Someone Remind Me Again Why We Are In Iraq

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, May 7, 2007.

  1. I read this article and thought it crystallized a lot of my frustrations about our mission. I also saw we lost nine soldiers yesterday. The Secretary of State got the cold shoulder in Saudi Arabia when she demanded that middle eastern countries start kicking in some money for Iraq rebuilding and that Iraq get debt forgiveness. She said we have already pissed away 20 billionon rebuilding. No doubt a lot of that went to rebuilding Swiss bank accounts of Iraqi government officials.

    I really can't see why we are losing soldiers trying to police Baghdad. Or why the American taxpayer is supposed to pay for rebuilding Iraq, which has the world's thrid largest oil reserves and is an OPEC member. If we were fighting to defeat someone and were actually trying to win, it would be different. But losing soldiers just trying to ensure the safety of a bunch of corrupt Iraq government officials strikes me as insane. Get our soldiers out of Baghdad and into secure bases on the borders and around the oil fields. Let the Iraqis have at it. Either they get their act together or they don't.


    What Is Iraq Giving Back?
    At a Pentagon press conference last week, Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, explained the U.S. strategy there.

    Its ultimate objective is not to inflict a military defeat on the Sunni insurgency, the Mahdi Army, al-Qaida in Iraq or any other militia or terrorist organization. In fact, the objective of U.S. military involvement in Iraq is not a military objective at all. It is a political one.

    "The focus of Multinational Force Iraq is, of course, on working with our Iraqi counterparts to help improve security for the people of Iraq in order to give Iraqi leaders the time and space they need to come to grips with the tough political issues that must be resolved," said Petraeus. "Resolution of these issues is the key to the achievement of reconciliation among the various ethnic and sectarian groups, political parties and leaders in order to achieve a lasting solution to Iraq's problems."

    Americans are being sent to fight and die in Iraq, in other words, in the hope that the Iraqi parliament will enact certain reforms. Two of the most significant, and, in theory at least, immediately achievable of these reforms are: a law to provide for the equitable development and distribution of Iraq's oil wealth, which is mostly in the Shiite and Kurdish regions of the country, and a law to allow a greater number of former Baath Party members to participate in Iraqi government.

    The hypothesis behind this strategy is that legislative reforms such as these will inspire Sunni and Shiite factions now seeking to advance their interests through violence to give up violence and advance their interests through peaceful politics, instead.

    Now, this hypothesis may be wrong. Sunni and Shiite factions might continue fighting even if the Iraqi parliament enacts the envisioned reforms. But despite all the rhetorical warring among the domestic factions here in Washington, D.C., both major political parties have essentially agreed to assume that the basic hypothesis behind the U.S. strategy is correct. The debate is not about whether the Iraqi government needs to achieve political "benchmarks" (including the two noted above) if there is to be any hope of peace in that country, it is about how our military ought to be used to help Iraq achieve these benchmarks.

    Petraeus explained President Bush's chosen tactic: using our military to suppress violence to give Iraq's government time to make the reforms.
    This tactic rests on the additional hypothesis that the Iraqi government truly wants to make the reforms.

    The tactic proposed by congressional Democrats is to threaten the withdrawal of U.S. troops if the Iraqi government does not meet deadlines for achieving the reforms. This tactic rests on the additional hypothesis that the Iraqi government does not truly want to make the reforms.

    An early analysis of how the president's tactic is working yields two conclusions: Americans are dying in greater numbers for it, and Iraqi politicians are not paying us back with the political progress this American sacrifice demands.

    In an April 20 speech in Grand Rapids, Mich., President Bush somberly conceded that more U.S. troops are dying as a result of his tactic. "Since the security operation began, we have seen some of the highest casualty levels of the war," he said. "And as the number of troops in Baghdad grows and operations move into even more dangerous neighborhoods, we can expect to see the pattern to continue." April was the sixth-deadliest month in a four-year war.

    Meanwhile, in February the Iraqi cabinet approved a draft oil reform law and in March Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki and President Jalal Talabani announced a draft de-Baathification reform. Neither proposal has gone anywhere in the Iraqi parliament, however. The Kurdish Regional Government opposes the proposed oil law, and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the largest single party in Iraq's parliament, opposes the proposed de-Baathification reform.

