Is the Surge Working?

  • News reports issued this week indicate that killings and bombings have dropped considerably in the Baghdad area where we have placed the extra troops.  Is this a sign of victory and justification for our invasion?  If you think so then you must be on some strong medication.

Most military leaders who were not under the thumb of Donald Rumsfeld have said repetedly that more troops were needed to bring order to the chaos that meets most Iraqis everyday.  This is not brain surgery material.  Wars have been fought through out history and once the regular Army action is over, the occupation and efforts to produce post war peaceful condidtions just do not happen without adequate police action.  So it should be no surprise that the symptoms improved when the surge troops arrived.  But there was more.  Much of Baghdad has been essential ethnically cleansed leaving most neighborhoods as either Shiite or Sunni.  General Patraeas wisely has done nothing to try and re-integrate these neighborhoods and has continued policies of making agreements with both Sunni and Shiite tribal leaders.  In the process, Al Qaeda in Iraq has dwindled in strength and activity.  Doesn’t this sound like a victory of sorts?

There are several problems with this current position:

1. The Iraqis are no more united than ever and therefore are incapable of maintaining the reduced hostilities if left to themselves.

2. Without a large American presence, Iraq’a neighbors will be exerting greater cross boarder influence.  Turkey, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran all have strong interests in Iraq and little of their interests are common with each other. 

3. Oil is the goal of all the players.  Without a strong Iraqi Government, each of the neighbors will use their influence to arrange the best terms for oil.  There is no strong Iraqi Government and there is not likely to be one for 10 or more years.  The only stable form of Iraqi Government that Iraqis have known is a Sunni lead dictatorship.

4. Most military and civilian experts have insisted that a political settlement is the only possible path towards a stable Iraq and getting the US troops out.  The Bush Administration has had great difficulty with that concept since it seems devoid of understanding what negotiations mean.  In addition, without a reality based Iraq policy there can be no instruction to the US negotiators.

5.  There seems to be so many pieces to a puzzle sitting in front of us.  All of these pieces need to be addressed if we are to expect progress that will last.  They are:

  • Accords for a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace
  • A settlement of Lebanon’s problems
  • An end to the Iran nuclear weapons program and their reentry into the larger world community.
  • Accommodations for the greater Kurdish people without the need to seed land from Turkey, Iran, and Iraq.
  • A Federal state approach to Iraq with the Federal Government ensuring that the oil revenues are dividing fairly along some compromise agreement.

 Stopping for a moment a taking a deap breath, do you still think that Bush and Cheney did any of us a favor by invading Iraq?

Explore posts in the same categories: 2008 Election, Blogroll, Democratic Party, Dick Cheney, George Bush, Iran, Iraq War, Israel, Middle East, National Agenda, Politics, Republican Party

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