Monday, May 28, 2007

Baghdad Residents & General Zinni Agree: We Must Stay

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI've told you before the only thing more stupid than the original decision to invade Iraq, is leaving that country high and dry. We may have never belonged there, but the worst thing we could do now is leave.

Most Baghdad residents agree. In a recent New York Times poll, 64% state we should remain until security is restored, the Iraqi government is stronger or Iraqi forces can operate independently.

More compelling than this poll is the opinion of former CenCom commander Anthony Zinni, who opposed the decision to invade. “When we are in Iraq we are in many ways containing the violence. If we back off we give it more room to breathe, and it may metastasize in some way and become a regional problem. We don’t have to be there at the same force level, but it is a five- to seven-year process to get any reasonable stability in Iraq.”

68 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernie!

1) Withdraw every American boy and girl who is over there. It is immoral, unconscionable, and against all of the principles our great country was founded upon for EVEN ONE American to die defending a savage, ruthless people who only want to kill us;

2) Drop the biggest, baddest nukes we have all over Iraq, but especially on their most sacred Muslim shrines;

3) Watch as their piece-of-shit, poor excuse for a country is vaporized and reduced to radioactive rubble;

4) Let Allah sort them out; and

5) Then take a good, hard look at the rest of the terrorists' nests in the Middle East (while we're re-loading), and ask ourselves one simple question, "Who's next?"

BTNP

R Know-fellow said...

"boy and girl"
The troops are at least 18.

Agree the whole country was not worth one American life but it's called Oil-raq for a reason.

Can you say: "Oil-ran"?

Oh, yes you caa-'haan.

Anonymous said...

Bernie

You support this crazy war and Stoffa, figures.

Anonymous said...

So now we have a moral responsibility to stay and let our kids die needlessly?
where was that moral responsibility when we were smart bombing neighborhoods where Saddam was supposedly hiding and killing civilians? Typical, only apply the rules when you want, just like a Republican. No wonder you support Dent

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:35

I don't support this crazy war. I opposed it from the start. But if we pull out now, we condemn coutless Iraqis to certain death. We meake meaningless the deaths of those Americans who've already died. The time to have stopped this war was before it started.

This is a very involved probelms and can't be solved w/ simple cries of pull 'em out or nuke 'em.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 1:31,

You speak the word "republican" as an epithet. It's a common refrain from a segment of the blogosphere. That's part of the problem in this country. Its a shame, and it's close minded. We don't have all the answers. We don't have everything right. There's nothing wrong with listening to others, even if they're ... gasp, Republicans!

I vocally opposed nearly every military atrocity, whether it was prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib or the near extermination of Faluja. I was speaking out at those times as well.

But I think all human life is precious, even Iraqi human life. I don't like us acting so selfishly that we abandon those people for not fixing a problem we started in the first place.

Now you have a little more info. The military opinion of a former CenCom commander who had the good sense to oppose the original invasion. The views of a significant majority of Baghdad residents.

LehighValleyHousewife said...

BTNP,

With all due respect, you sound a bit like those savage, ruthless people you're complaining about.

Anonymous said...

LV Housewife!

With all due respect, you sound like a fucking bleeding heart liberal who would love to give these "poor Islamic extremists" a big hug because, after all, it's "America's fault" that they hate us.

Why don't you put on your best Burkha, invite a few of these "misunderstood and oppressed victims of Western civilization" into your home and try reasoning with them while they're beheading your children and torturing you and your neighbors?

These same Middle East fanatics took 44 Americans hostage in 1980 and spent the next 21 years conducting terrorist campaigns against America, culminating in the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 innocent people on our own soil.

They have also killed more than 3,000 American servicemen and women in the 5 years that our country has been mired in the evil quicksand of Iraq.

Justice is neither savage, nor ruthless. It is simply the inevitable outcome of Good triumphing over Evil.

If it would save the life of JUST ONE American soldier, I would not hesitate for a nano-second to nuke that entire region and let it burn hotter than the fires of Hell for an eternity.

