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Thread: Iraq CF Thread - Page 9







Post#201 at 08-28-2007 10:54 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Post#202 at 08-28-2007 11:25 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod View Post
I understand the desire to count coup and so forth by all parties, but there comes a time when decisions must be about more than that. One of the main causes of the Iraq War was a desire to use it to count coup on Democrats and the "appeasers" of "Old Europe". There is a price to be paid for considering arguments more important than realities. Even when you really are right, is announcing it loudly the most important thing to do?
You are quite correct. But it is asking too much of human nature to break the "abused spouse" cycle of the supressed group who were correct- and marginalized prior to vindication. It's like asking cops to stop beating fleeing robbers (who have been caught in the act) before the cuffs are clicked on. After the cuffs are on, and the Miranda card has been read, rule of law takes over.

In our system, where the cops and robbers change places every two generations or so, the taunts and beatings will still be remembered by both sides. (See Marc Lamb and FDR).







Post#203 at 08-28-2007 11:28 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Quote Originally Posted by MichaelEaston View Post
At least it's in one thread.
We *could* condense everything into "The Thread" thread...which is what happens anyway, all over the board.







Post#204 at 08-28-2007 11:32 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Quote Originally Posted by The Rani View Post
Since you've projected your geekiness, vindictiveness, and addiction onto us, why not just project the admission as well, and call it quits?
No. I've fessed up. Your turn.







Post#205 at 08-28-2007 12:29 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Post#206 at 08-28-2007 12:37 PM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,502]
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Quote Originally Posted by Bob Butler 54 View Post
One quarter of the civilian population of Okinawa died. There are tales of Japanese soldiers giving grenades to civilians for purposes of suicide, and of mothers killing their own children. I am sure not all of those deaths were suicides. There would have been some 'collateral damage.' Alas, I have been able to find no reasonable estimates on causes of civilian deaths.

There is also a modern controversy. The Japanese national government is pressuring schoolbook publishers to not report the suicides and the soldier's role in encouraging them. The population of Okinawa is Not Pleased.

On the larger main islands, there might well have been more room for civilians to have gotten out of the way of the fighting. The death rate could have been lower. Or perhaps not. On Okinawa, they were not giving the women and children sharpened bamboo sticks for use as spears, as they were starting to do on the mainland.

Anyway, the loss of 1/4 of the civilian population, however severe, would not have ended civilization, not the way the Allies treated their enemies after World War II.

Still, 25% is very severe by American standards. When Patton addressed his troops about to cross over into France, he gave an estimate that 2% of them would die in the upcoming fighting. While it was 16% in the US Civil War, there were very few civilian deaths in that conflict.

Severe, but not civilization ending.
That was my point. That until H-bombs came along, humans simply did not have the means to wage civilization-ending wars. And so the corrollary that until the full effects of H-bombs became known to policymakers, the idea of another all-out great power war was not anaethema.







Post#207 at 08-28-2007 01:03 PM by Mikebert [at Kalamazoo MI joined Jul 2001 #posts 4,502]
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Quote Originally Posted by catfishncod View Post
There were indeed statements made by forward-thinkers in the 1920's and 1930's, warning that the World War (as then called) had featured momentous advances in the efficiency of death-dealing, extrapolating correctly that the "next war" would be even more devestating, and predicting, in so many words, "the end of civilization" if another war broke out.
But those were hyperbolic statements. Many years ago I read Well's War in the Air, written in 1907 that depicted a civilization-ending world war. Two actual world wars were fought after this book was written which did not end civilization. Well's ideas were fanciful. The armaments his fictional belligerents used simply were not sufficiently powerful to do the job.

On the other hand, American nuclear weapons really can destroy the entire urbanized area of the Muslim world in an hour. Such a level of destruction really would totally disrupt the functioning of highly organized societies in the region bombed, that is, it would end Islamic civilization. That's what treating the GWOT as an all-out war like WW II would entail.

