October 20, 2006

"The Bush administration will be unable to achieve its goal of a stable, democratic Iraq within a politically feasible time frame."

WaPo has a big article saying "[s]enior figures in both parties are coming to [that] conclusion."

And here's a quote from Joe Biden:
[I]f the Democrats win big in next month's elections, "You have a lot of Republicans who are going to openly join Democrats and will push back hard against the president."
Or perhaps you prefer Carl Levin:
Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), who would take over the chairmanship of the Armed Services Committee, said he favors beginning a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops that "gives the Iraqis notice that they're going to be looking into the abyss" unless they make necessary changes.
So... feel like talking about the abyss today?

55 comments:

JorgXMcKie said...

Sure. What, exactly, is the abyss, and what changes (details, please) does Levin want? And will Levin and the Democrats take credit (or blame) for an ensuing civil war or 665,000 extra deaths after the 'phased withdrawal"? Will they take credit/blame for excess American troop casualties that occur during a retreat?

If so, and if they win, that's how the system works. I'll complain but accept it.

I seriously doubt that the credit/blame will be apportioned appropriately.

Also, given their previous criticisms, I would expect any Democratic plan to be implemented flawlessly (despite and misgivings or interference by/from Republicans or Bush supporters -- after all that's just the other side of the coin) and to work perfectly.

Icepick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Doyle said...

No, Ann. Let's not talk about the abyss until we actually get there.

For now, let's just savor the remaining months that we have to watch our soldiers get killed in Iraq.

The Dhimmicrats have clearly been brainwashed by the less patriotic generals into thinking that we're not achieving any military objective there.

Don't they know the sight of Freedom marching when they see it?

The Mechanical Eye said...

Oh, I think Iraq is facing that abyss as we speak.

However, my hope is that the Democrats, once in power, will make an articulable alternative to "stay the course" that doesn't involve a simple retreat.

As Orwell once said, the easiest way to get out of a war is to lose it; while it may offer an oppurtunity to crow and smirk about Bush's miserable failure, it would be a massive blow in favor of the innumerable illiberal, anti-democratic, and violent forces in the middle east, to say the least of the great betrayal we would do to the newborn Iraqi government.

I have hope, if not confidence, that the Democrats will find their newfound responsibility to govern and give America a realistic, face-saving alternative for Iraq.

verification word: gurdbus

Doyle said...

an articulable alternative to "stay the course" that doesn't involve a simple retreat.

So something other than staying or leaving? I vote for victory! Jeffersonian democracy or bust.

Goesh said...

We may as well go now - I see by MSN that Shia militiamen, about 800 of them,took over a town. Why bother with a constitution and articles of federation and voting and all of that when in a matter of a day or so you can assert your political will with guns? Why not - who's going to stop them - Iraqis in the green zone? The Brits? It seems the Shia have some old scores to settle too, aside from wanting the southern oil all to themselves and their mullah buddies in Iran. They ought to be able to do alot of Sunni cleansing once US strike forces are back home - they aren't doing too badly now with bombs, are they? I say let Iran have control of at least southern Iraq and the oil there. What with nuclear arms and the added wealth they can give up their foolish notion of an islamic caliphate.

Revenant said...

Since I favor staying until Iraq is reasonably stable, the "politically feasible time frame" doesn't apply to me.

But yes, I think pulling out in the near future would be disastrous for both America and Iraq.

MadisonMan said...

I have hope, if not confidence, that the Democrats will find their newfound responsibility to govern and give America a realistic, face-saving alternative for Iraq.


I'm about where you are, and I'm not holding my breath. Of course, they have to gain power first, too.

Isn't Iraq in the abyss now? Scores die weekly and basic services are minimal.

Too Many Jims said...

The abyss will just talk back.

Mike said...

Sen. Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee {shudder}

Mortimer Brezny said...

I think the Democrats, even if they win in large numbers, are did themselves a disservice by not reevaluating just who should be head of many of these committees if they take power. Having Pelosi as 3rd in line for the Presidency certainly is symbolic because she is a woman, but it is also a terrible move because she is Nancy Pelosi, an extremely liberal and airheaded partisan. These committee chair positions should go to charismatic centrists and (to be sure) should reflect diversity. The missing part here is the "charismatic centrist" part, and it's the part that allows Republicans to scare up turnout. If the Democratic win isn't as big as hoped -- or if it magically converts into a narrow loss, now you can't say you didn't know the reason why.

Doyle said...

