Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Baghdad Security Plan Continues

Rear Admiral Mark Fox, Chief, MNFI Comms Division gave a number of bloggers an update on how the Baghdad security effort is proceeding at a telephone roundtable. He emphasized that even though all additional US forces are not yet in place, the Coalition now has the increasing capability to clear and hold spaces in Baghdad. This is probably due to two things: additional forces both American and Iraqi and a new deployment where Coalition forces remain in the neighborhoods in together with Iraqi forces. Previously the enemy simply flowed right back in after US forces left. Today no vacuum is left.


There was some discussion of the recent bombing attacks on Tal Afar, even though it was outside of Baghdad. The attack was apparently a double-bomb VBIED against civilian targets using trucks with more than 7,000 pounds of explosive on them each. The first tragically got through, but the second bomb was apparently intercepted before it could take out the first responders and that was a victory in itself. What's remembered in the news, however, was the aftermath. Some Shi'ite cops went amok after the first truck bomb went off. They've have apparently been detained and are under investigation and a number of Iraqi politicians have gone to Tal Afar to cool things down.

What was of most interest to me were indications of intra-sectarian fighting: extremist elements in the Sunni and Shi'ite camps were striking against moderates in their own party. Al Qaeda in Iraq, for example, has been attacking Sunni neighborhoods and politicians. We've already talked about the attack on Sunni deputy PM al-Zobai here.

My own personal impression from the briefing is that many things are actually going right. But considering the nature of the Middle East and the fact that the enemy will adapt, the road ahead will be long and hard. Nevertheless, there is a feeling among some of confidence and probably no alternative but to persist in some form or the other, simply because the threats that grow out of the region really can't be avoided. Just recently the British decided to pull some units out of Southern Iraq, but the recent abduction of sailors shows just how easily a crisis can pull units back in again. Like the Baghdad neighborhoods, Western strategy needs to find some way to clear and hold against the destabilizing forces in the area to avoid them flowing right back in. Some form of political stability has to be built, however painstakingly, other wise the West may wind up chronically fighting smaller and larger versions of Desert Storm into the distant future.

Regarding the present, one blogger raised the question of whether General Petreus had already run out of time to win his campaign, given efforts by the Congress to set a deadline on withdrawals Iraq. Of course Admiral Fox could provide no answer to that question other than to express confidence in the good sense of the American people. Personally, I thought that it quite amazing that Congress should think it could ever dictate a timetable upon events. Probably nothing is certain except that the Persian Gulf isn't Indochina. Oil and terrorism mean that the West will always be back and even Congress probably can't change that.

33 Comments:

Blogger 2164th said...

Wretchard, if Congress was smart enough to come to your concluding thought..."Oil and terrorism mean that the West will always be back and even Congress probably can't change that."...

That is fixable, the oil part at least. All it takes is bigger minds and smaller gas tanks.

3/29/2007 08:30:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3/29/2007 09:23:00 AM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Wrecthard said . . .
Some Shi'ite cops went amok after the first truck bomb went off. They've have apparently been detained and are under investigation and a number of Iraqi politicians have gone to Tal Afar to cool things down.

That really should read, "went amok and killed over 60 Sunni men."

http://www.iraqslogger.com/index.php/post/2136/Iraq_Papers_Thur_What_Happened_in_Tal_Afar

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=20176

Small detail Wrtechard. Maybe even significant. Wasn't Tal Afar suppossed to be a success story?

Wretchard said . . . Like the Baghdad neighborhoods, Western strategy needs to find some way to clear and hold against the destabilizing forces in the area to avoid them flowing right back in. Some form of political stability has to be built, however painstakingly, other wise the West may wind up chronically fighting smaller and larger versions of Desert Storm into the distant future.

"Some form"? What "form"? It's amazing to want extent you continue to avoid, or simply concede with little thought, the central issue: that a consolidation of "stability" under a Shiite Islamist government that is pro-Iran and pro-Hezbollah is a defeat for American efforts. Clear and hold so that a bunch of Shiite Islamofascist can rule?!

