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Posted: 3/1/2006 7:12:20 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 7:36:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 7:41:37 AM EDT
Well, maybe it will finally go to hell and we'll be able to wipe the slate of bad guys.

Here's hopin'.

I suspect, however, that the bad guys will delay until about August so their actions will help their allies the dems during the elections.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 7:43:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vito113:
Looking ugly... uglier...



Link Posted: 3/1/2006 7:45:15 AM EDT
Three Iraq's.
The Sunni, no US troops, but GCC troops for initial stability. Capital Baghdad.
The Kurdish, US troops to ease Turkish fears. Capital Kirkuk.
The Shia, US and British troops to ease Sunni fears of Iranian domination. Captial Basra.

JMO.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 7:55:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
Three Iraq's.
The Sunni, no US troops, but GCC troops for initial stability. Capital Baghdad.
The Kurdish, US troops to ease Turkish fears. Capital Kirkuk.
The Shia, US and British troops to ease Sunni fears of Iranian domination. Captial Basra.

JMO.



And a pretty good one. The concept of a unified "Iraq" is a British one, and not at all based on former, pre-Ottoman borders.

It is either give them their own countries, or watch as they kill eachother in a civil war that will set back democracy a good 50-75 years there.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 7:58:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 8:00:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
i have a feeling it's about to get REAL ugly over there.


Since the beginning of this war in 2003, was there really any other likely outcome?

Given the 1,000 year history of the area and different groups of people who reside there?
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 8:06:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zaphod:
Well, maybe it will finally go to hell and we'll be able to wipe the slate of bad guys.

Here's hopin'.

I suspect, however, that the bad guys will delay until about August so their actions will help their allies the dems during the elections.



Same period is when we do a lot of change overs between divisions, Im supposed to deploy sometime in the summer months.
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 9:04:43 AM EDT
www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/64407.htm


NO WAR IN THE STREETS

By RALPH PETERS - In Iraq

March 1, 2006 -- THE reporting out of Baghdad continues to be hysterical and dishonest. There is no civil war in the streets. None. Period.

Terrorism, yes. Civil war, no. Clear enough?

Yesterday, I crisscrossed Baghdad, visiting communities on both banks of the Tigris and logging at least 25 miles on the streets. With the weekend curfew lifted, I saw traffic jams, booming business — and everyday life in abundance.

Yes, there were bombings yesterday. The terrorists won't give up on their dream of sectional strife, and know they can count on allies in the media as long as they keep the images of carnage coming. They'll keep on bombing. But Baghdad isn't London during the Blitz, and certainly not New York on 9/11.

It's more like a city suffering a minor, but deadly epidemic. As in an epidemic, no one knows who will be stricken. Rich or poor, soldier or civilian, Iraqi or foreigner. But life goes on. No one's fleeing the Black Death — or the plague of terror.

And the people here have been impressed that their government reacted effectively to last week's strife, that their soldiers and police brought order to the streets. The transition is working.

Most Iraqis want better government, better lives — and democracy. It is contagious, after all. Come on over. Talk to them. Watch them risk their lives every day to work with us or with their government to build their own future.

Oh, the attacks will continue. They're even predictable, if not always preventable. Driving through Baghdad's Kerada Peninsula District, my humvee passed long gas lines as people waited to fill their tanks in the wake of the curfew. I commented to the officer giving me a lift that the dense lines of cars and packed gas stations offered great targets to the terrorists. An hour later, one was hit with a car bomb.

The bombing made headlines (and a news photographer just happened to be on the scene). Here in Baghdad, it just made the average Iraqis hate the terrorists even more.

You are being lied to. By elements in the media determined that Iraq must fail. Just give 'em the Bronx cheer.

Link Posted: 3/1/2006 12:32:40 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
Three Iraq's.
The Sunni, no US troops, but GCC troops for initial stability. Capital Baghdad.
The Kurdish, US troops to ease Turkish fears. Capital Kirkuk.
The Shia, US and British troops to ease Sunni fears of Iranian domination. Captial Basra.

