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  • Technorati: graph / links

    Why getting out of Iraq may be a bad idea


    by Sunny on 12th December, 2008 at 12:15 pm    

    For anyone who thinks peace will suddenly descend on Iraq once the foreign forces leave may want to re-think that idea:

    A suicide bomber attacked a packed restaurant on Thursday where Sunni Arabs and Kurds were meeting to ease friction in the tense northern city of Kirkuk. At least 48 people were killed in the bombing, apparently aimed at provoking extremists along widening ethnic fault lines just as American plans to withdraw militarily from Iraq became official.

    Nearly 100 were wounded in the bombing, which was the deadliest in Iraq in six months. It occurred north of Kirkuk in a huge restaurant filled with as many as 3,000 people celebrating the end of the holiday Id al-Adha.

    “All of a sudden we heard a very loud explosion,” said Shirzad Mowfak Zangana, a supervisor at the restaurant. “Two of the walls collapsed, and then the next thing I remember is that I felt blood covering my face. People were screaming. Children were crying. Smoke filled all three dining rooms.”

    Let’s recap again. During Eid celebrations, a suicide bomber blows up a restaurant full of Muslims to thwart attempts at peace and dialogue between Sunnis and Kurds. Once the Americans leave this place is likely to become an even bigger warzone, with Al-Qaeda sympathisers doing anything to destabilise the place as they’re doing in Pakistan.



      |     |   Add to del.icio.us   |   Share on Facebook   |   Filed in: Current affairs, Middle East, Terrorism




    71 Comments below   |  

    1. Leon — on 12th December, 2008 at 2:21 pm  

      So if we can’t stay and we can’t leave, what’s the solution?

    2. fugstar — on 12th December, 2008 at 2:44 pm  

      The argument seem to appeal to the westerners sense of being the solution to everybody’s woe. its very self serving.

      the powers that be should leave and beg forgiveness and promise never to do it again.

      Problem with state puppetry is that when you leave there will have to be a realignment. The entire power system was turned upside down when saddam was overthrown.

      his opposition was unable to unseat him before hand. unable. this group has now been promoted into incompetance and people are making a killing out of consultancy and contracting.

    3. Refresh — on 12th December, 2008 at 2:45 pm  

      Its either Hotel California, or Saigon all over again.

    4. Leon — on 12th December, 2008 at 2:52 pm  

      So, what’s the solution?

    5. sonia — on 12th December, 2008 at 2:57 pm  

      something in what fugstar says. why do ‘we’ feel we have to provide the solution? that was the problem in the first place and soon people will have to realise there is no such solution.

      yes violence will happen - there is a power vacuum and the place is a conflict zone. what do we expect? there is no neat and tidy solution i am afraid.

      so whether america stays or not, america will have to decide based on theirinterests.

      and of course there is going to be agitation -the current government is promising 90% of the oil’s production will be controlled by US/UK/someone else. are we really surprised other factions aren’t going to want to fight that? they might want the control for themselves. if the americans want to be honest about control of the resources, then maybe we can all talk honestly and get people to the table. but without that honesty, its fucked and it will stay fucked. some other dictator type will show up, who ever is most violent, and guess what, it will all be back to square one. (but with a whole lot of destruction along the way, and probably loss of control of oil

      nice scenario huh? who was it who cried conspiracy theory when people suggested it might all be a diversion, that it wasn’t the WMD, not even concern about Saddam, (because look, we;ll have another one of him whichever way we go, ) but control of resources.

      and it doesn’t even look like the lessons have been learned.

    6. Boyo — on 12th December, 2008 at 3:00 pm  

      “Let’s recap again. During Eid celebrations, a suicide bomber blows up a restaurant full of Muslims to thwart attempts at peace and dialogue between Sunnis and Kurds.”

      You seem surprised an Islamist terrorist would slaughter fellow Muslims during a Muslim celebration?

    7. Leon — on 12th December, 2008 at 3:01 pm  

      there is no neat and tidy solution i am afraid.

      I’m not expecting a neat one but I do find it interesting that no one on here appears to want to venture a guess/speculation on what might be an idea…

    8. sonia — on 12th December, 2008 at 3:10 pm  

      “For anyone who thinks peace will suddenly descend on Iraq once the foreign forces leave”

      did anyone think that? i doubt anyone does think that.
      everyone can see its a right royal mess!

      if they did, they were probably the same sort of simplistic thinking people who thought in 2003 going into iraq and bombing them was somehow going to “fix” things, just like that. Whoosh! everyone said, look we’ll end up (where we are today, go one way, trouble, go the other way trouble) and we said that till we were blue in the face, and here we are. so now what? i don’t know - let’s ask the people who were in favour of the invasion. better still - let’s send them in to “do” something about it.

      i.e. moral of the story for future: don’t call for military ‘bombing from high’ intervention unless you yourself are a) willing to join the army and actually go out and fight for it b) deal with the consequences - in person - in flesh

    9. Sid — on 12th December, 2008 at 3:11 pm  

      Who says we can’t leave?

