War support crumbles as top Iraqis plead: Pullout means likely civil war; Update: McCain not expected to urge new course after Iraq trip

posted at 11:56 am on July 9, 2007 by Allahpundit

Relax. If things get hairy, we’ve always got that New York Times “international pressure” plan to fall back on.

“This could produce a civil war, partition of the country and a regional war. We might see the country collapse,” Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari, a Kurd, told a news conference when asked about the New York Times report…

“We in Iraq believe, not just the government, but all political parties, that the presence of these forces is necessary to prevent increasing violence and to stop the country sliding into civil war,” Sadiq al-Rikabi, a senior adviser to Shi’ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, told Reuters.

Sunni Arab Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi, speaking to Reuters by telephone, said: “I would be very happy to see the last American soldier leave today … We understand their worry about not seeing much political progress in Iraq. But the problem is: who will fill the security vacuum if these forces withdraw?”

So there’s one (and maybe the only) thing the Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds all agree on. The Times piece referenced in the blockquote isn’t the notorious editorial, FYI, it’s this bombshell about intensive meetings at the White House to game out when and how Bush is going to announce the now inevitable troop drawdown. (Tony Snow denied today that any such meetings are happening.) They were hoping to wait until Petraeus’s progress report in September, but with Lugar, Domenici, Warner, and Voinovich all jumping ship and McCain possibly ready to announce that his trip to Baghdad made him see the Iraqi parliament is hopelessly deadlocked, they may have to promise some form of withdrawal now to keep stop any more defections.

Officials describe the meetings as more of a running discussion than an argument. They say that no one is clinging to a stay-the-course position but that instead aides are trying to game out what may happen if the president becomes more specific about the start and the shape of what the White House is calling a “post-surge redeployment.”…

They described [NSA Stephen] Hadley as deeply concerned that the loss of Republicans could accelerate this week, a fear shared by Mr. Rove. But they also said that Mr. Rove had warned that if Mr. Bush went too far in announcing a redeployment, the result could include a further cascade of defections — and the passage of legislation that would force a withdrawal by a specific date, a step Mr. Bush has always said he would oppose…

One thing that may be working in Mr. Bush’s favor is the calendar. If he can get through the next three weeks without more defections, Congress will go into recess until September, returning just as the report from Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker arrives in Washington.

The strategy now will probably be to push Baker-Hamilton as a compromise since the involvement of Republicans in that at least gives the Senate GOP some weak political cover to claim that their side helped craft the new plan. Otherwise they’re stuck having to follow Reid and the Democrats’ down whatever unholy path that might lead. Gates is reportedly a fan of B-H, as is Mitch McConnell, and unlike the Times’s plan it does at least provide for some small combat force in country to target Al Qaeda — the same Al Qaeda which, thankfully, we now know from our friends on the left barely has a presence in Iraq and isn’t connected to Osama Bin Laden anyway and, per Jack Murtha, will be routed by Iraqis the very minute we leave. Having U.S. troops sit by a la the Dutch at Srebrenica while Iraqis massacre each other will be more of a problem, but supporters of withdrawal have already made a rough peace with that idea no matter whether, like Mort Kondracke, they’re willing to admit to it or whether they’re sufficiently ashamed that they feel obliged to cloak it in some ludicrous “international pressure” faux solution. And as the Journal notes, ironically, the Republicans who now are looking to get on the “right” side of the debate for electoral reasons may find themselves on the wrong side if, god forbid, that’s how things shake out:

Republicans may think they can distance themselves from all this, but they’ll get no credit from voters if they contribute to an ugly outcome in Iraq. Their best prospect for making Iraq less important in 2008 is military progress that allows for a reduction in U.S. forces with honor and a more stable Iraqi government. A divided Republican caucus that undercuts America’s military efforts while chasing the mirage of bipartisan comity will only make their own election defeat more likely.

