Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The situation in Iraq

I just got back from a lecture at ASU by John Burns, the New York Times foreign correspondent. The title of the talk was The Battle for Baghdad: What the Outcome will mean for America, Iraq, and the World.

Burns is the longest-serving foreign correspondent in The New York Times' history, having worked for more than 30 years on assignment in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.

It was a good talk -- in fact, Mr. Burns made many of the same points I made if I had to give such a talk. In discussing the situation in Iraq he pointed out that the recent successes in Iraq are due to many factors -- "the surge" strategy which has our troops patrolling the streets, the Shia cease fire, the Sunni awakening and (probably) the populaces impatience with all of the bloodshed.

As for the Shia cease-fire, al Sadr - the leader of the Office of the Martyr Sadr and essentially the biggest shit-bag in the country - is learning to play politics: and quickly. His Madhi Army - a private militia of thugs financed and backed by Iranian proxies - is nothing more than a weak reflection of the Iranian Republican Guard: the same people that bring Islamic terror to the streets of Tehran. If Sadr has a say in the future of Iraq we can expect Islamic oppression throughout Iraq: its already germinating in the south. One of the (many) big mistakes we made in this war is not taking him out early.

The Sunni awakening is founded in the tribal leaders desire to end the indiscriminate killing in their towns and villages. From my recent 'visit', I can say they have been very effective. However, the US and Iraqi governments are arming the Sunni's who fully realize they have only a minority position in a government that will be perpetually led by a Shia majority: a majority they have oppressed for decades. While its expedient for them to fight al Qaeda now, those weapons can just as easily be used again Shia and American interests... I'd like to hope things will continue to improve on the security front, but as they do there's more and more pressure for the Sunnis to rebel against the Shia and their facilitators (us).

The tragedy of the situation was articulated by Colin Powell when he uttered the cliche: "You broke it, you bought it" ... As much as I'd like to offer a simple solution -- like "we need to leave now" I just can't see a solution... Mr. Burns echoed the sentiment.

But stay or go, its our problem.

12 comments:

skip sievert said...

It was and is a scam to control resources and make money for special interest groups.

Rick said...

While I don't discount that as a motivator for this administration the situation isn't so cut and dry ...

There were many reasons to go into Iraq: the vast majority bogus. But the current issue is "what do we do now?" -- for that I don't have an answer.

But having just completed my second tour in-country -- I feel a moral obligation to attempt to maintain some level of stability for the people. As everyone points out: we are both the cause-of-turmoil and the lid-on-the-pot ... I don't have an answer.

skip sievert said...

Moral obligation ?
I assume you are not joking.
Ha ha.

We destroyed the country ... killed over a million people... and made millions homeless.

Just to make money.

Rick said...

I don't know where you get your #'s ... but it isn't the point anyway.

Yes -- we created a disaster there: but the fact remains our forces are currently the only thing making the streets/cities at all passable.

Yes, al Qaeda and other nut-cases were not to be found in country until this disastrous policy was executed by this administration. However, I've seen first-hand what would happen without some outside support. If you think the 80-200k Iraqi deaths up to this point have been horrific, it would make that episode look like the teaser-real to a horror movie if we just pulled out. Our forces are the only effective police force in the country.

Again, having said that, we can't be their police force perpetually... and I don't know what the long term solution is. It may degrade into a truly horrific mess no matter what we do.

No matter what the orig rationale - we now own the mess over there...

skip sievert said...

Only a really brainwashed person would say that.
You are brainwashed.

Rick said...

Skip.. I'm sorry -- but you are amazingly stupid. You offer no insights, nor solutions, nor suggestions. Just observations that people are "stupid".

So what is your 'solution' to this problem? You offer none in any of your comments. You simply state the obvious: "the invasion was bad policy.. it was motivated by greed... etc. etc." Such statements are so blatantly obvious that they don't need restating and serve NO useful purpose -- they don't address the reality of the situation TODAY.

It seems you fancy yourself an enlightened individual, but you are completely incapable of communicating anything useful. At least 99% of what you post is sloganistic, trite garbage that simply points a finger at those with whom you disagree.

If you have a useful idea on how to proceed forward and make the situation better that would make for discussion... Making uninformed actuations is simply the refuge of the ignorant.

skip sievert said...

Well.. I really do not care about your opinion because as I have noted you are brainwashed. It is funny that many Americans do not care about real social change even when there nose is rubbed in the pissy crap of our culture.
Origin of the Political/Price System TNAT TheNorthAmericanTechnate

You apparently are not able to take in new information.
Technate - An Idea For Now Stephen L. Doll.