Mort-

You ever notice how little hand wringing there is about the Republican lack of "charismatic centrists"?

Your previous majority leader was a crook. Your current majority leader is an undistinguished schmuck (and a crook). And the current speaker is just a vacuous sack of Republicanness (Foley issue aside).

I'm not a huge Pelosi fan, but these guys are an easy act to follow.

Cedarford said...

Foulad Hadid: King Faisal I, who was imported from the Hijaz, in what is now Saudi Arabia, to become Iraq's king in 1921, had this to say about the Iraqis shortly before his death in 1933: "There is still - and I say this with a heart full of sorrow - no Iraqi people but unimaginable masses of human beings, devoid of any patriotic ideas, imbued with religious traditions and absurdities, connected by no common tie, giving ear to evil, prone to anarchy, and perpetually ready to rise against any government whatever."

Did Faisal know something we didn't?


The point being, I'm afraid, that you can intervene and see some nations succeed, based on their own national merits and character of the people if given a chance (S Korea, etc,) and others that fail miserably on their national merits and character of the people if given one, two, even numerous chances (Haiti, Palestine).

Americans both Left and Right especially...need to understand the world does not revolve around America. And we need to better be able to define the (1)Chance; (2)The moment of opportunity.

The "chance" being - This is what we will do for you, and nothing further.

The moment of opportunity being the point where a people is told from this point onwards you stand up on your own, or fail..we offer this level of funding and support..but have no mistake..From this point onwards, it's up to you, not us.

The mechanical eye - it would be a massive blow in favor of the innumerable illiberal, anti-democratic, and violent forces in the middle east, to say the least of the great betrayal we would do to the newborn Iraqi government.

No, it would be a massive blow to both the neocons and to the Left that holds all people are the same with equal talent and common beliefs in abstractions like "rule of law".

No, it would not be a "great betrayal" of the do-nothing Iraqi government and Armed Forces. It would not be "all America's/Bush's/Godless Democrats fault"

It would be the Iraqi's fault.

No more than Sudan's genocide is "all America's fault if we fail to stop it." Sometimes we would be best thinking like other non-evangelical nations not bent on shaping the world in their image believe. "So the fools of Albania struggle. Too bad. They made their nest, though. Let them live with it. Not our place to save Albanians from being Albanians."

With Iraq, we tried, we failed. It would have been difficult in 20-20 hindsight, if not impossible, to make them a vibrant secular democracy - given their basic nature. Even if we had adequate troops and not made a series of catastrophic mistakes in the postwar.

But they are who they are.
We don't have enough troops.
We made massive, catastrophic mistakes in the post-war that connot be reversed.

So let's accept the failure as basically Iraqi's fault, not sweat the least about "betraying the noble fence-sitting Democratic Iraqi government."

And move on. Iraqis kill one another in Civil War? Awww! Too bad!
Though we appear to have serious lack of accountablity in various American institutions that fed this failure - The lackeys of Bremer and Gen. Tommy Franks who butt-kissed more than gave frank advice.. Cheney. The liberal media headed by the NYTimes betraying national secrets and making any US misstep magnified 100 times worse and delivered to our enemies on a silver platter. Rumsfeld's cabal of neocons. Enemy rights lawyers of Lynn Stewart's ilk.

Plenty of blame to go around in America.

But bottom line, Iraq's misery, episodic violence, and decay since post-Mongol times is Iraqis doing.

Doyle said...

Thanks Cedarford. That's a huge relief. I thought for a minute the Bush administration was responsible for the Iraq War.

It was originally a war of preemptive self-defense, remember? The character of the Iraqi people shouldn't have been a major concern.

Henry said...

Hey, Doyle, you wrote something I agree with. You're right, the current Republican leaders are mediocrities. And yes, the U.S. is responsible for Iraq. (Not Bush, the U.S.)

Of course I agree with Revenant too. And I was agreeing with Goesh until I realized he was not being sarcastic. Anyway...

Iraq is murderous hellhole. That doesn't mean it couldn't get a whole lot worse. If all we have it in our power to do is keep it at the current level of badness, is it worth it? I think so. We know what a whole lot worse looks like (see Southeast Asia, post U.S. withdrawal) and that catastrophe is worth fighting against.

I am, however, optimistic about the Democrats if they blunder into power. With power comes responsibility. (And corruption, but that's a different story.)

Word verification: runhohdj (Peter, they're after you)

Doyle said...

If all we have it in our power to do is keep it at the current level of badness, is it worth it?