    10. fugstar — on 12th December, 2008 at 3:11 pm  

      ok here’s what should happen.

      Bring in the indonesians and the nigerians to keep the peace. Iraqis think they are bad boys do they? Dump the problem on the OIC and see what happens.

      Institute a ‘levy’ like in janisary times to recruit able bodies and minded technocrats and soldiers who will be loyal and potent.

      Prosecute the people who lied for the occupation. dont kill them, send them to …… kensington.

      *press play*

      meanwhile

      America divest all comercial interests from the area and just go sit on israel or something.

    11. sonia — on 12th December, 2008 at 3:16 pm  

      here’s what should happen@ “we” stay out of it.
      all “we’ve” done is ensure privatisation of resources.
      unless “someone else” has a suggestion on how that doesn’t happen, “we” have jackshit to offer.

      unless that’s citizenship to anyone who wants to get the fuck out of iraq. and yes, perhaps that’s what the “international community” should demand the Americans offer. because there is going to be conflict there for a long time - just look at Afghanistan. once fighting is in the air, peace is next to impossible to ‘achieve’. its as impossible as convincing individuals to NOT be corrupt in a corrupt system, even though those same individuals will behave in a non-corrupt system. It takes ages!! that’s why you don’t bloody go around starting wars if you have a f***ing clue.

    12. sonia — on 12th December, 2008 at 3:21 pm  

      the american people should demand their soldiers back and that be the end of that. Why should american soldiers have to sacrifice their lives for people who don’t appreciate it anyway?? (that’s their own citizens+govt. and the people who’ve been bombed, btw)

      rubbish, all rubbish. get the hell out and think of the soldiers. why is it only the poor iraqis ‘we’ must think of. its such a patronising ‘charitable’ we help you attitude, and its attitudes like that which suck and don’t do anything for anyone.. its attitudes like that which make people think of rubbish ‘hearts and minds’ slogans, and make people resentful, the very people one is ‘ironically’ trying to help. Pah.

    13. fugstar — on 12th December, 2008 at 3:28 pm  

      the more dignifying option is for the iraqis annd freinds to unite and kick out the occupiers.

      but they werent able to do it with saddam.

      and the seeds of resentment seem to have been sown quite deeply.

    14. sonia — on 12th December, 2008 at 3:31 pm  

      yeah well as we know fugstar the ‘iraqis’ aren’t about to unify and it seems people have deemed they must and will force them into it.

      of course you cant force any fellow feeling onto anyone. its hardly as if ‘muslims’ means we don’t fight each other -these are all Artificial constructs, the reality is the middle east is a far more tribal society, and there isn’t a lot of human rights (i.e. thinking your fellow human has the same rights as you) going around. so no one is about to unify unless you think the shias and the sunnis and the arabs and non arabs are going to get over their petty prejudices.

    15. S.Johal — on 12th December, 2008 at 5:49 pm  

      For anyone who thinks peace will suddenly descend on Iraq once the foreign forces leave may want to re-think that idea:

      If I am right it was the British in India who said the Indians were incapable of ruling themselves, the same argument about the British troops withdrawal from Ireland . Let the Iraqi people decide their own furture. The best way we can help is build back the country, which our Government/US has litterally distroyed.

    16. Refresh — on 12th December, 2008 at 6:16 pm  

      ’so no one is about to unify unless you think the shias and the sunnis and the arabs and non arabs are going to get over their petty prejudices.’

      Nor, I would venture, is it in the interest of the US, UK and Israel for them to unify. I think they call it statecraft.

    17. MaidMarian — on 12th December, 2008 at 6:50 pm  

      Leon (various) - There is one solution that no one seems to want to talk about which is, to my mind the least bad solution by quite some distance.

      How about Saddam Hussein Mark 2 - or at least a somewhat less bloodthirsty version?

      There is no inherent reason why democracy could not take hold in Iraq - at least potentially. All the elements are there. Oil if handled right can give the population wealth, there is a recognisable civil society, for good or for bad there is an electoral structure. Iraq is certainly internationalised unlike say North Korea.

      What is needed is what one could euphemistically call, ‘a strongman,’ to pull it together.

      Not a palatable thought but there you go.

    18. fugstar — on 12th December, 2008 at 7:52 pm  

      the only reason westerners have plunged their boyhood appendages into the deserts of iraq is because the country was using its oil wealth autonomously. iraq had national and technological ambitions.

      so your ‘Oil, if handled right’ comment is hilariously funny.

      the conquest had nothing do to with giving a stuff about the people, pull the other one … in a hundred years…. and somebody might beleive you.

