Thursday, November 30, 2006

But deliver us from evil

Westhawk goes directly to one of the key drivers of instability in Iraq. America's military success against the former rulers of Iraq has disrupted the very basis of its former stability. Sunni dominance. Westhawk quotes a Washington Post article which describes how the Sunni campaign to retain power has been slowly reduced to mere hope for survival.


The Washington Post’s story was based on a classified intelligence report prepared by Colonel Peter Devlin, USMC, a senior intelligence officer on the staff of II Marine Expeditionary Force, the headquarters in charge of coalition military operations in Anbar. Quoting the WaPo article:

The report describes Iraq's Sunni minority as "embroiled in a daily fight for survival," fearful of "pogroms" by the Shiite majority and increasingly dependent on al-Qaeda in Iraq as its only hope against growing Iranian dominance across the capital. True or not, the memo says, "from the Sunni perspective, their greatest fears have been realized: Iran controls Baghdad and Anbaris have been marginalized." Moreover, most Sunnis now believe it would be unwise to count on or help U.S. forces because they are seen as likely to leave the country before imposing stability.

The first and fatal miscalculation by the Sunnis was to think they could drive the US Armed Forces from Iraq, a gamble which they lost. Encouraged by the absence of a crushing campaign in northern Iraq, itself possibly caused by the absence of the 4ID from the OIF order of battle, and alienated by the American decision to "de-Baathize" Iraq, many former military Sunnis chose to continue resistance using guerilla tactics. By March, 2004 they were ready. The insurgent uprising of early 2004 that culminated in the abortive First Battle of Fallujah, which still saw the Shi'ites in as militarily inferiors. Moqtada al-Sadr's men were as yet limited to their bailiwicks and relatively weak. But doomed attempts to stand and fight against US forces eventually imposed crippling human and material losses on the Sunnis. The border with Syria was more closely patrolled. The US embarked on the what the Belmont Club called the River War to break up the logistical trail up and down the Euphrates. Sunni attempts to keep Mosul within the Sunni orbit also failed. But these were more than tactical defeats: they fatally undermined the strategic basis of Sunni power even as their ethnic rivals gained in strength.

The Sunni insurgency compounded its military failures by ruthlessly suppressing any attempts by their ethnic leaders to participate in political process sponsored by the Coalition and by murdering any Sunni who came forward to join the new Army and Police. The result was that Sunnis were underrepresented in both the Constitutional convention and in the elections of 2005. It was a double-whammy. Not only were Sunni military resources depleted, but they self-selected themselves out of the American sponsored Iraqi government. In my personal view, the Sunnis were encouraged along this path to disaster, not only by the mixed signals sent by the US, which alternately seemed to conciliate and confront them, but also by the coverage of the MSM which trumpeted the view that the Insurgency was growing more potent. Not only did the MSM penchant for listening to Sunni insurgent spokesmen undermine the US effort, it did even greater damage to the insurgents, who believed their own lies and reached for a brass ring fundamentally beyond their grasp.

What news stories missed until very recently was that the insurgent determination to fight increasingly sprang from despair rather than confidence in a Sunni restoration. The recent press release announcing the establishment of a rump Sunni "Caliphate" consisting largely of desert and absurd claims to oilfields beyond their grasp should have signalld how low their ambitions had fallen. But one person who understood how badly things stood for the Sunnis was Abu Musab Zarqawi. In the last months of his life, Zarqawi viewed with mounting alarm the American program to rebuild the Iraqi Army, largely from Kurds and Shi'ites -- since the Sunni insurgents did their level best to blow up any lines of Sunnis who applied for Iraqi Army or Police jobs -- and understood that unless he could drive America out of Iraq by other means all was lost. His solution was to unleash chaos upon everything. Whether or not Zarqawi was truly behind the attack on the Golden Mosque in Samarra it suited his book. Zarqawi's only thought was to unleash Civil War to politically drive America from Iraq. It was the ultimate Scorched Earth tactic and one welcomed by neighboring countries eager to carve up what carcass would remain. What Zarqawi did not face, or could not face, is what would happen afterward.

Westhawk observes that American officers believe that "Iraq’s Sunni Arabs will continue to fight because they believe they face either extermination or banishment if they do not." With the Sunni military struggle essentially hopeless, efforts to redress the balance within the Iraqi political process arrived too late. The door had been barred by Shi'ite extremism fueled by Moqtada al-Sadr and separately, the agents of Iran. In a remarkable display of nonstatesmanship, the Shi'ite parties headed by Iraqi PM Maliki and goaded by al-Sadr proved less interested in building an Iraq than upon obtaining revenge upon their former masters. They failed to rein in their now powerful militias, increasingly able to harry the Sunnis at will. Then, having slammed two doors in their own faces: that of military victory and that of parliamentary viability, the Sunnis proceeded to bang yet another on their battered visage: the chance of protection under the Americans. After a sequence of failures, the gamble unleashed by Zarqawi ironically began to work all too well. The US electorate, disgusted by the internal slaughter, signalled in the mid-term elections of 2006 that it would consider withdrawal. And that, to the Sunnis spelled D-E-A-T-H.  Without America to hold them back, the Shi'ite forces -- which the Sunni resistance and defeat ironically brought into ascendance -- would have no compunctions about slaughtering them. In the beginning the Shi'ite militias were only capable of attacking poor, isolated Sunnis. They are increasingly able to penetrate Sunni neighborhoods and to kidnap and kill former high-ranking Baathists. The Washington Post story continues and, caught in the need to project an American military defeat, completely ignores its own train of  logic:

Between al-Qaeda's violence, Iran's influence and an expected U.S. drawdown, "the social and political situation has deteriorated to a point" that U.S. and Iraqi troops "are no longer capable of militarily defeating the insurgency in al-Anbar," the assessment found.

In an irony that must rank as one of the most curious in history, the insurgency in al-Anbar finds it must continue precisely because of the threat of a US drawdown. At the end of a sequence of blunders, Sunni strategists have managed to add yet one more. It is a continuation of a failed policy which begun with the Sunnis defying the US Armed Forces; that led to US Armed Forces building up a Shi'ite Army; that resulted in the crushing of Sunni strongholds. It continued in their absurd response to defeat:  provoking civil unrest in an internal conflict they could not hope to win. That civil unrest has come within a handsbreadth of politically driving America from Iraq. And now they realize too late that an American withdrawal means their inevitable massacre in a war they are now too weak to win. The Sunnis find themselves, as Westhawk puts it, looking at a political "chasm" they cannot cross. And because they cannot cross, they fight, however pointless it may be. Westhawk understands that whatever the culpability of the Sunnis, unless they are helped to cross, the outcome will be slaughter in Iraq. Westhawk correctly reasons out what must be done:

Iraq has an unbridgeable divide. What can be done? Col. Devlin, the II MEF intelligence officer, had some ideas:

In a final section of the report, titled "Way Ahead," Devlin outlined several possibilities for bringing stability to the area, including establishing a Sunni state in Anbar, creating a local paramilitary force to protect Sunnis and to offset Iranian influence, shifting local budget controls, and strengthening a committed Iraqi police force that has "proven remarkably resilient in most areas."

Col. Devlin’s prescription implies the removal of the mostly Shi’ite Iraqi army from Anbar province. Tomorrow, President Bush and Prime Minister al-Maliki will meet in Amman, Jordan. Mr. Bush still dreams of a unified multi-sectarian Iraq, ruled by a strong central government. But what can the two leaders do, if anything, to get a bridge over the chasm to the Sunnis?

This situation is perfectly clear once it is realized that the Sunnis are beaten, and not as the MSM would have it, advancing from triumph to triumph. They are confusing the grim ferocity of despair with exalatation of triumph. They are not the same. What must be done now is give the Sunni population a modicum of the security and prosects that they have thrown away. Only by guaranteeing them the secure retreat guarded by a Sunni force is their any hope of teasing them back into a political process they have ceded on a platter to the Shias. But helping the Sunnis makes sense from the standpoint of US interests too. The Sunni blunders and American have upset the political ecology of Iraq. Only if the US is to save the Sunnis from their own blunders can some semblance of balance on the ground be restored, and by reflection in the political processes of  Iraq.

99 Comments:

Blogger 2164th said...

Now let me see if I have this straight. Because the Sunnis lost, the US needs to do something to allow them to reestablish parity with the Shiites. The Sunnis have done everything possible to resists a stabilization of Iraq including the original election boycott. The only thing that can save the Sunnis is to help them establish a zone of security. Then what? What happens when secure, they decide it is time to reestablish their rightful place at the head of the table?

Nonsense. Translate Darwin into Arabic. Air drop the pamphlets on them and wish them well.

11/30/2006 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

Great post Wretchard. Very true. Thanks also to Westhawk.

This is a classic example of unintended consequences.

11/30/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cruiser said...

Great post Wretchard. Very true. Thanks also to Westhawk.

I agree with 2164th, though. It is a little hard to come to the conclusion that we should help the Sunnis. First, they have to admit defeat and, given their past history in this matter, that is unlikely.