That's an interesting premise given the steady-to-dramatic increase in violence since we've been there.

Revenant said...

I thought for a minute the Bush administration was responsible for the Iraq War.

The Bush Administration is responsible for the Iraq War in the sense that the IRS is responsible for tax collection. They're in charge of dealing with it. The authorization for the war, however, was broadly bipartisan, and provided by Congress, not the executive branch, so Bush is not "responsible for the war" in the sense that, say, OJ was responsible for his wife's death.

Doyle said...

LOL. Congress in charge of war?! I know better than that. I read my Yoo.

Shanna said...

You ever notice how little hand wringing there is about the Republican lack of "charismatic centrists"?
Maybe because we don’t lack them? Guiliani, Schwartzenager, McCain…there are a number of these in the Republican party. Obviously not Hastert, but they do exist. I’m sure they exist for dem’s too, maybe in the states, but not in Congress. Biden is ok sometimes. They’re just not the public face of the Democratic party, is the problem. Even Bush, although he’s not really a centrist, is not the most conservative guy on fiscal principles. Which is why a whole lot of actual small-government conservatives are mad at him.

Henry said...

That's an interesting premise given the steady-to-dramatic increase in violence since we've been there.

The difference would be between a linear progression and a geometric. We leave and the latter comes true.

MadisonMan said...

Even Bush, although he’s not really a centrist, is not the most conservative guy on fiscal principles.

What, just 'cause the Debt's gone up by $3 Trillion on his watch? And because per-capita spending has jumped? You have a gift for understatement.

Henry said...

Doyle -- you can blame the Bush Administration for the war, but you can't encapsulate the responsibility. Imagine that a Democratic administration in 2009 pulls out the troops and by 2010 the result is a variety of humanitarian crises. (Maybe these are less awful than the crises caused by staying, but no one will care; it's the disaster at hand that matters.)

Do you think the world will say, "that's okay, it was Bush's war, the U.S. isn't responsible for these refugees, these killing fields, these extremists."

It may be the Bush administration that triggered the war, but the U.S. owns it.

AJ Lynch said...

I despair that the Iraqi people just don't have it in them to get this done (someone before said it is a murderous hellhole). If the Iraquis can't prove that to be wrong and soon- it should be divided up and get our troops the hell out of there.

And Americans should not forget the climate under which this war was undertaken. We were less than a year past 911 and we were trying to avoid Al Quaeda getting their hands on a nuke (WMD). Seems like many have forgotten that grave concern.

George said...

"In nature's infinite book of secrecy a little I can read," says the soothsayer in Antony & Cleopatra.

Unless our pullout is the slowest in military history, we will be betraying our friends in Iraq and emboldening terrorists around the world.

We are bound to the wheel.

Revenant said...

LOL. Congress in charge of war?! I know better than that

No, dumbass. The President is in charge of the war -- like I said. Congress authorizes the war, as it did, with broad bipartisan support, in the case of Iraq. Congress is responsible for us currently being at war; the President is responsible for how we fight the war we're in.

Revenant said...

Maybe because we don’t lack them? Guiliani, Schwartzenager, McCain…there are a number of these in the Republican party.

Um, Giuliani and Schwarzenegger are centrists, but by no stretch of the imagination does McCain qualify. He does a good job of *acting* like he's more moderate, but if you look at his actual positions on issues they're solidly conservative. He's anti-gay-marriage, anti-abortion, anti-tax, in favor of censoring sexual content in TV, film, and internet, pro-war... etc, etc. Even the moderate poses he takes are kind of halfassed -- e.g., he's against legal torture but in favor of using it anyway when necessary.

Fenrisulven said...

I wonder how the Dems will explain away the Geneva Convention responsibilities of an occupying power.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Doyle --

I am a Democrat and I dislike extremely liberal Democrats representing my party because I am a centrist Democrat.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Also, replacing mediocrities with mediocrities is a tougher sell than replacing mediocrities with charismatic leaders. This was the goddamn point.

The Jerk said...

Revnant's right. The idea of invading Iraq sprung, unbidden and simultaneously, into the minds of everyone in Congress who voted for it. Bush is no more responsible than the most inconsequential back-bencher.

I wonder how the Dems will explain away the Geneva Convention responsibilities of an occupying power.

Easy. Just declare them all enemy combatants.

Fenrisulven said...

Easy. Just declare them all enemy combatants.

Cute, but not apt. The Republicans have been complaing the Geneva Conventions are outdated, the Democrats have been defending the GC.

