Archive for the ‘Iraq’ Category

Netroots: Will he pull out in time?

July 21, 2008

Now that Obama is seeing the results of the surge during his trip to Iraq, the netroots have to be nervous. Will Obama—if he wins—pull out in time? Or will he pull troops out based on conditions on the ground allowing the possibility of combat troops remaining for longer than 16 months? My guess is that he will further nuance his position and say something like, “if we continue to have the success we are seeing now due to the surge, we will pull out in 16 months?”

The netroots must be as nervous as girl who agreed to get in bed with her boyfriend on the promise that he would “pull out in time.” The netroots “got in bed” with Obama instead of Hillary mostly because he agreed to pull out in time and Hillary didn’t. Of course Obama also gave them tingles up their legs providing further incentive.

He might also parse his words and redefine “residual forces” and “combat troops” to mean anything he wants at anytime and to mean the same thing when he wants. He gets to be right no matter what he says and does.

I wouldn’t get in bed with him based on any of his promises—even if I was a girl.


Results of the war in Iraq

June 11, 2008

Hat tip to Ed at Hot Air: The Guardian has an article today on the defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq.

Looking at this article and other news, it seems the long-term result of the war in Iraq is the following:

(in no particular order)

It deposed a dictator who was a threat to the region and his people and a supporter of terrorists;

It drew al Qaeda in a big way into Iraq where we could kill them far away from our own civilian populations;

It led to the discredit of al Qaeda and their ideology by defeating them and exposing their tactics as the wrong way for the entire Islamic world;

It allowed the development of a 3rd way of political organization in the Islamic world that shows signs of promise (the 3rd way is representative government vs. secular or religious dictatorships—the 1st and 2nd ways).

It allowed Sunnis (and Shias) the opportunity to kill al Qaeda members with joy further discrediting them and their ideology and provided the opportunity for grassroots level Iraqis to take control over their own lives and decide for themselves to invest in a new Iraq.

It allowed a model of actual cooperation and peace to develop between Shia and Sunni (although it came after a local war and thousands of dead Iraqis to get there, but that’s better than another regional war between Iraq and Iran that would kill millions).

It created an environment where Islamic scholars and leaders around the world finally now have the courage of their convictions to speak openly against al Qaeda’s ideology (after they saw what side was winning in Iraq and Afghanistan);

It provided further evidence that kicking al Qaeda’s butt is better than kissing it.

It may make Bush look like a genius looking back in 20 years.

Updated 16 June 2008 with a list from a friend on the ground in Mosul working with a PRT:

– Within Iraq, it opened the doors for technical advancement in science and social structure;

– Within Iraq, it established the mechanism for shared (between national and local level) budgeting and funding of governmental functions;

– Within Iraq, it has created a dynamic, well trained and equipped and capable police and Iraqi armed forces.

– Within Iraq, it has established the only possible solution/approach for Middle East peace;

– Within Iraq, it has initiated a mechanism for a (true) united national identity.

Updated 27 June 2008:

Gerard Baker in the Times of London article today makes many of the same points…  Al Qaeda on the run, their ideology being marginalized within the Muslim community etc.  Worth reading (hat tip to Hot Air)

Let’s Just WIN… Okay!

January 20, 2007

Once you commit, you leave your doubts behind and focus on winning. We do not need to surrender. We can win if we have patience and continue to adapt when things are not working. War is always a battle of wills. Once we commit, we decide we will never surrender. Our will shall not falter. At least mine won’t. Will yours?

Why can’t today’s Democrats get this? We can’t return to the past before the war. We have only one choice now: win.

We all need a new WIN button like we had in the ’70s. Whip Insurgents Now!

Creating Dependence?

January 19, 2007

Today, Lee Hamilton told the House Foreign Affairs Committee that with the planned surge in Baghdad, “you delay the date of completion of the training mission, you delay the date of handing responsibility to the Iraqis. You delay the date of departure of U.S. troops.” Why are democrats all of sudden worried about our government creating dependency—the idea that increasing the number of troops in Baghdad will only make the Iraqi Army more dependent on us and prevent them from stepping up? Why ‘welfare’ reform overseas but no worries about creating dependency at home? Perhaps the ‘dependent’ class in Iraq doesn’t vote for Democrats, but the one at home does. Hypocrisy.

Which ‘ism’ is it important to address?

January 19, 2007

Many blogs and opinion articles have provided the opinion that critics of the surge really want America to lose because they have ‘Bush derangement syndrome’, and any win for America is a win for Bush. Or, the critics may want America to lose to hasten the country’s return to humility.

Another reason for being against the surge and a last try at winning, in my opinion, is that the careers of many on the left are focused on addressing ‘isms” other than militant extremism: racism, civil liberties-ism, anti-capitalism, poverty, health insurance for all, global warming-ism, etc. Since 9/11 they are angry that we are devoting so much attention to ‘terrorism’ or ‘militant extremism’, rather than their pet ‘isms.’ I think it is a deep-seeded psychological need of many on the left to get back to our ‘holiday from history’ of the 90s and focus on the their ‘isms.’

Many on the left seem to believe that there is no real danger from leaving Iraq; that there is no terrorism fight there in anyway at all—it’s only sectarian violence created by us . Let’s pretend that terrorism is only a reaction to America’s aggression and therefore if we just stop all will be well. Let us pretend that terrorism is a fleeting danger and that, for example, the administration’s surveillance efforts of Al Qaeda contacts with Americans are a greater threat (‘civil liberties-ism’).

I believe we are facing the great ideological struggle of our time. That among the many ‘isms’, militant or muslim extremism is the most important to address. Many on the left resent this and therefore chose to minimize it and any difficult efforts to address it (such as the surge).

It is not surprising, therefore, that Speaker Pelosi would bring out the global warming panel idea now. She won’t de-fund the surge and placates her base by turning Congress’s focus back to the ‘isms’ they care about (such as global warming-ism)—certainly not terror-ism.

Is it only a matter of Iraqi will?

January 18, 2007

There has been a lot of discussion lately about strategy/tactics/methods in Iraq. There is still little clarity or confirmation of the objective in Iraq on the part of “surge” critics. Discussion of strategy/methods should begin with each person’s clarification of their objectives.

It is clear that the troops want to win. A loss would be devastating to the military and officer corps—as it was after Vietnam. I want a win, no matter how long it takes. I define ‘win’ as the administration does in terms of a government that is representative of its people, a friend of the west, and not a sanctuary for terrorists/extremists. If at first we don’t succeed (and obviously we have not), try and try again. We need to use our minds to figure out how to win, instead of giving up because the task is daunting or our base wants us to.

However, even among critics that seem to have a “win” objective, they assume that it is only a matter of will on the part of the Iraq government. Thus, removing our troops and putting more pressure on the Iraq government would make sense and the surge would be wrong if true. This should be the key debating point. Is the lack of current progress primarily a matter of will on the part of the Iraq government? I agree it is in part, but that this is an insufficient explanation. The troops also seem to disagree that the lack of security is only due to a lack of will on the Iraqi side.

Those who think the surge as worth trying, need to continue to make this point: lack of security is the main impediment to creating the political will, and that Iraq is not ready to create a good security environment in Baghdad on its own. Pulling our troops out of Baghdad is not the answer; rather than create an incentive for Iraqis to provide security, it will likely provide the incentive toward increased sectarian identity—the greatest threat toward winning. We need a new “WIN” button: Whip Insurgents Now.