Happy Memorial Day, Jane Fonda!
BTNP

Greendogdem said...

Well, with all due respect, I have a pretty good grasp of Middle Eastern history and politics. As, well as Iraqi history and culture. It won't matter when we leave or if we leave. Eventually, we will leave and when we do all the old scores will be settled.

This is not a Western Culture and they do not hold western "Christian" values. I've said it before and I'll say it again. In these cultures honor and retribution have no time limit.

There is no forgiveness unless the wronged party is made whole again either through blood or compensation. This compensation can only be made by the offending party not by others. We can stay there 5 or 10 or 100 years and it will not stop this. We simply will build up our own debts.

LehighValleyHousewife said...

BTNP,

You've got me all wrong, my dear. I am not a bleeding heart liberal. I simply find it troubling when people want to wipe out an entire nation because they think the country is full of savages. You don't sound much better than them when you make blanket statements like that.

My opinion is more in line with LVDem's. I don't think there is anything we can do to make a difference there and we should stay the hell away from them. Theirs is a savage culture, and I cringe when I see people around me developing that same mindset.

BTW, I accept your apology.

Warm love and kisses,

LVH

LehighValleyHousewife said...

CORRECTION: I meant to say that my opinion is more in line with greendogdem's.

Anonymous said...

You short-minded fools! Stop the occupation! Bring our Troops home! 60+ years is enough! Get our troops out of Germany, NOW!

Greendogdem said...

comparing Germany to Iraq is a false comparison. That is the new republican meme or siting Japan.

There hasn't been a us troop fired on since the end of ww2. It's not the same thing. There is no comparison between the Us being in Germany and the Us being in Iraq.

When ww2 ended it ended we are not an occupying force in Germany and haven't been since the end of ww2.

Any German or Japanese comparison to Iraq is a False comparison.

Anonymous said...

Dear Apologetic LV Housewife!

I knew you'd come crawling back to me with your apron on and your hair in curlers, begging for forgiveness...

"Hate the sin, but love the sinner" has always been my motto.

Now, get me a beer and get back in the kitchen where you belong, bitch.

Molten kisses and frequent feelies (because I'm entitled, whenever and wherever I feel like doing it),

BTNP

P.S. Make sure you cut the grass before Bernie O'Hare and his inflatable girlfriend come over for our cook-out!

Chris Casey said...

Greendog has it right on the money. O'Hare still fools himself into thinking the Arabs share our values of right and wrong. It would be nice if they did, but they frickin' don't!
No matter when we leave, they are going to settle their scores.
So leave now, and get it over with, and stop fooling ourselves.
That's what will save American lives. These people strap bombs on their own children and send them out to play, for the glory of God.
Yeah, Americans share those values.

Chris Casey said...

And just to make things perfectly clear, we should leave other countries alone and mind our own fucking business. The Iraqis were happy under Saddam, or he wouldn'y have been in power. If Cuba had been an OPEC member, do you think Castro's gang would still be in charge? NOT!
It's all about greed.

LehighValleyHousewife said...

BTNP,

I love it when you talk to me that way! You sure know how to win a girl's heart.

Gushing with admiration and longing,

LVH

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, with all due respect, I have a pretty good grasp of Middle Eastern history and politics. As, well as Iraqi history and culture.

Greendog,

Please, enlighten us. Why is it that you have such a good grasp on the Middle East.

I am not talking about Eastern or Western values, but human values. If there is a segment among the Iraqi population that wants to kill evertyone who disagrees with them, that's all the more reason for staying. Ignoring them makes us pretty much like those who just want to kill them.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The Iraqis were happy under Saddam, or he wouldn'y have been in power.

Sorry, but this is total nonsense.

Greendogdem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greendogdem said...

The Quaran specifically requires restitution for murder or all acts that are committed that relieve some of their property, such as theft of damage.

These punishment are not at the discretion of a government or a judge but at the discretion of the family that was wrong in the action, they are Judge,jury and carrier out of the sentence. In the case of murder the penalty can be death. This is at the soul discretion of the family to which the offense was committed against.