    19. MaidMarian — on 12th December, 2008 at 8:02 pm  

      ‘the conquest had nothing do to with giving a stuff about the people,’

      I’m not saying it did. You are saying that I said that which is not the same thing.

      I was actually having a go at Leon’s question. I notice it is a challenge that that spittle flecked rant ducked.

    20. fugstar — on 12th December, 2008 at 8:23 pm  

      oh, personally i preferred my Nigerian Option.

    21. Sunny — on 13th December, 2008 at 12:41 am  

      Bring in the indonesians and the nigerians to keep the peace. Iraqis think they are bad boys do they? Dump the problem on the OIC and see what happens.

      I actually think that’s the most sensible idea fugstar has ever ventured. Though I’m not sure the Indonesians and Nigerians (I think Malaysians might be better) would play ball though…

    22. shariq — on 13th December, 2008 at 3:42 am  

      Would you have made this argument if John McCain was the President-elect? Just wondering.

    23. Sunny — on 13th December, 2008 at 11:31 am  

      Who me?
      Yes, I have always been a bit uncertain about what the consequences will be if we pull out.

      Keep in mind I’ve always been against going into Iraq and I think keeping the troops there is a liability and the politicians monumentally fucked it up. But will more Iraqis die if we leave too early? That is also a dangerous possibility.

    24. Shamit — on 13th December, 2008 at 1:48 pm  

      Nah we should have left Milosevic in power - he was just committing genocide. The russians had a problem with that one as well. And the victims were mostly Muslims.

      We should have left Saddam Hussein in power - who cares if he gases a few hundred thousand more. Again the victims were Muslim.

      We should turn the other cheek when terrorists attack and have patience and more patience while innocent people get killed.

      Have sanctimonious people tell us how we should go to the front not knowing the sacrifices made by people and their family

      We should leave Afghanistan too — and let the place go up in flames and let the mullahs and ISI completely take over Pakistan .. You reckon China and India are going to sit by. They must otherwise there will be war and ohhh thats so bad — terrorists coming and killing innocent muslims celebrating Eid is not.

      God — wake the f*#@ UP AND smell the coffee folks.

    25. Shamit — on 13th December, 2008 at 1:57 pm  

      By the way, no one has the monopoly on intelligence or caring for human life -

      While offering no solutions people keep on harping the same quite idiotic stuff —

      yes we screwed up — but as Sunny says leaving now would be even more dangerous. We have been letting Iraqis down for a long fucking time — and its about time we support them.

      And if Americans leave, and Iraq becomes a failed state — how is that going to help? Oh get the troops home…what about that 14 year old kid who is standing guard after school so insurgents cant get into his neighbourhood in Iraq and there are many…They need our support.

    26. shariq — on 13th December, 2008 at 3:59 pm  

      Fair enough Sunny. I thought likewise in the first few months after the invasion. The things is I don’t think anyone can predict what will or won’t happen so it would be best for America to start drawing down their troops.

    27. S Johal — on 13th December, 2008 at 5:04 pm  

      We should have left Saddam Hussein in power - who cares if he gases a few hundred thousand more. Again the victims were Muslim.

      Who supplied the chemicals Mr Shamit?

      The victims were Kurds.

    28. S Johal — on 13th December, 2008 at 5:14 pm  

      We should leave Afghanistan too — and let the place go up in flames and let the mullahs and ISI completely take over Pakistan

      Mr Shamit can you please inform me why we went into Afgaistan at the request of US, please dont tell me it was to bring Law and Order.

    29. Don — on 13th December, 2008 at 5:17 pm  

      Who supplied the chemicals Mr Shamit?

      Pretty much everybody, apparently.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_poison_gas_attack#International_sources_for_technology_and_chemical_precursors

    30. Ravi Naik — on 13th December, 2008 at 5:21 pm  

      “Getting out of Iraq” directive was never to remove all US forces from Iraq, but to greatly reduce their number. Obama has repeatedly said that there will be a security force stationed there indefinitely. Still, the Iraq government at one point will need to deal with this new reality that the US/UK war brought to them: a largely unstable and vulnerable country that will continue to suffer from terrorism and from political machinations from Iran and Syria, and will be a hotspot (like Pakistan) to graduate Islamic terrorists. Very few people these days will say that this is a better option than when Saddam was in power, specially when the whole goal was the laughable “War on Terror ™”.

    31. MaidMarian — on 13th December, 2008 at 5:51 pm  

      Ravi Naik - Ordinarily, I agree with much of what you have to say. You make an important point about what withdrawal from Iraq means in real terms.

      I certainly take your point at 30 about there being rubbish and very rubbish options, but to dismiss the ‘war on terror,’ (whatever one takes that to mean) is at best wisdom after the fact and at worst a blithe dismissal of things as they were at the time.

