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Trying too hard
Posted by: McQ on Monday, August 27, 2007

John Cole thinks he's caught me in a contradiction:
McQ, attacking Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who is getting impatient with the surge:

He’s been talking 9 to 10 years for quite some time. So have many people. This isn’t a crisis that is going to solve itself by September or election day. This is a long term project, just like Germany and Japan were. And I find it difficult to believe that this Representative is just now finding this out, or perhaps coming to understand that.
McQ, a few hours later:

Maybe the message is getting across in Iraq that patience is wearing thin here and they better begin to take advantage of the improving security situation to make progress politically…
Got it? Impatience is bad until impatience is good. You just don’t know when it is bad or good- you have to read Q and O to know that.
Well John, it's not about "patience" and "impatience" (but I do agree you need to be reading QandO). It's about a long strategic process which will obviously take some time and a demand for some progress politically in the short run which will obviously, then enable the longer process. It also addresses political reality here in the US.

That doesn't change the fact that the strategic process will remain a long one.
And when this agreement inevitably fails in a few months, anyone want to bet who McQ will blame? And what will be the obvious solution to the agreement falling apart?
The Iraqi government, that's who. Who would you blame, John? As to the "obvious solution", you tell me if it is so obvious.
Why, six more months of surge!
Really? Why is that the only "obvious" solution?
 
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Why read Cole when you can read Sullivan & get the same text two hours earlier? Or is there an affinity for overt attention whores with nary an original thought?
 
Written By: RW
URL: http://
Where did we get the troops for six more months of surge?

 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
The Iraqi government, that’s who.

Wow. Here I was thinking that it was the fault of those who conceived, planned, executed and ran the invasion of Iraq and installation of its new Made in America government.

But it’s the government they made that was to blame! Of course!

Just like if I made a computer out of old pinball machine parts and cat fur it would be Microsoft’s fault that Windows won’t run.

Or if my doctor left his Rolex in my gut after surgery it would be my incompetent immune system’s fault for the infection.

Have you noticed that nothing is ever the Bush Administration’s fault? They try and try but are surrounded by fools and scoundrels, how could anyone have any success in such an environment?!?

Thanks for clearing that up for us.
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
Wow. Here I was thinking that it was the fault of those who conceived, planned, executed and ran the invasion of Iraq and installation of its new Made in America government.
Well save yourself the strain next time you attempt to think if this is indicative of what it produces.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Fascinating.

So there is no connection between the producer and the product?
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
So there is no connection between the producer and the product?
Check your premise.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Why should we assume that there is, or ever will be, the national will and the votes in the current government to proceed with national reconciliation?

The evidence is certainly much stronger that the various Iraqi factions are ready and willing to fight a civil war and are just waiting for us to leave.

It seems to me that suppressing by military occupation the desire of people to form the government and society of their own choosing is the very antithesis of libertarianism.
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
I did, it’s fine.

Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you, you do seem to like to hold several positions at once so it makes it a bit tricky to track so let’s get to the nub of it.

Iraq is a disaster, where does the blame lie?
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
Why should we assume that there is, or ever will be, the national will and the votes in the current government to proceed with national reconciliation?
We shouldn’t, Francis.
The evidence is certainly much stronger that the various Iraqi factions are ready and willing to fight a civil war and are just waiting for us to leave.
Not as evident as it once was. In fact, we see AQI striking further and further out of Baghdad and the surrounding area and we’re not seeing the cycle of sectarian revenge taking place as it did previously.
It seems to me that suppressing by military occupation the desire of people to form the government and society of their own choosing is the very antithesis of libertarianism.
It would be ... who is being "suppressed?"
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I did, it’s fine.
Heh ... if you say so.
Perhaps I’m misunderstanding you, you do seem to like to hold several positions at once so it makes it a bit tricky to track so let’s get to the nub of it.
Yeah, I know. Complex arguments often seem that way and it is clear you prefer the "he’s wrong, blame him" type.
Iraq is a disaster, where does the blame lie?
The same place I’ve said it belonged for a couple of years now. But that doesn’t mean I don’t think it isn’t in our best interest to succeed there anyway.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Well I’m new to your writing so I’ll need you to fill in some gaps, what is the same place you’ve said it belonged for a couple of years now?
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
Hit the archives ... that’s why they’re there. We even have it conveniently broken down by topic.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Why are you being so coy? Just tell me in your own, clear (yet complex!) words or provide me with a link to the one article that sums it up.