11/30/2006 08:59:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

2164,

You've got a sense of humor don't you. I suppose there would be some justice in sending "Hope You Get Feel Better" cards to the Sunni insurgents from departing aircraft. But thinking back on history, it was the ironic priority of Truman to turn both Germany and Japan into prosperous powerhouses. The ultimate consequence of defeat for Japan was to be freed of its antiquated system and rise to the second largest economy in the world.

The ironies of fighting America. Once upon a time there was movie called the "Mouse that Roared" which was about -- well you know the story.

One of the standard jokes in the Philippines involves one penniless Filipino talking to another. Seemingly mired in poverty, one pauper concocts a plan to escape from penury. He tells the other, "let's convince the government to declare war on the United States. After we lose, we'll be incorporated as the 51st State and become rich Americans." The other man ponders the problem and comes up with an unanswerable objection. "Yeah, but what if we win?"

11/30/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More bombs, less talk.

Bush is now our republican "Jimmy Carter", weak and spineless.

11/30/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Dave H said...

Withdraw to 2 or 3 secure bases in the North, sell arms(small arms only to Sunni and Shia alike. Let the Saudis supply cash for their unjustly treated bretherin, sell plenty of big arms to the Kurds, encourage them to bite off what pieces of Turkey, Syria or Iran or for that matter any other places where there might be some Kurds, if any of these object, shake a big air power finger in their faces. Draw all US troops out of Korea and Germany, dissolve both United Nations and NATO.

This will never happen, but I think lots of ordinary folks here would like it a lot.

If we don't like the forms of goverment that emerge, why just go in and break the new gov'ts and get out again, fast.

11/30/2006 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

But Japan and Germany didn't live cheek by jowel with age old adversaries still passionate about their destruction, right?

11/30/2006 09:37:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"...a classic example of unintended consequences."

Huh?

The formerly dominant Sunnis, a minority of the population, which had treated it's fellows citizens in barbaric fashion, has misplayed it's hand, several times and is now doing it's bunker scene. Nobody ever coulda saw they'd have a hard time letting go of power and would screw themselves...please!...unintended consequences...NOT! I'll be a bit more direct than 2164th...screw 'em!

11/30/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Blogger sausage sommelier said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/30/2006 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

"But Japan and Germany didn't live cheek by jowel with age old adversaries still passionate about their destruction, right?"

There was the French and the Russians vis a vis Germany. And in the case of Japan, there was China. One of the proudest claims of the French, I think, is that they "abolished" war in Europe by creating European institutions. But sometimes I think it wasn't a French accomplishment at all, but really the long forward deployment in Europe through the decades of the Cold War.

But I acknowledge that Iraq is not, nor will it ever be Germany or Japan. A lot code words come up in connection with "affirmative action" for defeated Sunnis. One word is "reconciliation", the other is "equitable sharing of the oil resource". But I think the concepts are age old. Carrot and stick.

A phrase crossed my mind which comes from the long Arab-Israeli dynamic. Some Israeli politician said of his opposite number, "they never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity". How sad is that?

11/30/2006 09:51:00 PM  
Blogger sausage sommelier said...

As in the construction of a holiday braunschweiger, the success is dictated not simply in the grinding but in the seasoning.

Once you've a viable 'wurst, you have to use it. If you don't, expect a quick drop in taste capabilities as your flavinoids collapse into "sectarian" strife.

11/30/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Sausage, you back?

11/30/2006 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/30/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

"In a remarkable display of nonstatesmanship, the Shi'ite parties headed by Iraqi PM Maliki and goaded by al-Sadr proved less interested in building an Iraq than upon obtaining revenge upon their former masters.
They failed to rein in their now powerful militias, increasingly able to harry the Sunnis at will.
"
---
M Ledeen sees this, and his current unwillingness to crack down on the Militias being a result of Maliki's desire to stay alive.

11/30/2006 10:01:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

If would be helpful here to discuss war aims.

My impression was that the aim of this war was to empty Iraq of al queda. And create a situation in which it was unlikely for them to gain power.

The people who hit the world trade center and the pentagon were sunni -- not shia. I think that's part of the reason that the US has favored the shia over the sunni.

So if al queda is decimated in anbar and the shia rule iraq then most of the game is done.

I think that the game now is -- and is being accomplished to convince Iran that their meddling in Iraq will have the unitended consequence of provoking a wider regional war. That's what Cheney's visit to Saudi Arabia was about.

This is the reason for the odd statements by iranian representatives
lately about terroism in both Afghanistan & Iran.

On afghanistan:

Iran's deputy ambassador to the UN here on Tuesday said that the Islamic Republic of Iran condemns the unceasing terrorist acts in Afghanistan and extends its full support to efforts of the Afghan government to improve the security situation in the country.

////////////////////////
On Iraq:

Iran has also welcomed Iraqi government's resolve to establish stability and security in that country, and expressed pleasure with the implementation of the plan proposed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on national reconciliation with the aim of encouraging active and all-out presence of all people from all walks of life in the country's political system.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran voices full support for the continuation of the said trend as it serves restoration of Iraq's national sovereignty, security and sustainable stability," it added.

The two sides strongly condemned continued crimes and sabotage activities by the terrorist groups in Iraq, and further underlined the need for serious campaign against such criminal and terrorist activities.

////////////

11/30/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger dla said...

Kindof neat how this is progressing. This will be bigger than anyone outside of the Bush administration could imagine. GWB may just pull off establishing an Iraq that disrupts Iran. The Ayatolla's Islamic revolution may be comming to a close.

11/30/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Comments have been turned off for 45 min at the Bar, Deuce!

11/30/2006 10:07:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11/30/2006 10:11:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

They are Ok doug, Buddy is there jammering with me about habu.

11/30/2006 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Deuce,
For some reason I'm still getting the little Triangle followed by
"Comments have been disabled on this post."
On ALL the posts!

11/30/2006 10:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

doug i dont think 2164th's blogger works in hawaii

you know how it is...

11/30/2006 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

blogger is getting very funky.

11/30/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doug why dont you try clearing out your web cache, temp files, cookies etc.

Unless you've some pig roast or fire eating to attend to.

11/30/2006 10:25:00 PM  
Blogger 2164th said...

Listen to Hu Dat Doug. Do Dat.

11/30/2006 10:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I rebooted, now I gotta do dat computer stuff, hu dat?
Tell me the secret of your invisible zionist comments!

11/30/2006 10:43:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What sedentary yankee interent browser do you use, Doug?

11/30/2006 10:44:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

The evil IE

11/30/2006 10:45:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I'll fire up Opera if I can find it.

11/30/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Download Crap Cleaner

check out reviews if you dont trust a benevolent AZN

11/30/2006 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger ricpic said...

I wonder: did the geniuses who got us into Iraq ever think - hmmm, Shiites dominant in Iran; Saddam Sunni; if we overthrow Saddam that will make Shiites dominant in Iraq and Iran, strengthening Iran immeasurably - obviously not.

11/30/2006 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

The "poor Sunnis"? That would be those Iraqi Arabs responsible for perhaps 21,000 of the 23,000 US casualties so far, the ones that sheltered AQ in their homes, bombed schools and full shopping markets and mosques. The ones that have committed most of the murders of Iraq civilians since the US came in, (not to mention previously) - and helped midwife the birth and growth of Shiite militias by their actions???

Yeah, those poor Sunni.

They had a choice to cooperate, they had a choice to support a coalition government instead of executing whole busloads of Iraqi Army recruits. They had a chance to have a brain, and figure out what will happen to a people positioning themselves as mortal enemy of 80% of Iraqis and showing no compassion adhering to no rules of warfare.

Yep, those Sunnis.

Excuse me if my heart doesn't bleed - as just desserts are served up to the the butchers. Kill away, Kurds and Shiites. May the Sunnis enjoy whatever oiless enclave the victors permit, or if that is not allowed, their fine new refugee camps in other countries.
And they should realize that many whose necks were long under their boots believe it makes more sense to kill them all rather than leave a terrorist foe once again foraying out of refugee camps or remnant Sunni areas to car bomb, kill cicilians, assassinate leaders.

11/30/2006 11:11:00 PM  
Blogger Sparks fly said...

Something in the western mind just can't seem to accept that these guys live to fight; to fight and die.

They fight because the U.S. is evil. They fight because the Shias are stupid. They fight because it's tuesday. They just fight. If they don't have anyone else to fight they fight each other. If they are stronger they look smart. If they are weaker they look stupid. Either way it doesn't matter so long as they are working on a fight. If all the adults with fight in them die just wait thirty years and their kids grow up and the fighting starts all over again. They've been doing this for literally thousands of years. That's who they are. It is written in the history books. Is anybody reading these books? We seem to be stuck on stupid regarding these guys. The Shia's also like to fight but the Sunnis are better at it than they are. If the U.S. left the Sunni's would probably take over again. They havn't really lost that many people. It would take them some years to do it but at least during that time they wouldn't be bothering us. Their fighting has to do with them. It has nothing to do with us.

Duh!

12/01/2006 12:56:00 AM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

Europe adopted peace after two attempts to waste itself.

