Is Iraq slipping away?

posted at 6:40 pm on August 19, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

It certainly appears to have gone wrong in a hurry.  Today, 95 people died in a series of bombings in Baghdad, blamed on al-Qaeda and other Sunni insurgent groups, which left more than 400 Iraqis injured.  Since the US pulled out of the cities at the end of June, violence has escalated, and even Nouri al-Maliki acknowledges that Iraqi forces have failed to maintain security:

Iraq’s prime minister has blamed Sunni insurgents for a wave of deadly bombings in Baghdad and says the Iraqi government must re-evaluate security to confront the challenge.

Nouri al-Maliki’s statement is the first government acknowledgment of security failings following an increase of attacks since the June 30 withdrawal of U.S. forces from cities.

Wednesday’s bombings killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 400. …

The attacks dealt a new blow to Iraqi government efforts to restore a sense of normalcy in the capital as the overall level of violence remains low compared with recent years. Iraqi security forces have promised to remove concrete blast walls from the main roads in Baghdad by mid-September with the aim of improving appearance and easing traffic congestion.

“The security forces have failed to protect the government buildings despite tight security measures and advanced equipment and this reflects huge shortcomings,” said Saeed Jabar, a 35-year-old government employee. “It is a message to Iraqi officials that they should stop their exaggerations about the stability of this country.”

This will not be a critique of the Obama administration’s handling of Iraq.  They have been a pleasant surprise to the extent that they haven’t changed directions in Iraq.  It’s not even going to be a critique of the Bush administration, which signed the agreement to pull US troops off the line in Baghdad and other cities.  They had little choice, as Maliki and the Iraqi government wanted them out even earlier than July 1 of this year.  Maliki, who won a series of battles with the Mahdi Army to gain control of Iraq, thought his forces were up to the task of full-time security maintenance.

Thus far, though, it looks as though they are inadequate to the task.  In their understandable haste to reclaim their sovereignty and national pride, Maliki and his government apparently forgot that the insurgencies had not ended, but merely switched sides to the Americans after seeing the alternative in AQI.  Those insurgencies remain hostile to Shi’ite governance, and the Kurds aren’t too thrilled about it, either.  It looks as though Maliki beat the Mahdis but didn’t get the Sunnis on board well enough to keep the cities secure.

To some extent, Obama has his hands tied by the SOFA signed before his election.  Clearly, the Iraqis need more assistance, but the Iraqis and Obama will have to agree to more American help in the short term.  Obama apparently is willing to offer it; Gen. Ray Odierno, the commander of US forces in Iraq, told the AP that he communicated that to the Maliki government, which is taking the offer of assistance in northern Iraq under advisement.  Hopefully, we can act quickly to tamp down the violence and ensure that we do not lose what we fought and bled to gain in Iraq.


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Eh, frick.

These Iraqis better start pulling things together.

Upstater85 on August 19, 2009 at 6:42 PM

All politics aside we need Iraq to go well and I wish the Iraqis well and more importantly our soldiers over there well.

lavell12 on August 19, 2009 at 6:42 PM

The left will find a way to lose this one yet…

BuckNutty on August 19, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Get the heck out of Iraq I could careless what happens in there. We shouldn’t have been there anyway

liberal4eva on August 19, 2009 at 6:43 PM

I could careless what happens in there.

liberal4eva on August 19, 2009 at 6:43 PM

If you could care less it means that you care.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 6:44 PM

Get the heck out of Iraq I could careless what happens in there. We shouldn’t have been there anyway

liberal4eva on August 19, 2009 at 6:43 PM

You’re only saying that because they don’t have universal healthcare.

myrenovations on August 19, 2009 at 6:45 PM

Get the heck out of Iraq I could careless what happens in there. We shouldn’t have been there anyway

liberal4eva on August 19, 2009 at 6:43 PM

Where’s that liberal compassion I hear so much about?

Disturb the Universe on August 19, 2009 at 6:45 PM

Treat the Sunnis and their families like Saddam did. Thats the only thing they understand.

Speedwagon82 on August 19, 2009 at 6:45 PM

This was entirely predictable … and predicted.

I wonder how the Iraqi government is thinking about their plebescite to push the US out a year early?