If that’s too taxing we’ll make it multiple choice but you can only pick one smart guy!

Q) Iraq is a disaster, where does the blame lie?

a) The Bush Administration and its neo-con advisers.

b) The Russians, the French, Michael Moore and the MSM

c) The Iraqis

d) al-Qeada

e) The Americans
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
howsabout f) Shut up, you dummy!
 
Written By: Xenos
URL: http://
Why are you being so coy?
Oh I guess you could chalk it up to uninformed commenters who haven’t done their homework coming in here full of assumptions and then asking me to do their homework for them when they’re called to task.

It gets tiresome and, like I said, that’s why we keep archives.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
howsabout f) Shut up, you dummy!
Awww ... bless your heart.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Fine, I’ve checked your archive, you blame everyone but the Bush Administration the Iraqi debacle.

Why is that?
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
Heh ... nice try.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
No try, you do, in this very post as a matter of fact.

Are you sure you’re as smart as you seem to think you are?

The closest you come to assigning any blame to Team Bush is by saying something along the lines of "Well maybe there’s some blame but we should give them a chance to fix it before we do blame them!"

Which is a rather novel approach to the issue of incompetence and what to do about it but considering the really high pile of bodies it’s perhaps a tad too understanding?
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
No try, you do, in this very post as a matter of fact.
You mean like this:
That is the ever looming danger. There is no question in any fair observers mind that mistakes have been made in the management of post-war Iraq. The danger is, given the popular belief that insurgencies always succeed coupled with the culture of "instant gratification" which characterizes the American culture to some extent, the real danger in all of this is that it is America, not Iraq, which will lose heart and abandon Iraq just when there is finally a real possibility for success.

If that happens, blame for failure in Iraq could fall on all sorts of people and institutions depending on how the politics of the crisis are handled here at home in the present and future. But far and away, the bulk of it will fall on the Bush administration’s inept handling of the crisis to this point, and properly so.

But as Stoker points out, this new plan, at least as a plan, has a shot at success as it provides, militarily, the proper assets to address the problem. I’m becoming more and more convinced that it should be given enough time to develop a real basis for further assessment as to its probability of succeeding, even though, initially I was dead set against the US fighting a counterinsurgency battle. Stoker’s points are good points.

The first key to success will be found in the Iraqis. If they step up, then it should work. And we should be able to tell if they’re going to do that in relatively short order (within 6 months). If they do, then the US must commit to seeing the fight through. If we don’t we’ll be party to a bigger foreign policy disaster than was ever Viet Nam. And, as almost a self-fulfilling prophesy, we’ll reinforce the myth that insurgencies are invulnerable. We’ve got to understand this is a long war. That doesn’t mean we’ll be in Iraq in the numbers we now are for 8-10 years, but it does mean that we’ll be there in these numbers for at least a year or two.

The question is, if we see all the markers for success via the Iraqis, will that be enough for Americans, especially those who oppose the war, to commit to the hard and long job of seeing that country through to stability, security and peace?
So to answer your question:
Are you sure you’re as smart as you seem to think you are?
Smart enough to go into the archives and find within a few seconds precisely what I said you’d find if you had bothered to look, something which apparently was beyond your abilities.

What’s that say about you?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Owned!
 
Written By: Gregoir
URL: http://
There, now was that so hard?

There is no question in any fair observers mind that mistakes have been made in the management of post-war Iraq

Mistakes? Post-war? No, no silly man, mistakes were made pre-war. The post-war mistakes were therefor inevitable. Foundations and all that.

But far and away, the bulk of it will fall on the Bush administration’s inept handling of the crisis to this point, and properly so.

Now, this "crisis", when did that begin exactly? From what I can tell it started hmmm just seconds after Bush announced that the invasion was underway.