The Arabs have yet to work out that mechanised internacine warfare will wipe them out in three generations.

They WILL get it, but it is too early in the cycle just yet.

US, pull back to bases, watch, and when round 1 is over, come out for a while.

Repeat a few times, and then introduce the Marshall plan.

ADE

12/01/2006 01:10:00 AM  
Blogger summignumi said...

There is only two ways to have peace in the Middle East and surrounding lands where there is a large number (even if it is a small percentage) of Muslims in it, Iron fist ruling or where the population is near absolute one version of Islam.

The US (CIA) needs to live up to its much vaunted cloak and dagger abilities! Where are you MI, Syriana, Spy Game, Enemy of the state, Flint, etc… and why does everybody from the Sixties believe all that evil garbage (Russian Propaganda) that the left shouts about the US doing cloak and dagger all this time yet we can’t even control a puny population of 25 million.

The real Hollywood CIA was the KGB (still is)! Bond is really Ivan.

12/01/2006 01:25:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Sunnis Purging Iraq Of Al Qaeda
The most interesting news out of Iraq is that the Sunnis are now taking out the Al Qaeda terrorists and their Iraqi supporters. The ’sectarian’ violence being reported in the country probably has a lot to do with cleansing the place of Al Qaeda and Islamo-Fascists forces .

The truth is Iraq is fighting for its independence and Al Qaeda is reeling from the fact that all three factions in Iraq are now taking up arms against them:
Local people say that this new and increasingly bloody conflict, pitting former Iraqi Baathists against well-armed Islamic groups, may signal the start of a new phase in the country’s three-year-old war.

By attacking the Sunnis Al Qaeda brought the last of the three major factions in Iraq onto the side of the Democratic government. While this is a good sign, it also means Al Qaeda is going to get desparate for one final push to get the US Democrats to surrender - and ASAP before Al Qaeda is impacted so badly they cannot recover. More on the Sunni-Al Qaeda battle here , and also here .
And the US is not doing to badly itself - they captured 10 terrorists planting IEDs the other day.
Posted by AJStrata

12/01/2006 02:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Asked what Mr Bush said the US would do to help the Iraqi government better respond to the bloodshed, Mr Maliki said the president had pointed to the need for more troops.

"He meant we will need more forces on the ground to, to fight terrorism and violence ... That is why our discussion focused on training and empowering Iraqi forces."


By "terrorism and violence", does he mean what we think he means? Personally, I doubt Maliki's impartiality with regard to his willingness to distinguish between sectarianism (which should be stopped but with the aim of reconciliation) and terrorism (which is mainly made up of AQ). Let's hope Iraqi troops figure that out in time before all the Sunnis are eradicated by mistake.

The prime minister also said he rejected the existence of militias.

"I reject any militia within the state. We will not negotiate with any militia," he said.

"Our policy is clear, it is to eradicate all militias from the country or to have them included in the political process. Or we will face them even if we have to by force."


Is there a contradiction? So if the militias want to be incorporated into the political process, will Maliki accommodate them or deny their participation? I doubt he is in any position to talk tough with al-Sadr. Either there will be Sadrist and Shiite militias vying with US and Iraqi Army troops for the role of security - an outcome which will inevitably lead to arguments about competing sovereignties - or the US pulls out, paving the way for al-Sadr's monopoly on security.

When will Maliki recognise the grim reality on the ground?

doug quoted: Local people say that this new and increasingly bloody conflict, pitting former Iraqi Baathists against well-armed Islamic groups, may signal the start of a new phase in the country’s three-year-old war.

Previously, I thought that the Shiites would be even more incensed and obsessed with revenge against the Baathists, but it seems that Saddam did his very best to step on everyone's toes.

The likelihood that Shiites and Sunnis would team up against secular forces within Iraq is rather ridiculous as of now to contemplate - with Sunnis killing fellow co-religionists, what's stopping the Shiite militias from speeding up the genocidal process?

12/01/2006 03:05:00 AM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

I read recently that 200,000 Sunni have gone refugee-ing in Syria. Hope it is the right 200,000.

It was once the fog of war but now it is the cloud of coverage. A key to creating the cloud of coverage is a lack of context and analysis -- or rather, analysis that points one way.

Normally if "A" goes to war with "B" and "B" ends up in chaos, open to being dismembered by its neighbors, "A" would be said to have won the war. Unless, of course, A stands for Amerikkka.

There were a lot of death squads in El Salvador in the 80's. The cloud of coverage pointed toward defeat or worse in Central America. But it worked out -- though a new spin cycle is about to begin there (schedule it for after the win/loss in Iraq).

12/01/2006 05:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jaf said, "More bombs, less talk. Bush is now our republican 'Jimmy Carter', weak and spineless."

At least Jimmy Carter gave us Ronald Reagan; on deck after Bush is either McCain or Giuliani.

12/01/2006 05:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wretchard said, "He tells the other, 'let's convince the government to declare war on the United States. After we lose, we'll be incorporated as the 51st State and become rich Americans.' The other man ponders the problem and comes up with an unanswerable objection. 'Yeah, but what if we win?'"

(Reuters) - July 13, 2004 - The Philippines said on Monday it would withdraw its troops from Iraq as soon as possible to save a Filipino hostage threatened with death by militants.

12/01/2006 05:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hdgreen said, "Normally if 'A' goes to war with 'B' and 'B' ends up in chaos, open to being dismembered by its neighbors, 'A' would be said to have won the war. Unless, of course, A stands for Amerikkka."

America went to war with Saddam, and after Saddam hangs he will be open to being dismembered by his neighbors.

12/01/2006 05:54:00 AM  
Blogger charlotte said...

HdGreen said, "It was once the fog of war but now it is the cloud of coverage."

The ten-year forecast for Iraq is stormy to partly Sunni after an unusually hot period of mercurial excess, becoming on average a foul clime with partisan national fronts moving in and out, generally dissipating the fog of war but creating vacuums which backfill with sectarian high winds, killer lightening strikes and violent thunderbursts that dampen and chill any climate of cooperation while generating overcast conditions for shady dealings and cloud coverage for strategic withdrawals of foreign personnel caught in local tempests and experiencing freezing relations, but finally clearing when international high pressure systems eventually move back in, interspersed with moderate to heavy showers of incentives and bringing with them fair western skies that encourage Iraqis not to look eastward to horizons darkened by Iran, Russia and China.

12/01/2006 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger desert rat said...

What is the real concern?
The Sunni are decamping Iraq at the rate of 100,000 per month for Syria and Jordan. There were only 5 million or so of them to start.

If the Iraqi Government is given control of it's Army, as promised in Jordan by Mr Bush, the rate of the exodus should increase.

Three or four more years, there will be no Sunni in Iraq to cause further problems. The sea will be drained, the Insurgent "fish" left on a mud flat.

doug tells US once again that the Sunni of Anbar have turned on aQ, but his ajstrata story does not mention the Six Enemy Tribes of Anbar, those that have joined forces with aQ. Selective reporting and spin is not limited to the MSM, aye?

hdgreene speaks of "Death Squads" in Salvador during the 80's and tries to draw comparisons. Truth is those were vigilantes were aligned with US, those antiCommunist Death Squad fellows.
Perhaps it is the same in Iraq, that Mr al-Sadr is really a deep cover US Proxy.

All part of the "Master Plan"

12/01/2006 07:33:00 AM  
Blogger Boghie said...

Everybody has to concur with Anointiata Delenda Est...

Europe adopted peace after two attempts to waste itself.

The Arabs have yet to work out that mechanised internacine warfare will wipe them out in three generations.

They WILL get it, but it is too early in the cycle just yet.

US, pull back to bases, watch, and when round 1 is over, come out for a while.

Repeat a few times, and then introduce the Marshall plan.


Separate ourselves from the fight - I will not back a fight to save Sunni extremists. Set up fortified lines where we control avenues to Iran and Syria and Saudi Arabia. Watch... Learn... Hop in when in our interests...

These folks are too barbaric for civilization at this point. They elect 'leaders' based on tribal and warrior code. That is so Gaulish! But, then again the Guals cost the Romans quite a bit of blood and treasure, eh...

12/01/2006 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger enscout said...

Setting up a Sunni state in Anbar sounds like creating another Gaza.

Lebanon, Syria & Jordan have accommodated refugees before, and the Pali's who moved there decades ago are still considered blight by their hosts.

Let the Sunni bastards join them along with the Arabs in the WB & Gaza & allow their Sunni bro's in SA fund the exercise. It'll give them something other than terrorist sponsorship and Wahabbi propaganda on which to spend their billions.

12/01/2006 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

If we set up another Pali type Welfare system in Anbar, however, more diversity will be preserved, more ingenious terror tactics will evolve, and the UN will have more to keep themselves busy on our dime.
Win, win, win!
"Strength in Terror through Diversity"

12/01/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Memo to Iraqi Sunnis: Payback is a bitch.

12/01/2006 09:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Enscout said, "Setting up a Sunni state in Anbar sounds like creating another Gaza"

No, we gather from the lack of liberal outrage at the wall between Gaza and Egypt that Arab refugees only rate headlines when they border Jews.