This is why we should have just gone in, taken Saddam and the Baathists out, taken the Iraqi oil fields and Gulf access, and helped the Iraqis only if they begged for help and signed papers to such effect (except for the Kurds, who were our only allies out there and who are now going to be screwed the most).

progressoverpeace on August 19, 2009 at 6:45 PM

This is bad news. It either means lots of civilian and Iraqi military deaths, or a push by our guys back into the cities (where terrorists have had a chance to set shop back up).

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 6:46 PM

You’re only saying that because they don’t have universal healthcare.

myrenovations on August 19, 2009 at 6:45 PM

I’m pretty sure they got death panels.

the_nile on August 19, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Great job, Barack. Great job. Everything has been crumbling since you took over.

Way to go.

Iraq will never be stable or democratic. They hate each other too much.

stenwin77 on August 19, 2009 at 6:46 PM

The American debate is at such an idiotic level… this was entirely predictable. When Iraq was pretty bad, the crowd declared it’s a lost battle. When Iraq was pretty good, the crowd pretty much quietly declared victory.

In reality it’s all a morphing dynamic. There was no AQ in Iraq before Zarqawi, and yet he appeared. So people think that now because he’s dead there won’t be another one like him? The chickens were counted too early. Not to say Iraq is lost, but it isn’t won yet either.

AlexB on August 19, 2009 at 6:46 PM

This will not be a critique of the Obama administration’s handling of Iraq. They have been a pleasant surprise to the extent that they haven’t changed directions in Iraq.

Absolute bullsh*t. This could be traced back to iran, if anyone cared to try. Iran, whose mullahs have been emboldened by Obama’s policy of appeasement.

gh on August 19, 2009 at 6:46 PM

I called this on these threads 4 months ago. I said Iraq was going to go into the crapper. The cards were aligned for this.

elduende on August 19, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Just more eveidence you can’t fight a war on a time table. You quit when your enemy is totally defeated.

Les in NC on August 19, 2009 at 6:47 PM

OT Drudge:

Firms with Obama ties profit from health push

faraway on August 19, 2009 at 6:47 PM

Don’t they know Obama and God are partners in matters of life and death?

Disturb the Universe on August 19, 2009 at 6:47 PM

At what point will we learn that you can not artificially create a stable Democracy where there was once none.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:48 PM

That “unclench your fist” speech to the Muslim world certainly worked wonders.

Disturb the Universe on August 19, 2009 at 6:48 PM

The left will find a way to lose this one yet…

BuckNutty on August 19, 2009 at 6:43 PM

That may be true, but I prefer not to play politics with national security and the blood our America’s finest the way the left does.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 6:48 PM

progressoverpeace on August 19, 2009 at 6:45 PM

If Iraqis really understands that they need the help from US soldiers , it may change things.

the_nile on August 19, 2009 at 6:49 PM

At what point will we learn that you can not artificially create a stable Democracy where there was once none.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Japan.

elduende on August 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Does anyone remember my war where the politicians declared victory in Vietnam and sent us home? Well sports fans, we’re about to do it again.

rplat on August 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Is well past due to bring the troops home. Time to bring the troops home. Obama should not be continuing the illegal occupation started by Bush.

liberal4eva on August 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Great job, Barack. Great job. Everything has been crumbling since you took over.

Way to go.

stenwin77 on August 19, 2009 at 6:46 PM

This has very little to do with President Obama. Don’t be so quick to play politics with national security the way the left does.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Iraq is not slipping away. That is what attacks like this want to portray but the fact that there are not any huge battles or sectarian armies running whole provinces suggesting that things are standing still rather than slipping away.

Even with good political progress there will be large attacks like this. I think the government was much to quick to assume the best and relax certain security measures.

This is an awful attack of how bad things still are in Iraq. Are they better than two years ago… sure, but there is a long way to go and they have many problems to overcome. They need to do this without the US in their own way.

lexhamfox on August 19, 2009 at 6:51 PM

“The security forces have failed to protect the government buildings despite tight security measures and advanced equipment and this reflects huge shortcomings,”

Did they fail or did the turn a blind eye?

chemman on August 19, 2009 at 6:51 PM

If Iraqis really understands that they need the help from US soldiers , it may change things.

the_nile on August 19, 2009 at 6:49 PM

Yes, but it’s too late, now. The Precedent isn’t interested in stabilizing anything out there. He likes the chaos and the strengthening of Iran through this.

