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Iraq: the growing problem in the south
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Finally the problems in the south of Iraq are gaining the necessary visibility for coalition forces to begin to take the action necessary to foil the Iranian effort to infiltrate the Iraqi Interior Ministry. The situation came to the attention of coalition forces during a series of raids on Interior Ministry prisons:
The Iranian-backed militia the Badr Organization has taken over many of the Iraqi Interior Ministry's intelligence activities and infiltrated its elite commando units, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

That's enabled the Shiite Muslim militia to use Interior Ministry vehicles and equipment - much of it bought with American money - to carry out revenge attacks against the minority Sunni Muslims, who persecuted the Shiites under Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein, current and former Ministry of Interior employees told Knight Ridder.

The officials, some of whom agreed to speak only on the condition of anonymity for fear of violent reprisals, said the Interior Ministry had become what amounted to an Iranian fifth column inside the U.S.-backed Iraqi government, running death squads and operating a network of secret prisons.

The militia's secret activities threaten to derail U.S.-backed efforts to persuade Sunnis to abandon the violent insurgency and join Shiites and Kurds in Iraq's fledgling political process. And by supporting Badr and other Shiite groups, Iran - a member of President Bush's "axis of evil" that sponsors international terrorism, is thought to be seeking nuclear weapons and calls for the destruction of Israel - has used the American-led invasion to gain influence in Iraq.

"They're putting millions of dollars into the south to influence the elections ... it's funded primarily through their charity organizations and also Badr and some of these political parties," said Gen. George W. Casey, the top U.S. general in Iraq. "A lot of their guys (Badr) are going into the police and military."
As Wesley Clark pointed out in an op/ed we discussed last week, way to little attention has been paid to the south of the country and the border with Iran which has all but allowed the free movment of Iranian agents across the border and within that region. Of course the Badr Organization is the Iraqi Shiite proxy for Iran, but nevertheless, it's aim is to carry out the wishes of the Iranian government and, in turn, influence the forming Iraqi govenrment to Iran's favor.

So we see Casey talking about it and recognizing the problem, but, one wonders, what is the solution?

One Iraqi general says that the infiltration is fairly complete:
Interior Ministry and Badr officials have denied any involvement in the prisons or death squads, but Gen. Muntadhar Muhi al-Samaraee, a former head of special forces at the Interior Ministry, said the prisons were run by Badr operatives.

"All prisons in the south and most of those in Baghdad are run by the Badr militia," al-Samaraee, a Sunni, said in an interview in Amman, Jordan. Al-Samaraee said he left the country for medical treatment and decided not to return because of death threats. He's denied Interior Ministry accusations that he fled to Jordan after stealing a car.
Now, you can take the fact that he's a Sunni and he's fled the country into account, but in reality, it appears that he may be factually correct.

The Badr Organization naturally denies it, but in a fit of anger, the leader of the organization let slip his ties in a recent interview:
Badr's leader, Hadi al-Amari, has denied maintaining ties to Iran, but in a fit of anger during a recent interview with Knight Ridder he admitted as much while striking out against U.S.-backed secular Shiite politician Ayad Allawi.

"Allawi receives money from America, from the CIA, but nobody talks about that. All they talk about is our funding from Iran," he said, raising his voice. "We are funded by some (Persian) Gulf countries and the Islamic Republic of Iran. We don't hide it."

Badr was formed and trained in Iran in cooperation with the Iranian government, and its members staged raids into Iraq during the war between the neighboring countries in the 1980s.
Well there you go. So?

So it's time to take care of this particular region now as well.

Interestingly, militias are outlawed in Iraq. But as Casey points out, members who join the military and the government don't even try to hide their affiliation. As Casey says, in reality they're not "infiltrators" at all:
Although militias are illegal under Iraqi law, Badr has flourished as U.S. forces have declined to crack down.

"It's not infiltration. They're upfront about it (their militia affiliation) and day to day things are OK, but then there's a crisis," Casey said. "What you see happening is that people are ... signing up (for the security forces) but their loyalties lie more to a militia leader than a chief of police."
Strategically, allowing these militias to gain influece is inexcusable. I'm not sure of the dynamics or particulars of the situation but letting militias continue to exist (knowingly) and allowing them to gain influence (even unknowingly) is akin shooting our effort there in the foot. Obviously a government or elements of a government loyal to extra national entity isn't exactly what this has been all about.

