Sunday, October 22, 2006

More Inconvenient Truths About Iraq

Where do we go from here?

This election is a referendum on Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI). We are currently presiding over civil war(s) in Iraq. At stake on November 7th is attainment of a Congressional majority which can mount a modicum of oversight for this catastrophe. Oversight has three dimensions:
  1. How did we really get to where we are?
  2. Who do we trust to lead America, going forward?
  3. What is the range of options within our grasp?
Today, I am addressing #3.

All political candidates of whatever political party, have to restrict themselves to conventional wisdom. The intelligent voter, unless he or she is narcissistic and self-absorbed, cannot expect them to do otherwise. But any loyal, patriotic and reflective voting American owes it to our country to think outside the box.

In order to do that, you have to put aside your blogging surf board for 20 minutes (or so) for some reading and thinking. You can do it here.


  1. I heard someone on TV just now, say that we couldn't leave Iraq until they could manage their country and the situation there by themselves, something we have heard many times by many people. This was said just as I walked to the sink to wash my coffee cup and empty the water down the sink. Suddenly, it came to me, the analogy that I have been looking for:

    Bush may not have liked the water in Iraq's sink, but the water was cleaner then than it is now. Unfortunately, Bush pulled the plug on the day he invaded Iraq. Iraq has lost its clean water and there is nothing he or anyone else can do to get it back. Anyone who does wrong, whether by design or through poor judgment, owes the person or people he has harmed a mea culpa and a willingness to accept what loss of reputation he deserves, the size and severity of such punishment in accordance with the harm he has done.

    The water is rapidly running farther and farther away.

  2. Vigilante, It's always a pleasant surprise to find you've got a new post on Sunday mornings. Sunday moring is when I am able to do 90% of my surfing and reading.

    Thank you for posting the two thought provoking essays. But I must tell you I thought the essay by Edward N. Luttwak was fatally flawed.

    It's not that Luttwak is intellectually dishonest, but that he minimizes the great influence of outside countries in past civil wars and in the current civil war in Iraq.

    For example both Great Britian and France had a huge influence in our own civil war and their participation greatly affected the outcome. In fact, many in Europe thought the U.S. civil war was simply a proxy for a war between France and Great Britian. Many scholars believe had France not blinked, the south might well have won the conflict.

    I'm reasonably certain that the U.S., Britian and the so called "coalition" will pull out of Iraq soon. But that doesn't mean other countries won't be heavily involved in shaping the outcome.

    Iran, Syria and Turkey all have a strong vested interest in the outcome. It would be foolish to think they won't be supplying arms and money and insurgents into the conflict.

    Once again, as throughout modern history, the Kurds are likely to be the biggest losers in this conflict.

    And let's not forget the lure of the Iraqi oil wealth.

    I'm not making a case for the U.S. to remain, indeed, I'm not sure any resolution is possible under the current occupation.

    I do believe, as I posted here just a couple of weeks ago, the the un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq (UULUIUOI)will go down in history as one of, if not the, greatest blunder in all of American history.

    the Wizard.....

  3. "This election is a referendum on Bush's un-provoked, unnecessary, largely unilateral invasion and unplanned occupation of Iraq"

    You'd like to think so wouldn't you?

    But ignorance is no excuse.

  4. Who is it who wrote recently?

    De Nile is a tributary of De Potomac.

  5. Editorial Comment:
    I apologize for intruding in the ongoing conversation, but I feel it important to note that Mike's America is not be confused with Mad Mike's America who is a welcome guest in these pages because he always intelligently engages with the issues, even if he doesn't take my side of them.


    Please keep your comments on the brief side. Readers are more inclined to 'follow you home' (if that's what you want) if you don't tax your readers' patience.

  7. Mike's America How will this election not be a referendum on how badly the war is going over in Iraq? The recent operation to secure Baghdad was declared a failure by an American general, hundreds of Iraqi cops have been fired because of connections to death squads, militias have begun to take once what was thought secure cities in the hands of the new Iraqi army, and I could go on but honestly don't have the time to list the screw-ups. Please give a real answer and not some insult. I know my friend Vigil wants to rightly keep things brief but you can do far better than your first comment.

  8. Thanks, for your comments, Beach.

    I am not admonishing you - certainly - nor Mad Mike, Wizard, nor Little Bill. All of you are succinct writers, who know if they have a longer message, they will link it instead of posting it in comment. I Value Average American Patriot's participation, and hope he saves space for others in this room.

  9. On another subject, this has never happened to me before:

    Normally, as I have time, I get out and press the flesh on the 'Net, trying to make contact with bloggers of all types and stripes. My goal is to reach out to everyone in our national community and to encourage all to wrestle and contend with the issues that divide us - to get agreement on what we disagree with. Some sites probably don't accept my efforts to engage and refuse to post my contributions.

    But for the first time today, I just received some email from a blog on which I had just posted my positions. It read:

    "Sorry, but I'm not going to post your comment, as it's not so much a comment on my Blog as a biased comment of your own."

    My comment was on topic, and contained no four-letter words. I felt compelled to consider: Are my edgy 'tudes getting in the way of my message? (Readers here are invited to weigh in on this!)

    However, I'm more inclined to think this blogger's idea is to stay in his box, and keep his crib-mates like sleeping dogs - at home in their mythology.

  10. The Truth about Iraq surfaces inconveniently again.

    Alberto Fernandez, an Arabic speaker who is director of public diplomacy in the state department's Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, is reliably quoted as saying in Arabic, to Al Jazeera:

    "We tried to do our best [in Iraq], but I think there is much room for criticism, because, undoubtedly, there was arrogance and there was stupidity from the United States in Iraq."

    Fernandez also declared that the US was ready to talk with any Iraqi group - except al-Qaeda in Iraq - to end the growing sectarian violence and the continued fighting.

    "We are open to dialogue because we all know that, at the end of the day, the hell and the killings in Iraq are linked to an effective Iraqi national reconciliation.

    The Iraqi government is convinced of this."

  11. Can we change course without changing leadership? Can the authors of this catastrophic blunder solve it? Can the sacrifice of our soldiers be honored? Can the horrors that the Iraqi citizens face every waking hour be stopped? I believe it is the responsibility of every American to face these questions and have a soldier's courage to bring about the changes necessary to put us back on the path of honor that our history dictates. The world is watching and waiting and hoping.

  12. Has any of you commenting above actually read the articles Vigil attached to this column?

    Civil wars are civil wars. The history of the Vietnam war should have tought us that we deal ourselves into the civil wars of others at our own peril.

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki "needs to keep Muqtada Sadr happy."

    Why are our soldiers dying daily to support a government that placates Sadr?

    After all, wasn't Sadr the cleric who had his insurgents fight our soldiers in graveyards near Fallouja earlier in the war?

    We need to pull out now and let Maliki deal with his own civil war.

  13. At the beginning of the so called war it was a given that it would end in disaster.
    It still has the potential to spread to the rest of the area , especially now with Bakers involvement.
    At base he , Bush , Cheney are bible thumping madmen, who are calling for a New Jerusalem that will encompass the whole area from the Nile to Iran.
    I am not making this up.
    Part of their eventual revelation plan is to also wipe out the Jews, the little remnant they think that is not killed will convert to their brand of religion.
    It might be time to get rid of Bush and his gang, before they get world war three or their Apocalypse going. This guy will then make Hitler look like a piker.