If you really believe that there is some other alternative, like a nice, peaceful pan-Islamic multi-ethnic state that can endure in Iraq, then maybe you should let your readers know.

3/29/2007 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger PapaBear said...

If we had as much of our electricity coming from nuke power as France does (around 80%) we would be well on our way to being independent of foreign oil. Coal (which we have lots of) can be converted into gasoline using the Fischer-Tropsch process, with the process being commercially viable at current oil price levels

3/29/2007 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

The surge is absurd if it is not accompanied by the cut off of the flow of arms and material. All that is happening right now is the enemy is laying low till we get tired and the Democrats bail them out.

WAR = MOTIVATION + CAPABILITY

We will never take away their motivation unless we kill millions. There doesnt yet seem to be the willingness to do that. So we have to take away their capability. We have been unwilling to do that in war after war since WW2.

Iran supplies the terrorists

3/29/2007 09:56:00 AM  
Blogger bobalharb said...

Right on, papabear.

3/29/2007 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

Pierre Legrand:

WAR = MOTIVATION + CAPABILITY

I disagree. I think the relation between motivation is multiplicative, not additive.

WAR = MOTIVATION x CAPABILITY

A nation can be hugely capable, but if it lacks the motivation to defend itself, it will be defeated. In contrast, a faction that is miniscule in size and capability can maximize its power through fanaticism.

While we need to confront Iran, the problem we face is not merely Iran but Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia isn't the "close US ally" the mainstream press claims he is. Our dear Saudi "friend" proclaims, "the winds of hope will blow on the nation, and then, we will not allow forces from outside the region to determine the future of the region, and only the flag of Arabism will be raised on Arab soil. These are fighting words of incitement aimed at us, Israel, Kurdistan, Iran, Lebanese Christians, and Iraqi Shi'a.

And yet, our political leaders seem to be willfully blind to the threat Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia together pose to our war effort.

3/29/2007 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger 49erDweet said...

Alexis sez: "And yet, our political leaders seem to be willfully blind to the threat Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia together pose to our war effort."

Slight correction, if you please. switching "congressional" for "political" would seem more accurate.
Otherwise, spot on.

Cheers

3/29/2007 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger RWE said...

I think it was last week that I heard the talk radio guy, Glenn Beck, say what I have been all along: no matter what happens Iraq will be described as a loss for the U.S.

Even if the country calms down, ten years from now we will be hearing reports on NPR about a gang of Sunni kids knocking over mailboxes in Shia neighborhoods on Saturday nights and the Shia teenagers going on Camel Tipping expeditions on Sunni land.

Al Queda will describe our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as a glorious victory for them even as they limp off with their head under one arm and their other hand holding their butt on - because more Americans died than on 9/11 or - just because they showed us they were not pushovers. Just as the Egyptians cited their loss in the Yom Kipper War as proof of their manhood, even as Israeli tanks stood poised to take Cairo.

What we can do about this I don't know. It would be nice for every commentator that says we lost to be found the next morning with three rounds in the back of his head, but that might be seen in some circles as a bit extreme.

Or perhaps, as in the Cold War, we can be satisfied in the knowledge that when we won, everyone did. Perhaps the best revenge is simply everyone living well.

3/29/2007 12:22:00 PM  
Blogger hdgreene said...

Withdrawal while in contact with the enemy is among the most difficult military maneuvers. To announce when you will attempt it is stupidity on stilts.

One way around the problem is to not call them our enemies, but rather "friends who have every right to be upset with us."

Meanwhile, every irate friend we have in the middle east will run to Iraq to deliver us a farewell truck bomb in a guaranteed final victory. Remember the bursting mushroom clouds in Dr. Strangelove? Well, Dr. StrangeDemocratCongress will deliver a thousand bloody blooming truck bombs for the troops (who they care so deeply about) to enjoy during their rout out--as in military rout, not transportation route.