      Whatever the internet majority may believe, the concept of a war on terror was not something that just appeared out of thin air. It was a response to events and the response that the voting publics demanded of their governments. OK, that response may have been a wild goose chase in Iraq but even if the Iraq war had not taken place, I suspect that the rhetoric and politics woluld still have looked much the same.

      Yes - the Bush war on terror was an attempt at a military solution to a problem that is by and large political. But as President one is necessarily compelled to be responsive. We can argue all day and all night about what should have been done, but no president could have woken up on the 12th September 2001 and done nothing.

      Indeed, to my mind there is an entirely legitimate argument that the best thing that could have been done to Iraq was to have driven a ton of money to the Presidential Palace in Baghdad and asked Saddam to takw the money and very kindly sod off. But it was a time of a rush to war.

      Sure Bush (or at least the people around him) were looking for it, but the same pressure would have been applied to any incumbent.

      I simply do not see how you can in one breath talk about the place being a pajor centre for islamic terror and in the next call concerns, ‘laughable.’

      I agree with your sentiment but, with all respect, some of tha analysis that leads there is wisdom after the fact.

      Best of luck to you.

    32. BenSix — on 13th December, 2008 at 6:20 pm  

      “We should have left Saddam Hussein in power - who cares if he gases a few hundred thousand more.”

      From a purely consequentialist view, this is nonsense. More people have been killed during the invasion and occuption than were ever killed by Hussein, and all that Iraqis have to look forward to is sectarian violence and an increasingly authoritarian regime.

      “How about Saddam Hussein Mark 2 - or at least a somewhat less bloodthirsty version?”

      Heh, a Leviathan, eh? How would one gauge his/her bloodthirstiness?

      “But will more Iraqis die if we leave too early? That is also a dangerous possibility.”

      It’s worth noting that under 25% of Iraqis have any confidence in Coalition troops, while 84% have confidence in the Iraqi army*. That suggests that US and UK forces have not been protecting them from them threats.

      Moreover, American security policy presently consists of paying off various gangsters. This isn’t improving the situation, it’s just maintaining temporary stability.

      Love to all and sundry,

      Ben

      [*] http://tiny.cc/mZdH2

    33. MaidMarian — on 13th December, 2008 at 6:23 pm  

      ‘Heh, a Leviathan, eh? How would one gauge his/her bloodthirstiness?’

      Just one of the many, many rubbish features of the idea. It’s just probably the least rubbish.

    34. BenSix — on 13th December, 2008 at 6:24 pm  

      …And what a bastard html truly is.

    35. BenSix — on 13th December, 2008 at 6:27 pm  

      “Just one of the many, many rubbish features of the idea. It’s just probably the least rubbish.”

      Hmm…maybe…it’s certainly the most likely outcome.

      Ben

    36. Ravi Naik — on 13th December, 2008 at 6:40 pm  

      I certainly take your point at 30 about there being rubbish and very rubbish options, but to dismiss the ‘war on terror,’ (whatever one takes that to mean) is at best wisdom after the fact and at worst a blithe dismissal of things as they were at the time.

      MaidMarian, I am not dismissing the threat that Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorists pose to developing and developed nations - they are real and they need to be stopped. I am dismissing the “War on Terror ™” as a cynical marketing move by the neo-cons and the British poodles that we are.

      My point in #30 is that the end result of the “War on Terror ™” is ironically more instability, more terrorism and more graduates of terror in schools located in places like Iraq which is the main theater of this so-called anti-terror action, and in Pakistan, an ally of the war on terror. The utter incompetence of these people is laughable, except that it has brought tragic consequences.

      The only way to combat terrorism is to eliminate the organizations (and the people behind them) who are recruiting and brainwashing the drones that commit these acts - not with tanks, bomber planes, invading countries with damn lies, and killing thousands and thousands of people. These have been the tragic consequences of the “War on Terror(tm)” : an increase in terror levels even though the name says otherwise.

      By the way, I supported the military action against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan - I do believe that it was a legitimate action. The Iraq War was based on the Bush doctrine, which is preemptive war against a country to prevent future conflicts, and incredibly dangerous and reckless precedent.

    37. dave bones — on 13th December, 2008 at 6:49 pm  

      We just don’t know do we. I am wondering if a process like that in Northern Ireland would make any headway. I suppose these are “peace talks”. It doesn’t really matter what we believe it matters what will happen. Though Al Qaeda are a totally different ball game to The Irish I always assume people basically want the same things. The thing is these guys want an Islamic State. It is quite obvious to them tht there isn’t one. The Encyclopedia of Afghan jihad is a seriously weighty encyclopedia. A lot of it is apparently taken from the CIAs practise of destablization in South America. Its full of stuff that has been tried and tested and it works.

      Its all a bit grim really isn’t it.

    38. MaidMarian — on 13th December, 2008 at 6:50 pm  

      Ravi Naik - Again, I do not totally disagree.

      Out of interest, by the way.