Are they going to flip-flop once they gain power?

Mark R. said...

I think "Iraq in abyss" sentiment is sensationalist and overblown by MSM. Some parts of Iraq area, including Baghdad. That's mostly where cameras are.

The Kurdish North from what I read is relatively safer, better governed and policed, and seems to be setting a decent example of what can be achieved. Of course, Kurds had an early start at self-governance since Iraq I. It may take another 5-10 years for the rest of Iraq.

But I think a much more practical proposal for securing the center, Baghdad, is to pull out all the cameras and journalists. It's not because our troops are there that most violence is centered on Baghdad. It's because most of the cameras are there. Get them out, and with reduced propaganda value, Baghdad will be safer.

Fenrisulven said...

Funny, I was thinking the same thing this morning. This really is a propaganda war - the terrorists are using our media against us. Just like Viet Nam.

Revenant said...

Revnant's right. The idea of invading Iraq sprung, unbidden and simultaneously, into the minds of everyone in Congress who voted for it.

Please do not put your idiotic ideas in my mouth.

Obviously there were many millions of people, Bush among them, who wanted to invade Iraq. Obviously these people let their Congresscritters know that's what they wanted. But the actual responsibility for authorizing and funding the war fell squarely on Congress' shoulders.

I supported the invasion of Iraq from late 2001 onwards. I am not going to let the majority of American citizens who *also* wanted the war -- right up to the point where they realized rebuilding Iraq might be hard -- weasel out of admitting that they wanted it too.

AlaskaJack said...

Is is possible that the cultural beliefs of a class of people can prevent them from seeing any value in democratic rule?

The left seems to be coming around to the view that in Iraq it is possible. But will this position cause them to change any of their ideas on the value of multi-culturalism?

Cedarford said...

qevHenry.
(Who appears to be one of the last who believe all events are under America's control, and if events do not have an optimal outcome - they are America's fault.)

Imagine that a Democratic administration in 2009 pulls out the troops and by 2010 the result is a variety of humanitarian crises. (Maybe these are less awful than the crises caused by staying, but no one will care; it's the disaster at hand that matters.)

Do you think the world will say, "that's okay, it was Bush's war, the U.S. isn't responsible for these refugees, these killing fields, these extremists."


Explain to me how the continuation of the Iraqi Civil War - which has flared off and on since the 50s - would be the US's fault?

Which of those refugees would be caused by US troops? What killing fields have American soldiers filled up, or will in the future. Which of the death squads and extremists groups - many going back to the 50s - has the US sponsored or created?

I can think of only one, the Pesh Merga - but they are almost entirely Kurdish self-defense, not implicated in the ongoing atrocities..

I frankly don't care what the world would say. They don't like it, they can go into Iraq instead of us and try and sooth various bloodthirsty Iraqis. Something they pointedly refused to do for 4 years. Same with Sudan. They are good for running their mouths off, talking about human rights indictments for anyone stupid enough to try and fix global hellholes, but don't put up the people or money to change the circumstances that "Shock!!" and "Appall!" them so much.


It may be the Bush administration that triggered the war, but the U.S. owns it.

No, it is the height of arrogance to claim the US "owns it."

Perhaps if we had the place as a colonial satrapy, and we funded internal Iraqi security with oil revenue and US courts and cops enforced our laws...yes. But we don't. So Iraqis using power drilles to drill holes in other Arab Iraqi heads or blow up their foes mosques and kids with car boms is their problem...not ours.

Same with the Sudan. After the Left's best effort to demonize America and leaders for any intervention "not sanctioned by the UN" and efforts to criminalize US soldiers for any action Lefties object to...For making the War a rallying cause for Lefty pacifism and belief that endless diplomacy is always preferable to action..

I guess they will be shocked!!!! to find Americans are not in favor of committing our troops to another Muslim-on-Muslim Civil War.

Too Many Jims said...

Fenrisulven . . .I wonder how the Dems will explain away the Geneva Convention responsibilities of an occupying power.

First you asume that we are an Occupying Power. Second, if we leave we are not an occupying power. Third, even assuming we were an occupying power under the Geneva Conventions after we left, what responsibilities in the Conventions would we have that Dems would object to?

Fenrisulven said...

First you asume that we are an Occupying Power.

I'd like to you explain how we are not, and why the GC doesn't apply here.

Mark said...