The act of the restitution is not considered murder. The death of Saddam did not relieve those debts from any soldier or anyone else that committed said acts.

These debts will not go away no matter how long we stay, and will never be paid until the offender has made restitution for the offense or is dead.

No, you are talking about Christian values which are not human values. They are the moralities most Christians spout put don't hold themselves to, and simply shed when they are inconvenient.

This has nothing to do with disagreement this has to do with vengeance. This has nothing to do with disagreeing this has to with retribution. As I said it won't go away no matter how long we stay there we simply will make ourselves targets, and build up our own debts.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, with all due respect, I have a pretty good grasp of Middle Eastern history and politics. As, well as Iraqi history and culture.

Once again, why do you say this??

Bernie O'Hare said...

There hasn't been a us troop fired on since the end of ww2.

Sorry, but this is also utter nonsense.

Greendogdem said...

one no nazi fired on a us troops since the end of ww2 in germany and no Japanese imperial troop has fired on us troops since the end of ww2, or any other organized para-miltary organization related to these groups.

Simply because you just don't get it you think you do but you don't. Every time there is some sort of major offense of one family against another in an arab or muslim country family a takes justice out on family b. This is simply one family against another one a country wide level. The only thing we are doing by putting our troops in there is making them targets for this. Several us troops have fatwahs on their heads because they have committed these type of offenses.

You will not stop this type of tit for tat revenge no matter how long we stay there. If you think we will you have no idea what your talking about.

Greendogdem said...

Based on the simple fact of what your saying proves. You have no idea what your talking about. That you have little understanding of middle eastern or the Culture in Iraq, or any understanding of Middle eastern history outside of the westernized textbooks, from the mid 60's and 70's

Larry Kisslinger said...

I don't know didly about much outside of our imperfect USA, or war, for that matter! I do know a little bit about "common sense" and that includes freedom we have and the necessity to protect it. Protecting us from Foreign and Domestic enemies is "really" one of the very few things Government should be doing for us, is my opinion.

Please tell me what we should do
with anybody who is defined by me as: cowards in masks cutting peoples heads off, wear no uniforms to identify themselves, using their kids as bombs against those with whom they disagree, sneak attacks against the entire world for decades including WTC on 9-11 and other USA incidents, murdering their own people by the millions, not allowing free speech,
press or blogs like this one. The only safe people here would be Anons or stage named when cowards invade our USA, etc.

Please don't tell me Iraq had zero to do with cowards when Iraq paid who knows how much money to stupid families for their bomber kids, or others to destroy all of us whenever they could do so! Iran and others have done and are doing the same with money and weapons.
Who's kidding who here?

Fact: USA is too nice toward
enemies so as not to hurt innocent
folks in other countries if at all
possible, and when innocents are collateral damaged, liberal weenies
blame USA. USA stays away from such things as much as possible including Holy places and the like.
Do you think cowards care if they kill our folks or damage our Holy places? Use "common sense" before nitwit cowards invade your home.

Pulling troops out B4 Iraq is able to handle things on their own would be a disaster for the entire world and disgrace to our living and fallen troops. As BTNP suggests, maybe nukes will be the only solution. Think about it!www.kisslinger.com

Greendogdem said...

let me explain this to you very simply Iraq will NEVER be able to run itself. It doesn't matter how long we stay there. Secondly with in 10 years there will be no iraq or no recognizable iraq. The western half of Iraq will be it's own country and the northern half of Iraq will be Kurdistan.

Greendogdem said...

less than 10% of the people we are fighting in Iraq are Al qaeda .

Secondly, we are creating more people to attack us in Iraq. Where do you think Al qaeda came from our interference in Afghanistan in the 1980's.

The simple fact is Iraq is simply serving as a training and fund raising ground for Al Qaeda.

Al qaeda is even more numerous now that it was before we invaded Iraq and we are probably at as much risk of being attacked than we were before 9-11. Don't forget it took them 8 years to attack us the 2nd time.

