Citizen Deux said…
Sorry you are so sleepless. I can’t agree with the Iraq observation. The bubbling over of the sectarian violence is our fault. The question is, how awful would it be if we simply left? And would more troops really make a difference?
The issue is policing and law and order. Something military personnel can not accomplish without draconian measures. Measures we are not willing to undertake.
So the question is whether Iraq continues to smolder until it flares up or dies down? And how long? We still have troops on the ground in the former Yugoslavia, whose populations grievances are far less violent than some of the Sunni and Shiite qualms (not to mention the provocation from Iran and Syria).
Iraq allows us two things, establish a government which is self determining in that nation. Act as a buffer to Iran and Syria without the ugly, religious problem of having troops in Saudi.
Remember the war is at three levels;
1) Nation States (sponsors and direct / indirect enemies – Iran, Syria, Pakistan (half), North Korea (logistics))
2) Transnational Actors – Al Queada, Al Ansar al Islam, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc.
3) Splinter Cells – Non-aligned agents who are either directly or indirectly tied to the above (the parlance of national security agencies)
Hang in there…
I was going to respond “in comment” but decided to respond as a post instead.
Yeah, I was tired and not reasoning on all cylinders. But I’m not sure what our presence now is accomplishing. It appears the coalition is no longer the main target of violence, which is good. It seems that after we offed Al Zawkari, something has shifted. Here is a thought. During the first elections, everyone was overjoyed that there was no outbreak of violence, sunni against shia or vise versa, though that was less likely since sunni didn’t officially participate. Neither side wanted to be seen as the one spilling first blood. But now that the sectarian gloves are off, I doubt we will get through another election without bloodshed.
There really isn’t much we can do to stop the different sects from blowing each other up. The problem is that they’re targeting the civilian population, attempting to show that we are powerless to stop them. To me this is the point where the Iraqi police must be able to step up as an independent force and find ways to stop this. Gangs here in the US would never (hopefully) start blowing up civies, in part because there is no purpose to do so, but also because they know law enforcement would descend upon then like the dark angel of death. The Iraq police must become that same type of juggernaught and they won’t achieve that until our military presence in the country is negligible.
I want to write more, but I must get my but out the door and go to work. Will write more later.
… as it’s 11:43 pm on a Wednesday evening, but thoughts of the future of the world are keeping me awake. Not awake as in “Oh My God We’re Doomed” awake, more like “I can’t believe the world is blind to the coming massive Middle East conflict” type of sleeplesness. The things that concern me are the same things that are concerning pretty much everyone else these days – Iran, Iraq, Isreal, and the rule of unintended consequences.
Iran, the concern. I didn’t watch the Mike Wallace interview with Amahgonajihad the other night, so maybe I heard wrong. But did Mr. Wallace really say that Amahgonajihad seems like a nice guy??? This, after all the proclaimations by the Iranian leader about his goal to nuke Isreal off the map??? Next thing you know the guy is gonna apear on next months cover of “Homes and Gardens”? Did Wallace not get the memo?
My little brother is going to smile when he reads this. I now (ouch) painfully agree (ouch) that our action in Iraq (ouch) has become a failure (ouch). Ahhhh. That feels a little better. I still believe that the need to remove Saddam was pressing, even without the WMD’s. But as should be obvious to all / most by now, this policy was doomed to fail without the help and cooperation from the world community. The critics were right. We didn’t have enough boot on the ground from the get go, And of coarse without a very large multinational force to ensure stability, the violence, now mostly in the Sunni triangle, is sure to spread. Why won’t it. Who is there to stop it. I was sooo hoping that the killing of Al Zawkari would settle things down, but the seeds of sectarian voilence that he helped plant, along with the Sad’r brigades, was already in full bloom well before we off’d him. This dreadful thing is going to spread now that we disrupted the power equalibrium between Iraq and Iran, as the latter has filled in the gap nicely, thank you very much.
Isreal. Unless the world gets off its collective butts and puts its foot down against terrorists groups, Isreal is doomed. On paper, the latest skirmish btween Isreal and Hezbolla is a draw. In real life, Hezbolla won. The modern terror war is as much a propaganda war as it is military. Hezbolla is aparently doing great PR work by quickly repairing damaged hospitals and schools, and rebuilding the damaged infrastructure. Of coarse Hezbolla also benefits directly the former because it aids in healing the wounded fighters so they can fight another day, and provides future soldiers through the teaching of the evils of jews and the west thus ensuring a steady supply of recruits for the next go around in the holy war. and the latter makes weapons aquisitions more efficient. Meanwhile, Isreals reputation as being inpenetrable is gone. They couldn’t get anywhere near the goal of destroying Hezbolla’s capabilities. Terrorists groups never have to win in a classical sense. For them, a non-loss is a win – “See, You cannot destroy us”! And the world can’t, won’t take any action that prevents Hezbolla from getting even stronger, since the latest brilliant cease fire provides no realistic means of stopping Iran and Syria from rearming Hezbolla and upgrading their weaponry. Nope. The world will not take decisive measures against terrorism until Tel Aviv is vaporized by a nuclear blast.
I will give credit to Bush for at least recognizing and having resolve to take strong actions to try and change the tribal nature of the Middle East, a strong catalist in the making of radical groups. Too bad our actions in Iraq has made things worse in the Middle East.
I will write more in a couple of days, but now that this is off my chest, I’m tired and am going to bed. And I know there are spelling errors galore. It’s very late and I don’t feel like running a spell check. So there!
… the reason why Andy Roddick’s performance on the tennis court has been so poor over the last year. He and Sharapova have been secretly dating during his on court slump. The careers of male tennis players always take a nose dive when said player finds himself entangled in romance. Sampras found Robin, lost on-court motivation. See Agassi’s slump during Brooke. Love is only good in tennis when it’s the score of your opponent! Andy, dump her now! Before it’s too late!!!
Since my blog-friend Scoot was linked to the web-mag Slate because he wrote some political hub-bub, I figured, to get notice by the MSBM (Main Stream Blog Media) I’d give that same strategy a try, even though I know my ideas are less original than Scoots.
I’Â’ve lately been pondering (no, Ian, that is not swimming in a small body of water) about thelikelihoodd that the Dems are going to take at least one house in congress. Lets face it. if the political landscape remains similar to those we currently see, ceteris paribus, then the elections coming in November are the Dems to lose. I’Â’m convinced they will take at least one body of congress. I ask myself, the part of me that is politically detatched, what would be the consequences for the party in charge if they lose one house?
If the Dems take the House, we will almost certainly see impeachment hearings. Not great during a war, but who knows what the outcome will be. If those hearings stick to the torture and NSA spying issues, they may have a shot. If they try the “Â“Bush Lied”Â” meme, they will probably look like fools, as there are too many Dems who proclaimed, pre 9/11, pre G W Bush, that Saddam was hiding WMD’s.
If the Dems take the Senate, the republicans can say ta-ta to any more Roberts / Alito type judges getting any chance of a fair shake in confirmation hearings.
No matter which house the Dems might win, you can bet there will be a boat load of investigations going on, either as a result of those that are currently stalled, or new ones. Either way, the Republicans are in for a very rough ride for the next two years.