Reuters and the BBC will root for the home team and hoot our departure. Blame Bush.

3/29/2007 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger Roderick said...

Martha Raddatz (sp?) of ABC News told Charlie Rose that she observed that the Sadr City areas the U.S. and Iraqi troops are now holding weren't danger areas to begin with. She went on to say that what remains to be seen is how well the coalition troops do in taking and holding the actual hotspots within Sadr City.

I have no way of confirming or rebutting her take on events. Does anyone else?

3/29/2007 01:41:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

I don't know what's in Maliki's head but I've been around long enough and seen enough to figure out that no politician playing top dog in his own yard is going to just give it up to the dog one or two yards over. The mullahs have the ability to make life miserable for many in Iraq but they have no power to determine a political outcome in Iraq. Not now with the US there and not after the bulk of US combat forces leave.

Maybe not tomorrow but probably much sooner than most people think AQ in Iraq and the worst of the rest will be eradicated. AQ are the real foreigners in Iraq. As soon as provincial tribal leaders become convinced that the central government will stick around and back them up the Sunni tribes will turn on AQ and eliminate them. Clan and tribal loyalties run much deeper than jihadi rah rah BS, especially when it's being rammed down their throats by outsiders.

It has been fashionable for the last few years to dwell on the mistakes but in an historical context much has already been accomplished. The tipping point towards a nativist Iraqi government was passed many month ago and there is no current opposition capable of undoing that. Mayhem is not the same as revolution no matter how many times we get told it is.

3/29/2007 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Pierre Legrand said...

While we need to confront Iran, the problem we face is not merely Iran but Saudi Arabia. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia isn't the "close US ally" the mainstream press claims he is.

Far be it for me to deny that we have more problems than Iran. We do...its a lot bigger than Iran. Iran is merely another step.

Perhaps though the first step is to decisively defeat the left in this country. Perhaps an impossible task since so many on the right accept many of the lefts premises unconsciously. Perhaps the battle has already been lost with Republicans being so polite that they stood by sheepishly while the leftists won over every institution of opinion and education. No we have much bigger problems than mere Iran.

If we had the willpower Iran would be a minor bump...but Iran seems overwhelming because we have become so guilt ridden and ashamed of our lives that we sacrifice our best and brightest young men and women to Shaped Charges, Terrorists of Iran rather than blowing them to their rewards.

3/29/2007 02:42:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

reocon,

In a way it was a success story, though I think that sounds ironical. About 80+ people died in the blast, but apart from 15 Shi'ite cops, who went amok, the rest of the structure held. That might not seem like much, but historically men in combat tend to lash out. For example, it was alleged that the my lai massacre ensued because troops went out of control. Recently there have been allegations about aggressive behavior following IED attacks on coalition troops.

I don't want to minimize what the Shi'ite cops did in Tal Afar, but the command structure didn't collapse. The question is whether it would have without the Americans around. My guess is that the US provides the break which prevents a deadly momentum from building up.

But at any rate the West has not been able to get out of the Middle East since the Suez crisis. Oh they've tried. But time and again a crisis flares up. Back in 1973, if we are to believe some accounts, the IDF nearly took it nuclear. In 1990 Saddam was hours from the heart of Saudi Arabia. I suppose you could argue that if we negotiated an "exit strategy" with Syria and Iran all would be well. In my view it would get us absolutely nowhere. It wouldn't be worth the paper it was printed on. It would last exactly as long as those hundreds of truces and ceasefires that the Israelis have negotiated or the Pakistanis with the Taliban. It would be as durable as the Iranian promise to release the British woman sailor.

So in a way I'm not particularly worried that Nancy Pelosi will succeed in surrendering America's position in the Middle East because in six months whoever is President will be ordering them back in. And so it will go. Back and forth, back and forth. In its small way the campaign in Iraq is already like that. Take Haifa street. Leave. Take it again. Settle with Iran. Bomb Iran. Settle again. Leave Lebanon, war on Lebanon, leave Lebanon. Withdraw from Gaza, retake Gaza, withdraw from Gaza. Ceasefire with the Palestinians. War with the Palestinians. Ceasefire with the Palestinians. Until some politicians get the idea that nobody is going anywhere. It's a problem to which I don't have a ready answer. But the question of whether America can go home and watch TV, I think the answer is no. "They" won't let it happen.