Necessary war is a totally different animal today than it was before WW II. Note: by necessary I mean wars that absolutely must be won.
Last edited by Mikebert; 08-28-2007 at 01:27 PM.







Post#208 at 08-28-2007 02:03 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by MichaelEaston View Post
To add to that..

Colonel Sean B. MacFarland:

"You have the foreign fighter, al Qaeda guys. They're very few in number, although as far as we can tell, they constitute about 100 percent of the suicide bombers. Sometimes it's tough to tell after a suicide bombing what exactly the suicide guy's nationality was, for obvious reasons, but when we can tell, they tend to be foreign fighters."
Interesting. And thanks for staying on topic.

I wonder, however, how long those 8% boogeymen (AQ and FFs, combined) would last against the other 92% insurgents once the US withdrew. They may combine with the Takfiri and then it would be up to the Sunnis to accept them into their fold to fight the Shia or to reject (i.e., kill) them as part of a deal to reconcile with the Shia. It would seem that either way, the boogeymen would end up either dead or too busy fighting the Shia hordes to pay much attention to us.

Under a scenario of our withdrawal, the Shia bar has the potential to grow to overwhelming size relative to the other bars combined (i.e., a one-sided civil war with the minority Sunni likely suffering genocide). That outcome could push the Sunnis into the deal-making option, possibly toward a partition into a loose federation. However, that outcome would come with the price of the Sunnis supporting/conducting the demise of the boogeymen as well as the "re-education" of the Takfiri. I think I saw some posts from Michael Alexander on another thread about this "night of the long knifes" scenario.

Cole's point is that the boogeymen portion is small. Your post seems to be indicating the counterpoint that while small, they are very potent (e.g., catalyzed the sectarian violence by the Golden Dome bombing). However, the possible counter to that is the boogeymen's potency will very likely evaporate with the US withdrawal. As part of a larger Sunni contingent, there is a chance they may remain potent against the Shia within Iraq (of limited duration since this option for the Sunnis is eventually suicidal), but the argument is that no scenario leaves the boogeymen with the luxury of continued potency against the US once we withdraw.

While we, the US, would seem likely to escape the 'potency' of the boogeymen, our withdrawal does carry risks (or, to stay on topic, further CFs). The first level of that risk is that the Iraqi Sunni choose to escalate their confrontation with the Iraqi Shia into an open and existential civil war, with the likely outcome of the Iraqi Sunni suffering eventual genocide. And then there is the risk that such a civil war and genocide further draws in the surrounding states to the point of initiating/furthering conflict between nations, at first indirectly by proxy but eventually direct open combat emerges. Then there is the added risk that such a regional conflict expands further beyond the region with significant global impacts.

For me, these possible further risks or CFs are all legitimate concerns and do give me some pause regarding my desire for ending our occupation. However, the argument for continuing the occupation out of fear of the boogeymen seems at best sophomoric or, at worst, a sophisticated Machiavellian play on our human phenomenon of memento mori -
http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20070827&s=judis082707

http://psp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/29/9/1181

http://spr.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/23/6/965

http://www.esi-topics.com/terrorism/...onSolomon.html
Last edited by playwrite; 08-28-2007 at 04:32 PM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#209 at 08-31-2007 09:12 AM by pbrower2a [at "Michigrim" joined May 2005 #posts 15,014]
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Quote Originally Posted by Bob Butler 54 View Post
Well, no. You are assuming humans are rational and logical, that they can perceive the world as it is. Most humans perceive reality and the choices of action available to them through a filter of their values. Values are effectively much more important and precious to individuals than mere material things. Values will be clung to well after an outside observer with no dog in the fight would see someone's perceptions and actions to be irrational.