I feel bad for the Kurds. They’re toast.

progressoverpeace on August 19, 2009 at 6:51 PM

As long as Maliki demands the calm before the storm instead of constant crackdowns, he’ll get the Storm. Prison not amnesty, fella.

Chris_Balsz on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

liberal4eva on August 19, 2009 at 6:43 PM

27 million Iraqis disagree with you.

Guardian on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Our (and this includes the entire west) biggest weakness is that we have far less patience than our enemies.

Our second biggest weakness is that, collectively, we don’t have the stomach to achieve a complete victory.

reaganaut on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Our Iraq strategy now a tale of ‘diminishing returns’

Question for Americans: How can we as a nation even consider using our military for another “surge” in Afghanistan when the “surge” in Iraq has left little more imprint on the sands of Mesopotamia than the receding tide?

This, to clarify, is not the antiwar Left writing. I am writing from a pro-military, anti-jihad point of view that has long seen futility in the U.S. nation-building strategy in Iraq, and now sees futility in the rerun in Afghanistan. Problem is, the same blind spot afflicts both strategies: the failure to understand that an infidel nation cannot fight for the soul of an Islamic nation. This, in essence, is what President Bush and now President Obama have ordered our troops to do.

I write this as the volume of talk of an Afghanistan “surge” is getting louder, drowning out the quiet undercurrent of eye-opening reports now emerging on post-surge Iraq. Late last month, for example, the New York Times reported on a bluntly revealing memo written by Col. Timothy Reese, an adviser to the Iraqi military’s Baghdad command. In it, Reese urgently argues that the United States has “reached the point of diminishing returns” in Iraq due, among many other things, to endemic corruption (“the stuff of legend”), laziness, weakness and culture of “political violence and intimidation.”

Reese considers Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) “good enough” — just — to keep the Iraqi government from toppling. That’s reason enough, he writes, to leave early, by August 2010 instead of December 2011. Reese describes a “fundamental change” in the U.S.-Iraq relationship since the June 30 handover — a “sudden coolness,” lack of cooperation, even a “forcible takeover” by ISF of a checkpoint.

While Iraq will still “squeeze the U.S. for all the `goodies’ that we can provide,” he writes, tensions are increasing and “the potential for Iraqi on U.S. violence is high now and will grow by the day.”

———————————————————

US War Policy: More “Kung Fu” Than Sun Tzu

MB4 on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

We were promised a Barack Obama who could change the view of America around the world. Perhaps he should focus some of that power and a reset button on al-Malaki so that we do not have to leave on the previously agreed to time table.

Iraq is worth winning.

myrenovations on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Japan.

elduende on August 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Is your intimation that nuclear weapons should have been used?

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

That “unclench your fist” speech to the Muslim world certainly worked wonders.

Disturb the Universe on August 19, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Smart power in action. Time to send the Hil to Albania…..

gonegaltinstl on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Is well past due to bring the troops home. Time to bring the troops home. Obama should not be continuing the illegal occupation started by Bush.

liberal4eva on August 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

“Illegal”, my backside. If you’re opposed to the war fine, but get off that nonsensical crap.

rplat on August 19, 2009 at 6:53 PM

so does he get “credit” for the loss after he claimed the “victory” Bush had if we call it a failure???

Just wondering…

sven10077 on August 19, 2009 at 6:53 PM

Obama is a walking disaster.

marklmail on August 19, 2009 at 6:53 PM

Is well past due to bring the troops home. Time to bring the troops home. Obama should not be continuing the illegal occupation started by Bush.

liberal4eva on August 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

You should flag yourself…

…That way your complaint would get to Barry’s ears quicker. *Not that they aren’t practically satellites.

On second thought, maybe if you pray to your Gaia, he’ll let partner Barry know with a thundercrack.

Upstater85 on August 19, 2009 at 6:54 PM

The problems start at the very top of this administration.

d1carter on August 19, 2009 at 6:55 PM

I feel bad for the Kurds. They’re toast.

progressoverpeace on August 19, 2009 at 6:51 PM

You think? They’ve had commercial flights going in and out for years. Their economy and standard of living keeps improving. They have a strong defense force made up of Kurds, and an actual physical barrier between their area and the rest of the country. I think they’ll be ok.