3/29/2007 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger Soldier's Dad said...

"Personally, I thought that it quite amazing that Congress should think it could ever dictate a timetable upon events."

Congress is attempting to pressure Maliki on various issues...Arab time is Arab time...a lot different than Washington time. Congress would like Arab time to be Washington time.

So they pressure maliki and get to say they voted against it before they voted for it...blah...blah..

As far as King Abdullah...I would read the entire statement of the Arab League Summit before drew a conclusion.

It was "The Arab League" summit, not the Republican National Convention. The quickest route to being overthrown in the Middle East is to appear to be an American puppet.

If they mention the possibility of "Peace with Israel"....they have to talk bad about someone.


The message was clear...the Arab world needs to get its house in order and get rid of the terrorists and extremists...the Iranians need to get out of the nuclear arms business, the Israeli-Palestianian conflict needs to be resolved...then America won't need to "Illegaly Occupy" Arab lands anymore.

If the Arabs can do all of that..I don't care what they call the US presence in Iraq..because their won't be a need for a US presense in Iraq

3/29/2007 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

wretchard said...
reocon,

In a way it was a success story, though I think that sounds ironical. About 80+ people died in the blast, but apart from 15 Shi'ite cops, who went amok, the rest of the structure held.


Yes, and what is that structure? Can you describe it, who runs it and what its motivating ideology is? Do you have any faith in the men and the parties they belong to that compromise that "structure"?

RWE said...
I think it was last week that I heard the talk radio guy, Glenn Beck, say what I have been all along: no matter what happens Iraq will be described as a loss for the U.S.

Well how about if we were to pull out in two years and leave the present government in charge. A government in which the largest block are the Shiite Islamist parties designated as terrorist organizations by the Reagan administration: Dawa and SCIRI. These parties have vowed to impose sharia across Iraq, are pro-Hezbollah and are obvious adjuncts of the Iran. RWE, would you consider that a victory?

If not, what other kind of government structure can we realistically build in Iraq? Is the question so obvious and imperative that it must be avoided?

3/29/2007 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

reocon,

The structure is their national command authority. The Iraqi Army has not gone berserk in a major way at all. US troops operate with Iraqis all the time. While there may be some renegades around, statistically they don't seem to be the norm. Look at this MNF Iraq Youtube video: forces operating side by side.

That's the natural state of affairs, right? After more than a hundred years in India, the Brits faced the Indian Mutiny. Regiments killed their officers. Beseiged Cawnpore, Lucknow, etc. I'm not saying that things are all peachy, however, considering that the AQI has been doing its level best to spread partisan hatred and provoke exactly what the Shi'ite cops did, it is something of a wonder the whole thing hasn't collapsed in a pile yet.

The provocation of civil war has consistently been the strategy of AQI since the Golden Mosque attack. It is what the enemy is trying to achieve. It is not, as some would argue, the natural outcome of the idiotic actions of the Iraq Commanders. Otherwise the AQI wouldn't still be trying so hard to achieve it.

One of the most interesting points made in the blogger round table is how the Shi'ite and Sunni parties are now being attacked by their extremist wings. If you think about it, that reflects a belief by the extremists that the moderate center might actually hold. They are not so sure of what you seem to take as a given: that the radicals will inherit the earth. Otherwise why would they be bombing the hell, not out of the other sectarian confessions, but their own?

I will hazard the guess that the longer the Iraqi State stays up the more stable it will be. This is because of the natural human tendency to make oneself at home in the status quo. People make friends, make arrangements. And after a while it becomes a going concern. But it looks like the Iraqi state may be overtaken by events, not necessarily in Iraq, but in Congress. But like I said, America will be back in the Middle East. There's no exit while the region remains the exporter of the world's most dangerous commodities: oil, fanaticism and trouble.