12/01/2006 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

cedarford wrote:

"May the Sunnis enjoy whatever oiless enclave the victors permit, or if that is not allowed, their fine new refugee camps in other countries."

I wonder, if we left, would the Shia be the victors? Maybe, but the minority Sunni managed to dominate for...centuries wasn't it? They may find a way back into power if we aren't there to keep 'em in check...or not. Iran certainly has an interest...

12/01/2006 11:40:00 AM  
Blogger El_Heffe said...

To Those opposed to "building a bridge" for the Sunni's. Please Remember...

... Nations don't have enemies... they only have interests.

Stick that in your "Realist" pipe and smoke it.

[/devil's advocate]

12/01/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Doug - So the US caught 10 Islamoids planting IEDs to hamburgerize our guys.

Our response?

Did we dig a hole, line them up and ask them to talk? Telling any that didn't talk - would get their brains spattered as unlawful combatants getting just Geneva-sanctioned summary execution - and dumped in the pit?

No. That would upset the ACLU Jews and Euroweenies. Plus it might offend the Bushies and neocons out to win the hearts of the "noble purple fingered freedom-loving democracy-hungry Sunnis".

What happened to the ten terrorists?

The 10 detainees are being held for questioning by the Iraqi Army.

Yep, catch and release.

What made Desert Rat turn on the whole Iraqi war effort - because it proves America's Ruling Elites on both the Leftist lawyer front and Right's Pentagon civilian rulers regard US soldiers as disposable and their getting whacked is preferable to actions that would save their lives and limbs but which would "offend" Sunnis. By holding their neighbors who were just "fighting the infidel", thus deserve to be turned loose by an Iraqi judge to try filling US coffins, burn clinics, amputee centers - again.

*********************
Drive By Blogger said...
Jaf said, "More bombs, less talk. Bush is now our republican 'Jimmy Carter', weak and spineless."

At least Jimmy Carter gave us Ronald Reagan; on deck after Bush is either McCain or Giuliani


Right analogy, wrong Party.

After a bad or highly unpopular (or both) President - the last thing voters want is someone from the same Party.

You are looking at at least 4 years of a President like Obama, Hillary, Bayh.

And a changeout on SCOTUS of Stephens, Kennedy, possibly Scalia with secular progressives endorsed by the ACLU of the likes of Breyer or Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

You certainly don't counter 8 years of Bush II disaster and the corrupt, crony, theocratic stain a runaway Republican Congress lingering in voter's memory ...with two controversial 70+-year olds like Giuliani or McCain with high negatives.

That's like the Bob Dole "Old War Horse" scenario. The guy was old, and had been so prominant and had worked hard for the Party and was a media voice so long that Party officials just fell in line that "he deserved his shot". Even those who thought he wasn't the best candidate.

That's typically a Democratic mistake with the likes of Dukakis, Kerry, Gore, Mondale...


Reagan? Reagan was old but his ideas were fresh and promising after the Carter disaster.

The only shot the Republicans have is a fresh face not tied to Bush or support of his ill-conceived policies like McCain and Giuliani are. Romney, Huckabee, perhaps with an Old War Horse with foreign policy creds brought along as VP.

Even then, whatever candidate they have will have to offend parts of the "Base" by rejecting elements of the Base that American voters have come to detest - (1)Party of the CEOs; (2)Party of Terri Schiavo; (3)Party of reckless pork spending and lobbyists; (4)The few remnants that see Bush as a Great Churchillian-type war leader - as a new candidate the Reps have must convince people he is no Dubya.

And pray for the Democrats to give them another Kerry to run against.

12/01/2006 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Wretchard said . . .

The door had been barred by Shi'ite extremism fueled by Moqtada al-Sadr and separately, the agents of Iran.

I wonder how "seperately". Sadr and Ahmadinejad seemed awfully chummy during Sadr's recent visit.

Back on 10/25 ("Showing His Colors"), Wretchard wondered: And like it nor not, Sunni rule is irrevocably broken, largely due to US power and the rise of the Shi'ite militias is evidence of that. In one sense, the US defeated Saddam's Army and the Sunni insurgency too well. Is that to be regretted?

The point of that speculation, I think, is to ponder how to best balance against the Sunnis. Now, the suggestion that Wretchard puts forth is to "give the Sunni population a modicum of the security and prosects that they have thrown away."
Wretchard, how do you propose to divide the Sunni population from an insurgency which they see as their only protection? And once you've done that, what makes you think that the Sunnis will want to live in peace under Shi'a Islamist rule?
I applaud this post for dealing with some of the harsh political realities that the Belmont Club has too often ignored in favor of a one-sided military analysis. But the deeper one delves into the political quagmire of Iraq the less it seems that we have any friendly faction within 2/3rds of the country with which to pin victory on and go home.
I don't see how we're going to build allies from the Sunni and Shi'a Islamist parties that won elections last year.

12/01/2006 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

AJStrata’s Litvinenko Theory
This is not a botched assasination attempt but a botched nuclear contraband effort.
---
Authorities say polonium is not dangerous unless swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through a wound.
...or unless you're anywhere near the contamination!
---
The head of Russia's state atomic energy agency Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, told the government daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta Russia produces only 8 grams of polonium 210 a month. He said all goes to U.S. companies through a single authorised supplier.

Where are we putting that stuff these days?

12/01/2006 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger 3Case said...

"The evil IE"...The extended prostate exam of browsers. :-)

12/01/2006 12:23:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Looks like even the neocons are beginning to see it my way. It's too damn tragic for me to gloat.

Krauthammer in the Washington Post:

The United States should be giving Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki a clear ultimatum: If he does not come up with a political solution in two months or cede power to a new coalition that will, the United States will abandon the Green Zone; retire to its bases; move much of its personnel to Kurdistan, where we are welcome and safe; and let the civil war take its course. Let the current Green Zone-protected Iraqi politicians who take their cue from Moqtada al-Sadr face the insurgency alone. That might concentrate their minds on either making a generous offer to the Sunnis or stepping aside for a coalition that would.

12/01/2006 12:26:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Reocon,
For your reading "pleasure."

Freedom and Democracy at the hands of Islamic Terrorists
---
'Rat,
" When a terrorist group, explicitly named by Mr Bush in his '02 State of the Union, gains a country do we just sit by and watch. Or do we turn to Mecca and pray for salvation? "
---
None dare call it DeFeet.
Better DeNile than DeFeet.
Support Your Porker Player in Cheif.
---
Fuller explanation in THIS thread.

12/01/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Reocon,
Maliki, Sadr and company would probably take care of the insurgency Krauthammer worries about quick-like.
Along with most of the other Sunnis!

12/01/2006 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

3 Case,
I refuse it at the Docs,
and submit every day at home!
Go Figure!

12/01/2006 12:31:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

12:13:16 PM Cedarford,
re: Catch and release.

It's what turned me also.
Only the Bush Twins on Patrol in Baghdad might change my mind.

12/01/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

That and redefining Sharia law as Freedom and Democracy.

12/01/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Two articles on "The Overblown Threat"

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: Let me at least outline the divide.
War Stories
---

Deadly Foes
Philip Klein

12/01/2006 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Protesters Seek Leader’s Ouster in Lebanon
By MICHAEL SLACKMAN 43 minutes ago
In Lebanon’s worst political crisis since the end of a 15-year civil war in 1990, hundreds of thousands of Hezbollah supporters today poured into the center of Beirut, where they demanded an end to Fouad Siniora’s Western-backed government.

12/01/2006 01:02:00 PM  
Blogger istarious said...

Withdraw to 2 or 3 secure bases in the North, sell arms(small arms only to Sunni and Shia alike. Let the Saudis supply cash for their unjustly treated bretherin, sell plenty of big arms to the Kurds, encourage them to bite off what pieces of Turkey, Syria or Iran or for that matter any other places where there might be some Kurds, if any of these object, shake a big air power finger in their faces. Draw all US troops out of Korea and Germany, dissolve both United Nations and NATO.

Dave H, that's exactly my thinking.

12/01/2006 01:07:00 PM  
Blogger Staring In Disbelief said...

Excellent post Wretchard! Right on the money. For the Sunni's the choice is annihilation or accomodation. For the Shia, the reverse.

The question for the Sunni's: can they swallow their pride, stop their own suicide slide and ask the US to help work a deal with the Shia? I doubt they have the sense to do it.

The question for the Shia: do they offer their sworn enemy and persecutors a face-saving retreat to end the bloodshed or do they go for the more emotionally satisfying (and very Islamic) wholesale butchery of their enemy? I doubt they have the merciful (and wise) sensibility to offer the retreat. The stupid Sunni's would probably interpret it as a sign of weakness and try the "return of Saddam II" plan, resulting in the Shia exercising "The Genocide Option" anyway.

