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    Seeing sense on Iraq


    by Al-Hack on 10th October, 2006 at 12:16 am    

    Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International magazine, has had enough of the train-wreck that is Iraq and urges Bush to pull out.

    It is time to call an end to the tests, the six-month trials, the waiting and watching, and to recognize that the Iraqi government has failed. It is also time to face the terrible reality that America’s mission in Iraq has substantially failed.

    CBS News’s Lara Logan has filed astonishing reports on the Health Ministry, which is run by supporters of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. According to Logan, hospitals in Baghdad and Karbala are systematically killing Sunni patients and then dumping their bodies in mass graves.

    President Bush says that if America leaves Iraq now, the violence will get worse, and terrorists could take control. He’s right. But that will be true whenever we leave. “Staying the course” only delays that day of reckoning. To be fair, however, Bush has now defined the only realistic goal left for America’s mission in Iraq: not achieving success but limiting failure.

    The penny took a while to drop but it’s clear even to moderate centre-rights (incl Andrew Sullivan) that the situation is hopeless. Read the article. See the figures. There is no other viable strategy.



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    23 Comments below   |  

    1. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 10:20 am  

      Pedant mode, but: ‘Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International magazine, has had enough of the train-wreck that is Iraq’

      Metaphorically speaking, Big Brother is a train-wreck
      Literally speaking, Potters Bar was a train-wreck

      But Iraq? A train-wreck? Understatement of the millennium…

    2. The Common Humanist — on 10th October, 2006 at 10:38 am  

      Iraq, well Central Iraq, is in a terrible state - lets call it a civil war. The South and North are different, especially the North.

      Anyways, if the US pulls out and a conventional civil war kicks off - utilising the Iraqi Armies heavy weapons - what will people be saying? When the Jihadists, Sadrists and Ba’athists murder everyone who tried to build a new, more just Iraq what will people be thinking?

      Iraq is bad now, but US withdrawl isn’t a cure all, far from it. Imagine a Talebanised Iraq…………

      We, the West, will be back therer in five or ten or fifteen years time to get rid of another bunch of Nazi successor wannabees. Again.

    3. Sid — on 10th October, 2006 at 10:46 am  

      Imagine a Talebanised Iraq…………

      With the Iraqi war lords going at each other hammer and tong whilst the US are standing around holding their dicks, I wonder what more you need to qualify the term to describe in Iraq as anything other than “Talibanised”.

    4. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 10:50 am  

      Yeah, imagine a ‘Talebanised Iraq’ indeed. Some of us did. That’s why we pipped that Saddam was the lesser of the evils and to topple him and the ground beneath him would means these worms would pop up and try to take over. And there you were imagining it’d be love peace and harmony allround with everyone kissing the west’s anus in gratitude

      Need to work on that imagination a bit more next time a flight of fancy makes you think killing everyone is a good way to save them

    5. Sid — on 10th October, 2006 at 10:54 am  

      haha

    6. The Common Humanist — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:02 am  

      ‘Killing everyone is a good way to save them’

      Sorry, Kismet, met too many Iraqis in the last ten years who had been tortured to want to keep Saddam and his thugs in power (for example, difficult to want him to stay in power when considering the family I met in 2001 who all had internal soldering iron scaring (you work out the details)

      My mistake was to underestimate just how feeble the US administrations planning and approach would be.

      That all said, the US is stuck and the Iraqis are yet again paying the price - as has always been the case since the late 70’s.

    7. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:06 am  

      Saddam and his thugs tortured people. Can’t argue with that. I’m sure the law abiding Iraqi massive thought: ‘That Saddam’s a right git’, but were too afraid to say it out load.

      Cut to the war and those law abiding Iraqi massive? Well, they’re dead.

      Bravo!

      In my world, you don’t sort out the school bully by blowing up the school.

    8. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:15 am  

      I know this thread will descend into yet another volley of ‘we can’t leave now because them Iraqis will be more fucked than before’, but can at least one pro-war person say: ‘I’m sorry. We shouldn’t have gone in there in the first place’

      Getting a bit bored of saying ‘told you so…’

      (PS. I bet by post 28, someone will bring in Israel and by post 36, India and Pakistan. Books are open kids…)

    9. Col.Mustafa — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:24 am  

      Ahh, so many articles these days stating the obvious, its almost hilarious, but not.
      It nearly gets to a stage where i laugh out loud, but then i just go quiet again.

      Fareed Zakaria is basically saying, doesn’t really matter wtf the US do now, its all f..k.d.
      Which seems to be the case, but will the US take that as lets stay permanently until we have the right model for this country?

    10. Vikrant — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:30 am  

      Ironically JihadWatch seems to agree with Zakaria… according to them, more fucked up the MidEast is more better…

    11. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:32 am  

      Talking of things that are almost funny but not, North Korea is really putting a spanner in bush’s works, no? There he was, successfully convincing the world that America had crushed communism and it’s them muslims that are gonna blow us all to pieces…

      What North Korea needs now is a democracy. Worked in Russia, Iraq, afghanistan…

    12. Leon — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:45 am  

      There is no other viable strategy.

      Agreed but then invading in the first place would have been the best strategy. You can’t turn back the clock and given they didn’t listen with regards to invading what chance is there they will now?

    13. Leon — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:45 am  

      Yikes! That first line should have read “NOT invading in the first place would have been the best strategy”!

