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03 April 2011

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Fred

Chairman Rodgers has Peter King and Michele Bachmann to help advise him. I feel safer already.

Green Zone Cafe

I agree, the troops are leaving this year. That suits both Maliki's and Obama's political objectives, and that's a good thing. It's time for U.S. soldiers to stop policing Iraq.

But don't underestimate the ability of the USA to lure the Iraqi governing class into other forms of "key leader engagement" with aid programs, equipment, continuing "study tours," and other goodies.

As for Iran, I think you overstate their influence. It's not control. The Iraqis will play them off of us, and vice-versa.

Patrick Lang

GZC

I never said it was "control" but it will be enuogh to manipulate events in Iraq. pl

Pirouz

Rodgers is in complete denial.

But you can't expect persons in such positions to admit how big a screw up the invasion and occupation of Iraq was/is, given the 30,000-plus U.S. casualties and (borrowed) treasury spent.

In some ways, it's worse than Vietnam. Vietnam achieved independence and instead of empowering China, the two went to war.

In the case of Iraq, it is obvious that Iran's standing in the region has been greatly enhanced. While not outright attaining Shia super-state status with Iraq, give it time--it may in the future take place. And what if Jordan is someday flipped by popular uprising? Lot's of possibilities for the resistance bloc, opened up by the U.S. fiasco in Iraq.

Patrick Lang

pirouz

"Vietnam achieved independence." Excuse me! What do you think my brothers (American, Vietnamese, Montagnard and Cambodian)died for? Take your 3rd world lefty bullshit and shove it. You think only Communism could give them independence? pl

 Charles I

GZC, re The Iraqis will play them off of us, and vice-versa.

And which of the three is worst situated and least adept for such a game?

Jose

Sir, do you think the Saudi's will bankroll the Sunni uprising?

Patrick Lang

jose

Without a doubt. pl

confusedponderer

pirouz,

You think only Communism could give them independence?
Or put the other way around:

You think that the Soviet Union was not an empire in its own right? Look at the history of Eastern Europe and countries like Hungary (1956), Czechoslovakia (1968) or Poland (which managed to avoid a Soviet intervention). The Socialist countries didn't exactly tolerate dissent and weren't exactly free countries.

A trivial example: I read my late father's Stasi file, which said he was a bourgeois element because he was catholic and a public servant in the tax office in West Germany. Had he and I lived in the DDR that would have probably barred me from entering university. All he had to do to get that file was to visit relatives, send aid to a church in the diaspora and to go for visits there a few times. Obviously, the file was based on reports from people he met there. Charming.

Independence from what indeed. If the south Vietnamese were not justified fighting the Vietcong and North Vietnam, the people of Prague and Budapest weren't justified rising up against their regimes and the Soviets.

jonst

I once thought that at some point we, in the US, would come to our senses and shift most of the money, and psychic energy, we waste in the ME, and focus on energy independence for the US.

I have given up that hope. We seem obsessed with sinking in this fetid swamp. Have at it boys....have at it. Einstein's alleged definition of insanity...springs to mind. And in my mind, anyway, a question is settled; Can a great nation go insane?

I should have known the answer to that. I'd seen enough examples.

Phil Giraldi

Maintaining the Iraq that our neocon friends created is not worth the bones of one American PFC. It was bad policy from day one. Too bad we can't do to Wolfowitz and Feith what the British did to Admiral Byng.

jr786

I take the point of a 'de facto rump state' and an incipient Iranian orbit but take some solace in the belief that no Iraqi will let himself be subservient to an Iranian for longer than is necessary.

Too many years of forced secularism lead me to think that the Shia of Iraq are Iraqi first and Shia second. Once we leave, they'll need Iranian help in the inevitable civil war and subsequent suppression of the Sunni and Kurds. After that, assuming anyone is left alive, the Iraqis will return to their own 'arabness' and will be less beholden to the Iranians, insh'all-h.

Whatever happens, it was a stupid war foisted on a gullible populace by a confluence of charlatans and profoundly stupid ideologues.

Green Zone Cafe

I forgot to mention the Turks, they are major commercial players in Iraq, running lots of trade shows and getting lots of contracts. Erdogan's visit last week made a big splash, he met with Sistani and opened a consultate in Erbil. There is already a consulate in Basra.

The UN is also ramping up their aid programs, along with the EU. All of these things will make the Iranians only one of many players in Iraq.

William R. Cumming

Economics dominates religion in world politics?

