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September 20, 2007

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One could promise them huge tracts o'land, if they join the crusade against Tehran. Or what about a population swap with Saudi Arabia? Those Saudi Shiites sit unconveniently right where the oil is while Iraqi Sunnis should fret about the good life in SA. Then divide the Imperial protectorate into Kurdistan (including Northern oil regions*) and a new Shiraq with the US limiting their presence to the Southern oil regions or transfer that part to Kuwait. After the successful emasculation of Iran (guaranteeing a GOP win in the 2008 elections), the liberated oil there can be thrown in with the whole land-and population-swapping deal. The final goal will be the United States of Oilistan.
That sounds like the ideal deal for all (surviving) participants.**

*which will then be known as Crudeistan.
** I hope your snark detector is working properly

I suppose that by now I should have realized that whatever the worst possible thing to do would be, this administration will find a way to do it.

The belligerants, especially those on the other side of the Saudis, need to understand, is that if they are not careful, the Administration is prepared to send some democracy to them, post haste.

"short-sighted and strategically incoherent."

There's this bunch of clowns in a nutshell. Too bad so many have to die to show it.

I understand Alan Greenspan states in his new book that he is deeply saddened by the failure of any American leader to admit that the war in Iraq is all about the oil.

If this keeps up, the Republican party is going to ask him to return his decoder ring.

What's next? Are we going to learn that Dagny Taggert's heavy breathing over tall buildings and railroad tunnels as she gazes into the stiff wind of the bulging Objectivist future was all about the submissive sex?

No wonder Atlas shrugged.

He was bored by the obvious.

Bush is acting like he has always acted, in his life, keep acting like everything is going as planned and then hand it off to someone else....so that his economic class can blame the person holding the bag.

American Individualism in a nut-shell.

One interpretation that he doesn't consider is that we're supporting the militias in Anbar not just for the short term political benefits (having some progress for General Petraeus to report, etc.), but also to placate our various Sunni allies, who would presumably not be happy if we simply left the Iraqi Sunnis to the tender mercies of their adversaries.

This is an excellent point Hilzoy. I'm adding it to the updates.

The Iran-Iraq war was essentially the same thing with the Iraqi Sunni being counterbalanced by the Iranian Shia, the ethnic element enflaming things further. Reagan encouraged the two sides to turn their energies against each other instead of against the West. For whatever it is worth, the 1980s were a quiet decade on the Clash of Civilizations front. Oil prices dropped too; 1980 ($32/bbl), 1986 ($9/bbl), 1988 ($17/bbl).

Not that President Bush is smart enough to have planned this. But if you believe in a cruel world and the intrinsic darkness of men’s hearts, the fissures within the Islamic world are there to be exploited. Maybe it’s Cheney.

This is Exhibit A for the argument that our staying is not some humanitarian effort. Our presence is making it worse. We're solidifying ethnic lines - and ARMING THEM.

And now it seems we're even bashing each group behind their back (though you have to take anything that martin fellow says with a grain of salt -- he hates freedom. a latte drinker if you will).

Oil prices dropped too; 1980 ($32/bbl), 1986 ($9/bbl), 1988 ($17/bbl).

That was one of the deficiencies of the 1980s effort. Both sides sold as much oil as they could to fund the fighting. As a result, Big Oil was in a world of hurt.

The way we're going about it now is much better.

This is Exhibit A for the argument that our staying is not some humanitarian effort. Our presence is making it worse.

I don't think so. I was talking to a guy today and he told me that Rawah was pretty much the worst place, ever. He was thinking primarily about the Baathists. Later, it was Al Qaeda.

Now the situation shows a lot of improvement

How has your company affected the area and the city?

Cosgray – There are a lot less potshots at us. We still get the occasional IED (improvised explosive device) but only every now and then, other than that our area is pretty calm. I can’t even remember the last time the insurgents attacked our position in the city.

Rodarte – I think we are definitely closer to the local populace. The kids love us, and everyone comes out when we go on patrols. Our interpreter says the locals tell him they feel safer because of our presence in the city. We even had two IED manufacturers just turn themselves in.

Cosgray – Oh yeah! They just walked in and said, “We can’t take it anymore, we quit.” That was awesome. We are definitely getting the job done here.

Just putting in the $0.02.

Oh, and by the way, since I'm sort of blog-networking, does anybody need a heavy equipment operator (specifically, crane operator)?

My neighbor finds it prohibitively expensive to go through the certification process, and difficult to get a union job in the Chicago area. He has done 4+ years in the Army, and handled himself well in pretty extreme situations (2 tours in Iraq: Mosul, Tikrit, Fallujah, pretty much everywhere), but is not well spoken. Mow he needs a gig. Thanks, if you can help.

Now he needs a gig.

(Remind self to use preview.)

DaveC, I agree that we don't hear those types of things enough. Unfortunately, it is very doubtful if enough of those stories can happen consistently across all of Iraq to make a difference.

Just putting in the $0.02.

Thanks for doing so. It's worth recognizing that our presence in Iraq is not always, or necessarily, negative.

Some questions.

How long will the folks you quote stay in place?
What happens when they leave?
Assuming they've established a decent measure of basic security where they are, how many US troops will it take to do so across the whole country?

Not a smart-ass set of questions, I'd really like to know. What would it take to establish a basic level of security and essential services in Iraq?

Whether we can, would, or should step up to whatever the requirement is are a whole other set of questions. I just want to try to understand what the need is.

Thanks -

Not a smart-ass set of questions, I'd really like to know. What would it take to establish a basic level of security and essential services in Iraq?

I'm not completely sure. I think that US has concentrating on going after AQI, and that is going well, so for the west and the north, things might be settling down. Moktada Al Sadr is laying low for the next 5-6 months, so the south, especially Basra, is the big unknown. Some people speculate that the violence in Baghdad has gone down because most of the Sunnis have left. That would not be a good thing. If all goes well, we are still looking at troop levels of 90,000 in two years.

What I'd really like to see is water, sewer, roads, electricity, and security handled locally. That would be the big benchmark. There probably is a huge untapped market for solar energy. I'd say many people would like to get off the grid, but not have to rely on gasoline generators.

What I'd really like to see is water, sewer, roads, electricity, and security handled locally.

I think first priority should be to get it handled. Getting it back to pre-invasion levels might be a worthy target.

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