Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Victory, After All

Wow, nice little soft-shoe there, Bill, barely even mentioning the fact that NOW the Iraqi government itself (Maliki and his security advisers) wants a time-table for our withdrawal. And the fact, too, I'm saying, that when you finally did refer to it (no, I didn't blink and miss it), you sluffed it off as an internal political move on their part (pacifying the electorate, showing toughness to the U.S., etc.). I mean, talk about going out of your way to prevent embarrassment for YOUR de facto candidate, Senator McCain (granted, you've been considerably LESS blatant than your competitor, Keith Olbermann, has been in his nightly rah-rah for Obama). This, I'm saying, in that, think about it, Bill, the time of it being "our call" to the pronouncement of "victory" over there, that just might be coming to a screamy-meamy halt. Oh well, at least Mr. McCain is unequivocally on the record as saying, "yes, if the Iraqis themselves want us to leave..........................."...........................................P.S. Holy Shit! Wait a minute here. Neither of these candidates seem to be sticking to anything of late. I mean, talk about going from an occupation in abstract to TOTAL MISERY, 0-60 in 6.0 seconds (that's still fast, right?) - this is a flip-flop (in waiting) that might actually accomplish that. That, and a hell of a lot more, I'm saying.


Anonymous said...

Will want to know who really calls the shots in Iraq,

Check out the Grand Ayatollah Sistani guy and why every "leader" (whether ours or Iran's)in Iraq makes pilgrimages to HIM.

hint read this;

The statements of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and National Security Counsellor Muwaffaq Rubaie about the need for a timetable for US troop withdrawal may have an unexpected and significant impact on the US presidential campaign.

On Tuesday, after consultations with Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani in Najaf, Rubaie held a news conference. His remarks suggested that Sistani read him the riot act, demanding that full Iraqi sovereignty be preserved at all costs.

The simple truth is Grand Ayatollah Sistani could do what no other Iraqi can do at the moment, make Iraq untenable for our continued presence.

He has been in Iraq since 1951 (he was born in Iran), both Saddam who put him under house arrest post 1994, but was too scared to actually kill him like he killed other Shiite leaders, and the US who know touching him would cause the 16.2 million Shiites in Iraq to erupt against the continued presence of our troops in their country.

He is the person with the real power to move the Shiite Iraqis, that we don't understand sets the conditions for Maliki and Sadr, Hakin to operate in Iraq.

They have a different system over there and in some ways neither Saddam or the Bush has been able to change that much.

If he says "troops out" we have no realistic way we can stay. We have around 150-160, thousand troops and there are 16.2 million Shiites in Iraq. Those are 100 to 1 odds, and we are on their turf. It seems he is pushing subtly for our exit from Iraq, regardless of what Bush ET Al want right now.

Mary Ellen said...

I'm afraid that with all the flip-flopping from both candidates, McCain and Obama, they may bump into one another and flip each other to death. Then who will we vote for? Oh...Hillary! That's the ticket!

Hey, kiddo...just got a new blog, pop over if you like.


Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I see what you're saying, Clif. The guy who really scares me, though, is al Sadr. Joe Klein (who I consider fair and down-the-middle) reported that virtually every shop-owner in Baghdad ultmately wants this nimrod to be the next leader in Iraq. And he's going to make us long for Saddam is what I'm afraid of. Hopefully, Sistani, who has gotten some good press for being at least half-way reasonable, can keep him in check, not have the last 5 years of hell be a total waste, etc..

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Hi Mary Ellen. Thanks for stopping by again. I'll definitely check out the new habit.

Anonymous said...

Will don't take this wrong, it is the simplest example I can think of.

Sadr's faction in Iraq are mostly the poorer Shiites which suffered under Saddam and of course haven't done so well since we trashed the country. They usually live in the slums like the millions who live in the former Saddam city renamed Sadr city, and also the shiites who revolted around Basra in 1991 after the gulf war, part Marsh Arab and part Sadr loyalists who came south directly after the first Sadr insurrection in 2004.

Which is why you can see Maliki's recent problems down there.

Muqtada al-Sadr the spiritual and most influential political leader of the Sadrists wants neither the US or Iran pulling the strings behind the scene.

He's sorta a cross of George Washington and Robert E Lee to his supporters.

Call them democrats for now.

