ibeecurious, do you mean the Main Stream Media organizations like the Pentagon, and the State Department? Do you mean those Main Stream Media talking heads General Franks, General Casey, and Vice President Cheney? Are those the organizations or people you are referring to that have â€œtwistedâ€ the term militia by using it to describe the Mahdi army?Comment Posted By grognard On 3.05.2007 @ 21:31
One cautionary note, the Anbar Salvation Council was the group that handed AQ their heads. This is a paramilitary group that works with US and Iraqi forces. They have been hugely successful in rooting out AQ and destroying them [with US help] in Anbar. This type of organization has proven itself so well that it is going to be duplicated elsewhere. The problem is that while we are arming Sunni groups we are also dismantling the Mahdi army, moves that could be interpreted by some as the US playing power broker. These groups can take on a life of their own and once created are very difficult to disarm, esp. when Sunni groups are under attack from Shiite militia. Destroying AQ might lead to recognized independent militias for the Sunnis, and further complicate the overall political situation. I still favor a Federation where the locals are governed by their own police/security forces as a way of reducing tensions, and groups like ASC would fit that idea, but the administrations goal is a unified Iraq, and ASC does not fit in for the long term.Comment Posted By grognard On 3.05.2007 @ 08:24
Lincoln would not have been re-elected if he did not produce some victories before the election. If we were still in North Africa and the edge of the Pacific after four years of war Roosevelt would not have been elected again. The Kaiser was overthrown by a war weary Germany. Constant warfare with few results puts you out of office. Rick is right, this will not go on indefinitely, right or wrong or deluded or farsighted or whatever reason you want to use there is no longer the political will to continue. That is a basic fact the Republican party has to contend with.
The Democrats on the other hand are ignoring the consequences of withdrawal, somehow wishfully thinking that once we are gone somehow everything will magically turn out OK, or at least hoping the resulting chaos will some how not come back on us. Just pulling out means millions of deaths and a regional war, the left canâ€™t be concerned about Africa but turn their back Iraq and have any intellectual consistency.
So what to do? In the Kurdish territories the national flag is not shown, and they are not interested in getting involved in the Sunni/Shiite civil war. Sunnis, many of them Baâ€™athists, have made it clear they donâ€™t want to live under a Shiite government. There have been enough deaths that I donâ€™t see the possibility of reconciliation. There are no good choices here, only the lesser of many evils choices. A Federal system where the major groups can be ruled, and policed by, their own people is about the only solution I can see. Separate the groups, even pay people to relocate, and let them deal with the factions within their own sects and hopefully be so involved internally they leave each other alone. The discovery of oil in Anbar gives each group access to the precious juice and eliminates the problem of revenue sharing.
But what about AQ? In Anbar the Anbar Salvation Council has taken on AQ, and I see that happening elsewhere as AQ either wears out itâ€™s welcome or is seen as outsiders that are meddling in local affairs. With the US gone there would be no reason for them to be there and most of the Sunnis have no desire to live under their version of Islam.
A loose Federation is not a perfect solution by far. There are many justifiable criticisms, for example what happens to the Kurds should PPK raids trigger a Turkish response, but by separating people at least some of the reasons for conflict go away. The internal divisions in the three groups begin to take precedence, and even the day to day problems of civil administration becomes more important than continued fighting.
It is time to stop playing the blame game and trying to determine who did what to who first, the situation is what it is and it is time to offer solutions. You may now feel free to comment and call me a moron , imbecile or what ever.Comment Posted By grognard On 2.05.2007 @ 22:42
Richard. Yeah, I said the same thing, there was nothing more disgusting than to see people thump their chests over how patriotic they were then turn around and demand tax cuts. The Republican congress would have been a lot more interested in the wars progress if we were paying for it. Not to mention showing the troops that we were willing to make a least a token sacrifice to the war effort they would be putting their lives on the line for.Comment Posted By grognard On 2.05.2007 @ 10:48
â€¦canâ€™t fight suicide bombers withâ€¦massive force.
Then what do you use? Toothpicks? If you have another method of dealing with insurgents other than boots on the ground please illuminate us with your obviously vast knowledge of military operations.
RichardComment Posted By grognard On 2.05.2007 @ 07:47
Totally agree, and I will add â€œAmerica is not at war,. The Marine corps is at war. America is at the mall â€œ [a sign posted in Iraq]. If paying more in taxes is too much to ask when our service people are going to risk their lives then donâ€™t go to war.
â€¦logistical nightmareâ€¦cost to maintainâ€¦
The number of troops in the first gulf war were much higher, we have the capability to supply put far higher numbers of troops in the field than what we have in Iraq. War is not a penny pinching enterprise, as we are now discovering, you go in with everything and get it over. If that is asking too much then donâ€™t go to war.
â€¦blood on their handsâ€¦geniusesâ€¦
They are highly skilled professionals doing a job under very trying conditions and your comments are contemptible, but par for the course now days. By the way even with higher troops levels no general made the claim of home by Christmas, they knew full well how tough this was going to be.Comment Posted By grognard On 1.05.2007 @ 21:34
In the 1980â€™s when Saddam gassed the Kurds I knew we would have to have a day of reckoning with him. I knew he was a counter to Iran, by attacking Iran he set back the revolution for decades. I thought we should have gone after him in the Gulf War, regardless of the possibility of a Shiite revolt, as a conquered nation that started a war the ground rules for suppressing any insurgency would have been different. When I saw the interview with the woman who was in charge of the Saddamâ€™s Bio weapons projects boast about her ability to produce anthrax I thought that we had to take him out then, that the sanctions were having no effect. So I did support the war and taking out Saddam, but then things quickly changed. General Shinsekiâ€™s troops estimates, based on war gaming, were 100,000 higher than what we sent in, and those troops were reserves for postwar operation. I know how the Army plans these things, and the cavalier rebuke by Rumsfeld was a sign for me that things we were in trouble. I agreed with Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard when he called for many more troops, and could not understand how Bush would not listen to his own side. There was no honest debate over the war, criticize the war you were a traitor, support the war effort against Saddam you were a pawn of Halliburton. I was blasted by both sides, most of it was juvenile name calling. Both side have played games with the war, politics now is more like a basketball game with both sides trying to score on each other rather than trying to run a country. I curse Limbaugh and Moore, I curse the left and right, this country richly deserves what it is getting if the only people we listen too are the demagogs.Comment Posted By grognard On 1.05.2007 @ 08:26
As a political moderate I have been called every name in the book. I can see by the comments in the other section that my belief that rational and civil discourse exists only in the middle has been reconfirmed. I seriously doubt there will be any attempt to find common ground with the Democrats, both sides are now so polarized and suspicious of the others intentions that I donâ€™t see any possibility of productive dialog. In order to make a meaningful gesture that would be believed Rove would have to go, not very likely. The war will drag on for another two years and the next administration will solve it one way or another, if a Democrat is elected president the Republicans will claim that the war was not lost on their watch and the Democrats were defeatists.Comment Posted By grognard On 29.04.2007 @ 22:26