People don’t really know how successful their story has been. It’s the one real bright spot of the Iraq War.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Is your intimation that nuclear weapons should have been used?

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

elduende said nothing about Nuclear weapons.

Upstater85 on August 19, 2009 at 6:55 PM

At what point will we learn that you can not artificially create a stable Democracy where there was once none.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Japan.

elduende on August 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Who can forget when Gen. MacArthur said that Shintoism is a religion of peace?

aengus on August 19, 2009 at 6:56 PM

This has very little to do with President Obama. Don’t be so quick to play politics with national security the way the left does.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

Refreshing man.

As a pretty hard righter what’s your opinion of these kinds of imperial projects. With the exception of Japan, where a representative Democracy emerged out of the literal rubble of an Empire, history doesn’t seem to suggest that forceful Democratic movements from outside produce stable governments. Where does this particular brand of conservatism go after Iraq. At what point will people be willing to abandon Pakistan/Afghanistan.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:57 PM

At what point will we learn that you can not artificially create a stable Democracy where there was once none.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Japan.

Is your intimation that nuclear weapons should have been used?

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

I answered your talking point troll. Atomic weapons did not create a stable democracy in Japan. A sustained US occupation did.

elduende on August 19, 2009 at 6:57 PM

Is well past due to bring the troops home. Time to bring the troops home. Obama should not be continuing the illegal occupation started by Bush.

Maybe that should be progressive4eva. I’ve come to realize that maybe I’ve been too hard on liberals, and it’s the progressives are the real assclowns of the left. That’s not to say liberals are much better, just a little.

Anyway, I’m getting off topic. The solution is to do the exact opposite of what you suggest. Pulling out because of this would certainly make the entire world a far more dangerous place for everyone who doesn’t do their negoatiating with Iranian home made explosives.

reaganaut on August 19, 2009 at 6:57 PM

liberal4eva

If it weren’t for US soldiers

Iraqi infrastructure wouldn’t have been rebuilt

Quality of life wouldn’t have increased

Free press wouldn’t flourish

Stop acting like this has been some process of raping and pillaging

blatantblue on August 19, 2009 at 6:57 PM

At what point will we learn that you can not artificially create a stable Democracy where there was once none.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Well, the hobby of nation building generally doesn’t work for us

blatantblue on August 19, 2009 at 6:58 PM

What do you expect? Obama does not know how to manage a war, manage a military…most everyone knew this would happen, they were just afraid to report it.
Obama is “unseasoned” a naive apprentice, and he has no idea how to manage generals, no idea who or what the military is about or for…we were so close, and then we had to elect “him”.
This will truly go down as the worst administration ever, ever, ever.
Economically, socially, militarily, internationally, in every way possible, Obama is screwing up.

right2bright on August 19, 2009 at 6:58 PM

This has very little to do with President Obama. Don’t be so quick to play politics with national security the way the left does.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 6:50 PM

I think the point would be our confidence in his ability to adjust and adapt appropriately and the lack of respect our foes now have. But, hey, people like him.

califdreamnred on August 19, 2009 at 6:58 PM

Clearly, the Iraqis need more assistance, but the Iraqis and Obama will have to agree to more American help in the short term.

Hatred may be engendered by good deeds as well as bad ones. The wise man does at once what the fool does finally.
- Niccolo Machiavelli

MB4 on August 19, 2009 at 6:59 PM

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 6:55 PM

I admire your optimism, Badger. My figuring is that the Kurds have no allies in Iraq, have a major enemy in Turkey, and have rich oil fields that everyone wants. The Sunnis and Shiites both think that they can take Iraq – the Sunnis because they did it before and the Shiites because Iran will be helping them. Both hate the Kurds, who are now alone. I just don’t see a happy future for the Kurds.

progressoverpeace on August 19, 2009 at 7:00 PM

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

While you occasionally argue well that was a knee jerk statement of the highest order.

chemman on August 19, 2009 at 7:01 PM

While you occasionally argue well that was a knee jerk statement of the highest order.

chemman on August 19, 2009 at 7:01 PM

Fair enough.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 7:01 PM

progressoverpeace on August 19, 2009 at 7:00 PM

My cousin spent a year with the Peshmerga PoP. They may be in a tough spot but they’ll bleed all comers badly.

elduende on August 19, 2009 at 7:02 PM

Obama has ‘farmed out’ the situation in Iraq to the Iraqi’s the same way he farmed out the health care ‘reform’ bill to Pelosi and Reid.

