnis who can feel the city will do so.

Gradually, Baghdad will come to look like Basra, Iraq's Shiite-dominated second city, now effectively ruled by Iranian-backed Shiites with the tacit acquiescence of the British military authorities.

Baghdad -- and therefore central Iraq -- will in such a case slide after Basra and the south into the unofficial new Iranian empire. . . . American troops will be free to stay or go, depending on whether we wish to deny or acknowledge defeat.

The consequences for the region and the world will be grim.


The Scribe at Highway Scribery says there is so much to be outraged about:
Domestic spying, proxy war in the Middle East, primary war in the Middle East, gas prices, eavesdropping, torture . . . and an administration that is never, ever swayed by public opinion.
People are tired of getting mad because they can't get no satisfaction.
Friends often ask The Scribe, "How can they get away with it? Why are they not accountable?"
Being wrong most of the time (optimism clouding his judgement) The Scribe likes to point out that in prior administrations, a critical mass of public disapproval always led to a resignation. Tacit in the agreement was a kind of, "you go away, we'll go away, too."
These guys think they've stumbled onto something new by ignoring people; the people they ostensibily represent. the scribe suspects the failure of certain characters to leave will eventually lead to their indictment.
Yes, they will go to jail. Many of them for very bad things. Not only because they would not go, but because they made enemies, antagonized those enemies by staying beyond their time, and left an uncommonly long trail of transgressions from which those enemies will later choose.
There's a lotta blood around. People forget a lot of things, but not blood.
It starts in November when the outrage becomes a vote (maybe).
My son Cassidy over at Cassidy's Blog also despairs, but is arguing the other side while acknowledging he doesn't necessarily agree with it:
(1) Iraq is falling apart.

(2) It's not at a civil war . . . yet. Just imagine it as Northern Ireland times 10,000. Note: I actually agree with this one. Calling Iraq a civil war is incorrect.

(3) We messed up in Iraq, big time. But we need to do something to save it. Maybe this will work. But as Colin Powell said, "if you break it, you own it."

(4) How many times has the U.S. carried out a military action, gotten bogged down, and then withdrawn, leaving that country to the whims of warlords and other horrible people? Maybe it's time for a change.

(5) Yes, people will die. In war, people die. In Vietnam over 60,000 people died. We haven't reached 3,000 yet.

(6) It's in our strategic interests to save Iraq. I guarantee you that in 10 years if we leave and Iraq becomes a puppet of Iran, people will say, Bush (or so and so) was foolish to leave Iraq.

(7) The overall situation in the Middle East is getting worse and worse. This may be forward thinking, but the military can use Iraq as a staging area in case things get worse.

(8) While Bush may be dumb, Cheney evil, and Rumsfeld a combination of the two, our military (i.e. the soldiers) are not stupid or evil. We have some of the finest military minds in the world. The problem with the Iraq war plan was that it was drawn up by politicians and people in armchairs. This is being done by the soldiers, and they know what to do.
Doomsy posts an idea he notes is admittedly crazy over at the Liberal Doomsayer:
Mr. President, how about if your daughters enlisted in the U.S. Army and volunteered for Iraq, assisting in this further fool’s errand to try and stem sectarian violence which rages unabated in that country?

I mean, I’m always hearing this rap from all of these so-called “law and order” types about how serving in the military straightens out young men (and women, too . . .let’s be fair) who have problems with authority. Well, isn’t that the case here? After all, Lyndon Johnson’s sons-in-law served in Vietnam, so there is a precedent, and as far as I know, they were “straight arrows,” to their credit.

I believe your daughters have shown a bit of “growing up” more recently, Mr. President, but if you’re going to “talk the talk,” then you, as leader of our military, should “walk the walk” too.

And who knows? Maybe it would motivate you enough to care about the consequences of your actions.
And finally a word from Bukko, an Aussie blogger:
This new strategy of bringing troops into Baghdad is the first step in America's retreat from Iraq.

What they're doing is pulling out of the countryside and withdrawing to the big city. It's like Crusaders falling back to the fortified castle when there are too many barbarians to battle. They're ceding al Anbar province, the hotbed of the insurgency, back to the people they were fighting. That's going to leave a swath of land from the Syrian border to Baghdad in enemy hands.

Mark my words mate, this is "cut and slink" instead of "cut and run." The U.S. has lost this war. And when it is kicked out of Iraq, the commanders will find a way to blame liberals.

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