For the US the choice is: try to broker a bloodshed-ending, face-saving retreat for the Sunni (as we accepted ourselves with the Japanese), or wash our hands of the whole mess and let the people who inflicted the lion's share of US casualties get slaughtered. I think our sensibiity will be to try to broker some kind of deal rather than what most of us here at the BC would say are the Sunni's just desserts. The sad truth is, I think, that the Sunni are too stupid to take the deal, the Shia too vengeful to offer it, and the US too irresolute to impose it. Add it all up and it looks like ethnic cleansing of the Sunni is the most likley endgame.

One consolation is that in this case (as opposed to VietNam), it's our enemies that will be slaughtered if we leave. How's that for irony? Stick around and try to save your sworn enemy. I know what Jesus would do, but I'm not sure about anyone else (including me).

12/01/2006 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

wretchard:

Yours are interesting comments.

If what you say is true, the best course of action would be massively increase our forces in western Iraq while massively decreasing our forces in southern and central Iraq. In essence, we would be politically (and militarily) entrenching ourselves while serving as a buffer against Shi'ite death squads reaching western Iraq.

In this scenario, however, we would need at least threaten to evacuate much of Baghdad. We would offer security to Sunnis on condition that they do what we want, while Moqtada as-Sadr would unwittingly become our stick to force Sunnis to take our side. Then either the al-Maliki government would call off the al-Hakim and al-Sadr militias or find that the Americans have quietly pulled the rug out from under his government. The Iraqi government would face the choice of either protecting all Iraqis from violence or facing new elections.

I think most Iraqis want a stop to the present strife. There may be a chance for political parties taking an "anti-civil war" stance to improve their standing in the next elections.

(The best approach to these militias is not to disarm them or disband them, but to incorporate them as separate formations outside of the regular military and police forces with federal command over these militias and control over personnel records in federal archives. The difference between free democracy and fascism is not elections; free democracies have civilian control over the military in exchange for granting the military a monopoly over violence. In contrast, fascist parties use a combination of elections and partisan militia to attain complete power. One of the principal reasons why free democracy has not flourished in the Middle East is because fascist/communist norms of partisan warfare have firmly taken root there.)

12/01/2006 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Anointiata Delenda Est said...

reocon said
what makes you think that the Sunnis will want to live in peace under Shi'a Islamist rule?

What makes anybody think that any homogenous group espousing a Bedouin culture will live in peace.

Like the Japanese and the Germans, they need a culture change. Then we can give them democracy.

It is a long war - for them. Best not to make it ours (subject to continuing oil supplies - our only interest).

ADE

12/01/2006 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger cjr said...

Lets take a look at this from Al Qaeda strategic point of view.

5 yearts ago, Al Qaeda bombed the US so that Sunni extremists could take over the ME and eventually the world. 5 years later what is the result?

As a direct result of Al Qaeda action, a country that was once ruled by Sunni's is now ruled by Shiites and the Sunnis are in danger of being slaughtered. And Iran, a Shiite state, is now in a position to threaten the entire (Sunni) Arabian Penisula Any reasonable person would look at this and call Al Qaeda's strategy a "Fiasco" (Hum, where have I heard that word used to before.)

It seems that our greatest asset in the GWOT is that our enemies are even stupider than we are.

12/01/2006 04:03:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Litvinenko Story Turns From Assassination Towards Black Market
Litvinenko Story Turns From Assassination Towards Black Market
Posted by AJStrata on December 1st, 2006
The Times UK is reporting that the authorities investigating the Litvinenko contamination incident are now (finally) looking towards the underworld and not just a political assassination hit:

Alexander Litvinenko may have been killed after a deal that went wrong with associates involved in the ruthless world of Russian business.
According to security sources, investigators are looking at the former spy’s dealings with Russian businessmen involved in the lucrative energy sector and the shadowy world of private security. “We are looking at a very long list of Mr Litvinenko’s friends and foes since he has been in London,” one source said.

The list includes exotic figures ranging from billionaire businessmen, former Kremlin spies and KGB agents to underworld bosses.
In the six years that he was in Britain, Litvinenko appeared to have acquired a formidable collection of friends and enemies. Although he described himself as a journalist, Litvinenko tried unsuccessfully to muscle in on several lucrative business deals with Russians.

This line of thinking brings the entire incident closer to what I felt was the crux of this situation all along - black market contraband. The assassination meme is just ridiculous. There are many easy ways to kill someone without risking exposure and getting caught smuggling Polonium-210 into the UK. And yes, that theory is still alive and well and being investigated:

12/01/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cjr said, "As a direct result of Al Qaeda action, a country that was once ruled by Sunni's is now ruled by Shiites and the Sunnis are in danger of being slaughtered. And Iran, a Shiite state, is now in a position to threaten the entire (Sunni) Arabian Penisula Any reasonable person would look at this and call Al Qaeda's strategy a 'Fiasco'"

Good point, cjr, perhaps if it had been Hezbollah on 9-11, Saddam would be giving "Bush is the devil" and "We will bury Israel" speeches in the UN while the Marines were getting their HMMV's blown out from under them in the streets of Tehrhan.

12/01/2006 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Excellent analysis - and I agree. That's why Sadr must be killed. As far as I can tell - and of course that isn't very far - one probably never hears about SCIRI and Badr Brigades because they are the less revolutionary/Iranian of the Shi'a revanchists. As a CSPAN panelist the other day put it, SCIRI is so long-established that it has interests in every aspect of the Iraqi economy and in so many tribes that the actual prevailing in-mixing of Sunni and Shia within families - a fact so often and clearly stressed and well-evinced by the panelists that it would be folly for me to resist - that SCIRI is, more or less, the Shi'a establishment, or one among a very few like-positioned pre-OIF entities. I notice Bush is hosting SCIRI head [Whoever] at the White House. If Westhawk's/WaPo's source reflects the American conclusion with respect to the Sunni sentiment/posture in Anbar, perhaps they will discuss detente and possible alliance, particularly if there is much truth to the recent claims of a broad alliance of Sunni against Al Qaeda and other foreign fighters in Anbar (although the source seems to undermine this claim). It is hoped that Sadr, however, will be annihilated as an example, a sop to Sunnis generally, a favor to other Shi'a whom he has crowded out of king-making, and a monument of American resolve to Iraqis generally.

I'm sorry, a lot of this would more likely go away than provoke a massive Shi'a counter-USA offensive/bumrush if we just took Sadr out in a blaze of glory. Arabs seem to turn on losers with some serious goddamn ferocity.

12/01/2006 05:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reocon said, "Looks like even the neocons are beginning to see it my way. It's too damn tragic for me to gloat."

The main point of the Krauthammer piece is not really the suggested ultimatum to Maliki, but to compare it to the alternative, which is to give Syria and Iran a free hand to do what they want.

12/01/2006 05:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I momentarily missed the chance to thank wretchard for a great post.

alexis wrote: I think most Iraqis want a stop to the present strife. There may be a chance for political parties taking an "anti-civil war" stance to improve their standing in the next elections.

Agreed, but personally, I feel that with the unrivalled clout of the Sadrists in parliament, neither the emergence of anti-(civil)war parties nor moderate candidates will effect any significant changes. Even if they are somehow given tacit support by the US, at best they'll be labelled as stooges.

The salient fact is that these new parties enter the elections without any sort of guarantee on them seizing the monopoly of force within Iraq. al-Sadr is a wholly legitimate part of the government, and the majority have consciously recognised his control over the forces potent enough to ensure "security"(at least for the Shiites).

Internal sovereignty has been compromised, diffused through al-Sadr's privatisation of death squads as a direct challenge to the stooge of the US that is the Iraqi army. al-Sadr's Mahdi Army has been murderously efficient and seeks not to supplant its Iraqi counterpart, but retain it as an unpalatable comparison, taking all the blame for the chaos and anarchy.

The Sadrists know that they are the government, and that Maliki serves as a figurehead, a fig leaf of legitimacy that the US has no choice but to accept because it is the genuine manifestation of the Democratic ideal.

al-Sadr has legitimately seized the task of self-defence, to enforce security - the right to wield unlimited power within its borders to enforce security (though his hatred for Sunnis is unforgivable). He has exploited and entrenched his party in parliament, seeking to consecrate majoritarianism through public consensus to marginalise the Sunnis at every attempt - what we would term adversarialism/partisanship.

Wily politician, al-Sadr is.

The best approach to these militias is not to disarm them or disband them, but to incorporate them as separate formations outside of the regular military and police forces with federal command over these militias and control over personnel records in federal archives.

Agreed. As aforementioned in my previous reply: Either there will be Sadrist and Shiite militias vying with US and Iraqi Army troops for the role of security - an outcome which will inevitably lead to arguments about competing sovereignties - or the US pulls out, paving the way for al-Sadr's monopoly on security.

Only thing is, the head of this federal system has to be al-Sadr himself.

If the Shiites are able to curb their vengeful, insatiable thirst for Sunni blood, perhaps they will allow the Sunnis to rid Iraq of secular Baathists first before they take action against them. The Sunnis might be doing the Shiites a favour, but it seems unlikely that the Shiites will appreciate it by granting the Sunnis peace and security.

dan wrote: It is hoped that Sadr, however, will be annihilated as an example, a sop to Sunnis generally, a favor to other Shi'a whom he has crowded out of king-making, and a monument of American resolve to Iraqis generally.