According to Bob Novak, GOP waverers touted B-H to Hadley last week when he met with them to try to persuade them — unsuccessfully — to wait until September before cutting bait. That wasn’t the only subject of conversation, though:

Always deferential, Hadley took copious notes. But he did more than listen. Based on what Hadley said, one senator concluded that “they just do not recognize the depth of the difficulty they are in.” That difficulty entails running out of troops in nine months. Hadley increased latent fears of the U.S. military being made the fall guy — a concern shared by many retired and some active senior officers, including a current infantry division commander.

I don’t know what he means by “running out of troops in nine months” unless he means the tour for surge troops will be over, but as far as Bush trying to blame the military for forcing a withdrawal, even he doesn’t have that much hubris. If he’s that desperate for a scapegoat, the obvious thing to do is to refuse a withdrawal and force Congress to end the war itself by cutting the funds. That would be a pathetic end, but not half so pathetic as trying to blame guys that are already on extended tours to sustain a two-front war for four years, particularly after not sending enough troops at the start of the war and not talking seriously about expanding the military until very recently.

Let’s see how much good the warning today from Iraqi pols does with the GOP waverers. Not much, I expect, given the electoral pressure they’re feeling, but between that and the Iraqi NSA claiming yesterday that he expects them to meet the political benchmarks by September (assuming they haven’t been completely rewritten by then), maybe it’ll convince a few to give it an extra two months.

Go read this post by INDC Bill about his conversation with a (former) Iraqi insurgent. Too late.

Update: The Times piece quoted White House sources as saying much would depend on McCain’s progress report after he got back from Iraq. If he’s abandoning ship, everyone will. According to sources in the know, he’s not abandoning ship.


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Bush needs to fight this to the bitter end, a la “Our forces will remain in Iraq at full strength as long as I’m in office.”

The dems must be forced to scuttle the ship to prove their point.

And these RHINOs need to lose their next elections.

unamused on July 9, 2007 at 12:00 PM

I question the timing of all of this.

Metro on July 9, 2007 at 12:01 PM

If GW packs it in there is nothing that will stop Congress from moving forward with impeachment. Right or wrong it won’t matter. What little support he now has remaining will crumble. Packing it in isn’t just burning your bridges, it is burning the bridge you are standing on.

Limerick on July 9, 2007 at 12:04 PM

If we pull out before Bush leaves office, Iraq will spiral down into a civil war.

And if that happens, we might as well be saluting Hillary as our next president as the GOP will get the blame for Iraq.

Oh well, at least I’d get free health care I guess.

Darnell Clayton on July 9, 2007 at 12:07 PM

If we stay, our military keeps getting cut to peices.

If we leave, thousands of innocents die and the country reverts to even worse than it was under Saddam.

Dear Lord. Talk about the lesser of two evils…

Dark-Star on July 9, 2007 at 12:08 PM

The sunni/shia jihad is inevitable.

PRCalDude on July 9, 2007 at 12:09 PM

There will have to be some demonstrably good results come the September meetings, or we’re gonna bail, whether or not that’s the right decision.

Bad Candy on July 9, 2007 at 12:10 PM

Well, if America doesn’t have the balls to see this through, no one else in the world does.
In other words, we’re screwed.

madne0 on July 9, 2007 at 12:14 PM

Hey, lets write you representatives…let them know how you feel. SURGE

tomas on July 9, 2007 at 12:20 PM

If we stay, our military keeps getting cut to peices.

If we leave, thousands of innocents die and the country reverts to even worse than it was under Saddam.

Dear Lord. Talk about the lesser of two evils…

Dark-Star on July 9, 2007 at 12:08 PM

What a mess it is. I am not a cut and runner, but American lives are more important to me than Iraqis. Maybe a good civil war over there might cause many murderous muslims to re-evaluate their priorities. But, I doubt it.

saiga on July 9, 2007 at 12:23 PM

In the end this is political posturing by all who “seem” to support pullout.
They can always blame Bush for getting us in there – very convenient.