I would like to see the most Pelosi-like Democrats win control of the House, Senate, and Presidency as soon as possible, and I would like them to fully implement their suicidal policies now so that all of us can see clearly exactly what happens when they rule. I am hunkered down in a sort of semi-"Atlas Shrugged" bunker situation and I think the best thing we can do is get out of the way and let them bring society down around our ears while there is still a large chunk of the population who were raised believing in traditional American values and who remember how good things can be. Then there'll be someone to pick up the pieces when left-liberalism is finally, and catastrophically, discredited. This slow civilizational suicide we're undergoing now, where liberals oppose most every measure to save ourselves, from defense to immigration control to free markets, is going to wipe us out like a chronic disease. Let's have the collapse quick and sharp so we can do something about it.

So I'll be rooting for the most extreme Democrats to win big, and to implement their policies fully while I watch from the sidelines. I hope they try to impeach Bush, pull out of Iraq (leading to its collapse), raise taxes (killing off the economy), implement socialist medicine, and so on and so on, so we can all see once and for all what happens when socialist/pacifist/universalist/moral relativist policies are implemented with no conservatives to blame for their failure.

Fenrisulven said...

so we can all see once and for all what happens when socialist/pacifist/universalist/moral relativist policies are implemented with no conservatives to blame for their failure.

Problem is they will never accept responsibility for their actions [see Vietnam, Cold War, and N Korea]. They'll simply change their identity from Liberal to Progressive and continue another round of madness.

Revenant said...

Fenris,

I'm not a hundred percent sure, but I believe that the Geneva Convention obligations for occupying powers only apply so long as the occupation continues. If the Democrats cut and run and Iraq then completely goes to pieces, so far as I'm aware that won't violate the Geneva Conventions.

It'll just be a really bad idea.

Simon said...

The only way the Democrats can actually pull forces out of Iraq is to defund the mission. Which is to say, to cease supporting the troops in a financial, material sense. Which will cement their reputation as not supporting the troops. And since a pull out would exacerbate Iraq's existing tensions, if the Dems pull all the troops out and the country falls apart, it'll never be clear if we failed in Iraq or if we were stabbed in the back by a bunch of Congressional Democrats. I told you there was a silver lining to the dems taking the House. Dolchstosslegende.

The Jerk said...

Are they going to flip-flop once they gain power?

Why would they?

Please do not put your idiotic ideas in my mouth.

It is awfully crowded with idiotic ideas already.

But the actual responsibility for authorizing and funding the war fell squarely on Congress' shoulders.

Yep. And the administration had nothing to do with it. They just followed along with what Congress wanted to do anyway. And now they're being blamed when they were really just going along with the crowd! Poor Bushies just can't catch a break. I wonder whose idea the whole thing was in the first place? Bush must be really mad at that guy.

Daryl Herbert said...

Threatening Iraqis with the abyss won't work.

We've already done that.

Does anyone else remember the pre-war rhetoric that of course the Sunnis would cooperate with the new government, for fear of being trampled by Shi'ite militias? Of course that prediction turned out to be half true. They didn't cooperate, and they are paying the (entirely foreseeable and foreseen) price for it.

What makes you think they will act any differently now?

downtownlad said...

Stay the course.

Too Many Jims said...

Fenrisulven . . . I'd like to you explain how we are not, and why the GC doesn't apply here.

Ok I will assume that the GC "occupying power" label applied in 2003, even though there were arguments on both sides (and I believe the Administration's position was that we were not an occupying power but we would for the most part act like one). I'll even assume that we were an occupying power after sovereignty was transferred to the Iraqi people (since that time we have been there at their request). I'll even assume that we would be an occupying power after we left Iraq (which kind of tortures language to say that a power can be occupying a place when it is no longer there).

All that aside, tell me what obligations of an "occupying power" would the Dems object to?

(As an aside, I agree with Rev that an abrupt withdrawal is a bad idea. I am just trying to figure out why you think the GC boxes the Dems in.)

Too Many Jims said...

Simon,

I you are largely right about how the Dems can force us to get out of Iraq and it's repurcussions. Basically, Bush will be able to stay there as long as he likes or it will be ugly.

It reminds me of a comment that George Will made a month or so back (that I could not find googling just now). Will said something to the effect that "If there are 100,000 U.S. troops in Iraq in 2008, there will be 100 fewer Republican house members in 2009."