And of course the following sounds like shades of Saddam if you ask me:
A document obtained by Knight Ridder appears to reveal the existence of an Interior Ministry death squad.

A memo written by an Iraqi general in the ministry operations room and addressed to the minister's office says on its subject line: "Names of detainees." It lists 14 men who were taken from Iskan, a Sunni neighborhood in western Baghdad, during the early morning hours of Aug. 18. It also marks the time of their detention: 5:15 a.m.

The bodies of the same 14 men were found in the town of Badrah near the Iranian border in early October. Hussein Sayhoud, a doctor at Baghdad's main morgue who examined the bodies and signed one of the death certificates, said that most of the men had been killed by single gunshots to their heads.

"I remember when they brought in the whole group," Sayhoud said. "They were so badly decomposed we couldn't identify any marks of torture."

The general who signed the Interior Ministry memo, Brig. Gen. Abdul Kareem Khalaf, confirmed its authenticity. But despite a heading that reads "Names of the detainees in the Iskan District," Khalaf maintained that insurgents, not Interior Ministry police, had abducted the men.

It's unclear, however, why an Interior Ministry general would refer to men who'd been kidnapped by Sunni insurgents as "detainees" in an official government document, or how the general knew the exact time of the abduction.
Have to go with Knight Ridder here ... how do "insurgents" gain control of "detainees"?

Naturally the General is upset ... not about the death of the 14, but that the memo somehow got out of the headquarters.

And I love this assessment as well:
Col. Joseph DiSalvo, who commands a brigade of the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division in eastern Baghdad, where there's a heavy Shiite militia presence, said it would be all but impossible for the American military to defeat the militias.

The largest neighborhood in DiSalvo's area of operations is Sadr City, home to 2.5 million to 3 million people. It was the site of fierce clashes last year between al-Sadr's militia and U.S. forces.

"Sadr City is probably our most secure zone because of the de facto militia presence ... the Mahdi militias doing their neighborhood patrols," DiSalvo said. "And you also have Badr patrols where you have SCIRI enclaves."
While it is entirely possible that DiSalvo's brigade may not be up to the job by itself, I have a great deal of difficulty buying into the notion that the militia couldn't be defeted by the US military if it so chose to do so.

But that aside, it seems to me we've been trading with the devil in that area, trading peace (by allowing the militias to control the area) for growing influence. It may be time to break that little truce and enforce the law which bans militias. It is also time to take measures to severely cut down on the ability for Iranian agents to move freely across the border.

If, indeed, it is as critical as everyone thinks that the Sunnis feel a sense of inclusion in the government which will form after the Dec. 15th election, this sectarian influence, violence and disregard for the law needs to be delt with immediately and firmly.
 
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It may be time to break that little truce and enforce the law which bans militias. It is also time to take measures to severely cut down on the ability for Iranian agents to move freely across the border.
What, and destroy the Iraqi "security forces"? Not bloodly likely.

BushCo has made a deal with the devil. You can’t tell me for one moment that BushCo hasn’t known for a long time about the militias’ handiwork. The sad fact is that neither Bush nor any other GOP hack has the guts to be straight with the American people about this. As the Knight Ridder article indicates, these militias are using American tax dollars.

You and I are paying Shia thugs to pull the fingernails out of detainees’ fingers.

You are living in a fantasy world if you think BushCo is going to do a damm thing about this. Indeed, using the Shia militias is part of the plan. But then GOP administrations have always had a certain fondness for paramilitary death squads. Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, etc.

When we leave, these militias will run Iraq. If I were a Sunni, I would hit the road now.

Of course, all of this was forseeable before the war. Not that the idiots who make up the Bush administration cared or had any clue. Basically, our little venture into the Middle East will end up costing us Hundreds of Billions of dollars. And for what? So Iranian backed militias can control the second largest reserve of oil in the world.

And you wonder why I hate George Bush.








 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Because as we all know, Bush micromanages the shit out of Iraq, right? Direct despotism and everything. MK, unlike your paranoid delusions, Bush is NOT a dictator and does NOT have absolute 100% control over everything that happens and every decision made. In fact, that’s just about the opposite of how he tends to run things, he delegates even more than he should.