But in the end (when push really comes to shove) not one of them will actually want to take on the blame for creating another Vietnam, because that would be very inconvenient.
They know that we can not afford a Vietnam-like-scenario because in this case it would cause oil prices to go over.. ah.. let’s say $100.00 a barrel for a long time, ie: economic disaster.
NO ONE POLITICIAN WILL BE THE TRIP WIRE FOR PULLOUT BEFORE PEACEFUL CONTROL HAS BEEN REACHED, MARK MY WORD!
ALL THE SHIP SHAPING YOU SEE NOW IS NOTHING BUT YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK IN POWER HUNGRY POLITICIANS!
When you view it from this perspective it ALL makes sense.

Mcguyver on July 9, 2007 at 12:24 PM

The Iraqis have to fix their own country by deciding not to tear each other to pieces/blow each other up. If the most sophisticated, intelligent, cream of the crop leadership makes up parliament, and they can’t get ANYTHING done, and it’s THEIR country, what can we do? They understand the culture, they know what needs to be done to solve this, and they do NOTHING. They won’t even agree to share their freaking oil with each other…I’m starting to believe there is no more we can do to help them BECAUSE they won’t help themselves. Just my opinion. And then we need to protect our borders, or heaven help us when the Iran and the jihadis get their hands on all that oil…we will not be safe here at home. Maybe we should consider filling those DHS positions, hey, Chertoff?

JustTruth101 on July 9, 2007 at 12:26 PM

If we stay, our military keeps getting cut to peices.

What? This has been one of the lowest casuality conflicts in our nation’s history (obvious comment about each soldier lost is a tragedy deleted).

If we lack the stones to see this thru (install a strong man and exit, if necessary) then I’m afraid that a responsible GOP/conservative base should oppose any military operation beyond cruise missile strikes and terroist wack-a-mole on grounds that this nation simply lacks the will to do anything more than that and it is irresponsible to commit fighting forces to conflicts that the home front will not support to the end.

Fred on July 9, 2007 at 12:31 PM

This is no way to win a war. Every day you quit…another person dies. The lack of support for iraqis and our troops has opened a void that is filled by terrorists and malcontents. Lack of support is causing more deaths than direct action. Lack of support has driven Iraqis back into there homes.

It doesn’t matter who the president is…you support them. You complain quiet and you support loud and clear. I’m so dissapointed in one and all family and friend for the lack of collective support. The enemy knows that quitting isn’t an option and never was…why don’t we.

As Hitch says this is a just cause that is long overdue…you will lose the world if you fail to act.

tomas on July 9, 2007 at 12:32 PM

“This could produce a civil war, partition of the country and a regional war. We might see the country collapse,” Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari.

I think he overestimates the degree to which most American people simply don’t care. Whoever gets the blames stateside, everyone will blame the Iraqi political class for the coming horror show.

I don’t think most Americans, even those who once supported the war and those who currently support the troops, really care if the Sunnis and Shi’a go at each other with rusty hooks. People accept, in the abstract, that the outcome will be unspeakable, but think (at least to themselves) hey, that’s life, kid.

Similar forecasts of humanitarian disasters didn’t stop us from leaving Vietnam and they won’t stop us from leaving Iraq. Plus, just like in Vietnam, there won’t be any press around to report directly on the atrocities. Iraq will largely be a dead, dark zone of rumors and myth. But since no Americans will be dying the left will feel good (mission accomplished) and the right won’t want to bring it up since it’s election day poison.

People tend to dicount doomsday scenarios of regional war because a) most Americans aren’t that pessimistic by nature, b) we’ve survived so many other crises without regional war, why worry now? c) who cares if people in a far away land about which we know nothing want to kill each other, d) it’s inevitable – we can’t stop ethnic cleansing and e) the left can always blame Chimpy McHitlerBurton, so what’s not to like?

Of course it’ll be much worse than the predictions. God help the next president. She’ll have to spend nearly all her time dealing with this and the incalculable effects.