Maybe Yes and maybe no. Viet Nam like it or not is now part of Chinese economic condominium. Whether Iraq is part of a Iranian condominium based on religion is unknown at this point but looking highly likely by me. This just reinforces my question as to the rest of the 21st Century--Not a clash of cultures but religions, and economic systems or other alternatives. Oil helps integrate Arabia, Persia, and the Maghreb into global politics. It should remain an essential driver the rest of this century. I saw Daniel Yergin on Meet the Press over the weekend and wonder when he will be updating the PRIZE?
That show was interesting to watch and seemed fair and balanced. Since I have no TV it was fascinating to see that Libya not Japan dominated the news. Question--Will Japan be forced to play more nicely with China because of the catastrophe? My guess is yes.

Patrick Lang

WRC

"Viet Nam like it or not is now part of Chinese economic condominium." You don't know the Vietnamese. you never had them come at you in the night in their hundreds crying "Doc Lap! Doc Lap!." pl

drifter

Won't Iranian meddling Iraq eventually, maybe even shortly, result in a reaction among the Iraqi Shia parties against them? Iraq and Iran are fundamentally competitors with few shared strategic interests. Each is too strong to be caught up in the other's orbit. They will not be friends once the imprint of the American boot on Iraq fades.

Patrick Lang

All

Some a-----e wrote to ask me if I had ever had napalm dropped on me in Virginia. This guy, of course, would pee in his pants at the thought. More lefty b------t. pl

Patrick Lang

mj

Why would I be angry? Fine. So, we should have walked away from our French ally in 1919? That would have saved us lot of trouble, and then we could have walked way from the French in 1947. Another great idea. What has that to do with anything? Oh, I see. Was that your or your father's excuse to flee to Canada? pl

mac

Colonel,

Could not agree with u more, especially, "Now we must live with the inevitable result of that revolutionary change..."
It was inevitable.

So I again bring back the proverbial dead horse, why? How could this not have been known, a fait accompli.

Eight years afterwards, and with more revolutions having occurred and with more still on the horizon, is there something that we have missed or misunderstood or was the attack and invasion as big of a strategic blunder as it appears to have been?

William R. Cumming

PL! I only know a number of American VietNamese. Proud and worthy Americans. What did "Doc Lap" mean?

William R. Cumming

PL! Curious? Do you have any sense of the long term impact of the Iraq/Iranian war on the two antagonists? Is hate or antipathy largely overtaken by current events and interests?

jonst

WRC,

I'm with the Col on this one....I would advise the Chinese to avoid trying to ever become a 'guest' as said "condominium".

Also, you ask, ". I saw Daniel Yergin on Meet the Press over the weekend and wonder when he will be updating the PRIZE"

When his 'handlers' tell him it is time to update it, I would say.

YT

"What do you think my brothers (American, Vietnamese, Montagnard and Cambodian) died for?"

Col. sir,

There must be some unwritten law unique to the privileged circle of the Green Berets to consider folks of other ethnicity their brothers.

Though I have lived in locales populated with peoples other than those of my skin tone, I find it nigh impossible to consider 'em my kin, perhaps due to over-familiarity with their "individual characteristics" (not tryin' to be a xenophobe here, just bein' a realist -- Babel).

Empathy for others who are not of similar cultural or racial DNA, aye. Brotherhood, sorry to say, nay.

For this sir, I salute you.

As well as those who you consider clansmen, they havin' sacrificed their lives for that epic quagmire in the last century.

(Now I f**kin' regret not bein' enlisted in military service. I will never know what it truly is like to be in a Band of Brothers...)

 Charles I

YT, I cannot see military service as the sine non qua of Brotherhood, though battle no doubt a febrile matrix for it.

I write as non combatant member of a brotherhood more encompassing, more exacting and rewarding of fealty than any single happenstance tie of blood, race or clan.

My brothers were made by intense experience and passion,albeit not in battle, rather than born of the most well bred intercourse. I sympathize with, and rue, the lack of empathy or experience that precludes that possibility for you. Even the non military version can be sublime.

It is a function of soul, not sex or skin.

William R. Cumming

Jonst! I read the theme of the "PRIZE" 1994 as the history of oil being oversupply not scarcity and the problems of oversupply. Does anyone still argue for that proposition?
Charles I! Some have the ability to empathize and sympathize and some do not. I would argue the GB I have known and other Special Ops types were not sociopaths but understood the role of countervailing power for want of a better term. Reaction?

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