Friday, August 18, 2006

Who are we training the Iraqis to defend against?

Ever since I began publishing this blog in February 2005 I have argued that the invasion of Iraq was the biggest foreign policy blunder in American history. I hesitate to sound like a broken clock, but here I go again.

Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, despite the manipulated use of intelligence data that the Bush Admistration used to justify the war. Although Vice-President Cheney still insists it is so, there was no link between Iraq and Al Qaeda's 9/11 attack, and Saddam's evil regime was not exporting terrorism to foreign territory. It was too busy brutalizing its own population, particularly the Shiites and Kurds.

There is no logic to the Administration's belated objective to introduce democracy--an alien concept--to Iraq. The regional culture there is authoritarian, and what may be desirable to Americans is not necessarily what Muslim societies want. The biggest beneficiary of the Iraq invasion has been neighboring Iran, an anti-American nation that has become a major player in Iraq and a more dangerous source of Islamist terrorism.

Now Iraq is sinking further and further into chaos and violence. Last month the number of roadside bombs planted was the highest total of the war. The anti-American insurgency has continued to strengthen, and both American military and Iraqi civilian casualties are soaring.

Yet President Bush appears isolated from the real world. He and his top advisers boast about "how much progress we're making" in Iraq. They argue simplistically about the need to "stay the course," and warn against the danger of "cutting and running."

The Administration's current goal, it says, is to train and prepare the Iraqi government to defend itself. The big question is: defend itself against whom? No foreign enemy threatens Iraq.

While Washington debates whether a genuine civil war exists in Iraq, the local militias are busy battling each other, often with the involvement of the very military and police forces that we are training and equipping.

In short, the U.S. is caught in the middle. It is time for us to get out because we are weakening ourselves to fight the legitimate war against terrorism.


Blogger Chancy said...

"In short, the U.S. is caught in the middle. It is time for us to get out because we are weakening ourselves to fight the legitimate war against terrorism"

So true BUT:

"We must stay the course"

"When the Iraqis stand up, we
will stand down"

"We cannot cut and run"

"We fight them over there so we won't have to fight them over here"

"Mission accomplished"

Friday, August 18, 2006 9:47:00 PM  
Blogger Chancy said...

and this I just found this:

Top 10 Bad Reasons for “Staying the Course” in Iraq
(and One Good One)
by Jeff Huber
03 October 2005

"10. Democracy takes time. America needed 13 years to write its Constitution.
The American Revolution analogy is ludicrous. Britain did not invade the American colonies in order to liberate us, and we did not ask them to stick around for more than a decade to help us form our government.

9. If we leave now, we’ll embolden the terrorists.
They’re not exactly shrinking violets now. The longer we’ve stayed, the bolder they’ve become.
8. Withdrawing will show lack of American resolve.
Getting in a bar fight over a girl shows resolve. Waking up in jail with your nose broken shows how stupid you are.
7. We’re fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here.
If we don’t have to fight them over here, why do we spend around $40 billion a year for a Department of Homeland Security?
6. The spread of democracy in the Middle East will enhance America’s security.
"Free" elections in the Middle East have helped Afghanistan become the world’s leading exporter of narcotics and transformed terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah into "legitimate" political parties.
5. We need to support our troops.
I applaud and deeply respect our men and women in uniform for their magnificent service and sacrifice. These are my people, remember? However, comma….
In the first place, we are supporting our troops — to the tune of nearly half a trillion dollars a year.
Second, when we continue to commit those men and women in uniform to a struggle for which there is no military solution, we are abusing them, not supporting them.
Third — and most importantly — America does not exist for the purpose of supporting its military. Our military exists to support America. And if it’s not defending us at home or achieving our national aims overseas, it’s not supporting our country.
4. If we pull out now, we’ll look weak.
We’ve committed our national power to an ill-advised war and are losing. How much weaker can we look?
3. In times of crisis, we need to rally around the president and his policies.
America will not maintain or restore its power and prestige by behaving like a nation of lemmings. There is nothing noble, brave, or patriotic about following the leader over the cliff and into the sea.
2. "They tried to kill my dad."
Thanks to Mr. Bush’s policies and strategies, they’ve succeeded in killing a lot of dads, and moms, and aunts, and uncles, and brothers, and sisters ….
If we cut through the bunker mentality and frame the argument for staying in Iraq to reflect the neocons’ real purpose for the Iraq invasion, it might sound something like this:
1. We set out to establish a military base of operations from which we can control the Middle East and its oil, and we should persist until we "get the job done."
Even though it’s true, the argument’s still specious. Our "besttrained, bestequipped, bestfunded" military can’t get Iraq or Afghanistan under control. How can we possibly expect to lock down the entire Middle East?

+1. We owe something to the Iraqi people.
This is the only rationale that still holds water with me. We need to pay for the pottery we broke. But how much do we need to pay for it, and who exactly is this we we’re referring to, kemosabe"

Friday, August 18, 2006 9:56:00 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

After the latest terror non-incident that was foiled in the UK, our dear GWB stated that these Islamic Fundamentalists were out to get Americans because of their beliefs. No they're not! They're out to get Americans because of the government's foreign policies. I really really wish they would "cut and run". Enough damage has been done.

Saturday, August 19, 2006 12:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good analysis.I would add that this war costs alot of money.It is not included in the Federal budget---and of course the budget is already in the red.A real financial waste.

Saturday, August 19, 2006 7:36:00 AM  
Blogger saz said...

Mort - The title says it all. Apparently we're training them now to kill eachother. This is such a tragedy for that country (and for us) - what a mess we've made.

Liked all the comments on this one.

Sunday, August 20, 2006 1:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Joared said...

I continue to agree with your analysis of the mess this administration has made of foreign policy.

I, too, remain greatly distressed over how our government is squandering American lives, weakening our position "to fight the legitimate war against terrorism."

Monday, August 21, 2006 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger Raphie Frank said...

This post is referenced in an blog post I just placed online. I thought you may like to give it a read...

My Grandfather, My Father, 9/11 and an Octogenarian Whose Words Quite Yet Matter

You speak sense on this Mortart. I hope more people will come this way, particularly those in positions of power and influence.

Kindest Regards,
Raphie Rank

Monday, September 11, 2006 6:43:00 AM  

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