Saturday, December 01, 2007

Still No Way Out

The title is the NYT Editorial from November 30, 2007 which addresses the quandary we find ourselves in regarding Iraq. The surge has resulted, finally, in lower levels of violence. That is about it, 30,000 additional troops and months of horrid violence in order to get back to 2005 levels of death and destruction. There was supposed to be a bit more involved.

Instead, Iraq’s politicians — and their American backers — have squandered the time and the best efforts of American troops. Mr. Bush’s generals are so frustrated that they’ve begun to complain publicly about the fecklessness of Iraq’s leaders. The ever-feckless White House, rather than looking for ways to compel Iraq’s leaders to perform, is lessening the pressure.
I noted here my reactions and the consequences are accelerating, not so much on the ground in Iraq, but politically here.

The news has cheered Americans and dampened Democrats’ enthusiasm for keeping up the pressure on Iraq policy.
This isn't about some political gamesmanship for Democrats, it is about what it is that we're trying to do. BushCo has kept the goalposts in nearly constant motion from the run-up to the war. The war right is jumping up and down, 'told ya defeatocrats, it works,' and the Democrats are getting ready to flinch. Try to get this, we are where we were in '05 only ethnic cleansing has progressed. The Sunnis in al-Anbar are not our allies, they have found a piece of common ground in the fabric of the total. Do folks remember "enemy of my enemy"? As long as al-Qaeda is the enemy of the moment things are fine, what happens when their enemy is the Maliki government? They are now better armed than ever before.

Perhaps 160,000 American troops could hold down the overall casualty numbers indefinitely, but they cannot wipe away that sort of hatred. That’s the job of Iraq’s leaders. Either way, the American military doesn’t have enough troops for such an occupation without end, and the American Treasury can’t keep spending $10 billion a month to maintain it.

There was supposed to be some endpoint purpose to 30,000 troops and the death and suffering, in fact

Americans need to ask themselves the questions Mr. Bush is refusing to answer: Is this country signing on to keep the peace in Iraq indefinitely? If so, how many American and Iraqi deaths a month are an acceptable price? If not, what’s the plan for getting out?
The NYT take on this is a bit more generous than mine, I don't believe BushCo's agenda actually has anything to do with the moving stated goals. If any of what has been said had anything to do with their intentions, they would have pursued those actual goals. Iraqis passing a budget is not about fixing what ails Iraq, it may have to do with accounting and spending, but in that morass of corruption and waste it is nearly no more than PR. What ails Iraq is that the only solution seen by all parties is force.

Guns and bombs and murders are not politics, they are the failure of politics and in the absence of any politics in Iraq they are the available tools. They are the available tools to the US and and the Iraqis and they are the status quo from late 2003. It really isn't too difficult to look at conditions which 'require' the presence of US troops continually to wonder about the actual goals of BushCo. The Democrats in Congress, and the few 'responsible Republicans,' need to stop and think about what all this means to our soldiers and Treasury. None of that begins to look at the consequences to the Middle East of an enduring US occupation of one of their nations.

Finally, those 30,000 troops have to start coming home or the military will be irretrievably broken and once that influence is removed the other tools of the Iraqis will come back into play. That may presage another surge, one of violence.


The Crater Lake Hermit said...

I have no doubt that Bush "The Torturer" and his criminal cronies have finally realized that they can not have a positive outcome and so they are carefully arranging things so that the next administration, predictably Democratic, will be confronted with a no-win situation; thus paving the way back for another fascist Republican administration in 2013.

Chuck Butcher said...

Either that or trying desperately to "fix" the situation so it cannot me modified and their goals undone (assuming that we don't actually know the goals)

libhom said...

I don't think there is any logical basis for believing that the violence in Iraq actually is going down. The sources for this claim are the Pentagon (acting under Bush administration orders) and the puppet regime in Iraq. Neither has any credibility.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that Bush "The Torturer...AND OTHER BS


For you both...GOD HELP US,if you both are in a place of decision.

Hypothetical, but possible, you have 1 hour to defuse a 2 megaton bomb placed in PDX( keeping PDX WEIRD got it there), not to mention your kids are there for a school function,are you gonna tickle the terror type, or waterboard him?

Chuck Butcher said...

It's going to blow up in your face. It's a BS argument made up by the right, how do you know what is the truth? The tortured tells you something, you go check, come back torture some more, get told some more, check, boom. Torture is now over since the bang has happened.

Or do you just propose to continuously torture while getting different answers? Since you do not know the answer and have no preferred answer, you have no idea which is the truth and which not and no way to determine it.

Torture is useful for getting the answer you want. That is what it has been used for, historically, that and just plain cruelty. You know the answer you want and you want them to give it. If information is quickly verifiable, why are you torturing? It's a stupid thing to do not to mention inhumane.

This admin is composed of some of the stupidest and cruelest people we've ever had at that level. You as an outsider with no knowledge think torture is useful, too much TV and BS. Look at it rationally, the tortured wants you to stop, that is exactly all their agenda is. They will tell you what makes it stop and that is what YOU the torturer wants to hear because that's the only answer that will do. The bomb thing is so stupid, it's a damn TV script, you get to write what you want for TV and make it work.

Not once on this site have you seen a pacifist point of view. I certainly am not. But I insist that force be used intelligently, at the level required and where required. Iraq is just plain stupid, we're trying to control an entire nation and creating a terrorist class who opposes our occupation. There might be a small number with the US as a target but an occupation does nothing in that respect, you hunt that needle in the haystack of resistance fighters. So, stupidly you fight 1000 to try to get at 1, and miss him because the populace will protect HIM because they don't like you for smashing their stuff, etc. while you fight the 1000. Damn propaganda machine that tells all this BS to get the thing they want which has nothing to do with what you're told and buy.