A crisis creates a society wide change in culture. A lot of individuals end up changing their values. Many will not change values without a traumatic and emotional failure of their old values. While there has already been some shifting, these would be the more open minded individuals. As we go deeper into the crisis, there will still be those clinging to old values. Think Atlanta 1864 or Berlin 1945 to get a handle on how much it takes for the more stubborn to perceive reality. Even then, when the general population can see handwriting on the wall, the leadership might be be unable to bring themselves to admit that they were wrong, that many many died for their mistakes.

So, no. Alas, what seems obvious is not.
You contradicted me -- and you are right. Atlanta in 1864 -- if Gone With the Wind is right, which it probably is, many of its residents thought that the Confederacy was on the brink of some great turn of events that would push the Yankees away. After all, what could be more 'rational' than to believe that God Himself had ordained the only social order that they had ever known?

Wars are won by forcing panic among the generals and admirals. Wilhelm II's Germany thought itself in reasonably good shape -- until General Ludendorff recognized that he had nothing left in his bag of tricks and inadequate forces. Or in France in 1940, "Ou est la messe de manoeuvre?" followed by "Il n'y en a plus!" (Where are the reserves? -- there aren't any anymore!)"

The leadership (especially if parasitic) usually has more to lose than does the common man. A medieval king loses not only his kingdom but also his lands. The leadership often contains the truest of True Believers, people incapable of changing their minds on political ideology or religious dogma, and the ones who have the most to gain in the event of victory and the most to lose in the event of defeat: power and privilege at the least, and property and life at the most. At the end of the Great Struggle they either bask in glory or cower in a dank cell, perhaps awaiting execution. The common man is useful under any regime; a firefighter, a carpenter, or a seamstress is as necessary under a commie order as under a capitalist order.

Parasitic elites and fanatical ideologues fare badly because they are often of little value to a conqueror, especially if that conqueror has he desire to take over the wealth or impose some new concept of justice. The ploughman, the miller, the baker, the printer, the power-plant operator, the teacher, and the nurse are still vital. The printer may be printing a different set of books, the teacher may be using a different set of textbooks (in West Germany, those that praise Abraham Lincoln and excoriate Hitler after 1945) and the policeman may enforce a different set of laws. The most basic realities of nature don't change.







Post#210 at 08-31-2007 04:13 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Post#211 at 08-31-2007 04:15 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Post#212 at 09-17-2007 01:48 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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Blackwater Screws Up , Gets Banned By Iraqi Government:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's Interior Ministry has revoked the license of Blackwater USA, an American security firm whose contractors are blamed for a Sunday gunbattle in Baghdad that left eight civilians dead. The U.S. State Department said it plans to investigate what it calls a "terrible incident."







Post#213 at 09-17-2007 02:39 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Pink Splice View Post
Blackwater Screws Up , Gets Banned By Iraqi Government:

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/...ain/index.html

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's Interior Ministry has revoked the license of Blackwater USA, an American security firm whose contractors are blamed for a Sunday gunbattle in Baghdad that left eight civilians dead. The U.S. State Department said it plans to investigate what it calls a "terrible incident."

This is pretty amazing. I'm waiting to see what Lind, Robb and other 4th Generation Warfare advocates will say about this.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#214 at 09-17-2007 02:43 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Getting serious

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pb...11/1001/COMM01

Chris Dodd took the lead in saying its time to cut off funding, rather than pussy footing around any more. Obama has joined him. If Clnton goes over, it will be extremely difficult for both Reid and Pelosi to hold the line.

We could get what the far left has been screaming for, the conjones to cut off funding. The political impact will be huge - not sure which way it will go though.

Update from Dodd's website -

http://chrisdodd.com/blog/where-hillary-clinton%3F

Senator Dodd has issued the following statement on the positions of his colleagues Clinton and Obama on Iraq.

"I am pleased to see that Senator Obama has followed my lead and committed to oppose any Iraq measure without a deadline. I urge him to make such a deadline meaningful and enforceable by co-sponsoring the Dodd Amendment which sets a firm deadline that is tied to funding. However, I remain deeply distressed that Senator Clinton has yet to state whether she will oppose an Iraq measure without a firm and enforceable deadline. Ending our involvement in this civil war will take conviction and leadership that is willing to stand up to the President - not political gamesmanship and vote counting.