I’m becoming more and more convinced that it should be given enough time to develop a real basis for further assessment as to its probability of succeeding, even though, initially I was dead set against the US fighting a counterinsurgency battle.

yes, that’s the old "Hey they screwed up! Let’s let them fix their screw up... oh they screwed up again.. okay well now we have to give them a chance to fix the initial screw up and this new one..." I was talking about.


The first key to success will be found in the Iraqis. If they step up, then it should work.


First key? Really? How do you figure that? Their country was bombed to crap, their government destroyed, their infrastructure, economy and stability decimated. How are they supposed to stand up I wonder?

That doesn’t mean we’ll be in Iraq in the numbers we now are for 8-10 years, but it does mean that we’ll be there in these numbers for at least a year or two.

Why, that’s just long enough for the Bush administration to be gone and for the fault of the defeat to be laid on the new administration. That’s tidy!

Smart enough to go into the archives and find within a few seconds precisely what I said you’d find if you had bothered to look, something which apparently was beyond your abilities.

Holy crap! You were able to search YOUR OWN ARCHIVE??!?! In seconds?!!? Damn I take it back you’re a frickin’ brainiac you are!

What’s that say about you?

That I was able to goad you into doing something you said you weren’t going to do? Quite a bit really.
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
There, now was that so hard?
For me? No.

Apparently it was for you. But it did prove a nice little point, didn’t it?

And now we get to watch you do your d*mndest to twist your way out of the little situation you’ve put yourself in, don’t we?

It ain’t workin’.

Trolls can be fun at times but your 15 minutes are pretty much up.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The first key to success will be found in the Iraqis. If they step up, then it should work.


First key? Really? How do you figure that? Their country was bombed to crap, their government destroyed, their infrastructure, economy and stability decimated. How are they supposed to stand up I wonder?
Impaired logic. Let us assume all you said is the sum and total explanation for the situation as it stood at the time of the post. It doesn’t change that the ability and willingness of the Iraqi’s to step up is the key factor. You can argue that is unfair, unjust, or any number of other things. We can think you are brilliant or full of crap. None of those judgments change the fact that if the Iraqi’s do not step up the effort will fail.

As for the how, many Iraqi units are stepping up, and in local political areas leaders and citizens are stepping up in increasing numbers. Your complaint may give us an idea of the challenges the Iraqi’s face if they step up, but the act of stepping up is still necessary.

Finally, you can sit around and whine about what a bad job we have done, but exactly how they are supposed to step up once we have left is a really tough one to answer. McQ is looking forward, and complaining about the past (which he has done plenty of) in no way changes what we need to do to help them step up. If you think what we are doing now should be changed, propose and defend that, but just going on about issues beaten to death here about failures of the past is pointless. If you want to know about that, then search the archives. We are discussing what to do now, and really don’t have time to spend repeating everything said here for years so you can avoid making claims which are not true and make you sound uninformed and silly.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
The silly thing about trying to score political points on this issue is that just about everyone who isn’t squatting in Camp Casey has admitted that there will have to be some kind of long-term American presence in Iraq. I know that both Hillary and Obama, have said as much.

The current debate is whether or not we are seeing enough return on investment from the increased troop levels to justify allowing Petraeus to run the strategy according to his best judgement, or whether the Congressional micro-managers need to take over running the war. To the extent that the immediate-withdrawal-caucus has shifted their focus to the political side of the equation, that is obviously where everyone is looking now for signs of progress.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
It’s about a long strategic process which will obviously take some time and a demand for some progress politically in the short run which will obviously, then enable the longer process. It also addresses political reality here in the US.
No and no.

The "political reality here in the US" will or will not "enable the longer process", not the other way round. If America withdraws then the Iraqi Shia government will need assistance from Iran to survive in the face of an AQ/Sunni insurgency. The political reality is America is divided and the Democratic Party appears to favor withdrawl - the Democrats are likely to take the next Presidency. Also the Iraqi government they cannot adopt themselves to American demands without angering the Iranians.

