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10 March 2006

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Babak Makkinejad

They are drinking kool-aid.

W. Patrick Lang

Babak

You are right. Many still are. pl

Paul

I will not say that it has died completely. I still have faith and hope that intellectual and professional honesty still exists within the senior military ranks...but this administration has made it very clear what happens to those who disagree. They all remember what happened hope lies in the junior ranks now.

ali

How does Rumsfeld continue to get such a soft ride on this? We have an Iraqi army that's divided at a unit level on sectarian lines and an Interior Ministry staffed by Badr and it's now apparent that none of these guys are going to fight their own people. The Iraqis are as scared of their security forces as of the militias and are forming more militias as a result.

What does Abizaid mean by "our help"? If the "sectarian violence" is the biggest problem are we going to do more than hide in our bases the next time it escalates. Are we now going to try to carry out a peace and stability operation in the middle of a firefight? Does "our help" mean advisors, artillery, armor, airstrikes or is KBR just going to dig the mass graves?

alex

BBC correspondent Simpson had a interesting article on BBC. Sounds appropriate to our situation in Iraq now. Compares the 1978 Iran.

" At the time I often used to visit the highly intelligent and generous British ambassador in Tehran at the time, Sir Anthony Parsons. He insisted that the Shah would survive, and he assured the British government that this would happen.

Afterwards, with characteristic honesty, he wrote a book about why he got it wrong. The main reason was that his information came from the Shah's own ministers. It was too dangerous for his own diplomats to spend much time in the streets, finding out what was happening.

But the journalists could see for themselves that the revolutionaries were building up an unstoppable momentum.

It gives me no pleasure today to forecast further doom and gloom here in Iraq. But, as in Iran in 1978, the facts on the street contradict the assertions of the generals, the politicians and the diplomats. "

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4778380.stm

searp

I don't think they actually care too much what they say at this point, because the Iraq conflict will soon morph into a wider conflict with Iran, and they are probably planning that right now.

My bet is that they have already written off Iraq except as a theater in a wider war.

ked

"I still have faith and hope that intellectual and professional honesty still exists within the senior military ranks..."

really? I don't see even a shadow of Billy Mitchell emerging out of Iraq & Afg today. These stars will NOT be recalled for their vision & courage.

searp

There is only one tribe who is likely to be hated by all concerned.

It is a mess. Sunnis shooting at Shia who are shooting at Kurds except.. except when they are all shooting at us.

Curious

I for one wants to know how he can tell the difference between "sectarian violence" and "insurgencies".

If I were to design a strategy to topple current Iraqi government, sure as hell I am going to use mass violence at national level (ie. massive sectarian wars)

It seems to me, abizaid is BS-ing the public again. (but than again, if I were him, I would do the same. Is not like congress can do a thing about what he is saying. Plus, what else is he gonna say? "I eff up grandly, and I am in charge"?)

Iraq is broken, it is in civil war stage now. We have no leverage to stop it. All we can do now is trying to control the flow so the civil war conclusion ends in our favor somehow....

and pray the world will forgive us for all those dead Iraqis.

--------

Incidentally, nobody has made a note yet about the latest collapsing talk between Condi/Bush vs. lavrov. This is VERY crucial, the talk will determine to a degree Iran's strategy in Iraq. I wish people quit mucking around with bureaucratic terminology Kung-Fu. It's all BS for TV consumption. It has nothing to do with Iraq. It's pure domestic public relation game.

Curious

This is the Israeli position. They already laying out ground work to prep the US think-tank for 'attack Iran now' talking point.

You want to bet the Iranian is taking this into consideration with all that fake 'where ya gonna do yer nuke research' talk? (tied to it, of course their Iraq strategy)

I for one think, Iran and Israel will enter Iraq game soon enough, since that is the easiest/most obvious way to hit the other guy hard without going full scale ballistic missile war. (eg. influence US military position and their willingness to fight in Israel-Iran war.)

http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/997/boogie-oogie-oogie

# n spite of the obvious sectarian differences (which he duly noted), Iran offers shelter and support on its territory to al-Qaeda.

# A series of strikes on Iran’s “several dozen” nuclear facilities “may well postpone Iran’s nuclear program for [as much as a decade]” – as, according to Boogie, was also the result of the Osirak strike (“Osirak did not ‘stop’ Iraq’s nuclear program”).

# If a strike takes place, Israel can expect in response: direct attacks by Shihab-3s, Katyushas and “Iranian UAVs” launched by Hezbollah from Lebanon, Qassams launched from Gaza, terrorist attacks from southern Lebanon and Gaza, and “terror attacks on Western, Israeli and Jewish targets worldwide.” Fun, i’n’it?

# But, the good news is that Israel’s “three level” missile defense system of Arrow missiles, Patriot missiles, and “all other systems” is 100% operational and can deal with the Shihabs. As for Katyushas and terrorists, “that can be absorbed.” (Funny, I don’t think I ever heard him put it that way on the nightly news in Israel.)

# The best way for the international community to put pressure on Iran is by supporting Israel’s demands in its negotiations with the Palestinians, thus denying Iran’s Hamas proxies a “sense of victory.” (No, really.)

# Knocking out Iran’s nuclear program will take a “sustainable” offensive, involving “more than one strike.” What exactly does that mean? Your guess is as good as anyone’s. But as for Israeli efforts at regime change in Iran, “if you don’t know about anything, either we’re not doing anything, or we’re so well-prepared you haven’t heard anything.” Ladies and gentleman, he’ll be here all night.

# A strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities would involve “no collateral and environmental damage.” Well, phew, if you say so…

# After years of dealing with terrorists, who pose “very low-profile targets,” the Israeli military should have no problem much higher-profile targets such as WMD installations. A subtle dig at the US? We can only wonder, and wish.

# And, finally, regarding the “how much longer can we wait” question: here, Boogie took the trouble to make it very clear that the “6-18 month timeline” was not till Iran has a bomb, but till they have all the “indigenous know-how” they will need. The good news, for those worried about an impending Israeli strike? Boogie thinks that even after that point has been passed been passed it’s still “not too late” for the military option. As for having the bomb – there he went with the 3-5 years number, recognizing that technical problems leave the upper limit unbounded.

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