And the other Shia being patrons of SCIRI will simply acquiesce in being part of Maliki's government? In this situation, won't there be some struggle for power among the contenders for al-Sadr's place in the event that he is assassinated - SCIRI would probably clandestinely devolve power to someone already in the government to take control of the Madhi Army.

I agree that the elimination of al-Sadr will make Sunnis happy, but whether they will be convinced to throw in their lot with Maliki's government and US troops is highly doubtful. If we off al-Sadr and the Sunnis interpret it as an opening for sectarian violence, what would we have gained? It's between a rock and a hard place.

And assassinating al-Sadr - who has been a legitimate part of the government validated by constitutional means - does that not spell hypocrisy when we are criticising Syrian complicity in Gemayel's (and the many politicians in the last two years in Lebanon) death?

I apologise if I seem sceptical, but I appreciate your proposition nonetheless, dan.

12/01/2006 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

The SCIRI have the southern section of the Country, Mr al-Sadr battles for Baghdad.
The Iraqi Parliment is set for another three years, until the next election
The electoral term of the Council of Representatives shall be limited to four calendar years, starting with its first session and ending with the conclusion of the fourth year.
So there will be no new elections, soon. No Lame Ducks in Iraq, yet.

Mr al-Sadr is the power behind the throne, upon which sits Mr al-Jaafari's exPress Scretary, Mr Maliki.

12/01/2006 06:43:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Drive By Blogger said...

Cjr said, "As a direct result of Al Qaeda action, a country that was once ruled by Sunni's is now ruled by Shiites and the Sunnis are in danger of being slaughtered. And Iran, a Shiite state, is now in a position to threaten the entire (Sunni) Arabian Penisula Any reasonable person would look at this and call Al Qaeda's strategy a 'Fiasco'"
//////////////////////
yes. the idea is to make sure that any time a sunni imman talks radical politics on the grand scale his own will call him racca...fool.

12/01/2006 07:45:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Posted earlier at Westhawk:

allen said...
Having attempted to get some traction at the EB, without success, has the Pope's weighing-in in favor of Turkey's entrance into the EU complicated matters in the ME? For instance, should the US decide to withdraw into Kurdistan, how are the Turks, NATO, and the EU to be handled?

PoliPundit is obviously not pleased with the Pope's ex officio pronouncement, going so far as to state:

"If the Pope wants to become involved in EU affairs, he should seek to have The Vatican join the EU and then he will have a vote. Until then, he should be quiet."
-- Oak Leaf

PoliPundit

Any intelligent commentary would be appreciated.

7:35 PM


allen said...
Suppose for example, that in order to stay in the good graces of the Kurds, the US would not object to a Kurdish move to push the Sunni out of Kirkuk. How would the Turks react to something so displeasing? What effect would the friction between the Kurds, the US, and Turkey have on the region and NATO?
What impact, if any, will the Pope's entry into regional politics have on the regional powers?

7:49 PM

12/01/2006 07:52:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Schzoid Alert!

The female entity now known as "Drive By Blogger has also been known here as Woman Catholic and Teresita.

The female entity now known as "Oui Oui" has used six handles at this site, including "Catherine". (disclaimer: Oui Oui also refers to herself as "they")

These two female dears are engaged in a catfight at the EB to determine which is the most clever.

12/01/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Allen said, "These two female dears are engaged in a catfight at the EB to determine which is the most clever."

On the contrary, it takes two to tango, but so far all she's got is herself, her website snapshots, and a directory labeled "Weird And Vaguely Ominous" filling up with oblique, semi-humorous asides written as after-work entertainments.

12/01/2006 08:31:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

Drive By Blogger

If possible, please provide a link.

12/01/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

allen said, "Drive By Blogger...If possible, please provide a link."

Assuming I understand your request correctly, I don't have the desire nor the inclination to go pawing through 2164th's archives looking for contradictory past statements to say "Gotcha" to other bloggers I don't even know.

12/01/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Blogger The Wobbly Guy said...

Sun-Tzu said it best: When you surround an army, leave an outlet free. Do not press a desperate foe too hard.

It's not just a matter of humanity to help the Sunni before they're massacred in ethnic genocide. It's also a matter of reducing the damage in Iraq, the chaos that will doubtless be unleashed when the cornered Sunnis decide that since they're all going to die, they might as well try to take down as many of their enemies as they can. The US military will be caught in the crossfire and the results will not be pretty.

Sitting back and gloating at their misfortunes after their perfidy might be satisfying, but I think that the death of an entire faction of the Iraqi populace does not sit well with my conscience.

Can the US secure a retreat for the Sunnis in time? If nothing else, to ensure they manage to escape to Jordan and Syria.

Come to think of it, that solves one big implacable problem: Sunnis and Shittes in Iraq. Once the Sunnis leave, it'll be just the Kurds and Shia. If somebody dares to broach the possibility of a Kurdistan, Iraq could become a wholly Shia state, with the attendent advantages and disadvantages.

The obvious drawback would be Iranian influence, of course, but the drop of internecine warfare could be a big plus. I just can't tell.

12/01/2006 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

No: Sadr destroyed, Maliki will likely fall, SCIRI - from what I infer from the situation - will take over, either directly or through a Maliki-style proxy. From what I understand, the Karballah/Najaf school of which Sistani is currently head has a conception of state-ulama distinction... not necessarily separation. With a government and parliament led by a bloc that has responsabilities in the form of economic relationships, rather than merely ethno-ideological enthusiasm built on victomology/revenge + crime, it is reasonable to presume that compromises are more likely. Sadr is zero-sum, despite his bullshit announcements as per yesterday's article somewhere that he's forming an cross-confessional alliance with whomever to make a "national front" bullshit artist jihadi asshole government. Bah - this is crap. SCIRI, Islamist yes, but integrated into the infrastructure - imagine how many tribal fortunes are implicated in what passes for the various economic sectors of even a bullshit barbarian economy - they will have to negotiate, where negotiations can yield real results, rather than mere freedom from extortion and racketeering. These are people, their perverse little vicious parochial enthusiasms. So if someone comes to SCIRI leader Malcom Xhole and says "I'll give you Y," you might say Ok, cool. Whereas if you're Sadr's annihilation mafia of revenge and ululation you're more likely to say Fool, Thou Shalt Suck My Goat blah blah. An unreasonable partner in any case who must be shot in the face with high-velocity large caliber death-to-shithead. Sadr must die. The Arabs, you will have noticed by now, are retarded, which is why "Americans" are "ignorant of them" and "make mistakes." HA! The whole fucking zone is one gigantic series of mistake shepherded by moron solipsist ideologues captive to a resentment conquest ideology par excellence. The hope lies in leveraging fear. So it's more reasonable to begin with exploiting economic fear and wiping out the unreconsturctable Vito Corleone than to begin with mass genocide, which of course is the final action.

Yes, I said it. May God forgive me.

In any case, kill Sadr. Let's just see what happens. We have to start throwing bombs and bullets around a lot more liberally - perhaps kill 1-2% of the population - in order to get anything across to these people. Yes, I am aware of what that would mean and what that sounds like. But read your history, lads: this is the way problems are solved, at least for a century or so.

It is not my fault if that's the way things are.

12/01/2006 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Let's just see what happens. We have to start throwing bombs and bullets around a lot more liberally - perhaps kill 1-2% of the population - in order to get anything across to these people. Yes, I am aware of what that would mean and what that sounds like. But read your history, lads: this is the way problems are solved, at least for a century or so.

It is not my fault if that's the way things are.


Can't be done. US is handcuffed by 40 years of laws Euroweenies and pregressive secular Jews (post-communists) foisted on us.

What you propose is what has several dozen soldiers and Marines already in manacles awaiting trial, in jail, or with ruined careers (Colonel West). With a Huge JAG corps watching our guys every move and Kenneth Roth's HUman Rights Watch and Nadine Stroesser's ACLU ready to alert media and demand prosecutions with any "incident".

To do what you propose, we must change the law. To change the law, you must 1st remove the Lefties and secular Jewish progressives from dominance of the law, courts, and media.

12/01/2006 10:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cedarford said, "To do what you propose, we must change the law. To change the law, you must 1st remove the Lefties and secular Jewish progressives from dominance of the law, courts, and media."

And to do that you need to build camps and ovens.

12/02/2006 12:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gary Rosen said...

Wow, Cedarfurd must be in traction from his contortions. First he opposes the war, blaming it on Jewish neocons, now he's blaming Jews for *not* being able to fight the war. One of the best things about being Jewish, though, is that antisemites are always such transparently deranged halfwits. And please don't anyone tell me how otherwise "insightful" he is. His posts have never been anything but redundant boilerplate wrapped around his compulsive Jew-baiting.

12/02/2006 12:55:00 AM  
Blogger gokart-mozart said...

re: drive by blogger 12:49a

Do you actually think that the only alternative to liberalism-driven civiizational death is Auschwitz?

12/02/2006 05:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gokart-Mozart said, "Do you actually think that the only alternative to liberalism-driven civiizational death is Auschwitz?"