Obama’s talent is looking good and sounding good on TV. That is what he does. Governing is done by someone else. That is why all the tsars. Obama needs to appoint a tsar for Iraq and another one for Afghanistan. It is the way a good community organizer would do it. Have a meeting, bring people together. Have them choose a leader, and go on their way ‘cuz Obama has another meeting to go to.

Skandia Recluse on August 19, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Who can forget when Gen. MacArthur said that Shintoism is a religion of peace?

aengus on August 19, 2009 at 6:56 PM

Yes, I remember that well from my history books. Didn’t he say that about the same time that General George Patton had some Army Colonel kiss a copy of Mien Kampf?

MB4 on August 19, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Where does this particular brand of conservatism go after Iraq. At what point will people be willing to abandon Pakistan/Afghanistan.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:57 PM

I dunno about nukes, but the side that makes clear its gonna fight in the alleys and streets, house to house, block to block, hill to hill, valley to valley, is going to win through. So far, that isn’t our side. We did not win WW2 by refusing to level cities and drive millions of refugees from our wrath.

Chris_Balsz on August 19, 2009 at 7:04 PM

My cousin spent a year with the Peshmerga PoP. They may be in a tough spot but they’ll bleed all comers badly.

elduende on August 19, 2009 at 7:02 PM

No doubt, elduende, and the Kurds are the only people in Iraq whom we can trust, at all. But the numbers and the situation for them is pretty ugly.

progressoverpeace on August 19, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Clearly, the Iraqis need more assistance, but the Iraqis and Obama will have to agree to more American help in the short term.

Let’s get the rest of the world off it’s ass, too.

I can think of 2 billion reasons that Brazil can send a few thousand bodies, for starters.

reaganaut on August 19, 2009 at 7:05 PM

Well, the hobby of nation building generally doesn’t work for us

blatantblue on August 19, 2009 at 6:58 PM

Maybe I’m missing something here. I mean, we’re going to have kind of a nation building corps from America? Absolutely not! Our military’s meant to fight and win war. That’s what it’s meant to do. And when it gets overextended, morale drops. But I’m going to be judicious as to how to use the military. It needs to be in our vital interest, the mission needs to be clear, and the exit strategy obvious.
- George W. Bush (once upon a time)

MB4 on August 19, 2009 at 7:07 PM

As a pretty hard righter what’s your opinion of these kinds of imperial projects.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:57 PM

Heh. I like that you think I’m a hard righter.

Iraq cost us much more blood and treasure than it should have, but I still believe it was worth it.

Dozens of nations have been attacked since 9/11, We haven’t. You can’t pin all that on Iraq, but it sure has kept the bad guys busy.

A brutal dictator and his line of succession are gone. There was an article a few months back that took the number of people killed by Saddam during his many year reign and put it up against the civilian deaths during the US occupation and found that our intervention actually saved lives. The article used the Associated Press death count, a number backed up by several other respected international organizations.

I don’t believe Iraq will ever be a stable democracy in the western sense, but that’s not really the point. The point is for us to not be attacked and for them to have a chance at self determination. If they f*ck up that opportunity or choose to vote in sharia, well, that’s their choice. In that respect our presence there is a lot less imperialistic than you might believe.

Hope that helps.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 7:07 PM

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 6:52 PM

“DeathToMediaHacks” or “RadioFreeVillage”?

Knucklehead on August 19, 2009 at 7:07 PM

progressoverpeace on August 19, 2009 at 7:04 PM

They are good people. They were counting on our umbrella for logistics and political cover but with this wretch in the White House they are probably gearing up for abandonment.

elduende on August 19, 2009 at 7:07 PM

I think we need to know George Soros investments in the Middle East to see where this is going.

Jeff2161 on August 19, 2009 at 7:07 PM

US troop casualties since Obama has been president: 95

US troop casualties under George Bush: 4236

Total US troop casualties: 4331

From the Department of Defense.

welcome_ghosts on August 19, 2009 at 7:07 PM

Our men have done an outstanding job, there isn’t a fighting force that can match them. They are not miracle workers though, and it is becoming obvious the Iraqi’s just aren’t up to the job. We cannot be there forever and our military folks are too valuable to put them in a no-win situation. They have defeated the enemy and have tried their best to train these Iraqi idiots but there is only so much you can do.

