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More bloodshed in Iraq so that Bush can save face?

By jardinier ·
We are approqaching the fourth anniversary of this military bungle. Does Bush REALLY think 20,000 more troops will solve the problem?

On the day Hussein was hanged, the 3,000th American soldier died in Iraq. There are going to be a lot of unhappy widows and girlfriends when they realize their loved ones died in vain, just because Bush could not admit he was wrong.

And additionally he has never yet admitted that the invasion of Iraq was all about oil.

The Australian, AFP and Reuters, January 11, 2007

George W. Bush has taken responsibility for the US military's mistakes in Iraq and warned its leaders they must do more to stamp out violence, as he announced that more than 20,000 extra troops will be sent to secure the country.

The increase, which will bring the total US deployment in the country to 150,000, is seen as the last roll of the dice for the President's policy in prosecuting the war, amid a mounting US and civilian death toll and waning support among Americans. In a sombre televised address, Mr Bush has admitted there were not enough troops sent to Iraq to secure the country after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime and that those who were there were too restricted to do their jobs properly.

"The situation in Iraq is unacceptable to the American people and it is unacceptable to me. Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility rests with me," Mr Bush has said. He has also told Iraq's leaders that more must be done to quell the sectarian violence between Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias that has plunged the country into what some already say is civil war.

But he also warned of the grim consequences of abandoning the country. "To step back now would force a collapse of the Iraqi government, tear that country apart, and result in mass killings on an unimaginable scale."

Prime Minister John Howard has backed the new strategy as "sensible and realistic", saying the only alternative was admitting the West could not win in Iraq. But Labor has said it could place Australian troops deployed there in greater danger. Despite the planned boost, Mr Bush did not ask Mr Howard to commit more Australian personnel.

In his address, Mr Bush has said "there were not enough Iraqi and American troops to secure neighbourhoods that had been cleared of terrorists and insurgents.

"If we increase our support at this crucial moment, and help the Iraqis break the current cycle of violence, we can hasten the day our troops begin coming home," he said, seeking to head off criticism of the deployment amid opinion polls showing most Americans oppose sending more troops.

He has said US personnel will be embedded with expanded Iraqi patrols of Baghdad, adding that they have been given the "green light" to enter sectarian stronghold neighbourhoods to deal with threats.

He has said commanders will now have the force levels needed to hold areas once they are cleared of insurgents. Previously, he has said, insurgents would move back into an area once over-stretched US forces moved out.

The new strategy "will change America's course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror", he has said.

But he went on to say: "Deadly acts of violence will continue, and we must expect more Iraqi and American sacrifices and casualties."

Mr Bush has said he made it clear to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that his Government must act soon, saying that "America's commitment is not open-ended".

"If the Iraqi government does not follow through on its promises, it will lose the support of the American people - and it will lose the support of the Iraqi people. Now is the time to act," Mr Bush has said.

He has also vowed to block support flowing to insurgents and terrorists in Iraq from Syria and Iran.

Mr Bush, whose new plan calls for $US5.6 billion ($7.2bn) for the extra troops and about another $US1.2bn in assistance, has stressed that social improvements must accompany bolstered military strength if Iraqis are to get behind their administration.

The President set a November target for Iraq to resume control of its own security ? a crucial step towards eventual troop withdrawal.

Leaders of the Democratic Party, who swept to control of Congress in mid-term elections last November in part due to voter dissatisfaction with Mr Bush's Iraq policy, have said the plan "endangers our national security by placing additional burdens on our already over-extended military".

They called on Mr Bush to start the phased withdrawal of US forces from Iraq within six months, adding that the Iraqi Government would not act to assume responsibility for security until it saw America was serious about leaving the country.

"Escalating our military involvement in Iraq sends precisely the wrong message and we oppose it.''

'Sensible'

But the plan has received warm support from Mr Bush's ally, Mr Howard.

"It was a very clear, calm and, above all, a realistic speech, but he didn't underestimate the challenge, he admitted some mistakes have been made and made it very clear what is at stake," Mr Howard, who Mr Bush briefed on the strategy in a phone call yesterday, has said.

"The alternatives for the President were to announce what he has announced or admit the West could not win in Iraq. An American or Western defeat in Iraq would give an unbelievable boost to terrorism," he has said.

He has said there is "no direct implication" for Australian forces in Iraq, but Labor's spokesman Robert McClelland has said it could put Diggers directly in harm's way.

