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    01 October 2005

    Iraq: Something has got to change

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    I'll start with Bush in the cross hairs because it's easy...

    Boy King's mouth says
    "All Americans can have confidence in the military commanders who are leading the effort in Iraq, and in the troops under their command ... They have made important gains in recent weeks and months; they are adapting our strategy to meet the needs on the ground; and they're helping us to bring victory in the war on terror."

    First of all I wouldn't call it a victory, if we come out of this 100% victorious it would only be a return to normal with respect to terror. Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism and, try as you might, was not a front against terror. But now it is. Now men flock from surrounding countries and Northern Africa to fight American and Western troops. Now about the 100% victory, it'll never happen. We will cut-n-run. The MSM will hardly notice and take the bait hook, line, and sinker. There will be a big celebration, a Bush speech, and lots of back-patting; but in a short time Iraq will spiral out of control and Bush and the war party will blame the new Iraqi government and/or Syria and Iran.

    In addition, when Bush pleasures himself to the thought that the Iraqi army will step in and begin taking the lead and indicating (as was in July) that we can pull (at least our ground troops) out of Iraq. That is all talk, I don't think anyone that understands the reality of this war and what is going on all across the Islamic world thinks we'll be out of there anytime soon. Gen. Casey, who brought up the idea of troop withdrawal in July (to begin pull out in 2006) has now reneged on that idea as nothing has changed in Iraq and the upcoming referendum doesn't appear to be a turning point in terms of sectarian violence in Iraq. Furthermore;
    The commander of American troops in Iraq has shocked Congress with a bleak assessment of the state of the Iraqi security forces, admitting that the number of battalions ready to fight on their own has dropped from three to one.
    Under stiff questioning in Congress however, Gen George Casey said that only one out of 86 Iraqi army battalions was able to fight on its own, down from three six months ago.

    Moderate Repubs sense that Iraq is slipping away
    John McCain, a senior Republican senator, said the Pentagon had tried to fight the war with too few troops and he lambasted the outgoing chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, Gen Richard Myers, for being too optimistic.

    "Things have not gone as we had planned or expected nor as we were told by you," he said during a meeting of the Senate armed services committee.

    So how do we leave Iraq? I'm not arguing for immediate withdrawal, I can't understand why that would make things any better; for the Iraq people we have occupied and for the long-term repercussions of handing over Iraq to two opposing militias. But in contrast, isn't our presence there some of the cause of the fighting?

    [UPDATE] expressed by US Generals here. Finally I think they are getting it.

    America wants a new plan but a lot of the Dems in Washington still repeat the tired talking point; "stay the course". F that! We need a new course!, a new vision and we know it isn't coming from Bush (I suspect some fat cat is getting his pockets lined). Of course some Dems have spoken out but few are leaders or bid names. The ideas are out there: there is a new one from The Center for American Progress (here), and a great summary of the current debate here. But clearly something needs to change. When a scholar at the Hudson Institute (neocon Street, USA!!) says
    The invasion of Iraq was the "greatest strategic disaster in United States history," a retired Army general said yesterday
    The U.S. should withdraw from Iraq, he said, and reposition its military forces along the Afghan-Pakistani border to capture Osama bin Laden and crush al Qaeda cells.

    "The invasion of Iraq I believe will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history," said Odom, now a scholar with the Hudson Institute.

    Mr. pResident, yet again you have deceived. Please purge your foreign policy, it sucks, and UBL is still free!

    Posted by Geoff

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