At this point I think we should think seriously about re-evaluating both missions and make a realistic assessment as to what we can accomplish knowing there is little public or political support, not to mention money, to keep going.

echosyst on August 19, 2009 at 7:08 PM

Chris_Balsz on August 19, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Right, but what does victory even look like for this war? Who will conceede? This is a fundamental problem with the “war on terror” framework that is highlighted by this latest escalation in violence. Unlike postwar Japan or Germany for that matter there isn’t really an “Iraqi” citizenry that can be mobilized by the government to recreate “their” country. These “nations” are the constructs of European colonialism which is why people within them have a greater loyalty to linguistic ethnicities or to religious faith. As long as we function within a paradigm that only sees nation-states we can’t “win” this war. And unfortunately I have dinner plans, but this will be a good debate.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 7:09 PM

My battalion deploys there in June. We will excel, as we always have. Obama voters, and other self-exclamatory superior beings, will still, in actuality, be word-mincing, equivocating fags looking to blame any easy target for their inability to demonstrate any coherent action borne of their now apparently superior numbers. Which is partly why belt-fed weapons are such a joy.

Doorgunner on August 19, 2009 at 7:11 PM

Iraq is won. It really is. The Iraqis well know it is the surrounding dictatorships that are trying to prevent democracy from becoming popular among Muslims. They have lived under worse just before the USA went in to take out Saddam. They don’t want to go backward; time is actually on our side now. They have tasted freedom, and will not tolerate the tyrants who want to take their country. They’ve had enough.

This will also help Muslims to see these people that are making the bombs are ONLY KILLING MUSLIMS NOW, which is against everything their Koran says.

Things are far from lost.

Danzo on August 19, 2009 at 7:11 PM

Dozens of nations have been attacked since 9/11, We haven’t.

There was the Fort Dix attack? No one was killed but it was still an attack.

aengus on August 19, 2009 at 7:11 PM

do not lose what we fought and bled to gain in Iraq.

what did we gain exactly?

Strong regional alley?
Security for Israel?
Democracy for the region?
Eliminate WMD threat?

Ed, I think you should think through posts like this. The American people don’t give a rats a$$ about the Iraqi people. Can you show me a single poll that suggest we stay if it prevents sectarian violence?

Perhaps had Bush not sold out his legacy trying to defeat Obama he wouldn’t have rushed the pull back. While trying to take away an election plank from Obama he sold out any argument that the people of Iraq deserve us staying and seeing to conclusion our efforts to secure their freedom.

frumian on August 19, 2009 at 7:11 PM

. These “nations” are the constructs of European colonialism which is why people within them have a greater loyalty to linguistic ethnicities or to religious faith. As long as we function within a paradigm that only sees nation-states we can’t “win” this war. And unfortunately I have dinner plans, but this will be a good debate.

CrankyIndependent on August 19, 2009 at 7:09 PM

yep.

Thank Allah the Europeans decided on arbitrarily dividing land around the world in the post colonial era

blatantblue on August 19, 2009 at 7:11 PM

The Sunnis and Shiites both think that they can take Iraq – the Sunnis because they did it before and the Shiites because Iran will be helping them. Both hate the Kurds, who are now alone. I just don’t see a happy future for the Kurds.

progressoverpeace on August 19, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Maybe I’m an optimist, but I think the Sunnis and Shia will be too busy worrying about each other to spend much energy on the Kurds. Or at least I hope that’s how things work out.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 7:11 PM

This is particularly scary for me. My daughter is a CID Marine sergeant and I just got word from her that she is headed for Iraq for a 3 month stint. I lost my sister in 2005 to cancer, my mom in 2006, and my aunt in 2007, both to Alzheimer’s. I’m praying I don’t lose my daughter, too. I only wish Iraq had managed to hold together after so many young Americans sacrificed so heroically for its people. America seems to bleed an awful lot for people who don’t appreciate it. I only hope they get it together over there soon.

hachiban on August 19, 2009 at 7:12 PM

welcome_ghosts on August 19, 2009 at 7:07 PM

And you don’t give a f*ck about any of them. To you they’re political chips. You’re garbage.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 7:13 PM

welcome_ghosts on August 19, 2009 at 7:07 PM

No you didn’t.