"There is no strategy for dealing with an escalation in violence if it balloons out into other areas including where Australians are."

Mr Howard has refused to speculate on a timeline for withdrawing Australian troops, but he has admitted it is "some time away".

Australia has 1400 military personnel deployed in the Middle East, including 800 soldiers based in Iraq, most involved in training Iraqi security forces.

A security detachment of 110 troops is based in Baghdad to provide protection and escort for Australian government officials working in the embassy.

Meanwhile in a report published London's Daily Telegraph, it is claimed that Britain is preparing to withdraw 2700 of its troops from southern Iraq by May, taking the overall number in the country to 7200.

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Iraq war

by jdmercha In reply to More bloodshed in Iraq so ...

"Does Bush REALLY think 20,000 more troops will solve the problem?"
No, he doesn't think that at all.

"...loved ones died in vain"
Hardly.

IMHO
Contrary to poular opinion, the war in Iraq is over. It was over as soon as Sadam was captured. The continuing military action in Iraq is part of the war on terrorism. This is the same war that is being fought in Afganistan and Somalia.

Bush knows that another 20,000 troops will not win the war on terrorism. He knows that it will take international cooperation. But so far the UK is the only other nation to step up to the task.

If the rest of the world would act against terrorism, instead of profiting from it, then the war on terror can be won, and our soldiers will not have died in vain.

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Well said

by puppybreath In reply to Iraq war

Good post.

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war on terrorism

by john.a.wills In reply to Iraq war

There was no terrorism in Iraq except Saddam's before the invasion. Now there is sectarian fighting and Al Qa'ida. The US forces are fighting against both. If the US were not involved, Al Qa'ida would probably not be interested in Iraq. The sectarian fighting is not caused by the US presence.

The war has largely taken the demonstrating classes' attention away from the Palestine Question issue, hasn't it? That was presumably why the Israelis wanted the war, and I suppose they calculate that the Palestine Question would resurge promptly if the US were to withdraw in 2007.

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But, iraq gives us troops right in the middle of where the terrorist are

by DanLM In reply to war on terrorism

And you can not dispute that Iran and Syria do support terrorists.

Or would you have us beg to perform fly over's of countries?

Dan

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troops to fall

by john.a.wills In reply to But, iraq gives us troops ...

Al Qa'ida was not in Iraq before the Bush conquest, and most of the killing in Iraq now is sectarian. The reference to Syria and Iran is a red herring as the US is not fighting either of these, or their proxies. The troops in Iraq could do much more good in Afghanistan. This is not to say that Dubya should withdraw them in the present situation - on that I give no opinion - merely that the US has no great interest in this war.

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So you offer no alternatives to any of it, you just complain?

by DanLM In reply to troops to fall

This is not to say that Dubya should withdraw them in the present situation - on that I give no opinion - merely that the US has no great interest in this war.

Basicatly proves the point that no other solutions are offered, just critisim. Same as it has always been.

Dan

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You bet we complain

by neilb@uk In reply to So you offer no alternati ...

All those of us who said before the invasion, "Don't go in, it'll serve no purpose" and "You'll just make things worse" and "Thousands will die for no reason whatsoever other than to give Bush a scapegoat" and "Remember Vietnam" and - above all - "You have no right to do this thing" are not going to take crap from the likes of you because WE don't know how to fix the unholy mess that YOU caused by YOUR STUPIDITY.

Strangely, though, I do have a solution.

Get out now.

APOLOGISE. APOLOGISE. APOLOGISE.

Pay them lots of money and don't attempt to tell them how to spend it and how to run their lives.

Fat chance, though, eh?

Criticism? You f*cking bet I'm criticising! And you know what? I'm allowed to.

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Neil, my complaint is no alternatives are offered.

by DanLM In reply to You bet we complain

And yes, I do know that you have put forward what you feel should have been done instead. Which I totally respect.

This argument goes directly at the ones that will offer nothing. Or, will agree about a policy when it is put forward by their party or a bipartisan fact finding, but will not support it once it is put into action because it is being done by this President.

If this president had wanted to pull troops out, it wouldn't have been fast enough.

If this president wanted to surge not troops, but support personnel to help in the rebuilding of the country. Complaints would have been raised with that.

If this president wanted to pull troops back to the borders, and only go into train mode. Complaints would be raised that we are letting the ethnic violence continue.