The Iraqis have very bleak choices:
- do not conform to American requests, the Americans blame them and leave in disgust so they become a client state of Iran in conflict with a large AQ friendly Sunni minority.
- do not conform to American requests, the Americans blame them and replace them with a more compliant, but less democratic government and stay for strategic reasons.
- do conform with American requests but the Democrats withdraw anyway, the Iranians arm Al-Sadr to replace them and the Gulf states arm the Sunni to commence a large sectarian war.
- do conform with American requests and the Americans stay but withdraw at the next election a few years later, see above.
- do conform with the American requests and the Americans stay, Iran gives up on cooperation to arm Shia militia as the Gulf states do for the Sunni. The Iraqi government survives or fails depending on the success or otherwise of "the surge".
The Iraqi government, that’s who.
Take it as a business decision. If you were considering making a critical supply deal, but knew your best supplier was considering dropping the product you wished to purchase. Would you commit to a 9 - 10 year deal where they could leave at any time or would you look for other options?
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
I know this is probably pointless but I’ll give it a shot:
Mistakes? Post-war? No, no silly man, mistakes were made pre-war. The post-war mistakes were therefor inevitable. Foundations and all that.
Yes there were mistakes pre-war. But it in no way follows that all the post-war mistakes were somehow "inevitable." Most countries enter into a war with various misperceptions and sometimes outright delusions. But that doesn’t mean they can’t adapt to changed circumstances.
Now, this "crisis", when did that begin exactly? From what I can tell it started hmmm just seconds after Bush announced that the invasion was underway.
No, actually the military conquest phase went remarkably well, despite major problems such as the last minute cancellation of the 4th Infantry Division’s planned offensive from Turkey. The crisis was created by a series of mistakes and miscalculations in the occupation phase.
yes, that’s the old "Hey they screwed up! Let’s let them fix their screw up... oh they screwed up again.. okay well now we have to give them a chance to fix the initial screw up and this new one..." I was talking about.
You are apparently unaware that the strategy introduced by Petraeus was a major shift in U.S. policy. Yes it should have been applied much earlier. But that doesn’t mean we should just give up on it since the previous U.S. strategy was a failure.
First key? Really? How do you figure that? Their country was bombed to crap, their government destroyed, their infrastructure, economy and stability decimated. How are they supposed to stand up I wonder?
Their government destroyed and stability decimated. Well, since that government was Saddam Hussein, and the stability — if you count starting two wars and becoming an international pariah as stability — was created by a reign of terror, some of us consider their destruction a good thing. As for their economy and infrastructure, neither was in great shape prior to the war. How are they supposed to stand up? Like any other country that has suffered the ruin of war and dictatorship and is now receiving massive assistance.
Why, that’s just long enough for the Bush administration to be gone and for the fault of the defeat to be laid on the new administration. That’s tidy!
Somehow I doubt that the Bush administration is going to escape blame for defeat. If we withdraw in defeat during the next administration, Bush will be blamed for creating the conditions that led to defeat. If things turn around or turn out better than expected, the new adminstration will take the credit.


 
Written By: DavidC
URL: http://
The "political reality here in the US" will or will not "enable the longer process", not the other way round.
That’s what I said, Angus ... I simply wrote it that way because that is the way Cole sequenced it in his post. Obviously if the plug is pulled here there will be no long term commitment.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
That’s what I said, Angus ... I simply wrote it that way because that is the way Cole sequenced it in his post. Obviously if the plug is pulled here there will be no long term commitment.
Bruce, I am saying is they do not step up, because they cannot rely there being more of you than there are of "salvage". If they step up and you leave they are literally dead.

Also there are deficiencies in what they are being asked to support:
How are they supposed to stand up? Like any other country that has suffered the ruin of war and dictatorship and is now receiving massive assistance.
Traditionally done by securing its sovereignty against the attention of hostile powers and forming a stable government in cooperation with allies. Except Iraq is not allowed to protect its sovereignty against the aggression of Saudi based groups, because that conflicts with strategic interests of America and not able to ally with co-religionists in Iran for same reason. So perhaps better to say it must stand up using unique & new & untested strategy of counter insurgency and negotiation with neighbouring powers hostile to democracy to set up a democracy in Iraq. This is what Malaki is being asked to bet his (& his clans) life on.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Bruce, I am saying is they do not step up, because they cannot rely there being more of you than there are of "salvage". If they step up and you leave they are literally dead.
Of course it can work both ways. If they don’t step up, depending on which ethnic group, they may be literally dead as well.