      ‘Bush doctrine, which is preemptive war against a country to prevent future conflicts, and incredibly dangerous and reckless precedent.’

      What are your views on Medvedev and his boss’ invasion of Georgia?

    39. Ravi Naik — on 13th December, 2008 at 7:05 pm  

      ‘Bush doctrine, which is preemptive war against a country to prevent future conflicts, and incredibly dangerous and reckless precedent.’

      What are your views on Medvedev and his boss’ invasion of Georgia?

      I thought both sides were reckless - Georgia for having provoked the conflict during the Olympics, and Russia for having an unjustified and chauvinist response.

      As for the Bush doctrine and Putin, it can’t get better than this:

      With Russian tanks only 30 miles from Tbilisi on August 12, Mr. Sarkozy told Mr. Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgia’s Government. According to [Sarkozy’s chief diplomatic adviser, Jean-David] Levitte, the Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. “I am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,” Mr. Putin declared.

      Mr. Sarkozy thought he had misheard. “Hang him?” — he asked. “Why not?” Mr. Putin replied. “The Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.”

      Mr. Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr. Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”

    40. Shamit — on 13th December, 2008 at 7:06 pm  

      Nice one Ravi

    41. Leon — on 13th December, 2008 at 7:55 pm  

      …And what a bastard html truly is.

      Yeah I sorted it, I do the same every now and then, forget to close one of the tags and it formats the whole post…

    42. BenSix — on 13th December, 2008 at 8:17 pm  

      “By the way, I supported the military action against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan - I do believe that it was a legitimate action. The Iraq War was based on the Bush doctrine, which is preemptive war against a country to prevent future conflicts, and incredibly dangerous and reckless precedent.”

      Afghanistan wasn’t a preemptive war?*

      “Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban are prepared to put Osama bin Laden on trial in an Afghan court, but only if the US provides hard evidence against him, the party announced today.

      AIP said Mullah Zaeef had again offered talks to the United States saying: “War is nothing but pain and death, blood does not wash blood, negotiations are a good path and we can discuss all issues including Osama.”

      Washington has said there is nothing to discuss.”

      That was two days before the invasion.

      “Yeah I sorted it, I do the same every now and then, forget to close one of the tags and it formats the whole post…”

      Cheers :)

      Ben

      [*] http://tiny.cc/GQDrb

    43. Shamit — on 13th December, 2008 at 8:29 pm  

      Yeah Ben - it would be house arrest like below…or we can’t find Osama.

      http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/12/13/asia/pakistan.php

      So please….

    44. BenSix — on 13th December, 2008 at 9:01 pm  

      Yeah Ben - it would be house arrest like below…or we can’t find Osama.

      So the natural thing to do was invade before negotiation and before anyone had found hard evidence.

      Sounds a tad preemptive to me.

      Ben

    45. Sunny — on 13th December, 2008 at 10:27 pm  

      “Yes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?” Mr. Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: “Ah — you have scored a point there.”

      LOL! brilliant!

    46. Desi Italiana — on 13th December, 2008 at 10:33 pm  

      Sunny,

      I have a problem with how you are providing the suicide bombing in Kirkuk as proof that if Americans leave, Iraq will devolve into an even bigger nightmare. Suicide bombings have occurred in Iraq long before “American plans to withdraw militarily from Iraq became official.”

    47. S Johal — on 13th December, 2008 at 10:35 pm  

      The only reason the US are in Afganitan is to protect the gas pipe from Tajakistan, which must go through Afganistan, to the port of Karchi, in Pakistan. Fighting Againat terrorism is just a cover up. Come on guys do your research, dont just rely on the BBC

    48. Shamit — on 13th December, 2008 at 11:02 pm  

      S Johal

      Don’t you know we Brits and our cousins across the pond only have interests in oil and we actually have no problems with terrorsits? They are actually a creation of our imagination — we created them..It was a huge conspiracy of the West —

      Please spare me the psychobabble crap.

      Get my point — you are being ridiculous to say the least and a bit offensive especially the day after 4 Royal Marines died.

      Also did the UK or US ever do anything right? Just wondering

      I think this twisted ankle of mine which has enforced very limited movement is making me cranky and loons are doing my head in. Sorry if I am being to sarcy or combative.

    49. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 12:43 am  

      S Johal,

      So the gas pipeline, which will run through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan is the whole reason for the outright war on a country that was on no-ones radar, pre 9/11?

      Have I got that right?

      Nothing whatsoever to do with OBL or Al Quaida.

      Sweet, mate, truly sweet.

      I think I’d have to viciously twist my ankle to allow that to be the meme of the day.

      Sorry, this was revenge, pure and simple.

      There was no economic motive, there was however a desire to strike out. Hurt someone.

      Don’t know if you are old enough to remember, but we were required to stand up for a minutes silence over the deaths of 9/11. I did it the first time. The second time all I could think about was what an inevitable and twisted reality we choose to inhabit.