As to the point of the post:

Yep. Something needs to be done about it. Knowing us and our "fumble our way to something slightly more success than failure" ways, we’ll probably bumble around for a month or six while we try figure out how to convince the Iraqis to fix it, or at least to let us fix it while they appear to be the ones fixing it. I’d shorten that time, but probably DoD and State and Iraq’s Ministry of Whatever and a few other departments will all want to get their oar in.

It’s probably been a case of prioritization: Get enough security and rebuilt infrastructure and Iraqi Troops Trained that we and they can focus on the Fifth Columnists.

Hopefully the time will come Very Soon that they figure they have enough to do so, and do so effectively.
 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://
And you wonder why I hate George Bush.

Actually I spend no time at all wondering as it is apparent your hate is as irrational as that which manifested itself among the extreme right when Bill Clinton was in office.

It’s as noisome now as it was then.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
This is an internal Iraqi matter. America should just be damm grateful they are not shooting at Americans and keep out of their way.
Because:
While it is entirely possible that DiSalvo’s brigade may not be up to the job by itself, I have a great deal of difficulty buying into the notion that the militia couldn’t be defeted by the US military if it so chose to do so.
2 1/2 years of failing to suppress an insurgency in 1/5 of the population, proves it is impossible for current forces to halt the insurgency.
But that aside, it seems to me we’ve been trading with the devil in that area, trading peace (by allowing the militias to control the area) for growing influence. It may be time to break that little truce and enforce the law which bans militias. It is also time to take measures to severely cut down on the ability for Iranian agents to move freely across the border.

McCain calls for an additional 100,000 troops to defeat the current insurgency, making a total of 300,000 (Coalition of Willing) troops. Assuming this is correct you will only need a total 1,500,000 troops in Iraq to suppress a whole country insurgency.

How? Bring back the draft?



PS - don’t forget the pashmurga miltia of the Kurds. Which would also have to be disarmed.

PPS - MK is correct, this dirty fighting is the only way that a limited, single country, occupation war can be won. The insurgency has completely discredited any woefully optimistic (they’ll welcome us with open arms) neo-conservative notion that the transition to democracy will occur. Please give up on the idea that this can be handled morally.

PPSS - The only way you can fight a moral war is when you attack your enemies and attack them wherever they are. By attacking one country and settling down to occupy, the enemies who are safe and unconcerned by your actions will fight dirty in that country. You must either threaten them or fight dirty in response or lose.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
Because as we all know, Bush micromanages the shit out of Iraq, right? Direct despotism and everything. MK, unlike your paranoid delusions, Bush is NOT a dictator and does NOT have absolute 100% control over everything that happens and every decision made. In fact, that’s just about the opposite of how he tends to run things, he delegates even more than he should.
No - he doesn’t micromanage everything. And I never said that he did. If you actually read what I wrote, I said that the Bush administration was allowing it to happen - i.e., not doing anything. I also said that it is part of the plan - Bush is so shortsighted that he is willing to let the Shia militias have their way in order to solve the short-term problem, i.e., defeating the Sunni insurgency.

As for whether it is Bush himself made this decision - it doesn’t matter. He says he doesn’t live in a bubble, so therefore he knows about the problem. And yet he does nothing to solve the problem.
Actually I spend no time at all wondering as it is apparent your hate is as irrational as that which manifested itself among the extreme right when Bill Clinton was in office.
It is not irrational. Clinton did not invade a Middle East country, spend hundreds of billions of dollars, and thousands of American lives, simply to hand that country over to the Iranians. Clinton did nothing remotely like this. And I defy anyone - anyone - to demonstrate some foreign policy bungle on Clinton’s part that even remotely approaches the disaster that is Iraq.

I hate George Bush because of what he DOES. The right hated Bill Clinton because of who he WAS. I am rational; those on the right were not. (And by the way, it was hardly the "extreme" right alone who hated Clinton - everyone to his right hated him. How soon we forget.)

And yes, I have read the idiots on this site who have ranted that "Iraq is not Iran" and that Iraqis are mainly Arabs, and that Iranians are Persians, and that there couldn’t possibly be any connections between the Shia of Iraq and those in Iran. Idiots. Fu***** idiots.