Thomas the Wraith on July 9, 2007 at 12:32 PM

The democrats have based their whole future on defeat. If Bush lets them surrender and cause the slaughter of 100s of 1000s of lives then he is what the MSM constantly say that he is. The MSM does not have the same brainwashing ability that it did before the internet. Do the democrats really believe you can appease an evil that beheads children and slaughters the innocent? Democrats MUST UNDERSTAND 1)give the troops what they need and get out of the way 2) secure the borders FIRST and then address comprehensive immigration. Is it really that hard to comprehend?

volsense on July 9, 2007 at 12:34 PM

Of course it’ll be much worse than the predictions. God help the next president. She’ll have to spend nearly all her time dealing with this and the incalculable effects. Thomas the Wraith on July 9, 2007 at 12:32 PM

…only if Fred has a sex change before becoming president.

Mojave Mark on July 9, 2007 at 12:38 PM

Al Qaeda/Iraq threatens to attack Iran

Why must our troops remain in Iraq to prevent such a confrontation? Or a civil war for that matter, of which such a confrontation would only be a small part?

Is Hamas vs Fatah a confrontation that must be reversed? If not, why this one?

Bottom line is: Mission accomplished. Saddam Hussein, check. Udai, Qusay – check. Zarqawi – check. Constitution – check. Elections – check. Iraq now has its own government, and it’s not the job of the US military to keep repairing Iraqi power stations, or prevent a backlash when a mosque in Samarra is blown up, or anything of that nature. There is no need to sweat over an exit strategy – exit itself should be the strategy.

Also, staying in Iraq (let alone the surge) allows anti-US sections in both Shia (Mahdi) and Sunni (Baath, al Qaeda) to attack US troops there. Withdraw them, and while they may gloat for a few days, the follow up won’t be anything to their advantage. One will then see anti-US Sunnis, like al Qaeda, take on anti-US Shia, like al Sadr. What’s not to like about this strategy?

And in time, inshallah, this should spread throughout the Middle East. Once this war in Iraq escalates, let Shia and Sunni fighters from all over the region converge on Iraq. Let Hizbullah send its fighters from Lebanon to Iraq and take on al-Qaeda there. Let the Muslim Brotherhood send its volunteers from Syria, Jordan and Egypt to Iraq and take on al Sadr. Let Saudi and other GCC money, instead of going into new mosques from Seattle to Auckland, be used to finance this Jihad against the Sunnis. Similarly, force Iran to spend more of its cash strapped treasury to finance al Sadr and Hizbullah, and keep Iraq from becoming completely Sunni, and thereby a threat again.

Also, far from preventing a civil war in Iraq, this sort of strife should be encouraged throughout the Middle East, and all the divisions there aren’t Shia vs Sunni. In Iran, for instance, although 90% of Iranians are Shia, only 50% are Farsi. So encourage the non-Farsi peoples in Iran to revolt – the Azeris in Tabriz (encourage them to try and merge with Azerbaijan), the Arabs in Khuzestan (encourage them to team up with Ayatollah Sistani, seek merger with Iraq and cause an intra-Shia friction in Iraq itself, if one wants to avoid al Sadr monopolizing Shia opinion) and Balochistan (encourage them to rebel, both in Iran and Pakistan). And militarily, take out Iran’s nuke project, but for heavens sakes, don’t repeat the Iraq exercise in trying to keep the Iranian army intact – just destroy those sites, so that the official propaganda about Iran becoming a nuclear power – supported by even anti-regime Iranians – turns hollow.

Nor should this be restricted to Iran. This sort of unrest needs to be promoted throughout the Islamic world. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, the eastern province of al-Hasa, which has most of their oil and most of their Shia, can be stirred into rebellion, and get the Saudi hands full. In Bahrein, 75% of the population is Shia – encourage them to rebel as well. In Yemen, the country is 50% Sunni and 50% Shia – encourage that division as well. Similarly, other frictions – such as Hamas vs Fatah – should be encouraged. While all this is done, the US needs to stop thinking of any Islamic country as an ally – much less a staunch ally.

And once all this breaks out, make sure that no side in any of these conflicts come out on top (as the Taliban did in 1996). Realize that we don’t have any dog in these conflicts. The only dog we have are the conflicts in and of themselves.

