Tuesday, July 31, 2007

double whammy

7/31/2007 1:00:03 PM
An editorial column in the "liberal" "msm" New York Times about Iraq is getting a lot of attention. The question arises, can a word of it be believed?
After all, in war, the first casualty is truth. In this conflict, truth took a beating in the runup to battle, and has been hard to come by ever since. A complicating factor is the battle for public opinion in Amerika. Without the support of the public, the powers that be in Washington cannot sustain a war effort for very long. This struggle for public opinion is a feature of modern war that some seem to understand well (Israel comes to mind), and that the neocon morons that begat this struggle are oblivious to.
Of course, Halliburton gets paid whether we win or lose, and the Chinese investors buying chunks of our national debt are not interested in the freedom of the Iraqi people.
In a Vietnam flashback, the concept of "victory" is fuzzy, unless it is napalm in the morning. If Victory is setting up a government in Iraq that can function, without being a threat to American interests, that may happen in the next administration. If the idea is to get Sunna and Shi'a to hold hands, sing KumBahYah and roast marshmallows, we might have to stay until the 22nd century. If our objective is to destroy Al Queda (fight them there so we won't have to fight them here), then we may want to consult Zager and Evans about the year 2525.
Back to " A war we must jightJust might win". Perhaps I should turn my bs detector down for a while.
A second reading of the editorial leaves me with a sense that the management of the paper told the authors to write a positive piece, possibly to quiet criticism of the paper. Many paragraphs have a sentence or two, with a concluding third sentence that has little to do with the supporting statements. An example:
Everywhere, Army and Marine units were focused on securing the Iraqi population, working with Iraqi security units, creating new political and economic arrangements at the local level and providing basic services — electricity, fuel, clean water and sanitation — to the people. Yet in each place, operations had been appropriately tailored to the specific needs of the community. As a result, civilian fatality rates are down roughly a third since the surge began — though they remain very high, underscoring how much more still needs to be done.
It has been a while since I took predicate calculus. I just don’t see how a=b=c in that paragraph.
Iraq has been through a long national nightmare. The Ottomans, the British, the Baaths, and now the Ameikan/Al queda double whammy.
7/31/2007 7:00:55 PM
This business of working a real job and hobby punditing is not as smooth as it seems. I have decided on a new rule for this blog... If I cannot finish the post on my lunch hour, then it is not worth saying
There really isn't much to add. However groovy the killing gets, if Iraq doesn't get it together politically, we are losing. This is a patch of real estate without a democratic tradition, which has been ruled by foreign powers and dictators since the time of Sheharazade.
The one bit of concrete good news to come out lately is the Iraqi people getting tired of the foreign fighters, including Al Queda. It has been suggested that we are buying this "loyalty". It remains to be seen what will happen here. Incidentally, the United States just finalized an arms deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. How many of those weapons will find their way to the fighting in Iraq? ( And would Israel get involved in all this Arab killing? Who says it hasn't already?)
A clue to how long we may need to be in Iraq was provided by this story. ( BTW, Kikoshouse is one reason I don't have a full hour at lunch to write):
The British army’s longest continuous military operation comes to an end at midnight tonight when responsibility for security in Northern Ireland passes to the police.
Operation Banner lasted 38 years and involved 300,000 personnel, of which 763 were killed by paramilitaries. The last soldier to die was Lance Bombardier Stephen Restorick, who was shot at a vehicle checkpoint in 1997.

Now, this was a visit to a region of the confederation. It was a district with a similar culture. The troops were there 38 years.


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