From the Moonie Times:
BAGHDAD—An Iraqi general formerly in charge of special Interior Ministry forces said yesterday that a senior Iranian intelligence officer was in charge of a network of detention centers where suspected insurgents were routinely tortured and sometimes killed.
Gen. Muntazar Jasim al-Samarrai spoke to The Washington Times just as Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari said he had widened an urgent investigation into complaints of abuse and torture in the country’s detention facilities.
The prime minister, who has been pressured by Washington and United Nations officials to end prisoner abuses, promised at a press conference a "very quick" public announcement on the findings.
Gen. al-Samarrai said the Iranian intelligence officer, Tahseer Nasr Lawandi, works directly under the Kurdish deputy minister, Gen. Hussein Kamel, and is known throughout the ministry as "The Engineer."
"The Engineer was behind the torturing and killing in the ministry and was also in charge of Jadriya prison," said Gen. al-Samarrai, who left the ministry after a dispute with superiors and is now living in Jordan.
Not only does Iran back the current Iraqi government, Iran is literally running it. And the outrage from the right? It is nowhere. Why? Because to get upset might look bad for Bush. And we can’t have that, can we?

 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Post Commenting Editing - The insurgency has completely discredited any woefully optimistic (they’ll welcome us with open arms) neo-conservative notion that the transition to democracy will occur easily.

Apologies.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
I am rational

You are mostly insane.

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
"The right hated Bill Clinton because of who he WAS"

Bullshit Paul.

My perspective is that Clinton is a lying, manipulating, power-hungry, needy, and woefully confused person and I think most (but not all) of his ACTIONS were bad for everyone. Now I’m not a righty, so maybe I don’t count in your calculus.



 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Mark:

Mostly?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitheads.blogspot.com
This is an internal Iraqi matter.

It certainly should be, but it doesn’t seem it has been, does it?

2 1/2 years of failing to suppress an insurgency in 1/5 of the population, proves it is impossible for current forces to halt the insurgency.

That wasn’t the point made at all was it? I said I had great difficulty, given our other run-ins with them and the terrible out come for them, that we couldn’t defeat the militia with our military.

McCain calls for an additional 100,000 troops to defeat the current insurgency, making a total of 300,000 (Coalition of Willing) troops. Assuming this is correct you will only need a total 1,500,000 troops in Iraq to suppress a whole country insurgency.

And as I’ve been saying for months, our job is not to defeat the insurgency, it is to buy time for the Iraqis to train up and defeat the insurgency.

What has also been said, ad nauseum, is that the insurgency is as much a political problem as it is a military one and it most likely will finally be defeated politically if it is to be defeated at all.

don’t forget the pashmurga miltia of the Kurds. Which would also have to be disarmed.

Works for me.

The only way you can fight a moral war is when you attack your enemies and attack them wherever they are.

Really? Well I’ll say one thing for your definition of moral war ... it’s at least unique.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Clinton did not invade a Middle East country, spend hundreds of billions of dollars, and thousands of American lives, simply to hand that country over to the Iranians. Clinton did nothing remotely like this. And I defy anyone - anyone - to demonstrate some foreign policy bungle on Clinton’s part that even remotely approaches the disaster that is Iraq.

North Korea wasn’t Clinton’s finest hour by any stretch. The word "rube" comes to mind when one considers how easily they flim-flammed the man.

And I’ll have to ask, are you sending packages to our troops in Kosovo for the holidays? You know, the ones that were going to be home by Christmas?

Then we have the Clinton transfer of missile technology to China. Yeah, that was great too wasn’t it?

But I have to admit, Clinton helped us considerably when he gave Osama Bin Laden the idea, after Somolia, that we’d cut and run if they inflicted a few casualties.

Frankly, I’m of the opinion that perception led directly to 9/11.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Bithead asks...
Mark:

Mostly?

I don’t consider MK’s stance on illegal immigration to be insane.

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
And I defy anyone - anyone - to demonstrate some foreign policy bungle on Clinton’s part that even remotely approaches the disaster that is Iraq.

You must really find President Carter offensive, in that case.

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
I think Clinton’s foreign affairs dealing were far worse than McQ depicted.

He essentially ignored Saddam. In the early years after the first Gulf War, if Saddam was non-compliant, we probably would have been able to engage more of the UN and Europe in forcing his compliance. He also didn’t respond to Bin Laden in anything but in a token way, if he bother to respond at all.