Feed that dog. For ever.

infidelpride on July 9, 2007 at 12:38 PM

This makes me sick.

CP on July 9, 2007 at 12:39 PM

I hate all this talk about Vietnam. We should talk about Cambodia instead to make clear the inevitable result of pacifism.

On the other hand, I don’t see the downside in muslim fratricide in Iraq. The left takes responsibility for muslims fanatics killing muslims fanatics. While the left attempts to avoid responsibility like rats avoid ferrets, I think we must not stopping talking about how the left takes responsibility by making the decision to withdraw.

thuja on July 9, 2007 at 12:42 PM

I don’t see the downside in muslim fratricide in Iraq

What you retards don’t understand is that civil war means a failed state which means Afghanistan, pre-9/11. Which means terrorist breeding ground for those of you that need it spelled out for you. Actually worse, since the terrorists will draw the obvious conclusion (and easy propaganda) that bin Laden was right: America is a paper tiger, easily distracted and driven out by the most primitive barbarism and relatively small military costs/losses.

And they may be right about that.

The other lesson they will draw is to leave the mainland USA alone. Until they are ready to strike with massive force of a sort designed to cause a complete realignment of America’s foreign policy positions or to render us incapable of affecting their designs in the middle east and eurasia.

We don’t get to “opt out” of this war, savvy?

Fred on July 9, 2007 at 12:52 PM

…only if Fred has a sex change before becoming president.

Fred! is the Kwisatz Haderach, at the fulcrum, male and female at the same time.

The Monster on July 9, 2007 at 12:54 PM

I think this whole debate was unavoidable. The surge was from the start supposed to be temporary. Six months to a year at most. How do we play the drawdown from the surge as anything but defeat considering the fact that victory (as defined and proclaimed by the media) is impossible. Hell, Patraeus isn’t going to give his assessment until September, but the media and the left have already declared the surge a failure. No suprise since they declared it a failure even before it started.

BohicaTwentyTwo on July 9, 2007 at 12:57 PM

If we stay, our military keeps getting cut to peices.

In 2005, there were over 40,000 traffic related deaths in the US. One year. We have lost 3,600 soliders in Iraq.

Should we all stop driving? A more relevant measure would be to look at military deaths before the war and measure them against the deaths during the war. You can look at that here.

It’s tragic that any of our soldiers die. But they are not being slaughtered and by any historic measurement, this is the lowest casualty conflict ever.

No suprise since they declared it a failure even before it started.

True. And considering the final Surge troops were put in place 2 weeks ago this is more a matter of left wing blabber and a few Republican who are loosing their nerve.

What has changed since the Surge began? Significant progress in a few of the provinces, Anbar and Diayla in particular, 70% of Baghdad now under control, thousands of al Qaeda and Mahdi types killed and captured, numerous weapons caches confiscated, a new oil law agreed upon by the major secterian groups and in Parliment for final ratification and on and on and on.

If our military is asking for our patience to let the plan play out, and they are, I’m a lot more inclined to listen to them than a bunch of suits on both sides of the aisle in DC.

JackStraw on July 9, 2007 at 1:24 PM

I can get panicky underwear-wetting on Iraq from the Democrats and the mainstream media.

Really. The scare headlines and defeatism are useless, and just contribute to war opponents’ attempts to squeeze maximum propaganda value out of political disagreement.

There may be some danger that the sheer momentum of hysteria leads to one or another disastrous policy switch, but, if Bush blows this, he’ll really have nothing left, and sudden NYT-style withdrawal is a childish fantasy. I think Bush and the commanders know it all very well, and a President/Commander-in-Chief has many more guns to fire, especially when the most respected institution in American culture, the military, is still on his side.

As ever, when all is said and done, there will be a lot more said than done. In the meantime, buck up!