The interesting thing is every thing I hear when I talk to these folks in Iraq is they are stepping up, at least at the grassroots level. When I talked with MG Rick Lynch he said the first question is "are you going to stay" when they clear a place. When they get an affirmative the next question is "how can we help".
Traditionally done by securing its sovereignty against the attention of hostile powers and forming a stable government in cooperation with allies. Except Iraq is not allowed to protect its sovereignty against the aggression of Saudi based groups, because that conflicts with strategic interests of America and not able to ally with co-religionists in Iran for same reason.
I’m not sure of your point here Angus. The whole idea of "Iraq" is to attempt to get past the "co-religionist" effect and to weld a nation together. The obvious key is getting the central government functioning and connected with the provinces. At local and provincial level that’s already beginning to work. That’s the entire purpose of the COIN doctrine and the attempt to bring enough security to bear to stand up that government, let the ISF take over, connect it and help it function as a central government.
So perhaps better to say it must stand up using unique & new & untested strategy of counter insurgency and negotiation with neighbouring powers hostile to democracy to set up a democracy in Iraq. This is what Malaki is being asked to bet his (& his clans) life on.
Maybe. I think reality is beginning to intrude on that little gambit as Malaki discovers that there has to be something in it for the neighbors as well and right now he really has nothing to offer except what is unacceptable even to him. So perhaps it may be better, at least temporarily, to focus on COIN and security while trying to jump start the government. Then worry about the neighbors when you can deal from a position of a little more strength.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Unahasp covers some of the scenarios but I think he’s being far too bleak.

Iraq fought against Iran for years, even though some of its Shias and most of its Kurdish population were concurrently in uprising or aiding the enemy. That says to me that the Iraqi national identity is not that weak to completely disintegrate the instant we leave. (in fact it may strengthen.) AQ has worked for years to weaken it though.

Iraq does not need to be a client state per se of either the USA or Iran. In fact, while Iran seems like an ideal ally for the Shia, do they really have the same resources as the USA? They already bankroll Hezbullah, but could they bankroll the Shia for the long-term? Do you think the Iraqi army would be happy to lose their American supplies and trainers? I mean, unless the Shia are truly fearful of losing elections anytime soon, why are they rushing to Iran for help? Sure, the Shia militias who have not been integrated like the Badr Birgades do, but they have NO CHOICE, right?

If the US withdraws, in order to survive, the Iraqi government may hit the militias much harder then we do now as they are not constrained as much by public opinion. (See Lebanon shelling refugee camps with artillery vs. Israel bombing Hezbullah.) For America, we have the luxury of tight ROE, catch and release, etc. They may not.

I’d also like to see the next election in Iraq...are there enough numbers to make a Sunni-Kurd-Moderate Shia majority?


p.s. Is it me, or have I noticed less headlines of mass bombings in Iraq lately? It used to be almost DAILY with mass killings.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
One of the reasons the Shia militias attack American forces is that they know that if we leave early, they can claim to protect the Shia people against the Sunni insurgents and AQ and thus gain strength.

If AQ is pretty much petered out, and we leave - what are they going to do, attack majority Shia government forces? I don’t think so. Time is not on the side of is the most pro-Iranian forces. If it were, they would not need to attack our forces at all. They would just wait.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I’d also like to see the next election in Iraq...are there enough numbers to make a Sunni-Kurd-Moderate Shia majority?
Probably given this time the Sunnis would participate.
p.s. Is it me, or have I noticed less headlines of mass bombings in Iraq lately? It used to be almost DAILY with mass killings.
No, you’re right. They’re still pulling off the odd mass bombing (they know the news cycle and they know it will grab headlines), but if you notice they’re further and further away from Baghdad and in places where it has been relatively peaceful for awhile.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Bruce,