Sayyed Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's faction is backed by Iran and Maliki right now (which means the US also).

He leads the SCIRI (Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq) He played a leading role in the Safar Intifada in 1977 and was imprisoned in 1972, 1977 and 1979. He went into exile in Iran in 1980, where he was a founding member in 1982 of SCIRI and headed their military wing, the Badr Organization. He was the top candidate listed for the United Iraqi Coalition during the first Iraqi legislative election of January 2005 but has not sought a government post because the Alliance had decided not to include theologians in the government.

Which means he has Iran's stamp of approval.

On 4 December 2006, al-Hakim met with George W. Bush whereat he made a commitment to help end violence,

(which means he has Bush's approval)

Call his faction republicans.

You can see where this is going;

al Sadr and Hakin are rivals for the leadership of the street part of Shiite Iraq, (Sistani is the over all spiritual leader.)

This rivalry is intensified because their fathers (the late Grand Ayatollah Muhsin Al-Hakim and the late Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, killed 1999 by Saddam's forces) worked together.

al Sadr see's any foreign influence as bad, but Hakin sees playing the foreigners off against each other as a way to gain the upper hand over al Sadr.

Given the number of poor it is understandable that Sadr has more street forces, but with the better connections from Iran thru the SCIRI, and from Maliki the US Hakin makes up for it with the alliances he uses.

As you can see the US thru they way they frame this political issue in Iraq will push Hakin as the good guy and Sadr as the bad, but which of them are going to keep Iran at least at arms length when (and it is when) our forces leave?

That old enemy of my enemy thing Arabs are so well known for.

I know there are levels of complexity beyond this simple explanation, but you might see the picture which the US DOD and State don't want in focus about Iraq and who we are playing with (or being played by ALA Chalibi circa 2000-2003).

There are circles in circles in the politics of iraq but the US leadership keeps trying to over simplify it to a player they can control, however they should have checked out Winston Churchill's ill fated attempts in 1919-1921 trying to control Iraq, and what he felt afterwords.

Even Churchill Couldn't Figure Out Iraq

There is something very sinister to my mind in this mesopotamian entanglement," Winston Churchill wrote his Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, in August 1920. "Week after week and month after month for a long time we shall have a continuance of this miserable, wasteful, sporadic warfare marked from time to time certainly by minor disasters and cuttings off of troops and agents, and very possibly attended by some very grave occurrence."

(You'll like it, it's by Mr Klein also)

and Churchill on Iraq

Broadly speaking, there are two policies which can be adopted towards the Arab race. One is the policy of keeping them divided, of discouraging their national aspirations, of setting up administrations of local notables in each particular province or city, and exerting an influence through the jealousies of one tribe against another. That was largely, in many cases, the Turkish policy before the war, and, cynical as it was, it undoubtedly achieved a certain measure of success. The other policy, and the one which, I think, is alone compatible with the sincere fulfilment of the pledges we gave during the war to the Arab race and to the Arab leaders, is an attempt to build up around their ancient capital of Baghdad, in a form friendly to Britain and to her Allies, an Arab State which can revive and embody the old culture and glories of the Arab race, and which, at any rate, will have a full and fair opportunity of doing so if the Arab race shows itself capable of profiting by it. Of these two policies we have definitely chosen the latter.

....I can hold out no hope that we shall be found willing to continue these direct responsibilities. Our object and our policy is to set up an Arab Government, and to make it take the responsibility, with our aid and our guidance and with an effective measure of our support, until they are strong enough to stand alone, and so to foster the development of their independence as to permit the steady and speedy diminution of our burden. ... [O]ur policy in Mesopotamia is to reduce our commitments and to extricate ourselves from our burdens while at the same time honourably discharging our obligations and building up a strong and effective Arab Government which will always be the friend of Britain and, I will add, the friend of France.