HoustonRight on August 19, 2009 at 7:13 PM

America seems to bleed an awful lot for people who don’t appreciate it.

hachiban on August 19, 2009 at 7:12 PM

The only thing I don’t appreciate is having my tax dollars pissed away on some abstract “war” that didn’t even need to happen in the first place.

welcome_ghosts on August 19, 2009 at 7:13 PM

Good luck and thank you Doorgunner. The true bright spot is our military and their continued commitment in spite of the CIC and Congress.

califdreamnred on August 19, 2009 at 7:14 PM

Hey Harry Reid, Obama, and Pelosi all said it was lost two years ago. Guess they were just giving us a heads up on their future plans.

Maybe Biden can negotiate a three state solution!

jukin on August 19, 2009 at 7:15 PM

US troop casualties since Obama has been president: 95

US troop casualties under George Bush: 4236

Total US troop casualties: 4331

From the Department of Defense.

welcome_ghosts on August 19, 2009 at 7:07 PM

On the other hand in Afghanistan, Coalition Military Fatalities, under Dear Leader Obama, are now approaching the most for any year and the year is not even 2/3 through.

MB4 on August 19, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Doorgunner on August 19, 2009 at 7:11 PM

Belt fed weapons. LoL! Good luck brother.

Those of us that have worn uniforms in the past and most of our country stand with you so focus on your job and we’ll deal with the scum in our midst.

elduende on August 19, 2009 at 7:15 PM

hachiban on August 19, 2009 at 7:12 PM

God bless you. God bless your daughter and keep her from harm.

Thank her for us for her service.

HoustonRight on August 19, 2009 at 7:15 PM

Right, but what does victory even look like for this war? Who will conceede?

Everybody standing. Bomb them til they give up.

This is a fundamental problem with the “war on terror” framework that is highlighted by this latest escalation in violence. Unlike postwar Japan or Germany for that matter there isn’t really an “Iraqi” citizenry that can be mobilized by the government to recreate “their” country.

Where does that opinion come from, since they have done just that in building a national government? They’re a nation of 25 million, there’s been less disturbance than California saw in the 1991 riots in a country of similiar population. Did that end it for California?

These “nations” are the constructs of European colonialism which is why people within them have a greater loyalty to linguistic ethnicities or to religious faith.

So’s Germany and Italy, and Belgium, and most of Eastern Europe. In 1945 there was no German state and darn little japanese government. Our problems today are that we will not reduce our enemy to such dire straits.

Chris_Balsz on August 19, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Doorgunner on August 19, 2009 at 7:11 PM

H-60?

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 7:17 PM

Unfortunately the only solution to Iraq is to leave. We can continue to waste money, we can continue to put our soldiers in harm’s way, but the fact of the matter is car bombings like this one will continue to happen and lives will continue to be lost.

Can anyone tell me what we have gained from invading Iraq and why, as a someone posted earlier, the Iraq war is “worth winning?”

Sleeper on August 19, 2009 at 7:17 PM

The only thing I don’t appreciate is having my tax dollars pissed away on some abstract “war” that didn’t even need to happen in the first place.

welcome_ghosts on August 19, 2009 at 7:13 PM

Democrat war mongers goading George Bush into invading Iraq.

“Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime … He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation … And now he is miscalculating America’s response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction … So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real…”
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

“I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force — if necessary — to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

“One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line.”
President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

“If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”
President Bill Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

“We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction.”
– Madeline Albright, Feb 1, 1998

“He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.”
– Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

“Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

“Hussein has … chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies.”
– Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

“We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

“Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

“We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”
Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

“In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons.”
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

MB4 on August 19, 2009 at 7:17 PM

UH-60M

Doorgunner on August 19, 2009 at 7:18 PM

Say are we still in Germany? I know we have been drawing down… and just when did Germany have a stable representative democracy before WWII? Or WWI under the Kaiser?

And Japan, did we finally get the last of our forces out of there? Can they finally stand up on their own now?

South Korea hinted they were pretty much ready to take up the slack, so we began to draw down there. Have we left yet? Surely they can deal with the Magic Kingdom of Mr. Kim, right?