As far as I can tell, he didn’t get involved in anything immediately messy that could come back to him. He did a couple of relatively low risk bombing wars and declared Victory (unchallenged by the media). One was Serbia and we’re still there, the other was Iraq and we still needed to go in anyway.

He gave N. Korea a blank check and declared victory.

I believe Cliton consciously played stall tactics with serious issues like terrorism, Iraq, & N. Korea so that he’d risk nothing messy that might entangle his Presidency. He left his problems for the next guy to solve.
 
Written By: John
URL: http://
That wasn’t the point made at all was it? I said I had great difficulty, given our other run-ins with them and the terrible out come for them, that we couldn’t defeat the militia with our military.
You win every battle because your soldiers are much better, theoretically given enough troops and enough time you will win. In practice you do not have enough troops or time.
And as I’ve been saying for months, our job is not to defeat the insurgency, it is to buy time for the Iraqis to train up and defeat the insurgency.
I agree, Iraqis in the Army and Interior Ministry forces have been trained up so that they can carry out counter insurgency in Iraq - to win the war. This is the most important thing.

Conducting purges in the Army and Interior Ministry will degrade these forces.
Really? Well I’ll say one thing for your definition of moral war ... it’s at least unique.


My definition of a moral war is where you take the ground of the enemy by defeating his army. You force surrender by depriving him of a base from which to launch a war.

By taking the ground from the enemy you make him vulnerable everywhere, destroy his supply, so he cannot support a campaign. And when all he has to fight with is what he can obtain locally, he has no choice but to accept defeat. No more IEDs with IR activation from Iran, no more jihadis from Saudi Arabia, no more intel assistance from Syria. Without stopping these you have to fight dirty.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
You win every battle because your soldiers are much better, theoretically given enough troops and enough time you will win. In practice you do not have enough troops or time.

You obviously don’t understand the concept of force multipliers.

Conducting purges in the Army and Interior Ministry will degrade these forces.

Unless those you purge were bent on helping the insurgents.

My definition of a moral war is where you take the ground of the enemy by defeating his army.

And again, that’s a unique definition of a "moral war".

And when all he has to fight with is what he can obtain locally, he has no choice but to accept defeat. No more IEDs with IR activation from Iran, no more jihadis from Saudi Arabia, no more intel assistance from Syria.

Every insurgency known to man has been fought on contested ground. The size, level and success of the insurgency depends on it’s ability to win over the people, not whether it necessarily controls the ground. If it could control the ground there wouldn’t be an insurgency, would there?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
So basically the insurgents may be our friends when the Shia take over the country and hand it to the Iranians. The Kurds and the Sunni will have to band together to keep the Shia honest. But the Shia are still 60% of the country. That’s a hard majority to overcome, any way you look at it.
 
Written By: Nuclear
URL: http://
You obviously don’t understand the concept of force multipliers.

So sorry let me reword. In practice you do not have enough troops or time or force multipliers.

Unless those you purge were bent on helping the insurgents.

I thought you suggested purging the Shia militia from the Iraqi Forces, people openly opposed to the Sunni run insurgency. And since Shia make up a bulk of the Forces, purging a many their number for their fraternal or political association is not going to be that crash hot for their morale.

The size, level and success of the insurgency depends on it’s ability to win over the people, not whether it necessarily controls the ground.

Partly yes. But an insurgency (like any war requires) funding and logistics - the higher the firepower the more effective the insurgents. If all they have to fight with is themselves and their local equipment, then the insurgency lasts until their equipment and their money runs out - at this point people are easy to win over (nothing left to fight with means no fight). But if they are supplied by foriegners (who have inexhaustable resource) then the insurgency becomes solely a battle win over the people, between two sides with adequate funding to maintain the battle.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
You are mostly insane.
I don’t think you are insane, Mark. Misguided and unoriginal, perhaps. But not insane.
North Korea wasn’t Clinton’s finest hour by any stretch. The word "rube" comes to mind when one considers how easily they flim-flammed the man.
So Bush must be one too - we are essentially in the same position right now. What progress has Bush made on N. Korea? None. I don’t blame him - there is no answer. (Cf. Iraq.) But to suggest that Bush’s performance on NK is somehow better than Clinton’s is to suggest an untruth. You know better, McQ.
I think Clinton’s foreign affairs dealing were far worse than McQ depicted.