In the vast deserts of Arabia, which stretch eastward and north-eastward from the neighbourhood of Mecca to the Persian Gulf and to the boundaries of Mesopotamia, there dwell the people of Nejd, powerful nomadic tribes, at the head of whom the remarkable chief Bin Saud maintains himself. This Arab chief has long been in a state of warfare, raid, and reprisal with King Hussein and with his neighbours generally. A large number of Bin Saud's followers belong to the Wahabi sect, a form of Mohammedanism which bears, roughly speaking, the same relation to orthodox Islam as the most militant form of Calvinism would have borne to Rome in the fiercest times of the religious wars. The Wahabis profess a life of exceeding austerity, and what they practise themselves they rigorously enforce on others. They hold it as an article of duty, as well as of faith, to kill all who do not share their opinions and to make slaves of their wives and children. Women have been put to death in Wahabi villages for simply appearing in the streets. It is a penal offence to wear a silk garment. Men have been killed for smoking a cigarette, and as for the crime of alcohol, the most energetic supporter of the temperance cause in this country falls far behind them. Austere, intolerant, well-armed, and bloodthirsty, in their own regions the Wahabis are a distinct factor which must be taken into account, and they have been, and still are, very dangerous to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, and to the whole institution of the pilgrimage, in which our Indian fellow-subjects are so deeply concerned.

The speech is reprinted on p.82-84 of "Never Give In," a selection of his speeches edited by Churchill's grandson and published in 2003

As you can see the man who stood toe to toe with the Nazis for two years alone in western Europe didn't want to waste lives and treasure in Iraq.

Because he faced the layers upon layers of Arab Shiite vs Sunni infighting and their ability to use foreigners today and want to kill them tomorrow, the exact thing we face right now and will as long as we believe in a simple plan to place a friend of the US in the drivers seat of three disparate factions who refuse to get along with out a strong man holding them down.

PS sorry for the lenght, but the Iraq thingy is complex and convoluted.

IrOnY RaGeD said...

"Muqtada al-Sadr the spiritual and most influential political leader of the Sadrists wants neither the US or Iran pulling the strings behind the scene.

He's sorta a cross of George Washington and Robert E Lee to his supporters.

Call them democrats for now.

Sayyed Abdul Aziz al-Hakim's faction is backed by Iran and Maliki right now (which means the US also)."

So why is it whenever Mookie feels threatened he runs off to IRAN if they're not backing him?

IrOnY RaGeD said...

I guess you could call him a "Democrat" though, he is sleeping with the enemy...

IrOnY RaGeD said...

I suppose using that same analogy, you could say that the Dems in the 50's HAD to demonize McCarthy because they didn't want US citizens OR communists pulling the strings behind the scenes...

Anonymous said...

Leave it to Voltron to completely miss the facts and spin his town version.

1. Just because al Sadr doesn't want Iran RUNNING Iraq it doesn't mean he HATES them Volt, it just means he doesn't want them dictating how Iraqi politics are decided, just like he doesn't want George W Bush or the neo-cons who pushed so hard for the war in the first place to decide the future of Iraq for their own benefit.

2. Only a right wing ideologue would conflate the Iraqi political situation to defend the UN-AMERICAN activity of McCarthy in the early 1950's

Remember Volt it was the US senate who voted to censure Senator McCarthy by a vote of 67 to 22, lead by Vermont Republican Senator Ralph E. Flanders (hint there were only 47 democratic senators and JFK because of back surgery did not vote, which means 21 republicans decided McCarthy deserved censure))

Eisenhower's opinion can be summed up by his comment he wouldn't want to get in the gutter with McCarthy.

As far as sleeping with the enemy, Cheney and Bush pushed for Chalibi who is certainly thought to be an Iranian agent in 2000- the present, sort of the role Hakim is currently playing .....

But keep pushing your own version of the facts no matter how wrong they are Volt, it's about all you have left, well that and the sock puppet rusty.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Iraq is a make-shift country that has only been held together via empire and/or internal thuggery. In the potential absence of either, your guess is as good as mine as to the eventuality. Me, I liked Joe Biden's strategy for partition from the get-go (everybody else seemed to poo-poo it). Now, it looks like there's a possibility that it just might happen on it's own. Hey, at least it'll keep the Shia crescent from totally reaching Jordan.

Anonymous said...

Yes Will it might do that;

However al qaeda is a Sunni terrorist group, they HATE Iran as much as Bush does.

Normally the Shia are the more extreme sect of Islam unless you consider al qaeda, which will find Sunni Iraq a fertile recruiting ground.

They see the Iranians as heretics to be killed faster because in a Sunni extremist eyes they debase Islam even more then the west does.

The real wild card in Iraq are the Kurds who refuse to really aqueous to either of the Arab sects Sunni or Shiite in Iraq and want their own free country, something turkey would certainly attack because of their own Kurdish problems.

