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Reply to Blackspeare- One problem

Reader comment on item: Salvaging the Iraq War
in response to reader comment: What a Mess!

Submitted by Chris G. (United States), Jul 26, 2007 at 11:32

While I don't fully agree with your analysis (Iraq under Saddam at one time was fairly patriotic and had the largest middle class in the Middle East for a while before the first Gulf War), I agree with you that democracy there is a fools errand in a country where rule is established by the most brutal regime.

Nevertheless, I do not see how we would stay there other then how Pipes suggests which is moving to remote desert bases that are easy to defend and to monitor. Urban combat is a nightmare and is very difficult to win without massive numbers of troops to secure every neighborhood. Even then, where there is a will, there is a way, and locals who don't appreciate the occupation will figure out how to smuggle in insurgents, weapons, and IED's.

The fact of the matter is that unlike Saddam Hussein, we are a non-Muslim power occupying a country at the heart of the Islamic world. Here are some of the current problems:

1. Muslims don't like being dominated by non-Muslims. They tend to get pretty violent under those circumstances. Check out British history in that region since you mentioned something about people doomed to repeat history.

2. Al-Qaeda and similar organizations have had a quantum leap in recruitment and funding because of the occupation.

3. The current government is seen as pathetically weak with no strong leadership and full of backstabbing politicians only interested in lining their pockets with Iraqi oil revenue money with some doing deals with Iran now. Try some time trying to find information on where oil revenues are going. You can't because their oil ministry is so incredibly corrupt. Their money is not going to where it needs to go which is the Iraq Army. Only a minimal amount of their money is going there and a lot of your taxpayer diollars.

4. The Iraq police and Army is corrupt to high hell with all kinds of different alliances to one shaykh or mullah or warlord. So even their military is not united and most of their units only fight when they feel like it. When they don't, some units just pack up and go home or even worse, inform Shi'a or Al-Qaeda insurgents of impending operations as many have been infiltrated with insurgents in their own ranks.

For those reasons, staying there as we're doing now is quite simply impossible because.

1. The American people now are fed up with no progress and steady American casualties to save a system of government that doesn't work and an Iraqi military that doesn't seem interested in Iraqi national security.

2. The American people are horrified not just by American deaths but by the expense of this whole war... money which could have completely overhauled our national electric grid, our roads, highways, bridges and many other parts of our nation's infrastructure that is crumbling.

3. Militarily speaking, we simply do not have enough soldiers to "finish the job" militarily. You would need at a minimum around 500,000 combat soldiers, but ideally at least 1 million in country. If we had a massive coalition, that perhaps could have been possible, but our initial "Go it Alone" approach pretty much ruined any chances of that as we gave most of the world and the U.N. the finger.

However do I support "cutting and running"? Absolutely not. I actually support Pipe's rationale although he leaves out an another critical reason why we're there: National interest in the form of oil.

Part of the reason for moving bases out to remote areas of the desert is also to better protect Iraqi oil fields, distribution points, and pipelines.
Meanwhile, while moving out of the cities it'll force the Iraqi government to sink or swim. If it sinks...well then it will become probably spit between an Al-Qaeda dominated central area (backed by the Saudis) with the southern regions dominated by Iranian backed Shi'a. The poor Kurds up in the North will likely face ethnic cleansing by the Turks who are currently screaming for blood with over 100,000 troops deployed at the Turkey/Iraq border.

So to the Kurds... sorry guys but the Kurdish marxist PKK terrorists kinda screwed stuff up for ya'all. The US military has not the slightest interest in attacking the PKK otherwise we'd have a 3 front war. Plus Turkey can handle them just fine as long as we ignore them and downlplay media reports of them wiping out Kuridsh villages. Poor Kurds. What we have to be mindful of however is that Turkey has its eyes also on Iraqi oil fields in Northern Iraq. I have plenty of Turkish friends and pretty much most of them love talking about the glory days of the Ottoman Empire...I'm sure more then a few dream of Turkey once again expanding and controlling the Islamic world instead of kissing ass to join the EU.

So in a nutshell....things will likely even get more complicated very soon as other countries try to get involved and stake their claims in Iraq.
The good news is that some of those foreign powers will be keeping A-Qaeda busy for us while we can pick them off with precision bombing strikes and fast air assault raids at our leisure.

Chris G.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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