How long does the US stay?

Well if you want peace, as long as it takes and not one moment less. We screwed that up royally after WWI and learned our lesson. At least some of us learned our lesson, others, apparently, are still believing in magic after warfare.

ajacksonian on August 19, 2009 at 7:19 PM

The only thing I don’t appreciate is having my tax dollars pissed away on some abstract “war” entitlement program that didn’t even need to happen in the first place.

welcome_ghosts on August 19, 2009 at 7:13 PM

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 7:21 PM

Stop treating Sharia-supreme Iraq like post-war Japan
President Bush, of course, frequently refers to the democratization of Japan as a model for the democratization of Iraq (and the wider Islamic Middle East). But, as Lewis’ must-read essay makes historically clear, the president has been comparing apples and oranges.
It isn’t just that the total defeat and utter devastation of Japan nullifies the comparison with Iraq (which it does). There is something else. There is the completely different U.S. approach to Japan’s animating, warlike state religion of Shintoism, which, not incidentally, bears striking similarities to the animating, warlike state religion of Islam.
In 1945, our government was of one mind regarding state Shintoism. Lewis quotes Secretary of State James F. Byrnes, who wrote: “Shintoism, insofar as it is a religion of individual Japanese, is not to be interfered with. Shintoism, however, insofar as it is directed by the Japanese government, and as a measure enforced from above by the government, is to be done away with. … There will be no place for Shintoism in the schools. Shintoism as a state religion — National Shinto, that is — will go. … Our policy on this goes beyond Shinto. … The dissemination of Japanese militaristic and ultra-nationalistic ideology in any form will be completely suppressed.”
Obviously, there have been no analogous U.S. efforts to “de-jihadize” Islamic public culture even as the United States has spent lives, limbs, money and years trying, essentially, to stop the jihad in the Islamic Middle East — not even, to take a manageable example, in the U.S.-funded Palestinian Authority, where state-run media continue to incite Islamically motivated violence against Jews and Americans. And then there are all those U.S.-fostered constitutions that enshrine Sharia law — just the sort of ideological concession our forebears would never have made.- Diana West

MB4 on August 19, 2009 at 7:22 PM

They will just blame the loss on Bush.

Except that it will happen under Obama. He thinks he can talk his way out of it.

wildcat84 on August 19, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Doorgunner on August 19, 2009 at 7:18 PM

I bet I know you, but I’m kind of partial to my anonymity so I’ll leave it at that.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Roger, sir.

Doorgunner on August 19, 2009 at 7:24 PM

This will not be a critique of the Obama administration’s handling of Iraq. They have been a pleasant surprise to the extent that they haven’t changed directions in Iraq.

Absolute bullsh*t. This could be traced back to iran, if anyone cared to try. Iran, whose mullahs have been emboldened by Obama’s policy of appeasement.
gh on August 19, 2009 at 6:46 PM

I couldn’t agree more, and more people need to realize this. Barry has playedlovey-dovey with Iran just as we knew he would, meanwhile they are likely still sneaking their weapons (and men) over into Iran like they were a while back.

dave_ross on August 19, 2009 at 7:24 PM

there’s been less disturbance than California saw in the 1991 riots in a country of similiar population.Chris_Balsz on August 19, 2009 at 7:16 PM

What crap.

MB4 on August 19, 2009 at 7:17 PM

What the h*ll point are you trying to make posting Democrap talking points about a war we were as wrong as they were about.

Our troops did as good as any troops in the world could have done if not more. The people that planed and authorized the war, Dem and Rep, are the liars and idiots.

frumian on August 19, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Is Iraq slipping away?

Does Obama care?

JellyToast on August 19, 2009 at 7:31 PM

You know what a place like Iraq needs? A brutal dictator to keep the islamic radicals in line.

keep the change on August 19, 2009 at 7:32 PM

Doorgunner on August 19, 2009 at 7:18 PM
I bet I know you, but I’m kind of partial to my anonymity so I’ll leave it at that.

BadgerHawk on August 19, 2009 at 7:22 PM

Roger, sir.

Doorgunner on August 19, 2009 at 7:24 PM

You guys do know each other. Good for you. And stay safe and thanks for your service.

cjs1943 on August 19, 2009 at 7:36 PM

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