"Her silence is deafening."
Last edited by playwrite; 09-17-2007 at 02:47 PM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#215 at 09-17-2007 03:08 PM by Virgil K. Saari [at '49er, north of the Mesabi Mountains joined Jun 2001 #posts 7,835]
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Right Arrow Hoof-hearted? Ice melted!

Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
...

We could get what the far left has been screaming for, the conjones to cut off funding. The political impact will be huge - not sure which way it will go though.
...
Do you mean conjouns n. changelings; ugly, queer, idiotic, or bad-tempered children, superstitiously explained away as being substitutes left by the fairies for children stolen by them. ?
Last edited by Virgil K. Saari; 09-17-2007 at 03:11 PM.







Post#216 at 09-17-2007 03:55 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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Quote Originally Posted by Virgil K. Saari View Post
Do you mean conjouns n. changelings; ugly, queer, idiotic, or bad-tempered children, superstitiously explained away as being substitutes left by the fairies for children stolen by them. ?
No, it's Spanish slang for twin male appendages. Note, some of them are made of brass. Also, in the Rockies, some of the ones from sheep are eaten as oysters whereas some Asian cultures have a culinary desire for those from the Bovine world. Note, I pray your bull does not read this and cause a drop of production on your range.
Last edited by playwrite; 09-17-2007 at 03:59 PM.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#217 at 09-17-2007 04:10 PM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
No, it's Spanish slang for twin male appendages. Note, some of them are made of brass. Also, in the Rockies, some of the ones from sheep are eaten as oysters whereas some Asian cultures have a culinary desire for those from the Bovine world. Note, I pray your bull does not read this and cause a drop of production on your range.
I think he was picking on your spelling, which has happened to me as well. His choice of alternatives was worth a laugh, but I'm certain that Mr. Saari is fully aware of the worth assigned to cojones.

... and if larger are required, and comestibles desired, I can recommend Rocky Mountain Oysters - much better than the name implies.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.







Post#218 at 09-17-2007 04:52 PM by sean '90 [at joined Jul 2007 #posts 1,625]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
No, it's Spanish slang for twin male appendages. Note, some of them are made of brass. Also, in the Rockies, some of the ones from sheep are eaten as oysters whereas some Asian cultures have a culinary desire for those from the Bovine world. Note, I pray your bull does not read this and cause a drop of production on your range.
Who the hell would wanna eat sheep balls as oysters? YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!







Post#219 at 09-18-2007 02:18 PM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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http://news.independent.co.uk/world/...cle2961318.ece

n assassination that blows apart Bush's hopes of pacifying Iraq
Last week George Bush flew into Iraq to meet Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha, leader of Anbar province
This week General David Petraeus told the US Congress how Anbar was a model for Iraq
Yesterday Abu Risha was assassinated by bombers in Anbar
By Patrick Cockburn
Published: 14 September 2007

Ten days after President George Bush clasped his hand as a symbol of America's hopes in Iraq, the man who led the US-supported revolt of Sunni sheikhs against al-Qa'ida in Iraq was assassinated.

Abdul-Sattar Abu Risha and two of his bodyguards were killed either by a roadside bomb or by explosives placed in his car by a guard, near to his home in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, the Iraqi province held up by the American political and military leadership as a model for the rest of Iraq.

His killing is a serious blow to President Bush and the US commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus, who have both portrayed the US success in Anbar, once the heart of the Sunni rebellion against US forces, as a sign that victory was attainable across Iraq.

On Monday General Petraeus told the US Congress that Anbar province was "a model of what happens when local leaders and citizens decide to oppose al-Qa'ida and reject its Taliban-like ideology".