      For, most folk living in Afghanistan had sweet FA to do with Al Quaida. They were, at best just reluctant hosts.

      But the US passed law enforcement over to the military, who claim to be able to hit an egg yolk at a million miles, and can. What they don’t explain is the downside. That their accuracy precludes discussion of their blast area.

      You might fall out with an egg yolk, but is a tad extreme to hit it and destroy a surrounding area of half a kilometre or so. Don’t you think?

      You cannot win hearts and minds - if you ever intended to do so, rather than sacrifice them up to the gods of vengance - if you kill them. This seems to me to be an obvious truism.

      I suspect the Aztec tendancy in the US public, post 9/11, in other words their own redemption required us to sacfifice others.

      Which is frankly unacceptable.

      I find the worst of American norms to be ridiculous. I find the best of them to be amazing. It is a pick and mix society where my complete admiration for their ability to plan long term hits the shit of a complete - subject to due process - lunatic like Rod Blagojevich. How is this idiot not downgraded to a Dodo?

    50. Refresh — on 14th December, 2008 at 1:25 am  

      I am astonished that after such long periods of debate and recognition of the disaster that is Bush, PNAC and their full spectrum dominance strategy. We now end up worrying that if the US leave there will be more bloodshed. Wouldn’t this give the invaders what they sought from day one? A permanent presence in Iraq?

      Who know’s who was behind this particular bombing. Turmoil in Iraq serves someone’s purpose and it may not just be the insurgents. Definitely not the insurgents if it means that there will still be a longterm US presence - presumable hunkered in their super-bases of which there are quite a few.

      I believe there is a political force in Iraq which will result in unity. It will take time of course.

      And there is considerable value in fugstar’s suggestion of handing it over to the OIC.

      There was another of his suggestion which goes unaddressed,

      ‘the powers that be should leave and beg forgiveness and promise never to do it again.’

      Lets help move this along.

      The OIC should not accept the mission without something substantial in return - not just funding but a permanent place on the UN Security Council, which could go a long way to begging forgiveness and putting in place a check against future invasions.

    51. Shamit — on 14th December, 2008 at 1:38 am  

      The OIC should have a permanent place in the UN Security Council —

      Now I have heard it all.

      No lets do it. Well after that we would give Pope a permanent seat in the UN council — why not? Cool —

      Can i get one too — may be PP should get one. Why not?

    52. fugstar — on 14th December, 2008 at 1:46 am  

      oic should have negotiated one after the repulsion of the soviets from afghanistan. but they didnt, because they lacked the mojo and the foresight. they are easily divided and bought off. i think they prefer ‘MDGs’ to solving actual problems of our times.

      besides the gulf lot are too crafty by far. there is no king faisal around, the hegemons have made sure of it.

      sunny, malaysian troops are softies. far too cute. i would have included the turks, but they dont care for arab land or candy + you’ve got the kurd thing.

      which leaves iran…

    53. Refresh — on 14th December, 2008 at 1:48 am  

      Shamit, your twisted ankle shouldn’t have blinded you.

      I would much rather we had a democratic UN, not one determined on past economic power but representative of world population centres.

      Not sure what the pope has got to do with it.

      I wouldn’t object to regional blocks (and these don’t need to be trading blocks) getting seats on the UNSC.

    54. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 8:29 am  

      It strikes me that Refresh is right.

      I am astonished that after such long periods of debate and recognition of the disaster that is Bush, PNAC and their full spectrum dominance strategy. We now end up worrying that if the US leave there will be more bloodshed. Wouldn’t this give the invaders what they sought from day one? A permanent presence in Iraq?

      This is just an excuse for continuing a wrong. I’d like to see Iraq as a modern democracy, but it is up to them to create that. For me, the three state solution seems the most likely, however accepting that might be beyond the ties that bind. This could be as bloody as the American Civil War.I’m not at all sure that Kurds see themselves as Iraqis any more. What say you?

    55. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 8:37 am  

      I am a firm believer in democracy, too, but real democracy cannot be imposed from above, this would be a paternalism, and goes against what the likes of JS Mill were arguing when carving our their philosophies on liberty and democracy ( OK , sure Mill said slightly dubious things about the colonies.. ) but he had it right on democracy at least.

    56. douglas clark — on 14th December, 2008 at 9:59 am  

      halima,

      Absolutely. That would, somewhat, be my point.

    57. Ashik — on 14th December, 2008 at 11:00 am  

      The lomgterm solution to Iraqi stability is quite simple. Horrible but simple. Three seperate countries rather than the artificial ‘Iraq’ created by the Ottomans and continued under British suzerainty where minority Sunni were given political power at the expense of the majority Shia and Kurds.