3/29/2007 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Reocon, is the governmental structure of Kurdistan in any way a success? Talabani has close links to Iran as does Barzani who is also linked, through a cousin, to Hezbollah. Both men have in the past received funding from Iran (and perhaps still do). Should these associations concern us? Yes. But why should we assume they are mere Iranian stooges when all their actions indicate they seek independent status for themselves and their people.

Is it not possible that they and other Kurds find their present governmental structure to their liking. Is it possible to suggest it has worked to moderate and reduce the influence of outsiders? Is it entirely outlandish to suggest, or at least hope, the same thing might work for Iraq as a whole?

3/29/2007 07:59:00 PM  
Blogger buck smith said...

Reocon,

I don't know how long you have been reading Belmont Club, but it seems like you are missing some of the basics. Have you read the three conjectures? Here it is:

http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2003/09/three-conjectures-pew-poll-finds-40-of.html

Fighting for democracy in Mis-East is tedious and tries the patience, but the alternitives are to surrender to the jihadis or destroy Islam. Public opinion in the the USA is not going to surrender to the jihadis. So we either have to fight to establish democracy in the Mid-East or destroy it. Which do you prefer?

3/29/2007 08:02:00 PM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

There is an excellent piece by Arthur Herman in today's OpinionJournal entitled, "How To Win In Iraq" (and how to lose). He draws the parallel between the French experience in Algiers and our present experience in Iraq, between Galula's counterinsurgency efforts and those of Petraeus.
(http://www.opinionjournal.com/federation/feature/?id=110009862)

As then, the enemy knows the main audience for his actions watches from afar, so he seeks to impart disenchantment and fatigue on those who "support the troops" back home. The enemy knows his victory will not come militarily but politically, if he can dissuade enough of us from persevering.

As Wretchard suggests, the most potent weapon in this and all similar wars (and who honestly thinks this is the last one?) is the aura of inevitability. It would of course be better if we projected the aura of inevitable victory rather than that of inevitable defeat. Too bad so few of our politicians can find the will or the gumption of one who once said in arguably more dire staits: Never give up, never give up. Never ever ever give up.

3/29/2007 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger allen said...

A post today by Michael Totten paints a picture of relationships of opportunity. In the case of the Kurds, for example, any port in a storm will do. See Winds of Change.

Then, of course, the influence of Saudi lucre cannot be discounted.

Saudi Money Funding Islamists' Recent Efforts in Kurdish Iraq & Bangladesh

3/29/2007 08:58:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

The Saudis need to be convinced to hold back some of their money for a rainy day. Funding madrassas and mosques and terrorist cells won't bring too much of a return if the wells go dry. They really don't have a large silicon industry built up yet. Speaking of that particular commodity I believe the quality control requirements might be beyond the capability of the current workforce. Intel™ demands a lot of purity in their chip blanks.

3/29/2007 09:14:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

"Regarding the present, one blogger raised the question of whether General Petreus had already run out of time to win his campaign, given efforts by the Congress to set a deadline on withdrawals Iraq. " Wrecthard

I think that when Bush vetos the surge money, the first thing to be defunded is training and rotation for relief forces. The war and the surge goes on with existing moneys, but Congress will be pressured into funding rotation and training.

3/29/2007 09:49:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

Wrecthard said . . .
If you think about it, that reflects a belief by the extremists that the moderate center might actually hold.

Ah, at long last we have slipped the bone back to our molars to crach down to the marrow. The "moderate center" you say! Please, please, tell me more! Could you name them? Perhaps men like Fahkri al-Qaisi, or Saleh Mutlak? Moderates like Nuri al-Maliki or Ayatollah Hakim? Chalabi, Sadr? Go ahead, Wrecthard, I'd like to read the outlines of what this "moderate center" is all about, and more importantly, who it is composed of?