My point is that Malaki is most concerned with the likelihood of an American withdrawl and am trying to figure his options.
The whole idea of "Iraq" is to attempt to get past the "co-religionist" effect and to weld a nation together. The obvious key is getting the central government functioning and connected with the provinces. At local and provincial level that’s already beginning to work. That’s the entire purpose of the COIN doctrine and the attempt to bring enough security to bear to stand up that government, let the ISF take over, connect it and help it function as a central government.
I agree, but think the COIN Surge alone is insufficient to provide "enough security". I do not believe that it is possible to divorce the internal security from external security. If Iran, Syria, Gulf Arabs can sustain their insurgent factions I figure there will be a crossover point where the sustained insurgency out lasts the remaining patience of a majority of American voters who will be waiting for the surge to work. A mini-Tet will always be possible if the foriegners can sustain an insurgency and this could be devestating to public opinion.
I think reality is beginning to intrude on that little gambit as Malaki discovers that there has to be something in it for the neighbors as well and right now he really has nothing to offer except what is unacceptable even to him. So perhaps it may be better, at least temporarily, to focus on COIN and security while trying to jump start the government. Then worry about the neighbors when you can deal from a position of a little more strength.
I think external security is as important as internal COIN and cannot be put off. If nothingelse a strong external security perversely provides that "something in it for the neighbors" - an offer of ’if you do not interfere in our territory we will not attack you’ is of real mutual benefit between neighbouring states. America is arming Saudi with $20 billion in aircraft and missiles. Russia is providing $5 billion in aircraft and missiles to Iran, which is soon to be nuclear capable. Iraq needs to be at least somewhat threatening to these countries, but America arms it with infantry regiments and very old tanks and a few old Russian helicopters and an air transport wing. COIN is good but the external security is non-existant.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
Harun,
I mean, unless the Shia are truly fearful of losing elections anytime soon, why are they rushing to Iran for help?
Because they are afraid America is going to leave and if that happens losing elections is the least of their concerns. I do not think they want America to leave, but that they fear America will leave on the basis of American public opinion which is not neccessarily connected to their actions.
Iraq does not need to be a client state per se of either the USA or Iran.
But they are a country with a weak army and their rivals are stronger. If they are not allied to a greater power they are vulnerable to interference. In fact if they are not allied to a power all that will protect them from aggressive neighbours is the humanitarian restraint that can be found in Damascus, Riyadh and Teheran - places where I do not expect to find any.



 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
I agree, but think the COIN Surge alone is insufficient to provide "enough security".
I agree. That’s why concurrent with the surge is the focused attention to getting the ISF in shape to take the job and to stand up and get functioning the local and provincial governments.
I do not believe that it is possible to divorce the internal security from external security.
Again, I agree, I’m just saying that now may not be the best time to pursue it.
I think external security is as important as internal COIN and cannot be put off.
I don’t believe it is. Malaki just recently completed trips to both Iran and Syria. I’m saying that while it is important to create and maintain contacts and negotiations, they’ll have more leverage on their side (the Iraqis) if they can get the internal violence under control first.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Yes there were mistakes pre-war. But it in no way follows that all the post-war mistakes were somehow "inevitable."

Perhaps but not in this case and I hold up the last four years as incontrovertible proof. This is not a case of typical war FUBAR, this is criminal incompetence and it started before the war and was allowed to continue with apologists like you spewing the same tired crap all the way.

Most countries enter into a war with various misperceptions and sometimes outright delusions. But that doesn’t mean they can’t adapt to changed circumstances.

So… You’re saying that just because they screwed up that doesn’t mean they can’t fix the screw-ups? Strictly speaking that is of course possible but in the literal in this case it hasn’t happened. This may be all academic to you but for others it’s a matter of life and death, stupid people made stupid choices and got thousands killed, they were allowed to keep on making those stupid decisions and hundreds of thousands have been killed directly and indirectly. Tell me, how high the butcher’s bill before you go “Hmmm… well maybe they should stop?” A couple of million?

No, actually the military conquest phase went remarkably well, despite major problems such as the last minute cancellation of the 4th Infantry Division’s planned offensive from Turkey. The crisis was created by a series of mistakes and miscalculations in the occupation phase.

Remarkably well? Conquest? It’s not over Sparky, I don’t know if you’ve noticed but Iraq is not “conquered” nor pacified or anything else. The war is still on and undecided. That’s one of them “inconvenient truths” you hear about these days. No, what went remarkably well was how quickly Bush got his "mission accomplished" banner up.