CK MacLeod on July 9, 2007 at 1:35 PM

What you retards don’t understand is that civil war means a failed state which means Afghanistan, pre-9/11. Which means terrorist breeding ground for those of you that need it spelled out for you. Actually worse, since the terrorists will draw the obvious conclusion (and easy propaganda) that bin Laden was right: America is a paper tiger, easily distracted and driven out by the most primitive barbarism and relatively small military costs/losses. Posted by: Fred

Afghanistan was a failed state only by our standards: they weren’t far worse than Saudi Arabia or Iran. The Taliban controlled 96% of Afghan territory, and their lack of control over the Panjsher valley didn’t amount to squat! While the Taliban were shunned by much of the world for stating openly what double faced Islamic governments worldwide say only privately, the fact remains that any country that was okay with a Shariah state could have perfectly normal relations with Afghanistan, as was the case with Saudi Arabia, UAE and Pakistan. If you were a Muslim from one of these countries and had good relations with Islamic supremacists, you could go on a tour of Afghanistan and be perfectly safe – the only way you’d be unsafe would have been had you been anti-Taliban. But that’s how it works in much of the Middle East – if you are anti Ahmadinejad, you wouldn’t be any safer visiting Iran. I’ve so far not heard Iran being described as a failed state.

In other words, the reason al Qaeda had such a haven in terms of congregating, aside from the terrain, was that a pro al-Qaeda regime, namely the Taliban, was already in power. When Afghanistan was fully immersed in civil wars in the early part of the 90s – like Hekmatyar vs Masood, Pashtun vs Hazara, Tajik vs Uzbek, et al, al Qaeda did not have the free reign over Afghanistan in the way it did once the Taliban took over. While the Taliban did promise an Islamic paradise, the fact remains that while Muslims may be united in their hatred of Infidels, they can’t stay united when there are no Infidels around to be united against. As a result, it isn’t necessary to keep the Karzai regime propped up: simply ensuring that the internecine conflicts continue is a good way to prevent a terror base from emerging. And keep doing random periodic bombings to make sure that no party gets the upper hand. Such intervention may be minimum, since the Mohammedans do such a good job of slaughtering each other.

No need to lose our troops doing what our enemies do so well. Fight this war with brains, not just brawn.

infidelpride on July 9, 2007 at 1:38 PM

I’m glad the year I spent over there will be basically pointless.

I am also glad to know that the thousands of troops who were injured or killed sacrificed for nothing…

What a shame.

krabbas on July 9, 2007 at 1:39 PM

If we stay, our military keeps getting cut to peices.

Prime example of public education. The ‘Battle of Gettysberg’ is an example of the military getting cut to pieces.

krabbas, I’m with you.

One thing that should not be surprising is the politicians blaming the military for any failures. And the saddest truth of all is but for the military, the politicians would not have a job.

Claimsratt on July 9, 2007 at 2:07 PM

Something that too often is overlooked in the debate is the critical distinction about how the nature of our involvement in Iraq is perceived. Victor Davis Hanson has captured the essence of this distinction:

- In the US, the perception is of the Iraqis.
- In the rest of the world, the perception is of the US.

In this country, we tend to look at the Iraqis: their progress in some areas, their lack of progress in other areas, and debate whether they’re worth the commitment.

In the rest of the world, the debate is whether the Americans are prepared to finish what they begin; whether Vietnam and Somalia were somehow isolated examples, or whether they in fact represent a fundamental weakness of character: America as a heavyweight boxer with a glass jaw. It can beat the crap out of you, but all you have to do is connect one punch and it starts staggering around in a daze until its manager throws in the towel.

After Somalia, bin Laden concluded that the latter was the case. For a time after 9/11 it seemed like we were proving him wrong, but lately the pendulum is undeniably swinging back in his favor.

“Power” is inexorably connected to perception. You can have the power to send soldiers anywhere on earth, to destroy nations, even to lay waste to whole regions of the planet with the push of a button; but if others believe you’re afraid to use that power, or that even if you do you’ll lose your nerve as soon as you receive some setbacks, then your power means nothing.

Indeed, there is a special form of contempt reserved for the “pitiful, helpless giant,” that encourages pint-sized bullies to impudently walk up and spit in its face with no fear of any consequences. That’s what bin Laden was getting at with his “Strong horse/weak horse” analogy.