They are not so sure of what you seem to take as a given: that the radicals will inherit the earth. Otherwise why would they be bombing the hell, not out of the other sectarian confessions, but their own?

Yes, why did Hitler turn on Ernst Rohm? What happened between Ayatollah Khomeini and the Haggani circle? Obviously, the moderates won, right?

buck smith said...

Fighting for democracy in Mis-East is tedious and tries the patience, but the alternitives are to surrender to the jihadis or destroy Islam.

Yes, Buck, and what happens when jihadis win democrat elections? Do you believe its possible for fascists or Islamofascists to take power through democratic means. If yes, or indeed, if the likelihood is high, then maybe democracy isn't the solution to jihadism, no? By, the way Buck, maybe you could tell us what SCIRI stands for, and where they are in the Iraqi power structure.

But why should we assume they are mere Iranian stooges when all their actions indicate they seek independent status for themselves and their people.

There are two answers, the first with a question: Why are the two mutually exclusive? SCIRI and Shiites also want to carve out an independent state and everyone knows how deeply Iran and SCIRI are linked.

The second asks, if the Kurds really want independence then how come they haven't declared so? Could it have anything to do with the preferences if Iran?

http://www.iraqfoundation.org/reports/pol/2005/38_iran_in_iraq_how_much_influence.pdf

Is it not possible that they and other Kurds find their present governmental structure to their liking. Is it possible to suggest it has worked to moderate and reduce the influence of outsiders?

The Kurdish government has not reduced the influence of Iran, but enhanced it.

http://vladimirkurdistan.blogspot.com/2005/09/iran-expands-influence-in-kurdistan.html

3/29/2007 10:21:00 PM  
Blogger Teresita said...

bill: I think that when Bush vetos the surge money, the first thing to be defunded is training and rotation for relief forces. The war and the surge goes on with existing moneys, but Congress will be pressured into funding rotation and training.

And Bush will veto that. He only wants a "clean bill" and he's ready to dig in his heels. Meanwhile Pelosi and Reed will shrug and say, "We keep trying to support the troops but the President keeps rejecting the funding documents." Its a high stakes game of chicken and the most interesting show in the beltway right now. Unfortunately, Bush is going to lose this poker game because the Democrats win either way, they win with a deadline in the bill, and they win with no funding for the surge.

3/30/2007 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger sirius_sir said...

Reocon, you are either dishonest or incapable of comprehending the significance of the information you provide in your own links. The vladmirkurdistan site argues for more direct U.S. intervention, not (as you do) less. And the Iranian influence is seen as disruptive. From your source: "The Iranian leadership views them as troy horse of the empire of the Shiite jurist ruler. This is another element that reinforces the conviction of many Iraqis and non-Iraqis that the Iranian regime has a well-studied plan for getting Iraq, even without Kurdistan, under its control, immediately after the departure of the American and British soldiers."

The Iranian influence you see being "enhanced" by the government in Kurdistan is actually from like-minded Kurds from Iran that oppose the regime. What other "influence" there is is subversive, and certainly not sanctioned by the majority of Kurds or their government. Again from your source: "There is also an Iranian presence in Kurdistan through thousands of Iranian Kurds (From East-Kurdistan), including leaders and elements of the opposing Kurdish democratic party (KDP-I), the opposing Komala Communist Party, and the Kurdish students, scholars and workers, who are residing in the Kurdish semi-state in search for security from the oppression of the regime, or education in their mother tongue, or working to support their families.

The Iranian presence also exists through the Kurdish and Persian cultural and popular delegations visiting Kurdistan, among which the system plants some intelligence elements."

3/30/2007 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Friday, March 30, 2007
Michael Yon on Tal Afar
Michael Yon on Tal Afar
Posted by Dean Barnett
Dean,

The news from Tal Afar was very sad, but not very surprising. The civil war first became obvious to me in early 2005, and I started writing about it in February 2005. It has been growing ever since. Violence on the streets is severe.