There is nothing that this president could have done to quell this bs. So, he did what he felt was right. Which was a compromise between the commission opinion and McCain's. ****, this president is criticized because he does not compromise. When he does, the political opposition still isn't happy.


Again, in my eyes you have every right to raise your opinion. Why, because you are willing to offer an alternative. You have from the beginning, you offered alternatives all throughout this engagement. And your alternatives are not to roll over and kiss the a$$'s of those that attack us, which is what a lot of people want to do by their not offering anything else.

Dan

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Dan, I know where you're at but my point is simple

by neilb@uk In reply to You bet we complain

It's just that whenever I get into any debate on Iraq whether on this board or in the pub, I get annoyed with those who criticise we who opposed the invasion in the first place for not having the answer now. Even if I had no suggestion whatsoever to offer, it's not right that we get criticism for having no answer when one of the main reasons that we had for opposition to the war was that it would "destabilise the region and cause chaos". Well, it HAS and we have no more idea what to do than Bush.

So, you see, I was just sticking up for John.Wills as I've been in exactly the same position when arguing this over a couple of beers. Often.

The real problem for some of us Brits, however, is that we reckon that without the shambles of Iraq, it's just possible that the UK-born Muslims who bombed London might just have stuck to their day-jobs and not become suicide bombers. The worry is that as long as Iraq continues to go the way it is and as long as Israel is not in the slightest checked back, the likelihood of similar misguided idiots turning into more suicide bombers is all the greater.

Whilst I accept that one doesn't give in to terrorism, I do really, really believe that one doesn't have to out of ones way to make it so much worse.

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Thank you Neil

by jardinier In reply to You bet we complain

for saving me the trouble of typing that.

This is also the view of most Australians.

You had your London bombing. In Australia two major terrorist attempts were thwarted by, well, luck I guess, although there was some intelligence (as in finding information) which helped nip the plans in the bud.

As impracticable as it is, I would like to see ALL foreigners pack up their bags and get the **** out of Iraq. This would not reduce the number of Iraqi deaths, but it would prevent any further deaths of foreigners.

The longer this debacle drags on, the more proof it gives that the war on terror cannot be won with standard military tactics.

Here is a rather pertinent observation that was posted here by Colin some time ago.

TERRORISM AND IRAQ

By COLIN LUCK


The terrorists are only in Iraq after the invasion and the removal of a lawfully elected Government, no matter how distasteful we may have found it. Sure there were some remains of the army who where prepared to fight a guerrilla war after the overthrow of the Iraq Government, but now there is an organized resistance from outside Iraq doing most of the damage. I'm betting that within 10 years of all of us withdrawing from Iraq that it will be back in exactly the same position that they where before the invasion: - a dictator running the place as he/she fit.

The current problems in the Middle East can be traced directly back to an Englishman commonly known as Lawrence of Arabia, who is considered as being responsible for the layout of the Middle East as it exists today. He was also responsible for the current political system which is mostly monarchical in type.

The real problem with terrorists is that they have no borders to defend, so they can just move around as they need to and leave the country that they where staying in previously in tatters as they get attacked and defeated. It is the terrorists who know when to run away and hide, not the individual countries who have a lot to lose and sometimes a lot to gain as in Afghanistan prior to 9/11where the Taliban was supported financially by Al Queda.

Now it is widely considered by many that some of the remnant's of this group escaped into Pakistan, which is an ally and who is incapable of even venturing into the area where they were thought to be, as it is such a lawless place that no Government official is safe no matter if they be a member of the Government or a group of well armed and supported soldiers. While this particular area is in Pakistan, it is effectively a different country as they only pay lip service to what the Pakistan Government wants to happen.

You also have the problem that, even if you manage to wipe out the heads of these organisations the survivors will only go elsewhere and start new groups, so that instead of only having one problem you end up with many from different sources. The only way to prevent this is to stop the reasons why people are drawn to these groups, and it is not "Religious Zeal" but poverty, as they see their actions as the only way out of the present situation.

In all of the oil rich Middle East countries it is a fact that while there is an enormous revenue from the oil, the general population see no results from this and are now in a worse position than they where 30 years ago. They now have a far larger population to support (something like a 4,000% increase in that time) and a far lower standard of living. If it were possible to break the hopelessness of these people, there just would not be the people willing to join these fanatical groups in the numbers that they currently are. The family of a suicide bomber in Palestine receives $10,000.00 US when the person blows him/her self up and takes a few Jews with them. Now they are not doing this for the "Idea" or even in the hope that they will be blessed with the 40 virgins at the gates of Heaven but for the money to support the family.