Those who advocate ceding the battlefield to the enemy just because we’re frustrated that it’s not as antiseptic, quick and painless to beat him as we’d like it to be are missing a key point: the whole world is watching.

Take up the White Man’s burden –
Ye dare not stoop to less –
Nor call too loud on freedom
To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your Gods and you.

To those who lament about “how much we’re hated in the world,” I ask: How popular do you think we’ll be if we gain the deserved reputation as an ally not to be trusted, and an enemy not to be feared?

To those who think that by walking away from our commitment today, we’ll somehow be safer tomorrow, I ask: Was not 9/11 preceded by a string of other attacks in response to which we did nothing – or worse, retreated? Blasted barracks in Saudi Arabia, two vaporized embassies in Africa, the first World Trade Center bombing, and a destroyer with a truck-sized hole punched in its side?

Take up the White Man’s burden –
Have done with childish days –
The lightly proffered laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years,
Cold-edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

If weakness – real or imagined – encourages attack, then how are we safer by sending to the entire planet a message of irresolution?

Is Iraq a mess? Sure it is, in many ways. Are the Iraqis themselves slow to step up to the plate in their own cause? Many of them certainly are. But is the larger issue of our long-term security just about the Iraqis, or has it evolved into a larger question – about us, our character, and what we’ll stand up for or against, and for how long?

There are worse things that can happen to us than to be engaged in a prolonged, low-intensity conflict in Iraq. To find out what they are, all we have to do is turn our backs and walk away.

Spurius Ligustinus on July 9, 2007 at 2:08 PM

The most telling healine of the day “Congress returns to take on Bush” That is depressing. There is the problem in a nutshell.

tomas on July 9, 2007 at 2:28 PM

Infidelpride proposes that we return to status pre-9/11 and hope for the best. I trust that those whose memory extends as far back as 2001 can see the folly in that position.

Fred on July 9, 2007 at 2:53 PM

Wrong! I propose that we return to the pre-1996 status – before the Taliban captured power, and when there was an equilibrium in Afghanistan’s civil war – and then see whether al-Qaeda can set up shop. To do that, they’d have to unite Pashtun, Tajik, (Shia) Hazara, Turkic, et al.

We couldn’t do it since the toppling of the Taliban. So let them try it out, once all the myriad militias have been strengthened. If they do, then by all means, resume a carpet bombing of Afghanistan (and/or Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Egypt, et al). All I am advocating is – stop trying to make Switzerlands out of these countries.

infidelpride on July 9, 2007 at 2:58 PM

Thanks for the comments Fred, but really there is no reason to call me a retard. Let me just state my belief that the muslims have already talked to themselves into a position where a war with them is inevitable–more inevitable even than Germany starting a war in 1938. (It was conceivable that Hitler could have died and there would have been a regime change.)

Given that a war is inevitable, I would argue that the sooner the better. The longer the war is delayed the more atomic weapons they will have and the worse the environment will be when the killing is done.

As far as the sacrifices of our soldiers so far in Iraq, they have been worthwhile. They demonstrate that we tried our darnedest to be nice and spread democracy in the Muslim world. Sadly, the savages don’t want it. The lesson we should draw from Iraq is BushPatsy not BusHilter.

thuja on July 9, 2007 at 4:13 PM

Who is surprised at this? I’d KILL my kids if they signed up right now.

Posted by: Carey | Jul 9, 2007 10:42:55 AM

First quote, after the ABC story. Interesting…okay to kill your kid, but not send them off to fight.
I think anyone who’s read any of my comments regarding this issue know where I stand. Anybody I personally know who’s been there, or is there believes in this mission. I can’t speak nor would I try to, for anyone else, this is just people I know. When they stop believing, I’ll reevaluate my stance.
What I despise is the politics as usual, during a time of war. And the ratings game being played by the media. Who’s got the better headline? Don’t they understand that people deployed do see what they’re saying? And this I support the troops, but…Doesn’t fly. Again, just my personal experience

PowWow on July 9, 2007 at 7:52 PM