    14. Col.Mustafa — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:54 am  

      Well Bush’s cronies must be saying something along the lines of Do we want to back out? Hmm hmm
      I mean were kinda getting a reputation for this sorta thing; i say we defy common misconception that we can’t finish the job and we finish the job we came to dooo.
      Lets finish in style boys, i want a commnal cumming session, finish like you mean it.

      Thats right; your right, everyones thinks were gonna fail and nothing good will come of Iraq.
      That means 1 thing and 1 thing only, we have to try until it works.
      If we try hard enough, i will work, the people of Iraq will soon be friends with each other and us. Its like John and Wendy.
      Whose John and Wendy?
      John is a good friend of mine and hes been trying to get into Wendy’s pants for nearly 8 yrs.
      He tried and he tried, he gave her flowers and choclates, and flowers and some flowers and teddy bears, but she would always tell him to F..k off my porch.
      Eventually after 7 yrs things started changing, they finally went out and now thier married.
      Thats amazing, im so happy for John.

      I know, same here.

      Cool.

    15. sonia — on 10th October, 2006 at 11:57 am  

      Psychologically speaking - no one’s going to be happy to face up to what is considered a ‘failure’ - so unless we can couch it in different terms the US of A isn’t going to be happy about taking their troops out precisely for that reason - that it would be seen as a failure.

      so anyone who wants an end - we’d better work out some manipulative head patting pretty quick. then once they’re out we can say = oh and about that little matter…

    16. Kismet Hardy — on 10th October, 2006 at 12:00 pm  

      I’ve got a mate who lives by the same philosophy Colonel: ‘If you want something, wait long enough and you’ll get it. Except it won’t look anything like how you remember it.’

    17. soru — on 10th October, 2006 at 12:16 pm  

      I have to disagree with this analysis, which I suspect of being briefed by someone with the desire to see Iraq split up, with a US-friendly Kurdish oil state.

      I don’t see any problem in Iraq that the government of Iraq can’t handle, perhaps with the help of US airpower and special forces.

      Withdrawing troops, or at least starting the withdrawl process, is the key to damping down the violence. US troops at the moment seem to be blundering about arresting people for no better reason than that they broke the law, which is hardly a strategy. They need to be taken out of the picture.

      Al Qaeda Iraq is pretty much a spent force, and noone else actually wants a civil war, so there is no good reason for that to happen. If it does, it will be short and the winner obvious.

      If you look at any of the comparable situations (Ireland, Malaya, Kenya, Oman) the key element of success was the commitment to withdraw. All of those countries are now non-shitholes, especially in comparison to the places (vietnam, algeria) where the foreign occupying power fought on to the bitter end.

    18. ZinZin — on 10th October, 2006 at 4:55 pm  

      you look at any of the comparable situations (Ireland, Malaya, Kenya, Oman) the key element of success was the commitment to withdraw. All of those countries are now non-shitholes, especially in comparison to the places (vietnam, algeria) where the foreign occupying power fought on to the bitter end.

      I will take you up on Ireland, Brits out and civil war begins. The civil war kills more people than the 1916-21 struggle against the Brits. Ireland is then a theocracy for the 50 years until EU membership leads to economic growth and prosperity.

      Iraq will desend into greater violence if the UK/US troops leave. It is already under the influence of Al-Sistani and will be an Iranian style theocracy if the troops leave.

    19. soru — on 10th October, 2006 at 5:45 pm  

      If you consider 1950s Ireland to be an unacceptably bad outcome for Iraq, I am pretty sure you are going to end up disappointed.

      Even if Iraq ends up a carbon copy of Iran, that’s still a massive improvement over the Saddam era, and, unlike that, a situation that can progress peacefully. Saddam’s Iraq wasn’t just bad, it was steadily getting worse, with no likely prospect of a peaceful outcome.

    20. ZinZin — on 10th October, 2006 at 5:58 pm  

      “Even if Iraq ends up a carbon copy of Iran, that’s still a massive improvement over the Saddam era, and, unlike that, a situation that can progress peacefully. Saddam’s Iraq wasn’t just bad, it was steadily getting worse, with no likely prospect of a peaceful outcome.”

      Soru look up the word ambition. I would like to leave Iraq in a far better position than that.

    21. soru — on 10th October, 2006 at 8:57 pm  

      What you would like is not particularly relevant. How things actually are, and what can be done to improve them, is.

      Progress happens incrementally, not by visualising a utopian tomorrow and using unlimited force to get reality to match the image.

      Because that’s pretty much what Saddam did. He came from the tradition of Peter the Great, a secularising and modernising tyrant. The thing is, a society shaped by force, not grown progressively, can only be held together by it, and that is inevitably ugly.

    22. ZinZin — on 10th October, 2006 at 10:39 pm  

      Saddam and Peter the Great! I am no authority on Russian History but such a comparison is ludicrous.

      “The thing is, a society shaped by force”
      War is the locomotive of History-Trotsky.

      Trotsky and his Bolshevik ilk were forward thinking and a modernising force. Iraqs Jihadis and Islamists want to put the locomotive in reverse.

      “What you would like is not particularly relevant. How things actually are, and what can be done to improve them, is.”

      Tell that to Iraqi women, democrats, trade unionists, liberals and secularists. Do not address them to myself. I am sure they look forward to the rule of limb-amputaters and acid throwers.

    23. Sunny — on 11th October, 2006 at 2:09 am  

      Interesting…. you make some good points soru.

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