Everything we have done in the past 6 years has probably increased the likely hood we will be attacked again not decreased it. Al qaeda wants us in Iraq because we aren't going after them in Pakistan which is where they are.

The simple fact is the Few "terrorists" we have caught in the US were the morons that got caught.

None of them had any real connection to Al qaeda or were anywhere near doing anything at all.They were sort of like the kids who slam themselves into tables in the backyard.

Most of them were so stupid they went around bragging about what they were going to do to people, or using public photo copy centers to duplicate their materials. What we caught were a bunch of also rands that were more or less glory hounds.

Larry Kisslinger said...

I said: "Pulling troops out B4 Iraq is able to handle things on their own would be a disaster for the entire world and disgrace to our living and fallen troops".

You say: "The western half of Iraq will be it's own country and the northern half of Iraq will be Kurdistan".

Let "me" explain this to "you" very simply. You're just playing with words, since I would call your scenario as I suggested:
"handling things on their own".

Same as USA doesn't handle things on their own without all our states. So you're suggesting two countries, states, provinces, or what for Iraq, but agreeing Iraq will be handling things on their own at that time. Hope you're correct before cowards visit your and my home. www.kisslinger.com

Bernie O'Hare said...

Greendog,

I'm willing to concede I don't know what I'm talking about. But that's not the issue. I'd like to know why you claim you do know what you're talking about. That's your claim, and I'd like to know whether you have some degreee or have lived a number of years in the Middle East or have some other basis for having such a poor opinion of Muslims. So come clean. Spill it.

Anonymous said...

Being a fan of handling the situation at hand towards a goal, I believe most people who just keep looking backwards are boobs. Let's forget the Congressional authorization for force on Iraq. Let's deal with the now, and work towards an independent Iraq. If the US leaves, we will be right back in due to the humanitarian crisis.

Or do we plan on ignoring that like Rwanda? Learn from the past, don't live in it.

Larry Kisslinger said...

Greendogdem said...
"less than 10% of the people we are fighting in Iraq are Al qaeda"

How do you get this info? Also, how
many are leftovers who received all the free candy from Saddam and Sons, at regular folks expense and loss of life, and fear losing it?

My opinion does agree with you that "Al qaeda is even more numerous now than it was before we invaded Iraq". Maybe you don't know why? My opinion is cowards are scared shitless that we will succeed and surrounding countries will also fall to freedom later. So they need to put on their own
"surge" in Iraq with other nitwits and cowards from the area and around the world, to try and stop the freedom wave as America has always intended, so we can leave.
Get it yet? www.kisslinger.com

Anonymous said...

Bernie...
What makes you think that we can make it better? What makes you think that our presence there will eventually make it more secure or even that our presence there will eventually allow it to be secure?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 8:39,

I think we can make it better and give Iraqis a long needed feeling of security. And we owe them that much after invading the country.

I say so for a few reasons: 1) I have a lot of respect for what an American soldier can do - we always have been the "good guys"; 2) Bush can't be this bad forever - he's got nowhere to go but up; 3) The Iraqis don't want us there, but they sure as hell don't want us to leave just yet; and 4) I agree with Zinni, who believes our presence cuts down the amount of violence.

Zinni says we'll have to stay 5 to 7 yeasrs. But in the last 75 years, this kind of civil war has taken about 10 years to stabilize. That's according to an article I read in Foreign Affairs, and I'm sorry but I don't have an online link.

There is no quick and easy answer. We've been committed, perhaps without realizing it, but I believe a sudden departure will result ion the deaths of many Iraqi children.

I stopped watching TV after listening to the deathscreams of little children in Rwanda. Tragically, we looked the other way. We're about to do it again, and in a situation where we actually are responsible for starting the violence.

I'm already hearing the absurd justifications. First, an entire segment of the human population is dehumanized as a group bent on endless revenge killings. That's how we ease our conscience for the inevitable slaughter. Second, an isolationist argument is started. "we should leave other countries alone and mind our own fucking business." Does that mean we ignore Darfur? Does that mean we mind our own business when we put these people in the siutuation in which they find themselves?