Why do you believe their crap? Because it's the President of the US and the President wouldn't act that way? Why is that true? What makes that line of thinking mean anything in the face of all the rest of their BS that you know is BS? Scare ya did they? So what, you can still think f you choose to.

If terror is the aim (BushCo says, it ain't) then you deal with terror in the manner it calls for, small incredibly violent and capable units utilizing good intel. Pick the high value target and whack it hard and quick and get the heck out. Never offer an excuse to oppose the units by leaving them in place, then publicize what you did and why. Make very public and very clear that you are a quick and very dangerous opponent, that you cannot get pinned into a conflict of the other's choice.

Sign your stuff with a 'tag' or get an account.

Anonymous said...

Sign your stuff with a 'tag' or get an account.

If your willing to be placed in that possible scene......and it is possible, you, and those like you, will never...ever have the will, courage, etc B-LLS, to protect this nation.


PS: My "tag: free speech!

Chuck Butcher said...

free speech:
You make assumptions about me with even less evidence than GWB's good intentions. That is at its best an uniformed and baseless statement.

Evidently you have a bit of difficulty with reading comprehension, regarding the post in front of your's. If reading what is written down right in front of your eyes is too difficult, maybe you should refrain from writing about what you don't understand. I don't have a problem with disagreement, but stupid insults based on nothing aren't a recipe for my respect.

Regarding my level of nerve, hahaha

Anonymous said...

Chuck: After reading the post from ANON, I guess I wonder just because the proposed scene hasn't come up.

I just wonder why you think it will not? You afraid to answer the question?

And you think we don't have small, nasty, hard hitting forces doing good work now?

Do you have a clue what I already know regarding the issue in PDX we have emailed about?

That possible nuke problem suggested maybe the location of a team of badguys to hit a school in Baker City ,and you have one hour to stop them...YOU GONNA KISS OR KICK BUTT?

Your hate is what you claim my problem is...I told you here and in private, that BUSH isn't going to be missed here for reasons of open borders.

But your butt and mine haven't been kicked here,nor has this country had another"event" as you lefty's like to call it.

So my near impossible friend, your hate has clouded all you don't see, that being we haven't been hit again.

Lastly...If we could end up on "PINKS", and I beat that cough, cough!!! (HARD TO SAY IT) Chevy for the title, I'd give it back. Jack

Chuck Butcher said...

I addressed it Jack, read my response again. No BushCo's answer to terror (cough) was an invasion of Iraq, where there were essentially no terrorists. The only criticism of Afghanistan I've ever had was trying to do it on the cheap and then ignoring it (virtually).

Let me repeat, torture is pointless beyond being cruel. The ONLY thing the tortured cares about is stopping it, truth is entirely beside the point.

A bunch of bad guys hit Baker High? The cops would shoot me if I tried to interfere, really they would.

Why do you guys keep trying to make a pacifist out of me? Holy mackeral, you come to an avowed 2nd A site of somebody who shoots competitively and hunts big game and wonder if I'd shoot somebody? WTF? I'm one of the better shooters in the sportsman's club, but I am very calm in very bad situations.

If I hated GeorgeII that would be stupid, he's garbage as President and that's sufficient for me. Does the death and injury of our troops for his ends infuriate me, yes. All he's gotten right about Iraq was that Saddam was a murderous despot, there are a lot of them, but they lack something - oil and GWB's oil friends' greed as motivation for invasion.

al-Qaeda was in Afghanistan and Pakistan until we created a vacume in Iraq, and even then it was a bastardized version, more concerned with an opportunity to kill American troops and frustrate the US in the ME. al-Qaeda is still in Afghanistan and Pakistan and stronger because of Iraq.

Anonymous said...

oil and GWB's oil friends' greed as motivation for invasion.

AHH Chuck...You cannot prove we stole/bought on the cheap one drop of oil.

al-Qaeda was in Iraq (whatever the guys name was who beheaded Danny P.) Bush said clearly, "WE WILL HUNT DOWN TERROR TYPES WHERE WE FIND THEM!" He came to Iraq out of Afganistan(well doucumented)got medical attention, was moved around by Saddams kids)Then got the fight started with us bigtime.

Yes I know 2nd amendment is your thing as it is mine, I want an answer not that you'd shoot it out with Badguys...(duh) but if it took more then them being tickled to death to locate them "BEFORE" they got there.

That seems a big deal with you and your type....ONLY,after there is an attack do we do something.

That Chuck, may get you elected in PDX, but not in Baker City. JP

Chuck Butcher said...

We ain't getting much oil, that's for sure. The oil sharing bill GWB wanted the Iraqis to pass gave oil rights to his pals. That is right there in the words.

There was a group up in Kurdistan, al-anselem or something. They don't seem to have been interested in us until invasion.

There was no al-Qaeda in Iraq until after GWB went in & Saddam was defeated. Dick Cheney lied, all the intel agencies said not there.

Torture gets you nothing of value, it just does not. I've told you why it doesn't. It might be satisfying to think about hurting these pricks, but it's just plain useless and counting on it leaves you with garbage and bad decisions made from it.

I'm not running for anything now or in the future and certainly not in PDX. You may notice I'm happy living where I do.

Steve Culley said...

I'm no John McCain fan, a few years back he was a gun control fan and his immigration stance gets him on mt S**T list but McCain can speak to issues of torture, being initmately associated with it from the recieving end.
As far as a nuclear weapon being in this country we shouldn't be having this argument. They should be stopped at the border but having that much security would interfere with corproate America's wide open borders, free trade agenda.