But yesterday's assassination underlines that Iraqis in Anbar and elsewhere who closely ally themselves with the US are in danger of being killed. "It shows al-Qa'ida in Iraq remains a very dangerous and barbaric enemy," General Petraeus said in reaction to the killing. But Abu Risha might equally have been killed by the many non al-Qa'ida insurgent groups in Anbar who saw him as betraying them.

The assassination comes at a particularly embarrassing juncture for President Bush, who was scheduled to address the American people on television last night to sell the claim made by General Petraeus that the military "surge" was proving successful in Iraq and citing the improved security situation in Anbar to prove it.

Abu Risha, 37, usually stayed inside a heavily fortified compound containing several houses where he lived with his extended family. A US tank guards the entrance to the compound, which is opposite the largest US base in Ramadi.

He spent yesterday morning meeting tribal sheikhs to discuss the future of Anbar. He also received long lines of petitioners as he drank small glasses of sweet tea and chain-smoked. He carried a pistol stuck in a holster strapped to his waist and dressed in dark flowing robes.

Surprisingly, he is said to have recently reduced the number of his bodyguards because of improved security situation in Anbar, although he ought to have known that as leader of the anti al-Qai'da Anbar Salvation Council he was bound to be a target for assassins.

Iraqi police in Ramadi suspect that the bomb that killed the sheikh was planted by one of the petitioners who came to see him. "The sheikh's car was totally destroyed by the explosion. Abu Risha was killed," said a Ramadi police officer, Ahmed Mahmoud al-Alwani. Giving a different account of the assassination, the Interior Ministry spokesman said that a roadside bomb killed Abu Risha. Soon afterwards a second car bomb blew up.

"The car bomb had been rigged just in case the roadside bomb missed his convoy," said an Interior Ministry spokesman, Maj-Gen Abdul-Karim Khalaf.

He added that the Interior Ministry planned to build a statue to Abu Risha as a "martyr" at the site of the explosion or elsewhere. However, statues, as well as living politicians, often have a short life in Iraq.

Abu Risha's death underlines the degree to which the White House and General Petraeus have cherry-picked evidence to prove that it is possible to turn the tide in Iraq. They have, for instance, given the impression that some Sunni tribal leaders turning against al-Qa'ida in Anbar and parts of Diyala and Baghdad is a turning point in the war.

In reality al-Qa'ida is only a small part of the insurgency, with its fighters numbering only 1,300 as against 103,000 in the other insurgent organisations according to one specialist on the insurgency. Al-Qa'ida has largely concentrated on horrific and cruel bomb attacks on Shia civilians and policemen and has targeted the US military only as secondary target.

The mass of the insurgents belong to groups that are nationalist and Islamic militants who have primarily fought the US occupation. They were never likely to sit back while the US declared victory in their main bastion in Anbar province.

There is no doubt that Abu Risha fulfilled a need and spoke for many Sunni who were hostile to and frightened by al-Qa'ida. Their hatred sprung less from the attacks on the Shia than al-Qa'ida setting up an umbrella organisation called the Islamic State of Iraq last year that sought to enforce total control in Sunni areas.

It tried to draft one young man from every Sunni family into its ranks, sought protection money and would kill Sunni who held insignificant government jobs collecting the garbage or driving trucks for the agriculture ministry as traitors.

The importance of the assassination of Abu Risha is that it once again underlines the difference between the bloody reality of Iraq as it is and the way it is presented by the US administration. He is one of a string of Iraqi leaders who have been killed in Iraq since the invasion of 2003 because they were seen as being too close to the US. These include the Shia religious leader Sayid Majid al-Khoei, murdered in Najaf in April 2003, and Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim, the head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, killed by a suicide bomber the same year.

In practice the surge has by itself has done little to improve security, according to Iraqis, a majority of whom say security has got worse. The number of Iraqis fleeing their homes has actually gone up from 50,000 to 60,000 in recent months, according to the UN High Commission for Refugees. Baghdad has become a largely Shia city with the Sunni pressed into smaller and smaller enclaves.