And of course, there are the silly arguments, like dropping a nuke, which make people feel great for a nanosecond but are totally unrealistic.

If we are still human beings, and if we still care about our fellow man, we stay. We work hard to do all kinds of things Bush as failed to do, like talking to the enemy. But we stay. And it will be years. And we stop pretending this isn't a problem that we created. We stop pretending there will be an immediate withdrawal. It's not going to happen. Pelosi and a bunch of others went thru the motions but in the end, they know we have to stay. We have no choice, and our next Prez, Dem or R, won't be so crazy about pulling us out of there.

Anonymous said...

then we will suffer the same fate as the soviet because of idiots like you

Bernie O'Hare said...

Sorry, but I have this little problem with genocide. Guess I'll have to be an idiot.

Tom Foolery said...

Wow, isn't this a tumultuous debate. Might as well add my two cents. I think all of those who say that it is much worse now than when Saddam was there are right. We screwed up royally. Did we create more terrorists by going in..yes, definitely. Will it be a nighmare over there if we leave precipitously, without a doubt. The question is how the hell long must we be there until they get their act together?? Nixon said we would only need to stay in Vietnam until the South Vietnamese army was able to defend itself..We are still waiting..

Bernie O'Hare said...

TomFoolery,

According to Zinni , we can expect to be there 5 - 7 years. According to FA, it's more like 10.

Anonymous said...

Tell you what O'hare, why don't you translate your blog into Arabic so the Iraqis can read it? Perhaps they will all rush to read your wisdom and see the error of their ways and embrace Democracy. You can hop on the next flight to Baghdad and talk face to face with the Imams. I'm sure they will greet you with open arms, an outsider with all the answers.
You will have plenty of food for thought to think about after you are abducted, and as the webcasts shows your impending beheading, your last words can be about how misunderstood those poor folks are.
Back here in reality land, Joe Long will be chuckling, and Ron Angle shaking his head. In Downtown Nazareth, they will hold a parade.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I had no idea the Lehigh Valley had so many experts on those evil Muslims. I'm told I'm an ignorant fool for thinking all human beings are entitled to respect and dignity, even Iraqis. But whenever I ask someone to explain the source of his or her superior perspectives, my questions go unanswered. Go figure.

Thanks for your cheerful and kind thoughts. They're really witty. And you disparage Muslims?

Anonymous said...

Dear LVH!

I have that effect on women, I know. (It's a curse. A burden, even.) Where my gift for sweet talk comes from, I'll never know!

I know what you like and I know how you like it. Women are all the same, even with their clothes on...

Why haven't you invited me over to your place to blog with you?

As for your "gushing, admiration, and longing," you're gonna have to take a number. (sigh)

Your Better Half,
BTNP

Greendogdem said...

I took an Islamic studies course in college, a course on middle eastern culture, 2 history courses on Islamic areas of the world. I know plenty of Muslims Shi'a, Sunni, Suffis, Kharijites. I've been to several countries in the middle east.

Greendogdem said...

The reason we shouldn't have invaded iraq is the same reason we shouldn't stay,because the longer we stay the more people we insult the terrorist we create.

Anonymous said...

Greendog!

What you've said is chilling and compelling.

It also reminds me of what Eric Hoffer wrote:

"The true believer is the believer in total solutions, impatient with the fainthearted and quick to condemn their reluctance to pay the full cost for radical social change."

Fanatics fear compromise. Al Queda is an instrument of eternity and those who join it join for life. When times become unhinged, dying is merely a gesture, an act of make believe to these Islamic fanatics.

BTNP

Greendogdem said...

The slightest wrong statement wrong comment things we may see as complements are seen as uncivilized behavior. Everyday we keep our troops in Iraq is dangerous not just in the short term but in the long term. They won't tell you that you insulted them they will take punitive actions against you for your insults

Bernie O'Hare said...