JMO.



The problem is that in parts of the country they are in neighborhoods right next to each other. The bombed mosque is in the Sunni region and I suspect the town is majority Sunni (the mosque was Shiite). There must be a couple of million Shia in Bagdhad, you really can't make a city the capitol of a Sunni state if it is half Shia.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 12:41:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:

Originally Posted By dport:
Three Iraq's.
The Sunni, no US troops, but GCC troops for initial stability. Capital Baghdad.
The Kurdish, US troops to ease Turkish fears. Capital Kirkuk.
The Shia, US and British troops to ease Sunni fears of Iranian domination. Captial Basra.

JMO.



The problem is that in parts of the country they are in neighborhoods right next to each other. The bombed mosque is in the Sunni region and I suspect the town is majority Sunni (the mosque was Shiite). There must be a couple of million Shia in Bagdhad, you really can't make a city the capitol of a Sunni state if it is half Shia.

GunLvr


You had the same basic dynamic going on in Yugoslavia. People will move.

Here's the deal. IMO, you will not get rid of tribal strife unless you somehow make those tribes equal. Where they can come to each other on a roughly equal footing.

Link Posted: 3/1/2006 12:57:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
i have a feeling it's about to get REAL ugly over there.


Since the beginning of this war in 2003, was there really any other likely outcome?

Given the 1,000 year history of the area and different groups of people who reside there?



I agree 110% .
but were there in the middle of this now, and we can't leave
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 1:11:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:

Originally Posted By dport:
Three Iraq's.
The Sunni, no US troops, but GCC troops for initial stability. Capital Baghdad.
The Kurdish, US troops to ease Turkish fears. Capital Kirkuk.
The Shia, US and British troops to ease Sunni fears of Iranian domination. Captial Basra.

JMO.



The problem is that in parts of the country they are in neighborhoods right next to each other. The bombed mosque is in the Sunni region and I suspect the town is majority Sunni (the mosque was Shiite). There must be a couple of million Shia in Bagdhad, you really can't make a city the capitol of a Sunni state if it is half Shia.

GunLvr


You had the same basic dynamic going on in Yugoslavia. People will move.

Here's the deal. IMO, you will not get rid of tribal strife unless you somehow make those tribes equal. Where they can come to each other on a roughly equal footing.




The shifting and moving is already occurring.

What happen last week in Iraq was Al Qaeda’s attempt to make their Tet Offensive in Iraq… the real question is are we stupid enough to do what we did in Vietnam.

For those screaming “civil war” you are about 2 years to late there has been a low level civil war in Iraq for quite some time the Shiites have just not been fighting back full force. This may actually wake the Sunnis up in to the realization that they are the one who are going to suffer the worst if the situation goes south.

As for a full scale “civil war” is not taking place despite the hype.

www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-boot1mar01,0,1083415.column?coll=la-news-comment-opinions


Up close, Iraq gets blurry
There are no pat answers where setbacks and successes exist side by side.
March 1, 2006

ARE WE WINNING or losing in Iraq? Liberals and conservatives safe at home have no trouble formulating glib answers to that fundamental question. The former can always point to setbacks, the latter to successes. The picture becomes blurrier, the future murkier when you spend time in Iraq, as I did last week.

After traveling from Qatar to Baghdad on a C-17 transport aircraft, I jumped off a Blackhawk helicopter on Feb. 22 at Forward Operating Base Warhorse near the city of Baqubah, 30 miles north of the capital. Here, Col. Brian Jones, commander of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Infantry Division, gave me a mostly upbeat briefing on his area of operations, which includes all of Diyala province (population 1.4 million) as well as part of a neighboring province.