Cultivating an alliance with the Sunni tribes had been a long-term US policy since 2004 but finally caught fire because of al-Qa'ida overplayed their hand last year. It has the disadvantage that the US has, in effect, created a new Sunni tribal militia which takes orders from the US military and is well paid by it and does not owe allegiance to the Shia-Kurdish government in Baghdad. This is despite the fact that the US has denounced militias in Iraq and demanded they be dissolved.

The US success in Anbar was real but it was also overblown because the wholly Sunni province is not typical of the rest of Iraq. The strategy advocated by Washington exaggerated the importance of al-Qa'ida and seldom spoke of the other powerful groups who had not been driven out of Anbar.

Abu Risha had real support in Anbar, particularly in Ramadi where many people yesterday referred to him as "hero" and expressed sadness at his death.

But President Bush's highly publicised visit to Anbar may well have been Abu Risha's death knell. There are many Sunni who loathe al-Qa'ida, but very few who approve of the US occupation. By giving the impression that Abu Risha was one of America's most important friends, Mr Bush ensured that some of the most dangerous men in the world would try to kill him.

The testimony by General Petraeus to Congress earlier this week has proved effective from the point of view of the White House in establishing the US commander in Iraq as a credible advocate of the administration's military strategy.

But critics of General Petraeus have described him as "a military Paris Hilton" whose celebrity is not matched by his achievements. As commander of the 101st Airborne Division in Mosul in 2003-4 was lauded for re-establishing Iraqi police units only for them to desert or join the insurgents who captured most of the city after the general left.

A model for Iraq?

General David Petraeus in his testimony to Congress:

"The most significant development in the past six months likely has been the emergence of tribes and local citizens rejecting al-Qa'ida and other extremists. This has, of course, been most visible in Anbar. A year ago the province was assessed as "lost" politically. Today, it is a model of what happens when local leaders and citizens decide to oppose al-Qa'ida and reject its Taliban-like ideology.







Post#220 at 09-18-2007 03:01 PM by Arkham '80 [at joined Oct 2003 #posts 1,402]
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Quote Originally Posted by sean '90 View Post
Who the hell would wanna eat sheep balls as oysters? YUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in Gods likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? -- James 3:9-11

Hell is a curse word, Sean. And it's testicles, not balls.
You cannot step twice into the same river, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you. -- Heraclitus

It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -- Jiddu Krishnamurti

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then, I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes." -- Walt Whitman

Arkham's Asylum







Post#221 at 09-19-2007 09:29 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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09-19-2007, 09:29 AM #221
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http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/...raq/index.html

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. government has halted civilian ground traffic out of Baghdad's Green Zone after a weekend gun battle between insurgents and private security contractors that Iraqi officials said left eight civilians dead.
art.blackwater.sign.ap.jpg

The deaths sparked anger in Iraq and prompted officials there to order security firm Blackwater USA to halt operations in the country, though the U.S. State Department said the company remains active.







Post#222 at 09-19-2007 09:32 AM by Pink Splice [at St. Louis MO (They Built An Entire Country Around Us) joined Apr 2005 #posts 5,439]
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09-19-2007, 09:32 AM #222
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First, Condi had to *apologize*.

Now, the Green Zone is feeling the love.

What next, KIA, Chris, DA/Zilch, and HC?







Post#223 at 09-19-2007 02:48 PM by Bob Butler 54 [at Cove Hold, Carver, MA joined Jul 2001 #posts 6,431]
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09-19-2007, 02:48 PM #223
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Rules of Engagement

The two versions of the recent Blackwater incident conflict. Among other things, each side claims the other fired first. I'm not confident that my reading is correct, but I'll give it more to illustrate a basic problem than to clearly place any blame...