The civil war is very real. It's not an apparition or a politically-contrived term. The flames of civil war are real, and the flames were not made hotter by calling them fire. It is what it is.

Yes, the civil war is very real, but not everyone here is a party to it. There are many, many Iraqis who want to see their country come together. I see these Iraqis all the time.
Michael

3/30/2007 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

“Unfortunately, Bush is going to lose this poker game because the Democrats win either way, they win with a deadline in the bill, and they win with no funding for the surge.” Teresita

That’s way too pessimistic. We win when money’s moved around to sustain the surge that’s protecting Iraqis until their security forces can fight them. We win when troops aren’t rotated out and relatives plead for funding to bring them home. They’re overwhelmingly not going to be asking Bush to sign a surrender plan, just for Congress to give them the money to get their family home. And if there’s ever American deaths directly attributed to the loss of funds, only the hard left will blame Bush.

But our biggest win is that this is the kind of thing that most unifies Republicans in anger. Democrats have no idea of the tempest that’s building sucking in moderates as it overwhelms them. Bush just has to be able to articulate why this bill’s a betrayal of our fighting men and women. We’ll see if he’s up to it.

3/30/2007 02:47:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

“Yes, the civil war is very real, but not everyone here is a party to it.” Doug

The latest polls shows only 27% of Iraqis agree that they are in a civil war: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,259405,00.html

It was just reported today that car bombing is up 30% since the surge, but civilian deaths are down 30%. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1809373/posts

Hmmm… Being that 90% of car bombings are conducted by foreign jihadists, and al Qaeda claims to have 12,000 fighters in Iraq, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1736438/posts, what’s that say about the true “civil” nature of this war?

3/30/2007 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

I was quoting Michael Yon, who is there, and was in Mosul for a year, earlier.
Figured he'd know better than I,
esp since he takes ZERO in advertising revenue.

3/30/2007 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

Michael Yon:
"But the term "civil war" does not describe the entirety of the violence here.

Yes, the civil war is real, but Iraq is far from a state of anarchy.
The government truly is becoming stronger. I spoke with some Baghdad police yesterday, and they actually brought up the topic of the attacks in Tal Afar.

These Baghdad police brought up the apparent fact that the Tal Afar police engaged in reprisal attacks and murdered civilians.

The Baghdad police were disgusted, disgusted that Iraqi police in Tal Afar apparently had murdered innocent women and children.
"

3/30/2007 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

sirius_sir said...
Reocon, you are either dishonest or incapable of comprehending the significance of the information you provide in your own links.

First off I don't think you understand the context in which I posted these links, which could mean that you are ignorant of the deep ties between Talabani's PUK and Iran. Are you?
Perhaps you need to do a bit of research:
http://www.meepas.com/talebanipart1.htm

Second, your qoute from Vladimirkurdistan does not argue for more American intervention, but acknowledges the deep ties of America's alleged allies with Iran. Somehow you've read these the two links I provided without knowing that Talabani and Barzani, tand their parties he KDP and PUK, have established ties with Iran. How could you not know this? It is not just "like-minded Kurds from Iran that oppose the regime" but the two major parties. Do you really disagree?

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=18150

"The shortest speech was given by the head of the Iranian intelligence service in Erbil, a man known to the Kurds as Agha Panayi. Staring directly at Ms. Bodine, he said simply, "This is a great day. Throughout Iraq, the people we supported are in power." He did not add "Thank you, George Bush." The unstated was understood. "

Like far too many commentators and psuedo-conservatives, you seem to have no understanding of who the political players are in Iraq, what they represent and who their ties are to.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41000000/jpg/_41000877_saddam203.jpg

http://warnewsradio.org/images/maliki_ahmadinejad_handshake.jpg

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6270957.stm

So, get back to as to who is being dishonest here.

3/30/2007 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger desert rat said...

Hamdan necessitates that the War in Iraq is a civil war.
The War on Terror a series of local civil wars.

Post Hamdan reality.

3/31/2007 02:04:00 PM  

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