by coonsey, Thu Dec 06, 2007 at 10:30:47 AM EST
Some of what you'll read here can be found at USATODAY.COM.
A Sunni vs. Shiite soccer match was held in Ghazaliyah, west of Baghdad, in late November. A crowd of 1,500 showed up without a fight. Everything went just fine. The Shiite's won with a score of 2-0.
Attacks on U.S. and Iraqi forces have dropped to about one a day, from 25 per day in June.
"Throughout the country, the level of violence has come down very substantially in the last five months," says Gen. David Petraeus, the top American commander in Iraq. "What comes next is building on the momentum that has been achieved."
by stormbear, Mon Dec 03, 2007 at 05:10:42 AM EST
by coonsey, Sat Nov 24, 2007 at 08:04:12 AM EST
Here's my theory on what happened the first of this year. The military generals were asked by President Bush, VP Cheney and Karl Rove what they felt they needed to resolve the Iraq quagmire.
The Generals said, "sir, we need to curb the violence long enough to allow the Iraqi government a chance to reconcile their differences. Without a government in charge and with power, this war will go on forever. There needs to be a political solution, not a military one."
The President then asked the generals, "how many more soldiers do you need to do that?" "It will take at least 30,000", they said. "How long would it take to get the surge of troops to Iraq?" "About 6 months sir; if we start deploying in April, we should be in full swing by September of 2007."
by stormbear, Tue Nov 13, 2007 at 06:20:30 AM EST
by Stephen Cassidy, Sat Oct 27, 2007 at 12:30:52 AM EDT
Bumped - Todd
Bill Richardson has captured in one word the gross failure committed by our nation in invading Iraq: arrogance. On February 3, 2007, Richardson gave a rousing speech before the Winter meeting of the Democratic National Committee in which he observed:
The War in Iraq is not the disease. Iraq is a symptom. The disease is arrogance. The next President must be able to repair the damage that's been done to our country's reputation over the last six years. It's why experience in foreign affairs has never been more important.
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Franks and other generals, scores of members of Congress, Republican and Democrat, influential commentators and reporters thought our troops would be welcomed as liberators. The bulk of our forces could leave Iraq in a matter of months after Saddam was removed from power.
Only persons who had never studied the history of the Middle East or international relations could come to such a conclusion. As explained by Douglas Macgregor, a retired Army colonel who writes for the Straus Military Reform Project at the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C.:
Like the French Army in Algeria and the British Army in Ireland, the generals in Baghdad are discovering that soldiers and Marines in Iraq control only what they stand on, and when they no longer stand on it, they don't control it. Meanwhile, the Army grinds itself to pieces while the national military leadership stands by watching, clinging to the promise of more troops for a larger ground force in the future -- a promise that is irrelevant to the challenge we now face: getting out of Iraq.
Like so many tragic events in human history, the occupation of Iraq could have been avoided if military and political leaders in Washington had recognized the tectonic shift in international relations created by decolonization after World War II. This shift made any occupation, with the exception of very brief American or European military triumphs over non-Europeans, especially Muslim Arabs, impossible. But the decision to occupy and govern Iraq with American military power was driven by ideology, not strategy. And, when ideology masquerades as strategy, disaster is inevitable.
The defining issue of the 2008 campaign is how does the U.S. get out of Iraq.