Greendog,

Thanks for stating why you feel you have "a pretty good grasp of Middle Eastern history and politics." Frankly, I think you've stereotyped an entire population to fit preconceived notions. And your views evince a disregard for human life. It's almost as though you can't wait for them to kill each other. That's a little unsettling to me. Sorry.

Greendogdem said...

Just because you don't like the truth of the situation doesn't make it true. It sounds more like your trying to force people into your own stereotype of social normality.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Greendog,

Huh?? Sorry, dude, but I don't know what you're trying to say. My main concern is genocide. I don't think it bothers you because they're mostly Arabs, and you seem to have a dim view of that ethnic group. In my word, genocide is a bad thing, whether it's in Darfur or Iraq.

LehighValleyHousewife said...

Bernie,

I admit that I'm not as educated in Middle Eastern politics as Greendogdem. My limited knowledge leads me to a pragmatic view of the situation: the Sunnis and the Shiites have been fighting for 1,400 years - since the death of Mohammed. The culture there is deeply ingrained and I don't see them changing.

I admire your position, but I think it's idealistic and unrealistic. I would fully support our troops being there if I felt that change could be effected, but sadly I don't.

Greendogdem said...

no what I'm concern about is dealing with reality. We can not be the world's police the us military is not a police force.

When two groups of people intend to kill each other nothing is going to stop it. We can be there for 5 or 10 or 30 years. It will not matter as soon as we leave. They will kill each other. This is not racism this is reality, of the region and of every example of what is happening in history.

This is reality Sunnis in Iraq hate Shi'a and sunnis hate Shi'a for good reasons. Nothing we do is going to change this. In fact while we are there it's happening anyway.

Yes it will be worse but it's going to happen regardless. You simply don't want to accept this.

Greendogdem said...

The only question is how many more American troops are going to lose their lives before we leave.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LVH/Greendog,

Idealistic? Yes. Unrealisitic? Possibly. I don't want to accept what Greendog says is inevitable? True.

I think we're better than that. And by "we," I mean human beings, even those who happen to be Semitic.

I'm shanty Irish, and we've rolled around w/ the English for nearly 1,000 years. Those problems seem to be slowly going away.

Greendogdem said...

so you expect us to keep this up for the next 700 or 800 years. Till they work out their problems?

LehighValleyHousewife said...

Greendogdem, you said:
This is reality Sunnis in Iraq hate Shi'a and sunnis hate Shi'a for good reasons.

I beg to differ. I think their reasons are ridiculous.

Bernie O'Hare said...

No Greendog. From the review of similar situations done in Foreign Affairs magazine, this will take about 10 years. Zinni says 5 to 7. You say never. I say give it a chance.

Greendogdem said...

I'm sick of the give it a chance nonsense. We have given it enough of chance.

Similar conflicts which similar conflicts? The bi-afrian war, India vs Pakistan?, Somalia, want me to continue????

You don't stop these type of conflicts they eventually work themselves out on their own when once groups beats the other one into submission

Anonymous said...

Since Iraq was a creation of the west. We continue to view the region from a colonial persspective that somehow with enough American willpower we will force an American type of country. It seems Sen. Bidens' belief that the existing 'nation' may end up as three nations with Americans in the region with hopefully the UN to maintain peackeeping. Keep in mind Bin Laden was very clear on his reason on attacking the U.S. he believed our troops in Saudi after the first war represented an insult to islam. I never thought I would see the tragedy of Vietnam twice in my life but here it is. At least in South Vietnam we had a government in place with its own Army. When we left we not only took out our troops we cut off all aid. Sadly I believe Vietnam had more prospects for peace then Iraq.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Greendog, The Foreign Affairs article included about 75 civil wars through the world. Usually, they do end with one side just totally blowing another out. But there is a middle grounbd when an intervention occurs, and in those cases there can be relative security after about 10 years. I'm sorry but I have no link to this article. I read it at B&N a few weeks ago.

Greendogdem said...

Yes I read the article and you misread it. It says the average civil war lasts 10 yrs.