      The Kurdish Regional Govyt (KRG) should become a de jure state as well as a de facto one. It already has the institutions of a separate state, including the Peshmurga Kurdish army. The KRG is currently the most stable area of Iraq and would be Pro-Western in outlook. The Turks, Iranians and Syrians, with their own restive Kurdish minorities will need convincing.

      Creation of two seperate states, a Sunni one based at Baghdad and a Shia state based on Basra. Baghdad has already been ethnically cleansed district by district of Sunni and Shia by the violence. Basra is overwhelmingly Shia. Continue this by further movement of Sunnis and Shias to respective majority areas. Those who would stay behind would do so at their own discretion. The main dosadvantage here is that all the neighbouring states would oppose this solution. Sunni Iraq would become a satellite state of Saudi Arabia and Shia Iraq that of Iran.

      Only in this way can each community get on with life without their hands wrapped around each others throats.

    58. BenSix — on 14th December, 2008 at 1:39 pm  

      I am astonished that after such long periods of debate and recognition of the disaster that is Bush, PNAC and their full spectrum dominance strategy. We now end up worrying that if the US leave there will be more bloodshed. Wouldn’t this give the invaders what they sought from day one? A permanent presence in Iraq?

      You’re quite right, and it took me a while of stumbling around blindly to realise it.

      Ben

    59. S Johal — on 14th December, 2008 at 1:49 pm  

      Nothing whatsoever to do with OBL or Al Quaidathe.

      All Imperialist wars are economimal, the pretext to carry them out might be different {WMD Grenada, The bay of pigs,{Cuba] The Second World War the list is endless. Its just the people are duped into beleiving otherwise. I am sorry but thats my conclution.

    60. S Johal — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:13 pm  

      Pakistan is the whole reason for the outright war on a country that was on no-ones radar, pre 9/11?

      It has been on the US radar since pro-Moscow Najibulla came to power in Afganistan

      .Get my point — you are being ridiculous to say the least and a bit offensive especially the day after 4 Royal Marines died.

      Listan Mate, I dont give a Shit how manny Ocupier are killed, if you find it offensive, tuff, but I do have feeling for those innocent killed by airstrikesor or by terrorist. We have allready lost the war in Afganistan, 75 percent of the county is in control of the resistant {yes resistant} Just to contain the insurgency, 500000 troops are required, whos going to supply them, are you volunteering

    61. Leon — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:21 pm  

      Ashik, and how would you deal with control of the oil?

    62. halima — on 14th December, 2008 at 2:22 pm  

      Interesting I was in Jordon a few weeks ago - and all the adverts in Amman ( Iraq is an hr away on the road) were of companies opening up business next door- to help re-build Iraq - great virgin territory as far as they can see - like back in the old days.

    63. S Johal — on 14th December, 2008 at 5:25 pm  

      Sorry, this was revenge, pure and simple.

      The West has got lot of appertite for blood. 3000 died in 9/11. How many thousands have died in Iraq and Afganistan, how many more are we going to slaugher untill our thirst for blood has been queched

      Why didn’t the US bomb the Saudis, as most of the bombers came from there, even today the the Saudis continue to fund these religous groups in Iraq.

    64. Sunny — on 14th December, 2008 at 9:52 pm  

      I have a problem with how you are providing the suicide bombing in Kirkuk as proof that if Americans leave, Iraq will devolve into an even bigger nightmare. Suicide bombings have occurred in Iraq long before “American plans to withdraw militarily from Iraq became official.”

      The suicide bombings happen due to a security vaccuum. Given that the al-qaeda lot are willing to destabilise country that present easy targets - Pakistan, India and Iraq - not sure what your point is Desi.

      Refresh - Who do you think is behind these attacks? The Americans maybe? Why not try and come to some sort of a conclusion, or would you rather leave it vague just to be blind to the reality that the biggest cause of death in Iraq right now are Muslim suicide bombers?

      I didn’t say I favoured America staying in forever. I certainly think the oil reserves should be tightly preserved so the money can go to the re-building of Iraq.
      I also think a security vaccuum exists - and either a UN or an OIC force is needed… in the meantime if the US and UK withdraw without a strong apparatus in place - more bloodshed will follow.

    65. Refresh — on 15th December, 2008 at 1:22 am  

      ‘Refresh - Who do you think is behind these attacks? The Americans maybe? Why not try and come to some sort of a conclusion, or would you rather leave it vague just to be blind to the reality that the biggest cause of death in Iraq right now are Muslim suicide bombers?’

      Its impossible to come to any conclusion. That was just my point. I am not blind to the violence perpetrated by suicide bombers, nor am I blind to what black-ops are about. Basically we don’t really know.

      As for leaving Iraq, I think journalists’ shoes can tell Bush more directly than anything we could say here.

      The oil: I would like that preserved but rebuilding to be paid for by the US. The 30 year oil exploitation agreements to be cancelled, and renegotiations to take place after the US has left.

