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Iraq: what next? « Previous | |Next »
January 7, 2007

Despite the shift in power in Washington, it looks as if President Bush will go with the neo-con's surge option to stablise Baghdad. Iraq is now immersed in bloodshed from sectarian violence. Now some neocon's have jumped ship saying that George Bush was a hopeless President surrounded by incompetent advisers, that Iraq is lost and that the consequences for America and the world will be dire.

However, victory is still possible says Frederick W. Kagan at the American Economic Institute:

Victory in Iraq is vital to America’s security. Defeat will likely lead to regional conflict, humanitarian catastrophe, and increased global terrorism.Iraq has reached a critical point. The strategy of relying on a political process to eliminate the insurgency has failed. Rising sectarian violence threatens to break America’s will to fight. This violence will destroy the Iraqi government, armed forces, and people if it is not rapidly controlled.Victory in Iraq is still possible at an acceptable level of effort. We must adopt a new approach to the war and implement it quickly and decisively.

What is the game plan, when Irag is control led by Shi’ite Islamists in unstable coalition with Kurdish separatists with Iraq heading towards ethinic regional autonomy, and around 150,000 US troops in Iraq have been thwarted by a small insurgency drawn from Iraq's minority population of Sunnis?

Will the extra troops in Baghdad spend their time defending surviving Sunni enclaves from Shi’ite ethnic cleansing now pushing west across Baghdad? Does that mean the US will attack the Shi'ite militias while fighting a Sunni insurgency? It begins to look like it.

Simon Jenkins in The Times says that:

Iraq’s next chapter must be written by Iraqis alone. Outsiders have made this country a byword for arrogant and incompetent interventionism. The West’s 2003 assault on Iraq was unprovoked and justified by no overriding threat to western interests. It was a ghastly, gigantic whim, one to which the British government fully subscribed.

Maybe it was less a whim and more a case of the US military aiming to subdue Arabs to create space for Israel to expand? Was not the neocons' original plan to give Israel hegemony in the Middle East by using the US military to overthrow Iraq, Iran, and Syria? Has not the failure of US forces to subdue Iraq led to a new neocon plan to give Israel hegemony in the region by spreading sectarian conflict among Muslims throughout the region?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:52 PM | | Comments (4)


I am pretty sure this scenario was not on Top Gun's mind when he jetted onto that aircraft carrier, what seems like decades ago. What a disaster and not much upside potential in the short term. I just do not understand why there is not more "holding to account". Very ugly.

Presumably, the lack of holding to account in Washington is because the Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and Bush increased executive dominance of the President. The Democrats were powerless.

That situation changed with the mid-term Congressional elections that gave the Democrats control of both Houses in Jan.1 2007 in an election fought around the war in Iraq.

So we are going to have more political conflict as Congress asserts its traditional oversight and accountability role. We will see what the Democrats are made of. Will they hold Bush to account? Will they go along with the surge option proposed by some of the neo-cons?

The linked article in the Washington Post in the above post opens with:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid declared yesterday that "it is time to bring the war to a close" and warned President Bush that sending more U.S. troops to Iraq would be unacceptable to the Democratic majorities that have just taken over Congress.

It's in the Democrats hands now. Will they now stand and deliver for the American people? The issue in Washington is pretty stark.

Off topic a bit but...relating to David Hicks. Remember the footage when he was found in the training camp with all the other trainees...

What happened to the others?
Have they all been released or shot or what?
I can't remember hearing what happened to them.

Hicks was sold to the Americans in December 2001.He had been captured by a "Northern Allliance warlord" and sold to US Special Forces for $1000 So I presume that the others weren't sold.

Hicks is the now symbol of the political conflict around the Afghan/Iraq war---Hick's incarceration has nothing to with Hicks, as an Australian citizen, breaking Australian law.

Thus we have Piers Ackerman going on about

the ABC and some other media outlets whip themselves into a frenzy to mark self-professed al-Qaeda warrior David Hicks's fifth year in incarceration. n the course of this orgiastic exercise, some facts will become blurred and others distorted beyond recognition.

Among the worst offenders will be the usual publicity-seeking lawyers from civil rights lobby groups, who appear determined to use Hicks's plight as a vehicle for their own aggrandisement...It is clear that it will be alleged that Hicks was a combatant who armed himself with a Kalashnikov after 9/11, and fought against Coalition forces, and indeed wrote about his commitment to kill Christians and Jews.

Since when has it been legally wrong to express views about hoping that "the Western-Jewish domination is finished, so we live under Muslim law again"; or denouncing the plots of the Jews to divide Muslims and make them think poorly of Osama bin Laden, or talking about ignoring "the Jews' propaganda war machine"?

Ackerman's text indicates that conservatives view the rule of law and freedom of speech as a secondary. Hicks is a terrorist period. He deserves to be punished. Aren't we fighting in the Middle East to defend freedoms, such as freedom of speech and the rule of law?