The insurgents are so weak in Diyala, he suggested, that his main focus now is on "the nonkinetic problem set" — increasing electricity production, creating jobs, fighting corruption. The responsibility for keeping law and order is increasingly being turned over to Iraqi soldiers and police officers who work closely with their American counterparts.

Sounds good, but that very day the Askariya mosque — the Golden Mosque — was blown up in Samarra, 50 miles to the north. The repercussions rippled out to this province where the population is 55% Sunni, 25% Shiite and 15% Kurd. Shiite protesters took to the streets, followed by two shocking acts of violence probably perpetrated by Sunni terrorists: First, a bomb went off in a Baqubah marketplace, killing more than a dozen people, including the popular commander of the local Iraqi army battalion; then, insurgents (known to U.S. troops as anti-Iraqi forces) set up a roadblock outside of town, pulled 47 men out of their cars and murdered them.

Lt. Col. Thomas Fisher, who commands the Army battalion stationed in Baqubah, a city of 450,000, was forced to deal with the fallout. I spent a day riding in his armored Humvee as he moved around town trying to figure out what was going on (Why were the 47 men killed?) and how he should respond (Should he step up his raids or let Iraqi security forces step forward?).

Trying to calm things, Fisher sought to dispel bizarre rumors that a U.S. bomb, not explosives planted by terrorists, had blown up the Samarra mosque. He told his soldiers not to get in the way of demonstrations but to stand by in case they turned violent. (They didn't.) Then he drove to the heavily barricaded government center to confer with the mayor about what he could do as a "good neighbor" to assist the Iraqis. The answer was that the locals had everything under control.

Given the growing competence of Iraqi security forces, this may not have been sheer bravado. As we drove through town, I saw Iraqi army and police checkpoints everywhere. Not only are more security personnel in the field, but they are also not running away from a fight, as they did in 2004. Fisher told me that when insurgents recently attacked a police checkpoint, the cops chased them down and arrested them. This combination of toughness (withstanding attack) and restraint (bringing back the attackers alive) augurs well for the future of Iraq.

Nor is this an isolated example. A few days later, while visiting the Green Zone in Baghdad, I was briefed on the progress being made in standing up Iraqi forces. A year ago, only three Iraqi battalions controlled their own "battle- space." Today, the total is up to 40 battalions and counting. Those units have achieved impressive results in some rough neighborhoods. As I discovered firsthand, it is now safe to travel down Route Irish between the Green Zone and Baghdad airport — once the most dangerous road in the world. Yet there are well-justified concerns about sectarian divisions and human rights abuses within the security forces.

Worst of all, just when the situation seems to be improving, a spectacular act of violence such as the mosque bombing will bring the country to the edge of the abyss. As Jones noted ruefully during a 30-minute ride between his base and the giant U.S. logistics hub near Balad, "You can go days without anything bad happening, and then you find 47 dead bodies." Which is more important — the signs of progress that mostly pass unheralded, or the continuing woes splashed across newspaper front pages? I left Iraq more uncertain than when I arrived.

Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:43:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
You had the same basic dynamic going on in Yugoslavia. People will move.

Here's the deal. IMO, you will not get rid of tribal strife unless you somehow make those tribes equal. Where they can come to each other on a roughly equal footing.



The problem is these tribes are not independent. For their economy to run there is no tribe which is self-sufficient.

Yugoslavia is a bad example. There must be one dead person for every five who moved, and the whole thing was unnecessary.

GunLvr
Link Posted: 3/1/2006 6:52:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/1/2006 6:54:52 PM EDT by WildBoar]

Originally Posted By dport:
Three Iraq's.
The Sunni, no US troops, but GCC troops for initial stability. Capital Baghdad.
The Kurdish, US troops to ease Turkish fears. Capital Kirkuk.
The Shia, US and British troops to ease Sunni fears of Iranian domination. Captial Basra.

JMO.