The inadvisable illegal invasion has opened a Pandora's box that has just begun to haunt our middle east policy.

As bad as Saddam was for the US, we now have worse in that part of the planet. The neo-cons have handed both of the largest enemies in the middle east something they never could have achieved on their own, almost free reign in certain parts of Iraq, al qaeda the Sunni recruiting fields and Iranians a large rich part of Iraq, and undermined a supposed ally turkey in their Kurdish problem ....

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Yes, Al Qaeda hates Iran, and its mutual. It's mutual to the point that Iran actually assisted us in the early stages of the Afghan conflict. It was only after Bush lumped Iran in with the "Axis of Evil" did puplic opinion galvinize to the point of them electing the stoogelike Ahmadinejad. Me, I'm one of the few people who thought that, while, yes, Saddam was a bastard who could't be trusted, on the whole, he was basically a net plus. 1) He kept (albeit with brutality) that country from unraveling and 2) He was the only plausible buffer against Iran. Contain the S.O.B.. That was always my mantra.

Anonymous said...

Well Will, that comment just undercut the ENTIRE program to send the US into War in 2003 against the only player in the middle east who stood against both al qaeda and Iran with something more then talk.

The Saudis were for the most part funding parts of al qaeda if it stayed out of the kingdom also 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

Saddam not so much.

We had him contained, but he refused any outside access to his oil and had begun selling the oil from Iraq in Euros, which undermined the structure of our dollar around the world. (the dollar has been backed by the price of oil since Richard Nixon took the US off the gold standard, because he got the Dictators of the Saudi Kingdom to only price their oil in dollars for our promise of protection of the dictators from attack).

It seems if we had a little more clear headed analysis back in 2002 and 2003 and a whole lot less right wing propaganda and spin we wouldn't have had to borrow upwards of 600,000,000,000 dollars off countries like China to pay for 4117 Americans to get killed in a war that never should have been fought. But the left wing was called unpatriotic for pointing out what you just said, and we ended up in the quagmire in Iraq which has undermined our military (hint, we need more troops in Afghanistan according to Admiral Mullin, but they are all locked up in the revolving door of deployment to Iraq).

Thus we have two unfinished wars, one where even the Iraqis can see the hand writing on the wall and refuse to aqueous to the demands of Bush ET Al, and one where the Taliban is coming back stronger each year just like the rebels did against the Soviets two decades ago.

So we knocked off the only son of a bitch who at the moment could control Iraq and hold Iran in check, AND displaced the Taliban and Bin Forgotten but each has returned as strong as ever.

Not a lot to say for for over $750,000,000,000 wasted (with a lot more to come if our military is to recover from the massive burden placed on it) and over 80,000 US casualties with many getting disability for the rest of their lives, ..... in both countries.

Not a very good foreign policy record or fiscal policy record if you ask me.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

It was the neocons, essentially. Traditional conservatives such as George Will, Pat Buchanan, and Tucker Carlson saw the folly from the get go. And Bill Buckley saw it quick enough. It always bugged me that O'Reilly made the war a left/right thing.

clif said...

Sorry Will I'd believe George Will and especially Bill Buckley saw the slippery slope we were descending with the drums to war in 2002 and 2003, and could see the quagmire both military and financial we were getting into.

As for Pat Buchanan, he is sort of an enigma, he defends Hitler and questions the need for WW2 at the same time twisting the meanings of our own Civil War. he defends corporations but demands isolation in world affairs, which is the reason he opposed both this war with Iraq and the one in 1990.

But then again he STILL defends Nixon against the US constitution.

But Tucker Carlson .... not so much.

and he even confirms it;

from his own wiki file using his own words .......

Carlson initially supported the U.S. war with Iraq during its first year. After a year, he began criticizing the war, telling the New York Observer: "I think it’s a total nightmare and disaster, and I’m ashamed that I went against my own instincts in supporting it. It’s something I’ll never do again. Never. I got convinced by a friend of mine who’s smarter than I am, and I shouldn’t have done that. No. I want things to work out, but I’m enraged by it, actually."

If it HAD worked out ole Tucker would have been A-OK with illegally attacking a country.

His complaints are more about the wars execution NOT the moral justification either US or International.

But then again Tucker was for Ron Paul ........