He essentially ignored Saddam. In the early years after the first Gulf War, if Saddam was non-compliant, we probably would have been able to engage more of the UN and Europe in forcing his compliance. He also didn’t respond to Bin Laden in anything but in a token way, if he bother to respond at all.
In 1991 American troops were in Iraq. If there was ever a time to kick Saddam out, that was the time. We were there, we were kicking butt. Bush 41 decided not to, however. Cheney concurred.

And what changed when Clinton took over? Nothing. Saddam flouted United Nations resolutions and his obligations under the 1991 surrender, but the record reflects absolutely no call on the left or the right for invasion or occupation, and nothing that would have justified such a reaction. Nothing. And thank god Clinton didn’t invade; given the GOP’s instinct to undermine any effort on Clinton’s part, the invasion would have probably turned out worse than the current one, and that’s saying something.

That silence you hear is wingers’ unwillingness to place their blame where they should, if you agree with them, namely, on Bush 41.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
Let me know when we purge ethnic militias from Bosnia’s forces.

Or the KLA from Kosovo politics.

or Pashtuns from Afghanistan’s army.

or the various militias from Haiti.

or the Cambodian militias...

In fact, you could see a Sunni-Kurd-Nationalist coalition knock down (electorally) any Shia fundie movement.

and getting funding from Iran does not mean you are "handing the keys to Iran" anymore than the ANC was handed to the Soviets or Nicaragua was handed to the USA after the Contras "won."





 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I think Clinton’s foreign affairs dealing were far worse than McQ depicted.
I’m not sure that the problem was Clinton so much as it was the time period. It was a transitional period, and there was no clear foreign policy for the US to pursue. We’d just recently finished the containment policies that drove our foreign policy for decades, and it wasn’t very clear what the next policy should be. Clinton essentially let things drift, with a slight focus on assisting globalization. That’s good, but it wasn’t visionary.

Well, I can hardly blame him. I don’t recall a hell of a lot of other people demanding we get OBL at all costs back in the 90s.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
the record reflects absolutely no call on the left or the right for invasion or occupation, and nothing that would have justified such a reaction. Nothing. And thank god Clinton didn’t invade; given the GOP’s instinct to undermine any effort on Clinton’s part
I agree that the GOP did tend to try to undermine Clinton fairly often and I suspect many of them would have done so with regards to an invasion of Iraq. However, your statement is flatly incorrect. There was a call on the right for invasion of Iraq, and an offer to support Clinton should he do that.
That strategy should aim, above all, at the removal of Saddam Hussein’s regime from power. We stand ready to offer our full support in this difficult but necessary endeavor. ... We urge you to articulate this aim, and to turn your Administration’s attention to implementing a strategy for removing Saddam’s regime from power. This will require a full complement of diplomatic, political and military efforts.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
To think I was dismissed as a lefty anti-war defeatist here not too long ago for pointing out that civil war and growing sectarian conflict in Iraq could very well get worse if not adequately addressed. This is a much bigger issue than a simple insurgency, which tend to die out over a couple of years and as things normalize themselves.

I’m not saying this in an ’I told you so’ kind of way... and I am most certainly not arguing that the situation is hopeless and that we should just give up now. It just merely bothers me that when anyone attempts an honest and accurate assessment of the situation and warns of possible risks of failure, they are insulted and dismissed. We should have known this was a serious risk earlier, and we should have been taking steps to defeat this long before this stage.

Fortunatly it seems that, if a little belated, that the proper attention will now be focued on it and that we can get well on our way towards tackling this little problem. My only concern is that cracking down on the militias may break down some of the fragile truce that we have had with Shiites, but I am honestly not sure what the alternative would be.
 
Written By: Rosensteel
URL: http://
Thank you for sanity and a non-hyperbolic statement, Rosensteel. It’s rare from your (perceived) side of the aisle, and so I appreciate it greatly.
 
Written By: Dave
URL: http://
So Bush must be one too - we are essentially in the same position right now.

There’s quite a difference between causing the problem and being stuck with the problem caused by another ... but an intellectually honest person would know that.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Aren’t the British in "control" of Southern Iraq???
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://

 
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