Back out to a main base. Let them fight their inevitable civil war. In fact we should egg the on into it to speed up the process. OR Support the Shia and Kurds into stomping a mudhole into the Sunnis like needs to be done. The Shia and Kurds will be able to agree upon something. The Sunnis will ALWAYS be a problem until they are wiped out.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 2:24:20 AM EDT

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:

Originally Posted By dport:
You had the same basic dynamic going on in Yugoslavia. People will move.

Here's the deal. IMO, you will not get rid of tribal strife unless you somehow make those tribes equal. Where they can come to each other on a roughly equal footing.



The problem is these tribes are not independent. For their economy to run there is no tribe which is self-sufficient.

Yugoslavia is a bad example. There must be one dead person for every five who moved, and the whole thing was unnecessary.

GunLvr


That's why I said three Iraq's instead of three truly independent nations.

You may believe the whole thing was unnecessary, I don't share your view. I think people have to feel secure in their governement, their societal position, etc, before they can come together as disperate groups. In other words, they have to want to come together.

Think about this nation's founding. The 13 colonies weren't 13 states. They started as 13 sovereign units. Only when they were secure in themselves were they able to come together under the Constitution. They were also interdependent for certain things, security being one; however, I don't think we could have moved directly to the Constitution without first having the ability for the colonies to try their hands, pretty much independently, under the Articles.

We have seen plenty examples, over the last 15 years, of countries that have been thrown together capriciously who have split. Some on good terms, Czechoslovakia, some on bad, Yugoslavia. You can't force people to play nice. They have to want to play nice.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 3:00:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By WildBoar:

Originally Posted By dport:
Three Iraq's.
The Sunni, no US troops, but GCC troops for initial stability. Capital Baghdad.
The Kurdish, US troops to ease Turkish fears. Capital Kirkuk.
The Shia, US and British troops to ease Sunni fears of Iranian domination. Captial Basra.

JMO.



Back out to a main base. Let them fight their inevitable civil war. In fact we should egg the on into it to speed up the process. OR Support the Shia and Kurds into stomping a mudhole into the Sunnis like needs to be done. The Shia and Kurds will be able to agree upon something. The Sunnis will ALWAYS be a problem until they are wiped out.



I am sunni and you offend me! Durka Durka! Allahu akbar, now I will saw off your head 'merican! Durka Jihad!
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 4:50:53 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheTracker:

Originally Posted By Wobblin-Goblin:

Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer:
i have a feeling it's about to get REAL ugly over there.


Since the beginning of this war in 2003, was there really any other likely outcome?

Given the 1,000 year history of the area and different groups of people who reside there?


I agree 110%. but were there in the middle of this now, and we can't leave


I agree that leaving would be wrong, but in reality there is NO right answer. Why? If the general consensus is that our presence in Iraq isn't going to ultimately solve anything due to the inevitability of civil war...why stay? Why get more of our men killed?

But, like you say, on the flip side, what would happen if we leave? We lose face and all the commie liberals and terrorists forever say Iraq was the second war we lost, after Vietnam.

Both choices suck. There is no right answer.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 6:14:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 6:16:56 AM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
What "inevability of civil war"?

Apart from hysterical western media reporting, all evidence is that this attempt at creating a civil war has FAILED again.

The only thing the US is doing porely at is the information war.
Link Posted: 3/2/2006 6:21:35 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/2/2006 6:23:18 AM EDT by ArmdLbrl]
The lamp under the bushel basket

In From the Cold links to an American Enterprise Institute article by Michael Rubin who argues that the US goverment, the State Department in particular, is playing by gentleman's rules in the information war with Iran.


Force, though, is not the only component of the Hezbollah playbook. In Lebanon, Hezbollah used Iranian money to create an extensive social service network. It funded schools, food banks and job centers. It's a tried and true strategy. ... Driving through Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, similar scenes unfold. While the U.S. Embassy boasts billions of dollars spent, it has little to show ordinary Iraqis for its efforts. Not so the Shiite militias. Mr. al-Hakim's son Amar has opened branches of his Shahid al-Mihrab Establishment for Promoting Islam throughout southern Iraq. They distribute food and gifts of money, so long as patrons pledge their allegiance. For impoverished Iraqis lacking electricity and livelihood, it's an easy decision. ...