The plan laid out in Mein Kampf was also to "remove the Lefties and secular Jewish progressives from dominance of the law, courts, and media" and knowing Cedarford, he is likewise not willing to wait for economic boycotts and the normal political process to accomplish this end.

12/02/2006 08:12:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

It apears from a warning by Elephant Club regulars that DrivebyBlogger is Teresita, who is Woman Catholic and who appears to be using multiple aliases to stir stuff up.

She (he????) presents the choice as between accepting the present legal construct and powers behind it - or the Holocaust.

Godwins Law evoked, in a false choice.

Teresita, using one of her original names, neglects that several dozen of our troops ARE under indictment or in jail for doing what was acceptable for other Americans in other wars. Neglects that we have had troops attacked and killed by terrorists that have been released by our noble Iraqi friend's legal system and by two released by GITMO at the ACLU's championing of a foreign country's Left. That even more, our troops are being killed and maimed by secular progressive laws and internal PC-driven ROE.

Soros, Feingold, the Sulzburgers of the NYTimes, the ACLU has fought like crazy to stop any effort at profiling, inquiring what suspects are doing in public places, questioning terrorists under dubious international law they created with EuroLeft and Communists decades ago to foster better odds for "3rd World armed liberation movements". Even their drive to block us from listening in on terrorists or track their money - exposed by the likes of Lichtblau and James Rosen..Their power is such they have checkmated military tribunals or efforts to have commonsense security in airports that does not obligate security to consider a 70-year old black grandma as equivalent to a wild-eyed student from Yemen..

They have shown the power to stop any profiling, and have blunted efforts to question terrorists or stop them by non-military means here and abroad. The want Open Borders, transnational Law and have powerful and well-funded networks at work to weaken America long before 9/11.

So when Dan says, get tough on them, kill 1-2%....in the current construct, that means the forces now in control of the law in America would simply arrest and seek to jail hundreds of US troops for doing so. If they had that power in WWII, God knows how many trials we would have had for the "Marine Holocausts" of Tarawa, Okinawa, Saipan....or what indictments the communist lawyer-grandfathers of present-day Lefty Legal activists would have accomplished for the "criminal" bombings of Dresden, Horoshima, etc.

The only reason their grandfathers in America supported our WWII victory and desisted from lawsuits and seeking to criminalize US forces was Hitler made the mistake of attacking Stalin..

In every conflict since WWII, they have fought to undermine America.

So to change things in a war with Islam that we are losing, we need to change law and halt disclosure of our most secret methods being used to stop Islamoids from attacking us...and not have the taxpayer bled of millions in legal defense and prosecution Kabuki theater for each Jihadi we get.

The Moussaoui practice of trying enemy combatants in civilian court cost us over 30 million dollars. Just as the secular progressive Jews and their allies want it to be.

So the solution is very simple. Any person who wishes our military or law enforcement to go harder on Jihadis has to realize that our military and security cannot just do it if they care to -- they are ensnarled in laws foisted on us - and to change law, you have to defeat and neutralize the power of those that put the laws in place.

Unlike Teresita, or Gary Rosen clinging to his immunity amulet claiming such a challenge of secular Jewish progressive power or EuroLeft actions would be "Nazilike" thus unthinkable...I think most Americans and Europeans are ready to push back...

They just need a little more blood shed by Jihadis before they are willing to go up against the wealth and power of the Enablers.

We forget that until all the laws were attacked and changed and enemy rights were made equivalent to our rights - with no reciprocity - that the West was confident, ascendent, and Westerners could freely walk and work in Muslim lands and not be trifled with.
Now those Westerners cower in their own lands as frequent targets of robbery, rape, and beatings by Muslim gangs and wonder how much of their freedom and culture they must lose "to avoid giving offense", what behavior they must have around Muslims to avoid being arrested for "crimes of offending Muslim guests".

The laws must be changed. But the people behind the laws that are enabling the Muslim Ascendency must be removed from positions of power and influence. Many of course are progressive Jews in disproportionate numbers in law and NGOs, many are not.

It is very counterproductive when the West is under severe legal and demographic challenge to accuse those who wish to fight back and reverse those dangerous trends of the last 3 decades - as being "Nazilike, hoping for death camps, tearing up the lefty Constitutions and years of work of enshrine multiculti and enemy rights".
It is counterproductive because it makes such idealistic defenders of the Jihadi's rights and their legal defenders - as collaborators and 5th Columnists also dedicated to destruction of the West. If, and I think, when, the West rises to fight for it's survival, they can't be blamed for treating all enemies alike.
That is why I favor peacefully rolling back the efforts of the secular progressive Jews and EuroLeft - now - peacefully and rationally - before such decisions are undertaken with the nuclear or bio-attacked ruins of Washington, DC, Paris, or Rome serve as a backdrop to deliberations on who was at fault for the decline of, and mass deaths happening in the West.

12/02/2006 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger Cedarford said...

Gary Rosen -

Speaking of boilerplate, all you do is pop up now and then as a defender of those who created the institutions and laws that the Jihadis are now using to great effect against the very West that foolishly embraced them.

A good little shill like you is obviously having a hard time of it now. No one defends the neocons anymore. Shrill talk of America attacking Hezbollah, Iran, Syria to "help our Special Friend" is rejected by the American public.

That decades of effort by the ACLU and progressives to radically change our laws to block punishing terrorists, to safeguard those that reveal national secrets, and to hamstring our military in fighting a war ...are pretty obvious...even to the Hard Left. That says such constructs are great because they weaken America and the West and help destroy the old Christian culture and institutions so something better can emerge from the "creative destruction".

Standing with the enemy and arguing any targeting of the powerful people that created the laws protecting the enemy is "Nazilike" assures one thing. It doesn't convince the public that those fighting murderous Jihadis and seeking to get rid of laws that enable terrorists or weaken our defenders are "Nazilike" - it convinces them that enemy rights defenders are indistinguishable from the enemy.

12/02/2006 11:01:00 AM  
Blogger redaktør said...

Saudi Arabia has used over a 100 billion dollars (yes, that's right, 100 billion!) for the purpose of Jihadist corruption and subversion. Our law enforcement agencies act as if they are completely oblivious to this fact.

12/02/2006 12:52:00 PM  
Blogger Gary Rosen said...

'Furd:

I did not "defend" the ACLU etc. Nor did I use the word "nazilike" (has anyone used it besides you?). My post was strictly an attack on you for being a Pavlovian jerk and moron - now you've further revealed yourself as a liar. I love it when people go out of their way to prove my point.

12/02/2006 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Wretchard may have misunderstood when he commented You've got a sense of humor don't you. I suppose there would be some justice in sending "Hope You Get Feel Better" cards to the Sunni insurgents from departing aircraft.

I believe 2164th was not talking about "departing" aircraft in the sense that they ever touch down. I think he was referring to the ones that drop humanitarian warnings.

You know, before they drop the peace seeds.

12/02/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

We have seen the tribes turning on al Qaeda and Shia terrorists, the majority of this turn is in Anbar where it is indeed 6 hold out tribes... against 25 and the government. What has been missing from every analysis is the role of the tribes which have been specifically targeted by terrorists. It is one thing to play the Arab game of 'which tribe will get the favors' as has been done for ages, but it is quite another to actually attack the tribal leadership and try to replace it with foreigners. The basis for stability in Iraq has not been religion, but repression and aggression with religion playing a role to lever faction against faction so that the leadership stays in charge. Today we are facing the fact that the tribes cross religious bounds and the forced movement of people under Saddam has caused a nasty admixture to happen across Iraq. When government is seen as weak, and foreigners are seen as interlopers killing tribal leaders, then it is the tribes that start to take a role. That is something the 'realists' do not want to address either in whole nor in part. Tribes don't fit the modern conceptions of how to run a modern Nation. Which speaks ill of the 'modern' I am afraid to say.

Without being able to address *that* in terms of post-warism and how other post-war situations have gone, then a good historical perspective cannot be gained. It is unfortunate that all the folks wanting post-war plans *also* limit themselves to the recent past... while looking at older post-war situations with an eye towards how things can work out yields a fuller view and also points out the yawning chasm the West is ignoring.

We do forget that the tribes cross the Nation State boundaries and that if a decohesion of tribes begins in Iraq, Nationalism even in such harshly repressive places as Syria and Iran, will not stop that force. We know this because the West has messed up similarly elsewhere. Luckily there were coherent Nations to stop that fracturing, while in the Middle East, still reliant on tribal relationships for so much, you don't start getting those sorts of boundaries until you reach Sinai... or India... or central Russia. The attempt by the 20th century Victors to force blend cultures is ripe for a deep backlash that will make sectarian strife seem trivial in comparison.

We forget that the those in Babylon had no great love for Persia, and the greatest backers of the Iran/Iraq war in Iraq were Shia who detested Khomeini. That rift is still there as are the intra-sectarian ones of the Sunnis. If any of those starts to gain an upper hand then the other sects will decohere from them, as is being seen in Ramadi and with the 25 to 6 showdown in Anbar. Those 6, in fleeing, will start shifting the balance in those places they go to... Jordan, Syria, some even to KSA. And those tribes will likewise resent foreign interlopers and losers, at that. None of those States are prepared for an inter-sectarian tussle with tribes no longer adhering to anyone, save their old ties.