The American Political Price System TNAT info.
It is assumed that you ... like your fellow scam artists think they will somehow come out on top and continue to make money.
The North American Technate TNAT
It is apparent to me that you are ''the box''
Brainwashed.
I can give you some information but only god can make you think.
Ha ha.

Rick said...

You are truly amazing... you don't even recognize your own non sequiturs...

You're like a spammer: or a pseudo/wanna-be intellectual who has grasped a single (albeit intriguing) concept and blindly applies it to every problem he encounters. If the techno-group you associate with is anything like you it is must be just as intellectually bankrupt.

Try using your stock-market win-fall and copious spare time to enable realistic change in our society -- instead of sitting at home babbling like a mad-man about how no-one can grasp the simplistic and inane concepts you spout -- as if they were as deep as QED.

skip sievert said...

Look... I know you are not only not an intellectual .. you are part of the problem. You are a Price System flunky.
None of this stuff will sink into your brain for some time, if ever.
When you say ''real change'' what you mean is putting on your own personal feed bag and ripping off who ever it takes... to make money.

Arguing on the internet is like winning a race in the special Olympics.
You may win but you are still retarded.

Rick said...

I don't know why I continue to waste my time - I guess I must enjoy it on some level.

But where did you make you money Skip? Did the tooth fairy leave it for you... or did you EXPLOIT THE PRICE System?

Do you see the hypocrisy?

I've read your stuff -- much of it anyway, and when I try to ask questions I get 'you don't understand' -- I DON'T get an rational explanation.

From your writings you are
1- either about 25 years old and think you know everything because you were able to make some money in the markets or
2- much older and think you have the corner on wisdom.

If you wish to somehow "prove" you intellectual superiority I suggest you actually engage in a discussion of the topic at hand (which was political solutions to the current situation in Iraq) and quit pretending that Technocracy is the be-all end-all solution to EVERYTHING.

Do you actually believe perfect solutions exist to humanity's social and economic problems?

Technocracy's leader's simplistic attempts to wish away "greed" by supplying everyone with more 'energy credits' than they "can possible use" is naive in the extreme. It takes 3 seconds to identify things people will still "fight" or compete over: there are ALWAYS limited resources.

-Who gets the beach houses in Malibu? How do you determine it?

Beach-front property is a RESOURCE.

-Who gets the summer home in the Hamptons?

-Who gets to be the leader of the local technate when people are fairly equally qualifies -- and one ends up feeling slighted?

Prestige and position IS A LIMITED resource...

I'm sure you don't have ready answers for these and a thousand other questions... yet you play the intellectual who supposedly has them all.

Grow up... or at least find another blogger to annoy with your ill-placed arrogance.

Rick said...

... also -- what do you do Skip -- since you don't have to work anymore.

Doesn't you technocracy depend on people pursuing their creative interests even if they don't need to work for money?

What "work" do you do for society?

It simply is naive to believe that our technological societies could generate all the products and services people desire via a system whereby people simply pursue their interests. Humans have evolved in a social construct that makes them lazy: they TEND to do the minimum required to achieve a particular end... sure, there are those who pursue science, technology, the arts, etc. whether or not it helped them achieve their ends... but MOST WOULD NOT.

Again, I don't know why I waste my breath bringing up specific points of debate because you NEVER address them ... you'll just say "I don't understand"

skip sievert said...

No such thing as energy credits.
Energy accounting is not a debit or credit system.
It does not replace the monetary system.
You have not really read our material or you would know some of this basic stuff.
There is no private property. You would also know that.

This is not about me.
If I am poor and use a library computer or am rich and use my own.. it makes no difference because this again is NOT about me.
Rich and poor are concepts that people resonate with in a Price System. It is class system thinking.

""If you wish to somehow "prove" you intellectual superiority I suggest you actually engage in a discussion of the topic at hand (which was political solutions to the current situation in Iraq) and quit pretending that Technocracy is the be-all end-all solution to EVERYTHING.""

The information is not 'intellectual'. Mostly it is based on basic science that should be understandable to any with an 8th grade education.
It is not 'sociological'.
Mostly what is required is an open mind for understanding.

The point is this.
There is no Political solution to these issues.
Politcal solutions call for spending more money and making more money because that is considered 'success'. Political solutions revolve around special interest groups and making a profit for them.
That method will not work any more because we are exhausting our resource base.

We will pull out of Iraq.
Just as soon as our Political Price system collapses ... which is at best between April and June of this year.
When that happens Iraq becomes moot.
Globalism will have collapsed... and then we will be in a mad scramble to create a different society.
That is when things get very interesting.