If it was possible to break the cycle of poverty in these countries this problem simply would not exist to the extent that it does today if at all, as the people who are only too willing to send others to their deaths seem somewhat reticent to do the same thing when they have the chance. These leaders are effectively no different to our politicians who do exactly the same thing.

Now I'm not advocating this for a single minute, but just how far do you think the US President would get if the Military refused to follow his orders? About as far as Ben Laden would and that isn't very far at all. The current idea of chopping off the head to see the rest of the beast wither away just isn't going to work. What needs to happen is to cut their legs out from underneath them so they do not have the cannon fodder to throw away at will like they are presently doing. America currently has a position where Iraq was invaded to teach North Korea a lesson. Of course North Korea was not attacked as they are capable of standing up for themselves unlike Iraq.

We now have outside people pouring into Iraq to kill the "American Infidel," so what was nothing more than a side issue in "The War on Terror" has turned into a far bigger mess than it was originally intended to. This is something that always happens when you deploy the military with no clear defined purpose. When this whole mess started the original objective was to rid the world of Saddam Hussein and his alleged weapons of Mass Destruction.

Well guess what: they don't exist and in all likelihood never, did but with some careful "Social Engineering" people can be taught to believe almost anything. Iraq is a perfect example of this. Iraq never had any direct connections with Al Quadia other than maybe some of its members passed through Iraq.Well if that is a reason to invade a country why was Pakistan left alone? After all they had to traverse Pakistan when they where running away from Afghanistan so by the same logic or lack thereof, Pakistan should have been the second country invaded and the repressive regime overthrown.

The one really big problem with organisations like Al Quadia is that they have no borders to protect and they can just melt into the background as required. So with no specific target GWB chose Iraq -- probably because of the person running the place and the way he was perceived (quite rightly) by the rest of the world. You can have the biggest army and best weapons in the world but these are useless if you have no target to use them on.

For what reason are US and allied soldiers still being sent to Iraq? To help democratic elections to be held? Sorry but no it is nothing more than a face saving exercise now, as the situation has been reached where the COW is unable to lose this battle so they must stay until the bitter end. You had better believe that for every person sent by the COW there are ten going there voluntarily to throw us out.

While America is a very big country they can not hope to prevail in a situation like this as they simply lack the manpower, and unless you want to resort to actions like Saddam Hussein we are bound to lose in the end as we simply do not have the manpower or equipment to withstand an assault like what is coming if something doesn't happen rapidly that brings peace to that area. The current actions of the COW have not soothed the Iraq population but only inflamed them. The very same people who saw us as a liberating force now see us as the enemy who must be thrown out at all costs. Sure the US has the ability to turn Iraq into a sea of molten glass in the desert, but it is incapable of doing this because if they do they are showing themselves to be far worse than Saddam ever was, and unfortunately that is the only way that we have a single chance to win this whole mess that was started by an act of stupidity.

Currently we have a tin-pot fool being given far more recongnition than he could ever have hoped for, and getting world wide exposure. If he had been left alone running that stupid little newspaper, a few thousand people would have heard of him and as they already knew him or of him. They don't count now almost everyone in the world has heard of him and the fanatic fools are rushing to defend a bigger fool from the stupid actions that have started this whole mess snowballing out of control.

The simple fact is that you can not deploy any military force without clear and concise directives and plans. We all went in to remove Saddam Hussein but there was no plan of what to do after the fact, and it is this poor planing that we are paying the price for now. Many Americans say they distrust the UN but what will happen if it is the US who turns out to be the "War Criminals" in this case? These people (Iraqis) do not know any better as all of their lives they have lived this way, so you cannot honestly expect them to change overnight a way of life that has kept them alive up till now. Any change that might be seen will be in 3 - 4 generations time -- nothing sooner.

After all there is no clear enemy so that, short of genocide, you can never be sure that you have rid that country of the people whom George Bush originally claimed to be attempting to free from oppression. I honestly think you would stand a better chance of digging the biggest hole possible with a D10 Cat and attempting to fill it with $1,000.00 notes one at a time in the middle of a hurricane than winning a clean victory in Iraq. Right this minute there are people over there who were previously separated by hatred, but who are now uniting to rid themselves of the occupying force, which they see as far worse than what they had previously.

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