You are apparently unaware that the strategy introduced by Petraeus was a major shift in U.S. policy. Yes it should have been applied much earlier. But that doesn’t mean we should just give up on it since the previous U.S. strategy was a failure.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH! What’s that new strategy called? Operation More Of The Same I think and if not it should be. You just swallow their load, wipe your mouth and ask for more don’t you?

Their government destroyed and stability decimated. Well, since that government was Saddam Hussein, and the stability — if you count starting two wars and becoming an international pariah as stability — was created by a reign of terror, some of us consider their destruction a good thing.

That would be because you don’t live there, what do you think the people living there think of what America and Americans have done to their country. Oh wait, we don’t have to supposed, we can see it can’t we? No, don’t even gibber about the terrorists all being from elsewhere, they’re not, most are Iraqis and they’re pissed.

As for their economy and infrastructure, neither was in great shape prior to the war.

Better shape then than now by every metric, logic and opinion poll. See that’s another one of those inconvenient truths, the Iraqis are starting to pine for the good old days of Saddam. Congrats thanks to Bush and people like you a Stalinist dictatorship looks better than Western democracy to the average Middle Eastern, heckuva job!


How are they supposed to stand up? Like any other country that has suffered the ruin of war and dictatorship and is now receiving massive assistance.


Massive assistance that doesn’t get translated into the infrastructure, billions spent and the Iraqis have less water, less power and less gas and their infant mortality rate has shot up. More incompetence that’s hurt the war effort but remember no one is to blame and they should be given yet another chance.

Somehow I doubt that the Bush administration is going to escape blame for defeat. If we withdraw in defeat during the next administration, Bush will be blamed for creating the conditions that led to defeat. If things turn around or turn out better than expected, the new adminstration will take the credit.

Maybe but with mouthpieces like you they’ll have a good chance to get away with it. You and your warfloggin’ buddies, to protect your own fevered egos will lie, lie and lie some more (just like you do here) and insist with that the corner had been turned, that the light is at the end of the tunnel but President __________ (D/R) didn’t have the balls and ran away thus the defeat is theirs.

And if things turned around (which at this point would take Superman reversing the Earth’s rotation and sending us back in time) you will likewise gibber that it was because of your Dear Leader’s wise decisions.
 
Written By: salvage
URL: http://http://www.hairyfishnuts.com/
I don’t believe it is. Malaki just recently completed trips to both Iran and Syria. I’m saying that while it is important to create and maintain contacts and negotiations, they’ll have more leverage on their side (the Iraqis) if they can get the internal violence under control first.
And therefore it is not in the interests of Iran or Saudi/Syria to allow this leverage to form against then, hence they are supplying weapons and personnel to the competing insurgent groups in Iraq. The surge can probably not stop this because the supply chain is largely external and the surge is only internal. For instance those in charge of the supply chain could move from supplying those under close scrutiny of the surge, to those outside of the surge areas.
That’s why concurrent with the surge is the focused attention to getting the ISF in shape to take the job and to stand up and get functioning the local and provincial governments.
What kind of shape? It has no airforce beyond transport craft, without even attack helicopters. It has T-54s as the MBT, with a few T-72s from Hungary, and no air cover means these are useless. There are no missile forces and artillery is just field guns. It has a lot of infantry forces who are being used to support the surge and are probably going to be good at it, but are not going to be effective against a foreign army. This is not the shape of an army to be capable of defending the only Arab democracy and some of the largest oil reserves in the world. It needs to be much better equipped.

America produces the best weapons, but America entrusts none of these to Iraq. Now America is asking for Iraq to place trust in American support.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://
So… You’re saying that just because they screwed up that doesn’t mean they can’t fix the screw-ups? Strictly speaking that is of course possible but in the literal in this case it hasn’t happened. This may be all academic to you but for others it’s a matter of life and death, stupid people made stupid choices and got thousands killed, they were allowed to keep on making those stupid decisions and hundreds of thousands have been killed directly and indirectly. Tell me, how high the butcher’s bill before you go “Hmmm… well maybe they should stop?” A couple of million?
How to do that? I would like an opinion from you on that question.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://

 
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