All of these faultlines were going to shift sooner or later. The longer it went on in stasis, the worse the pressure was behind the changes in demographics, culture, religion, and the escalation of violence either outwardly or inwardly.

The young Republic could have easily understood this, even up to WWI. To those eyes a path to stability would be plain. Harsh, but reasonable to play on fears and then unite People for something that they cannot get separately. Instead we clasp hard to this boat anchor of the 20th century as it descends into the depths. The longer we cling to it the worse things will get no matter what the decision is. But give it up, we must.

Or we will be the last victims of that century, in our fear of letting go.

12/02/2006 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cedarford wrote, "It apears from a warning by Elephant Club regulars that DrivebyBlogger is Teresita, who is Woman Catholic and who appears to be using multiple aliases to stir stuff up."

As Woman Catholic, Teresita only posts to BC or EB on the topic of religion, and that sparingly, while as Drive-by Blogger, Teresita engages more frequently and in a lighter vein on political topics and general badinage.

12/02/2006 04:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cedarford wrote, "Teresita, using one of her original names, neglects that several dozen of our troops ARE under indictment or in jail for doing what was acceptable for other Americans in other wars."

If you have evidence proving that the Pendleton 8 are innocent of the violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice under which they are being tried in the courts martial, perhaps you should contact their respective JAG officers.

12/02/2006 05:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cedarford said, "...and to change law, you have to defeat and neutralize the power of those that put the laws in place."

Proscription is the method in a temporary dictatorship like that of Sulla, or a lifetime dictatorship like that of the Caesars, but in a Republic the House and Senate weighs in, and I doubt if even you are prepared to tell us our laws are imposed on us without the intervention of our representatives.

12/02/2006 05:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a jacksonian wrote: When government is seen as weak, and foreigners are seen as interlopers killing tribal leaders, then it is the tribes that start to take a role. That is something the 'realists' do not want to address either in whole nor in part. Tribes don't fit the modern conceptions of how to run a modern Nation.

Agreed. The need to reconcile the doctrine of security within Iraqi borders and the undeniable historical precedent of warlordism, tribalism and sectarianism is sorely lacking in the current approach towards stabilising the situation.

>The political reality is that al-Sadr is a crucial, legitimate part of the government, and though killing him might engender some form of perverse gratitude by the Sunnis, such a strategy of leadership decapitation would not manifest any sort of resolution - SCIRI powerbrokers (and of course, the omnipotency of the diabolical mullahs cannot be emphasised enough) still manipulate the machinations behind the facade of Maliki's "power" as the executive in the government.

al-Sadr's sectarian "catch-all" agenda thunderously resonates with the majority of Shiites who are more than willing to go with the flow. It seems to me more of a confluence of interests than ideology or religion, which optimistically signals hope that those who reject Iranian interventionism and meddling will eventually pressure al-Sadr to halt attempts by Iran in funding and training in exchange for a federally structured defence force - fusion of security "privatisation" via semi-autonomous militias (both Shiite and Sunni, and perhaps even Kurds as well)- funded and trained by Maliki's government as well as the US.

al-Sadr could head this security force, but this would be predicated on the basis of consensus through military advisors whom are not affiliated or sympathetic to SCIRI or any Iranian rogue organisation whatsoever. Civilian control of the military would function much better than under centralised authority - which has become vulnerable to clandestine Iranian puppeteering.

The events in Anbar prove promising in working towards such an alliance - forged in the name of common interest rather than ideology or religion, as this must be emphasised - between the Sunni tribes and Shiites, though it may be too early to tell.

There needs to be a clean break from any sort of Iranian interference, and the threat that Iraq might well become a proxy state like Lebanon in the future amid leadership-decapitation assassinations and Hezbollah-esque uprisings like that in Beirut this week - this might convince al-Sadr to shift his allegiance towards supporting the Iraqi government that provides him with the legitimacy and sovereign status.

A paradigmatic shift is absolutely imperative in the perception that only a national army can enforce security. Truth is, the Iraqi army is simply unable to effectively deal with the multitudinous menagerie of Shiite and Sunni death squads running rampant, fiercely protecting sporadic communities of fellow co-religionists while just as readily abandoning their posts to carry out reprisal attacks in other provinces.

An anarchical system simply works better because no single sect, militia or cell intends for any hegemonic power within the system to infringe upon their sovereignties and dictate what they are able and unable to do.

> to a jacksonian: followed your links, and I must admit, an enlightening read indeed. If I may quote from your piece on post-warism:

Thinking of themselves as Iraqi first and then either tribe or sect second or third is a huge mental concept. It took the West a century or two to finally get that going and stick to it after Westphalia.

Norvell B. de Atkine's article succintly expounds on the natural divisiveness between Arab societies.

We need to attune to the parochial realities on the ground. Any transition to a centralised security force - typified by the likes of that in Jordan, Egypt, even Syria - requires close consideration of antecendents in Arab, and not simply Iraqi, history in terms of tribalism and warlordism.

12/02/2006 06:51:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Saudi's worst nightmare
The Washington Times ^ | December 2, 2006 | Claude Salhani

Posted on 12/02/2006 8:12:53 AM PST by 3AngelaD

A precipitous withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq will result in an immediate and massive Saudi Arabian military intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias from "butchering Iraqi Sunnis." ...A sudden departure of U.S. forces will place the future of Iraq's Sunnis in serious jeopardy from well-armed Shi'ite militias backed by Tehran. Numerous voices, says Mr. Obaid, have called for Saudi Arabia to protect the Sunni community in Iraq and to counter Iran's growing influence. Mr. Obaid told United Press International that the Saudi leadership feels it would have no choice but to intervene militarily in Iraq in the event of a premature American pullout... And when it comes to pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq there are two opposing schools of thought. The first is that the United States will not withdraw from Iraq until the security void can be filled (by Iraqis)... The second school of thought -- albeit a rather Machiavellian one -- sees a unique "opportunity" to entangle the Muslim world in a fratricidal war that would keep Islamic forces occupied for years, if not decades, to come. Should in fact the U.S. choose to remove its troops ... there is no doubt Saudi Arabia will intervene... This could turn out to be the worst case or worst nightmare for Saudi Arabia and other countries in the region... Under this scenario, Saudi troops, along with billions of Saudi petro-dollars, would be tied up for years fighting Iranian-backed insurgents in Iraq... ...this would tie down fundamentalist forces on both sides for years to come. Saudi Arabia would be funneling large sums to sustain Iraq's Sunnis and their troops in that country. That would be money diverted from other Saudi projects, such as financing Islamic schools and mosques in Europe and North America....

12/02/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Harrison:


al-Sadr is a wholly legitimate part of the government, and the majority have consciously recognised his control over the forces potent enough to ensure "security"(at least for the Shiites).


A partisan militia becomes part of the government. Sounds like Mussolini. Sounds like Hitler. Sounds like the Spanish Falange. So...?

12/02/2006 10:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

alexis wrote: A partisan militia becomes part of the government. Sounds like Mussolini. Sounds like Hitler. Sounds like the Spanish Falange. So...?

It's rather rare to find a militia that isn't partisan or sectarian these days, what with the inflammatory demogoguery spewing from both ends of the spectrum. The only two secular forces

a) the Iraqi Army. It's doing its best, but insofar as convincing the Iraqis to support it as opposed to sectarianism, it's not faring impressively well;

b) the Kurdish peshmerga, who'd rather we leave them alone.

And I do understand the risks of what you are saying, which is why I suggested the military hierarchy be put under civilian control. This way, Iraqis are able to ensure that the Iranian elements within the government aren't able to that easily manipulate and puppeteer the proceedings.

I'm not saying it's a flawless panacea, but it's a suggestion worth making.

12/03/2006 01:09:00 AM  
Blogger John Lynch said...

Any concessions given to the Sunni will be taken as a victory by them. In a way, it would be. They would have won something by fighting. Why give them anything? What does it gain us?

The Iraqi Sunni have been and always will be our enemies. We owe them nothing- when they ran the country they chose to go to war with us twice (they could have left Kuwait alone, or acceded to our demands.) They allied with Al Qeada. That's enough for me.

At this point, after all the dead soldiers and Marines, I don't think they deserve anything at all. They chose to go to war with the United States. They lost.

Now they should be negotiating with the Shia majority, not with us. We are leaving. The Shia are going to be there a long, long time, and have control of the state and army. Hope they are feeling magnanimous.

Whatever agreement we make with the Sunni the Shia are free to discard whenever our influence wanes to the point that ethnic cleansing can take place. That point is fast approaching.

We really are losing control of the situation, and the Sunnis have themselves to blame for that. They chose this, and now will pay. The ball is in their court, not ours, and their window for making a deal is closing. Soon the Shia won't have any reason to deal at all.

12/03/2006 10:28:00 PM  

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