    Despite the impasse, the Iraqi parliament is planning a summer vacation, lasting through July and August.

    The prospect of a long, hot summer with American soldiers dying in escalating numbers in Iraq while Iraqi legislators enjoy an extended vacation sent Defense Secretary Robert Gates to Baghdad last month. He warned Prime Minister Maliki and other Iraqi leaders that the U.S. commitment in Iraq is not "open-ended," and that the de-Baathification and oil reforms must pass before Iraq's parliament takes a vacation.

    Gates got no commitment from the Iraqis.

    If the "surge" strategy fails, it will not be because Democrats in Congress blocked it. It will not be because some terrorist group or insurgency defeated the U.S. military. It will be because elected members of the Iraqi parliament failed to live up to President Bush's expectations.

    Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor of Human Events. To find out more about him, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at

  2. no offense intended, AAA -- but perhaps you should hit the 'search' button upper right. limit the field to 3 years or older, search your username and "iraq" or "saddam" or "wmd"

    the reason the US is in iraq, or at least a part of it, is the support some people gave to the US policies. there were tons of warnings, knowledgeable and earnest people warned of this disaster, this precise situation, the cost and needless death, saw through the silly neocon bullshit -- for whatever reason that wasn't enough then. they were ridiculed, dismissed as not "getting it"

    the motives for staying there now are the same motives for going in in the first place. if you genuinely want answers you may find some guidance by looking to the past.
  3. When are you going to admit that you have been flat out wrong for the past 6 years in general with your support of Bush and the Iraq war for the past 3 years?

    When are you going to give credit to those who foretold exactly what was going to happen with a war in Iraq, how we would get bogged down, how it would be a drain on the U.S., how it was going to be similar to Vietnam, how the weapons inspectors were right when they said they found no WMD, how when people said the neconcos were full of shit you defended the neocons, etc., etc.,

    You remind me of one of last rats leaving a stinking sinking ship...

  4. Not only were those who accurately warned of and correctly predicted the future of a war with Iraq ridiculed by the likes of AAA, they were labeled treasonous and unAmerican for criticism of Bush and the war...

    The blind leading the blind, and AAA now wants to blame Bush and company...


    :( and pathetic...

  5. You are just dead wrong. I was skeptical of the war from the outset, and I voiced that skepticism repeatedly. To me, it was not a clear cut decision, and I would still take that position. Were we supposed to wait until Saddam had nukes to do something?

    I also was extremely critical of the post war occupation, and in fact I predicted that we would suffer for not clamping down on the militias. I also objected to putting an islamic government in place. I have objected repeatedly to using our soldiers to police Baghdad and forcing them to take insane risks in urban combat instead of using our air and artillery to neutralize threats.

    As any rational person does, I recognize that we can't change what has happened and we have to deal with the current situation. Personally, I think it is only moral to put our troops at risk when (a) a vital objective of the US is at stake, and (b) we are trying to win. Entrenching the current corrupt, inefficient government of Iraq is certainly not a vital interest of the US, although a stable Iraq that is not a supporter of or haven for terrorists clearly is. As Jefferies points out, our current policy doesn't seem to have winning as an objective.
  6. You broke it. You fix it.
  7. I suppose we are in Iraq becaue it is our turn. Seems at one point or another some country has been fighting on behalf of some country in the middle east.

    OTH, I opine that when/if we leave Iraq our country will not send soldiers to another country and God help the politician that proposes it. No more soldiers on third world country missions, etc. whatever the cause.
  8. BSAM


    Here's why we went: Because we have a dumbass for a president.

    Here's why we are still there: Because we have a dumbass for a president.
  9. OMG... dude. Show some fucking dignity for godsakes.

    Next we'll have hapadouche and SAM123idiot saying they were against this from the beginning.


  10. "Here's why we went: Because we have a dumbass for a president."

    I've always been curious about that statement. When the towers fell, what was your plan of action? If all our troops are safely home in the U.S. and the terror alert was raised, I suppose we should just hunker down and stay indoors? Should we just hang out in Afganistan?
    #10     May 9, 2007