I suppose if the Dems were to control the house Will might ratchet that estimate back some because both parties will share the blame.

amba said...

it would be a massive blow in favor of the innumerable illiberal, anti-democratic, and violent forces in the middle east

That's right. The jihadis gloated that they defeated one superpower in Afghanistan. That emboldened them greatly. Now they will be able to boast that they defeated us -- simply by being willing to slaughter -- ours, theirs, the other guy's, everything that moves. Think how that will feed them, how they'll swell and grow, how affirmed they will be in their choice of tactics. It's a disaster, and one in which the two parties have colluded: the Bushies by arrogantly screwing up, the Dems by preferring to blame the Repubs rather than try to fix their mistakes.

Too Many Jims said...

Amba,

I would love for the Dems (or responsible Republicans for that matter) to fix the "bushies'" mistakes, but (as Simon has ably pointe out) the commander-in-chief gets to decide how the war is run. Unfortunately, he chooses to arrogantly screw it up.

Harry Eagar said...

Cedarford sez: 'It would have been difficult in 20-20 hindsight, if not impossible, to make them a vibrant secular democracy - given their basic nature.'

Hindsight not necessary. Before the war, Bassam Tibi, the Syrian political scientist, wrote that Muslims (he was writing primarily about Arabs) are not interested in democracy. Who coulda guessed?

If we stay a thousand years, the Arabs are not going to become Texas Republicans.

However, if we supported a Great Kurdistan, we would retrieve one of the immoral bargains made by Wilson, free 20 million people to establish their own state and make Turkey, Iran, Russia, Syria and the rest of the Arabs mad at us. All upside, no downside.

Bruce Hayden said...

The Sunni Jihadists have lost, and lost big, already in Iraq. Somewhere around 1/4 of the Sunnis that were in Iraq when we invaded have left, and over 1/3 have moved - those who haven't left, have moved out of mixed Shia/Sunni neighborhoods into Sunni neighborhoods.

So, now, the Sunni Arabs are about 15% of the population of Iraq. They are faced by the other 85% who owe them no love, after decades of Saddam supported death squads, etc. Most of them have kin who died at Sunni Arab hands. To make matters worse, the military and police are even more heavily populated by Shia and Kurds. Thus, the Sunnis have 15% of the population and much less than that in guns, esp. heavier weapons.

So, what happens if we pull out? No, it wouldn't be a civil war - because if one side composes only 15% of the population and has a lower percentage of that of guns, etc., is not a civil war, but a genocide.

I should note that last month, approx. 3/4 of the Anbar tribes had signed on to helping the govt. control that area - which includes the infiltration routes from Syria. They have agreed to help patrol the roads and maintain security. And, after a lot of experience with the non-Iraqi Sunni Jihadists, they are for the most part not sympathetic. Starting maybe six months ago, the Jihadists and the Anbar tribes have engaged in repeated firefights.

The reason that our casualty tolls are up, as are the Iraqi security forces casualties, is that they are now, for the first time, operating in force in the Sunni areas of Baghdad. Before, the Iraqi Sunni terrorists would have to go into the Shiite areas to make their attacks. Now they can do it at home. Of course, they mostly don't attack directly, as they would lose badly, but use IEDs and suicide bombers instead. The problem is that this also makes it clear to the rest of their communities that they are losing, and that there is no chance any more of the Sunni Arabs retaking the country.

Harry Eagar said...

You say that like it's a good thing.

I guess you hadn't noticed that Bush's policy, if you can call it a policy, is to appease Sunnis.

Anyhow, whether that part works out or not, the next step is to have the oil of southern Iraq fall under the control of Iran -- the Iraqi Shia are unable to operate independently, even if they wanted to, which is doubtful.

I'm having a hard time understanding why this is an outcome the US should want to see.

aaron said...

I wish Levin was up for re-election. The guy is scum. I'm not even sure he's human.

Revenant said...

the Iraqi Shia are unable to operate independently, even if they wanted to, which is doubtful

Why are they unable to operate independently? And why is it doubtful that the current Iraqi Shiite leaders would rather be in charge of their own nation than be lackeys of a foreign power?

Harry Eagar said...

Well, for one, Sistani is an Iranian. Duh.

for two, the supporters of the Shia militias in the south are, no surprise, armed, financed and more or less directed from Iran.

It would not be surprising if the Iraqi Shia would, if put in direction of a state or ministate on their own, find reasons to part ways with the Iranian Shia; but whether the Iraqi Iraqi faction would then prevail over the Iraqi Iranian faction is uncertain.

How much is it in the US interest to put that to the test?

Didn't we learn anything in Vietnam?