. Civil wars are rarely ended by stable power-sharing agreements. When they are, it typically takes combatants who are not highly factionalized and years of fighting to clarify the balance of power

Their average duration since 1945 has been about ten years, with half lasting more than seven years. Their long duration seems to result from the way in which most of these conflicts have been fought: namely, by rebel groups using guerrilla tactics, usually operating in rural regions of postcolonial countries with weak administrative, police, and military capabilitie

A similar scenario is already playing out in Iraq. Whether U.S. forces stay or go, Iraq south of the Kurdish areas will probably look more and more like Lebanon during its long civil war. Effective political authority will devolve to regions, cities, and even neighborhoods. After a period of ethnic cleansing and fighting to draw lines, an equilibrium with lower-level, more intermittent sectarian violence will set in, punctuated by larger campaigns financed and aided by foreign powers. Violence and exploitation within sects will most likely worsen, as the neighborhood militias and gangs that carried out the ethnic cleansing increasingly fight among themselves over turf, protection rackets, and trade. As in Lebanon, there will probably be a good deal of intervention by neighboring states -- especially Iran -- but it will not necessarily bring them great strategic gains. To the contrary, it may bring them a great deal of grief, just as it has the United States

Power-sharing agreements rarely work in large part because civil wars cause combatants to be organized in a way that produces mutually reinforcing fears and temptations: combatants are afraid that the other side will use force to grab power and at the same time are tempted to use force to grab power themselves.

The effective provision of security by an intervening power may even undermine the belief that the government could stand on its own without the third party's backing. U.S. military intervention in Iraq is thus unlikely to produce a government that can survive by itself whether the troops stay ten more months or ten more years.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Greendog,

You found it! Good for you. I don't believe it's online. It paints a very bleak picture of hat's going on. I don't believe we need to be a military presence for ten years, just long enough to prevent a genocide or power vacuum. But we need to use diplomacy and work on infrastructure and do many other things we're not doing. It's a very bad situation and there are no easy answers.

Greendogdem said...

Even if the coming "surge" in U.S. combat troops manages to lower the rate of killing in Baghdad, very little in relevant historical experience or the facts of this case suggests that U.S. troops would not be stuck in Iraq for decades, keeping sectarian and factional power struggles at bay while fending off jihadist and nationalist attacks. The more likely scenario is that the Bush administration's commitment to the "success" of the Maliki government will make the United States passively complicit in a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing. Standing back to adopt a more evenhanded policy in the civil war already in progress is a more sensible and defensible course. To pursue it, the Bush administration or its successor would first have to give up on the idea that a few more U.S. brigades or a change in U.S. tactics will make for an Iraq that can, in President Bush's words, "govern itself, sustain itself, and defend itself" once U.S. troops are gone.

Bernie O'Hare said...

With that, I agree.

Greendogdem said...

i.e. the civil war is happening and nothing we do will stop it there will be genocide whether we are there or not it's just a matter of how much

Greendogdem said...

and how many troops we will lose

Greendogdem said...

no president no general in their Right mind would advocate our continued involvement in Iraq. There is little chance of success of any kind and the only real result is the loss of more us troops. We let the Genie out of the bottle and we can't put it back in.

Anonymous said...

Responding to Bernie's post from last night (9:13)
Your arguments boil down to:
1) We're America, we can do anything
2) Bush has got to get something right!
3) THe Iraqis don't want us there, but they also don't want us to leave (the fact that they believe we can do something doesn't mean we can)
and
4) General Zinni says that our presence decreases the violence.
Is it just me, or do arguments 1-3 seem pretty shaky?

Greendogdem said...

The people that primary want us there are the top Iraqi politicians because they know that as soon as we leave they are going to be headed so they only thing they care about is their own ass

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 7:22,

I've got to admit you nailed me pretty well. Those arguments do look a little silly, don't they?

My chief concern is genocide and what happens to the whole region. Believe me, I never wanted us to be there in the first place. But extricating ourselves will not be easy.

Thanks for putting me in my place.