Saturday, September 29, 2007

How would we define "victory" in Iraq?

President Bush claims that we're on the road to "victory" in Iraq. I wonder how we would define an American military victory in that chaotic land. A "victory" requires a "winner" and a "loser." We have so many different Iraqi enemies that it would be hard to figure out who is the primary loser.

Can you picture Muqtada al-Sadr, the anti-American cleric who leads the Shiite militia, the Mehdi Army, sitting down with Lt. Gen. David Patreaus, the U.S. commander, to surrender? Or the leader of the Sunni insurgents or the head of Al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia acknowledging defeat at a formal surrender ceremony?

The President and his war-hawk supporters are in fantasy-land when they treat Iraq as a conventional war in which one side surrenders to the other. We are engaged in guerrilla warfare. And it is unlike other guerrilla conflicts in which insurgents fight against an established central government. In Iraq, two different wars are waging.

In one, Shiite forces are battling Sunni forces in what is essentially a civil war. In the other war, Sunni insurgents and radical Shiite factions like the Mehdi Army are fighting the U.S. And all the while, anti-American elements are infiltrating the Iraq government's official army and police units to aid the Shiite guerrillas.

Meantime, the Maliki-headed central Iraqi government, which we installed and for whom we are shedding American lives to protect, plays footsie with Iran, the country Bush fears would take over Iraq if U.S. forces withdrew.

President Bush recently boasted that we have won the allegiance of a handful of Sunni tribal sheiks willing to help fight both the Sunni insurgents and Al-Qeada in Mesopotamia, the homegrown terrorist group inspired, but not necessarily linked to Osama Bin-Laden's original Afghan-based terror organization.

Within days, our new "allies" were assassinated. Other Sunni tribal sheiks are highly unlikely to cooperate with us. Those same Sunni insurgents are now systematically killing loyal commanders of Iraqi police and military units.

In their recent testimony before Congressional committees, both Lt. Gen. Patreaus and Ryan Crocker, our ambassador to Baghdad, appeared reluctant to agree with President Bush's absurd argument that our involvement in Iraq has made the U.S. more secure.

In fact, the invasion and the subsequent bloody occupation of Iraq have made us more vulnerable to terrorism. Agitated by what they see as the suffering of their fellow Muslims, Islamic extremists are pouring into Iraq from other Muslim countries, eager to kill American "infidels." Iraq has replaced Afghanistan as the primary training ground for Islamic terrorists.

Just as important, many defense experts worry that American military capabilities have been so weakened by our involvement in Iraq that we are ill-prepared to contend with new threats to national security.

This is the situation that President Bush will bequeath to his successor in the White House. As the next President wrestles with Iraq, Bush expects to be on the lecture circuit, as he told the author of a new Bush biography, to "replenish the old coffers." He envies how Bill Clinton has cashed in on his Presidency.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Chancy said...

All GWB thinks about is "what's in it for me"

How can he live with himself?

Sunday, September 30, 2007 7:09:00 PM  
Blogger Peggy said...

I heard a statistic that a 40th of the Iraqi population has died. I am taking that particular statistic with a grain of salt until I can get substantiation, but it is certainly believable. That number or percentage speaks volumes about who the losers are in this war.

Monday, October 01, 2007 12:48:00 PM  
Blogger Ginnie said...

Per usual you have nailed the situation right on the head. I have a hard time forgiving my fellow Americans for not only electing but RE-ELECTING this idiot (and his bunch of cronies)to head our country. I pity the poor man/woman who suceeds him!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007 3:04:00 PM  
Blogger joared said...

As with many of the words he uses, or misuses, our President provides his own definitions as to what they actually mean -- often not related to traditional concepts.

Saturday, October 27, 2007 8:37:00 PM  
Anonymous I.M. SMALL said...

EVEN SUPPOSING

Even with "triumph on the ground"
No vindication could be found,
For what was wrong, and also foolish,
The dream´s evaporation ghoulish.

Yes, even if Iraq submits,
And all entrenched resistence quits
To our hegemony installed
Of naked force, aggression bald,

None ever will admit the thing
Beyond the crudest posturing,
With noble sentiments exposed
All rancid lies--as though "case closed."

Saturday, November 03, 2007 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger indigo said...

There'll be no victory in Iraq, I think. The war was a mistake to begin with, a Pandora's box. And to pull out now could be costly. There'll be a huge blackhole that would be reminiscent of Afghanistan at the end of their conflict with Russia. Where was the US then? That's when the mujahideen then, became the dreaded Taliban of today.

When I was in the US over the summer, I remember watching the news about Iraq every day, every hour. At home in Singapore, it's just a blip on the inside pages. Sad...this is one war everyone wishes would just go away. Iraq is a powder keg waiting for the unexpected spark. But there isn't a solution yet that will diffuse the keg, bring peace in the region and let every American soldier return home happily.

Whoever becomes the next President, I hope has a better head on his/her shoulders, strong advisors that will put the country and people first before their interests, and will work at correcting the rather sullied image of the US abroad.

God bless the USA.

Thursday, December 06, 2007 2:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is easy to sit back and place the blame. I would not want President Bushes job. I personally think he is doing the best that can be done. The only change I would have is I would like him to wipe out the Middle East completely. I do not claim to always be right, but I cherish my freedom of speech.

Friday, May 23, 2008 10:19:00 AM  

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