It is in the info-war that Washington has stumbled most severely. The U.S. operates in Iraq as if the country is a vacuum. Sheltered within the Green Zone, diplomats are oblivious to enemy propaganda. Resistance to occupation is Hezbollah's mantra. It is a theme both the Badr Corps and firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army adopted. Why then did Foggy Bottom acquiesce on May 22, 2003 to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483 which formalized U.S. and Britain as "occupying powers." What U.S. diplomats meant as an olive branch to pro-U.N. European allies was, in reality, hemlock. With the stroke of a pen, liberation became occupation: Al-Manar and Al-Alam barraged ordinary Iraqis with montages glorifying "resistance." They then highlighted U.S. fallibility with images of withdrawal from Vietnam, Lebanon and Somalia.



In From the Cold adds this comment:


Rubin reminds us that Iran's Arabic language TV service aimed at Iraqi audiences (Al-Alam) began broadcasting three months before its U.S.-funded counterpart. Today, Al-Alam remains a centerpiece of the Iranian strategy, well-funded and rewarding anyone who can provide footage that is damaging to the U.S. Meanwhile, American efforts to establish a free and independent Iraqi media have been hampered by revelations that the U.S. "paid" local papers to run favorable stories. In reality, we need to use every means at our disposal to generate positive coverage in the Iraqi media, but the episode illustrates how American idealism often hinders the accomplishment of a critical mission, in this case, achieving victory in the information war.


Commentary

In a open post session to identify ways to improve US information warfare, many Belmont commenters believed that the government was by nature incapable of doing the job. Some suggestions of private and legal information warfare activities to take up the slack included:


Using private resources, such as bloggers, volunteers, institutes to monitor open source foreign language newspapers, broadcasts and websites to augment the official intel effort. Roger Simon at Pajamas Media tried the idea out on James Woolsey at a videotaped interview and received some encouragement;

Providing support for individuals being persecuted for supporting the allied cause in the War on Terror in the manner of the "Underground Railroad".



Just giving speeches and writing articles debunking enemy propaganda is "information warfare". The Times of London has an article describing Douglas Murray on his way to address a memorial service for Pym Fortuyn.


Would you write the name you’d like to use here, and your real name there?” asked the girl at reception. I had just been driven to a hotel in the Hague. An hour earlier I’d been greeted at Amsterdam airport by a man holding a sign with a pre-agreed cipher. I hadn’t known where I would be staying, or where I would be speaking. The secrecy was necessary: I had come to Holland to talk about Islam.

Last weekend, four years after his murder, Pim Fortuyn’s political party, Lijst Pim Fortuyn, held a conference in his memory on Islam and Europe. The organisers had assembled nearly all the writers most critical of Islam’s current manifestation in the West. The American scholars Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer were present, as were the Egyptian-Jewish exile and scholar of dhimmitude, Bat Ye’or, and the great Muslim apostate Ibn Warraq.

The event was scholarly, incisive and wide-ranging. There were no ranters or rabble-rousers, just an invited audience of academics, writers, politicians and sombre party members. As yet another example of Islam’s violent confrontation with the West (this time caused by cartoons) swept across the globe, we tried to discuss Islam as openly as we could. The Dutch security service in the Hague was among those who considered the threat to us for doing this as particularly high. The security status of the event was put at just one level below “national emergency”.



It might be only a slight exaggeration to say that Daniel Pipes, Bat Ye'or, Ibn Warraq and Hirsi Ali by themselves do more information warfare damage than the whole State Department cumulatively. Private effort should definitely not be discounted.


posted by wretchard at 2:46 AM | 44 comments

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