Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Noting the obvious

When the Marines throw in the towel, you know things are really out of hand.

The U.S. military is no longer able to defeat a bloody insurgency in western Iraq or counter al-Qaeda's rising popularity there, according to newly disclosed details from a classified Marine Corps intelligence report that set off debate in recent months about the military's mission in Anbar province.

The Marines recently filed an updated version of that assessment that stood by its conclusions and stated that, as of mid-November, the problems in troubled Anbar province have not improved, a senior U.S. intelligence official said yesterday. "The fundamental questions of lack of control, growth of the insurgency and criminality" remain the same, the official said.

This a fuller version of a report I first wrote about back in September. What's stunning is that the update is even bleaker than first thought, and shows that things are getting worse, not better.

But never mind all that. Remember, Bush says everything is going fine, and we'll win unless we quit.

The Baker report can't come too soon. Not because we expect great pearls of unexpected wisdom from them, but because the administration is apparently content to wait for the report before making any changes to its Iraq "strategy."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a related note. This talk about all hell breaking loose if the troops come home is nonsense.
If someone did compare it with Vietnam , they should do it with the situation after troops came home from there.
surrounding countries did not fall like "dominoes" to the communists.
hell did not break loose. there are people living there, relatively peacefully even today.


11/29/2006 12:29 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

Well, the short term could be pretty nasty. Remember the waves of refugees from southeast Asia, the "reeducation" camps, the killing fields of Cambodia?

But I think it's less likely that something like that will happen in Iraq, with the world watching and the various neighbors not wanting things to get out of hand.

And I've noted before that, if we were simply calculating national interest in a coldly rational way, we'd pull out tomorrow. At this point the only reason to remain is out of whatever sense of responsibility we feel to the Iraqi people. And at some point the Iraqis are going to have to demonstrate that they can stand on their own -- with our help, of course, but not our troops.

11/29/2006 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saddam, had been looking on one of his sons to be anointed his successor. But nothing was granted.
Some kind of sectarian violence post-saddam was almost inevitable after 30 or 40 years of minority rule, be it in the presence of a democratic regime or another dictatorship. The only difference is that history will blame it on the "rumsfeldian" policies.
As for the killing fields of cambodia etc. We have to understand that the historical societal inequalities in the far-east countries, along with communist idealogy has caused a toxic mix. It forms a toxic mix even today, ex: Nepal and the civil war of its Maoists.
Iraq was the only famously secular state in the arab world, thanks to its educated people. but not anymore. 3 years of chaos has driven away most of them. whatever it is we should not let it become like somalia. i think that should be our goal now.

11/29/2006 3:39 PM  

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