      Greater violence would not surprise me, especially around the issue of oil. As a thought, if there is a liklihood of a three-way split of the country and the oil is in the north and south, this is likely to leave the middle without revenue. This will probably be the flashpoint. A federal state with revenue share based on a development plan across the whole of Iraq is the only way forward.

      There are significant forces within the now-dominant shia community who seek unity across the communities. Our purpose, surely, must now be to strengthen those forces. The problem for the occupation is that its headed by their political nemesis - Moqtada Al-Sadr.

    66. douglas clark — on 15th December, 2008 at 1:36 am  

      Ashik,

      Why is this horrible?

      The lomgterm solution to Iraqi stability is quite simple. Horrible but simple. Three seperate countries rather than the artificial ‘Iraq’ created by the Ottomans and continued under British suzerainty where minority Sunni were given political power at the expense of the majority Shia and Kurds.

      What is wrong with that?

    67. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 2:51 am  

      55 and 56. Yep. yeah why do people forget this? because paternalism comes with the” hey we’ll look after you folks” pat on the head?

      military intervention unless very carefully planned, is not the kind of intervention that should be automatically be considered when people think ‘we must do something’.

      Why do we not look back on history and say’ ah those Europeans fought each other for a long time. We ought to have intervened to speed up the process!.’

      it takes a long time for ’states’ to stabilize. who’s to say who’s got it right and who hasn’t? as far as i can see, its still an emerging game.
      of course no one has the monopoly on concern and caring. but naturally there consequences to consider and there will be different viewpoints. when concern and caring come with bombs, don’t be so suprised that the recipients aren’t so happy. and i don’t see why anyone thinks anyone from the ‘outside’ will have a better solution, or more of a moral prerogative, than anyone on the inside. we might not like it, but that’s tough. if you’ve made a mess, that’s still not an excuse to get in deeper in order to clear up the mess. every good strategist knows when to cut their losses and minimize further trouble.

      me i’m just glad its not my backyard, not now. if i want to fight for something, then i’ll go there and get involved myself. none of this distance armchair fighting for me. when you don’t have to directly deal with the consequences, your judgement is always going to be biased in as much as you’re not having to weigh up the consequences in a real kind of way. the kind of way you have to if you are yourself actually going to be involved. in those situations, you have to recognise the distance you have from the consequence, and “weight” your analysis accordingly.

      otherwise its just imposing our own flawed conclusions onto other people, without sharing in the consequences. that’s just not fair. of course everyone’s conclusions are ‘flawed’ at some level, but at least if its about your own future and you are participating in the consequences of what you recommend, its more honest.

      the iraqis have been suffering for a long time (and fugstar, i don’t know what ambitions Iraq had, the Dictator never really gave the nation a chance, it was one war after another) Iraq invaded Kuwait not long after the Iraq-Iran war. So those people have not had a taste of peace for so long they’ve forgotten what it was like!

    68. sonia — on 15th December, 2008 at 2:58 am  

      and OIC indeed - what a sham! absolute rubbish, makes me want to laugh. As if the OIC represents any real kind of unity or co-operation at all, pathetic, simply pathetic.

    69. fugstar — on 15th December, 2008 at 10:12 am  

      but then again, you dont really beleive in making ummah work in the first place do you?

      Its problem historically arises from the fact that adding many zeros together acheives nothing. This was the rationale behind Surhawardi not backing NAsser back in the day and going pro US. Today there are four countries of positive integer value there: iran, turkey, indonesia and malaysia.

      and thats not mentioning that so many oic countries are prolific ‘peacekeeper’ capitalists.

    70. Refresh — on 17th December, 2008 at 2:47 am  

      Sunny, here are more signs of national unity, courtesy of Muntadhar al-Zaidi:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/dec/17/bush-shoes-iraqi-journalist-hero

      ‘Expressions of support and demands for Muntadhar’s immediate release have spread from Najaf and Falluja to Baghdad, and from Mosul in the north to Basra in the south. An impressive show of anti-occupation unity is developing fast, after being weakened by the sectarian forces that the occupation itself has strengthened and nourished, as Muntadhar himself used to stress.

      No one asked after Muntadhar’s religion or sect, but they all loved his message. Indeed, I have yet to come across an Iraqi media outlet or website that pronounced on his religion, sect or ethnicity. The first I heard of his “sect” was through US and British media.’

      Its worth focussing on this point ‘the sectarian forces that the occupation itself has strengthened and nourished’. And the question materialises - Who is feeding the US and UK media with the sectarian line?

    71. Refresh — on 17th December, 2008 at 2:52 am  

      Sonia, you have a point about OIC unity and cooperation. Its a longstanding issue. Just goes to show they have little time to sort themselves out and present an effective voice on the world stage.

      Lets hope they are working on it, its possible they are given their collective advert in support of the 2002 Israel/Palestine Peace Initiative.

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