It is into this quagmire, fueled by hundreds of years of rivalry and enmities going back for generations, that America has unwittingly stepped. By pulling out now, we will substantially weaken our position in the region, but that damage was done from the beginning and staying would only make things even worse. The sooner we come to terms with the reality of the situation in Iraq and cast aside the ludicrous dreams of empire which the neocons cling to even now, the sooner we can begin crafting a solution that will prevent the senseless loss of more American and Iraqi lives and that may actually work in the long run.
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As regards the Kurds getting their own nation, it will be interesting to see whether this happens or not. The government of Turkey is VERY strongly opposed to it, because they fear Kurds in eastern Turkey will want to split from Turkey to join the Kurdish nation, setting off a bloody civil war. The bus driver was going around blind corners at speeds much faster than would enable him to stop if a vehicle were coming the other way. The reason for his imprudence: whether or not an oncoming vehicle exists around blind corners is God's will; therefore, he need not slow down.
Fiction & Non-Fiction
Bush loonies appear to operate the same way: don't read books, don't ask experts, don't plan anything, don't strategize anything, don't employ any common sense at all, and don't for any reason ask any non-believers for advice even if they are far more competent and knowledgeable than you are — just pray about it and do whatever you believe God tells you to do, no matter how idiotic it might be. As long as you are guided by prayer, any disasters that result in the short term are merely part of God's plan.
See…God must have wanted the Iraqi museum looted, the library burned and those explosives stolen. The government of Turkey is particularly afraid that the Kurds will take control of the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, which sits atop a massive oil field, and use the oil wealth to fund the Turkish Kurds' independence movement. They've threatened to invade if this happens, another crucial point that the book goes into. And then there's the prospect of Saudi Arabia sending forces to support Iraq's minority Sunnis against Iran, potentially turning the whole region into a civil war.
Galbraith also goes into how some of the neocon planners of the war, like Paul Wolfowitz, not only didn't plan for the aftermath but forbade others from doing so. Tommy Franks, for example, was barred from contacting his predecessor Gen. Anthony Zinni, presumably because Zinni actually had a plan to keep the peace that involved more troops than Rumsfeld wanted to send.
The Third Option In Iraq: A Responsible Exit Strategy | Middle East Policy Council
It is interesting to speak of partition of Iraq. The idea isn't new, and is an old one by a Col. Lawrence of Her Majesty's armed forces we know him as Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence had extensive plans based upon an intimate knowledge of the area and its peoples for creating a post-war world in the Middle East based upon the fluid lines of tribal and religious loyalties, not arbitrarily drawn lines by the winners of WWI as they divided up the Islamic Ottoman Empire. The Lawrentian Society has had numerous meetings on this isssue and probably has a better handle on what's up than the Bushites.
As for Gen.
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Zinni, he was the Marine General who had been in charge of CENTCOM before Tommy Franks and had devised invasion plans for Iraq which not only would have used more troops but, had more extensive planning for post-war administration of Iraq than pre-war invasion, a victory which was believed to be a forgone conclusion.
It is incredible to me that the Bush Administration didn't foresee partition as a huge likely issue prior to invading Iraq. Such an incredible naivete. What could possibly be more idiotic that this oversight? So here we are, looking at partition as virtually inevitable. Well, we'll divide up the land at least. Where are the people? Millions of them have already dispersed to avoid the chaos invited by our ill-considered invasion. According to Newsweek :. An estimated 2.
They represent the largest displacement of people in the region since the Palestinian diaspora nearly a half century ago. About 50, people escape Baghdad each month. A staggering 1. The exodus has not only scattered my family, it's hollowed out Iraq's most skilled classes—doctors, engineers, managers and bureaucrats. Baghdad was once home to one of the most educated populaces in the Middle East. The bottom line is reflected in Newsweek's title to its article: "As its middle classes flee, Iraq is losing skills, open minds and perhaps the hope of renewal. It is hard to underestimate the long-term damage caused by the exodus of Iraq's most educated and skilled populace.
It has been said that the only people left in Iraq now are those too poor to leave and those too undesirable to be accepted by other countries. That is not a population that is likely to rebuild a thriving nation. Moreover, with Iraq's border security so tight, and proof of Iraqi citizenship so unreliable, it is questionable whether Iraq's educated and skilled ex-pats will ever be able to return to their country, even if they want to.
I have to point out, as a late and unfortunately necessary postscript to this review, that a recent article from the New York Times disclosed that Peter Galbraith stands to make enormous profits through economic ties with companies that are extracting oil from Kurdish territory. Galbraith did not disclose these ties to the Times, nor did he mention them in his book.
This puts his advocacy of Kurdish independence in a substantially different light, and I consider it to be deeply dishonest of him that he did not disclose this tremendous conflict of interest. Some were pet conservative projects — a 15 percent flat income tax in a country where no one paid taxes — while others dealt with more practical issues such as control of borders. Some were part of a larger scheme to revamp Iraqi society by privatizing basic industries and creating new institutions.
Almost none had any practical effect. Galbraith is deeply pessimistic, discounting what others have seen as more hopeful signs. Iraq is divided along ethnic lines into Arab and Kurdish states and there are civil wars being fought between Sunnis and Shiites in the Arab parts.
The United States has no chance of achieving what President Bush has defined as victory: a self-sustaining, democratic and unified Iraq. And what of the surge? In addition, Mr. Bush left office, America was winning the Iraq War. His successor — abetted by the Democratic Congress and the faithless American people — squandered the victory and is responsible for the consequences. Tell us what you think. Please upgrade your browser.
United States support for Iraq during the Iran–Iraq War
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