The Blackwater convoy was proceeding through busy city streets. An Iraqi police officer stops all traffic to let the convoy pass through. One car disregards instructions, pulling out into the wrong lane to sneak through the intersection. This triggers an anti-car bomb protocol. Any car failing to follow instructions and approaching the convoy is assumed to be a car bomb. By the Iraqi account, Blackwater opens fire on a car containing a family.

Blackwater starts deploying less than lethal flash-bang grenades to keep the locals a safe distance from the convoys. Iraqi police and army units in the region interpret this as throwing grenades into the civilian population, an act of terror, and open fire on the Blackwater convoy. Fire is returned. Depending on who one believes, Blackwater's fire is directed at the nearby civilian targets rather than the uniformed Iraqi police and army.

Now, it is awful easy to project Blackwater as a bunch of gung ho cowboys, making mistakes, being overly free in the use of force. The problem comes in writing solid rules of engagement that would prevent terrorists from driving a car bomb into the middle of a convoy, and prevent a bomber on foot from attaching a bomb to a vehicle stalled in traffic. They are being paid to keep diplomats and administrators alive, and they want to live to collect that pay. Writing a set of rules of engagement that gives reasonable chances of success without generating 'collateral damage' is not at all an easy thing.

During much of the occupation, the default assumption has been that US lives are worth much more than the lives of locals of unknown status. If a US soldier or Blackwater employee sees a possible threat, the rules of engagement generally allow weapons free. All it takes is one civilian in a hurry, ready to disregard a soldier's or police officer's gesture to stop, to generate a gun battle. (I heard one story that the American palm out gesture which means 'stop' is the Iraqi equivalent of raising one's middle finger. Thus, early in the occupation, there were a lot of civilians blown away by US troops, guilty of looking angry and failing to stop.)

The alternative is to allow the terrorists free access to one's position. If the local of unknown affiliation does not stop, can the rules of engagement not allow the use of force to stop him or her?

It's a basic problem when one is playing defense against 4GW tactics. The occupying force either leaves itself vulnerable or generates hostility by killing locals. While the press will spin it as incompetence or political failure, to some degree it is just part of 4GW. No good choices, except, perhaps, ending the conflict.

Note, having US troops or embassy employees take over for the private security firms is not an easy option. There are simply too many private contractors in place. Hiring them into the government would take too long.







Post#224 at 09-19-2007 09:51 PM by playwrite [at NYC joined Jul 2005 #posts 10,443]
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the weekly juxtapositions

Each week is bringing us such interesting juxtapositions.

Last week was the obvious plays on our memento mori by both Osama's tapes and the Administration's trotting-up Petraues on the 9/11 anniversary.

This week, the Republicans squeal with joy at defeating the Webb amendment while all non-military personnel in Iraq get holed-up in Emerald City because of the Blackwater mess.

They're standing on the deck chairs of a sinking ship but feeling so macho, preening with their little make-believe wooded swords drawn -- completely oblivious that they are walking political corpses.
"The Devil enters the prompter's box and the play is ready to start" - R. Service

Its not tax money. The banks have accounts with the Fed so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the computer to mark up the size of the account that they have with the Fed. Its much more akin to printing money. - B.Bernanke


"Keep your filthy hands off my guns while I decide what you can & can't do with your uterus" - Sarah Silverman

If you meet a magic pony on the road, kill it. - Playwrite







Post#225 at 09-20-2007 09:03 AM by Marx & Lennon [at '47 cohort still lost in Falwelland joined Sep 2001 #posts 16,709]
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Quote Originally Posted by playwrite View Post
... They're standing on the deck chairs of a sinking ship but feeling so macho, preening with their little make-believe wooded swords drawn -- completely oblivious that they are walking political corpses.
It's not all that uncommon for the electorate to make foolish - even colossal errors. Having elected GWB twice, it's hard to be sanguine.

Admitting error is hard, and overcoming strongly held opinions even more so. Add to that the propensity of the Dems to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, and the GOP could pull one more cycle into their column.
Marx: Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
Lennon: You either get tired fighting for peace, or you die.
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