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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.''


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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The artificial division of north & south

by DelbertPGH In reply to civil war?

When the French failed to suppress the Viet Minh, the U.S. got involved in the peace talks, and arranged a division of the country into North & South Viet Nam, with the communist-leaning Viet Minh in the North and a largely Christian bunch of anti-communists, French collaborators, and Viet royalists in the South. We didn't care who they were or if they constituted a plausible government; all we could see was communists, and Joe Stalin pulling all the strings, and we were gonna fight them.

That's how the illusion of a South Viet Nam got started.

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wrong, oh wrong

by john.a.wills In reply to The artificial division o ...

There are historically 3 Vietnamese-speaking nations in South-East Asia: Tonkin, Annam and Cochin. Since about 200 AD, when Tonkin, a.k.a. North Vietnam, was hived off a couthern Chinese kingdom, it has been trying to conquer Annam and Cochin. Several times Tonkin has conquered Annam and Cochin for a while; once Annam, united with Cochin, conquered Tonkin.
The 3 nations did collaborate in resisting first the Japanese then the returning French. Alas, there were quarrels in the resistance (don't blame the U.S. for everything, that's lazy as well as dishonest), and the 2 new states set up had a border about 50 km south of the traditional Tonkin/Annam border. The northern state became a fairly typical communist dictatorship, the southern one a democracy (which is not to say that I approve of its policies). Two years later Tonkinese troops entered SVN. No-one blamed the U.S. until the U.S. was actually involved with ground troops. I learnt to read before the war started and I took some interest in newspaper reports, so I am pretty certain of my facts.

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The distinctions are forced

by DelbertPGH In reply to The artificial division o ...

After 100 years of French rule, the Vietnamese-speaking parts of Indochina were more of a definable country than any other plausible construction. Most of it was under the dominion of the emporor in Hue before the French ever showed up.

Romanticizing the 100-year bygone traditions of a Vietnamese province is an act of manufacturing history in service of current politics.

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The US Lost the War in Iraq, and the War on Terror in 2003

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

I repeat, while our troops have won all of the military battles, the US lost the war in Iraq and capitulated on the global war on terror in 2003 when the Iraqi government fell!

The first folly was invading Iraq in the first place. While it was sold to Congress our allies, and the citizens of the US as the next step in the war on terrorism, the war against Iraq was all about key cabinet members getting from junior what daddy did not let them do in 1990. Remove Saddam from power. Plus, getting US oil interests back in control of the Iraq oil fields.

The second and greater folly was a missing plan to secure Iraq after toppling the government. When the allied forces left the citizens of Iraq on their own after taking out the army and the police they bread the lawlessness that has resulted in the greatest buildup of terrorist forces in modern times.

If we had followed up with a military police force strong enough to impose marshal law as we swept Saddam's regime from power, Iraq would not be on the brink of an all out civil war.

At this point, 20,000 additional troops is not going to have any significant impact.

The only way to get Iraq under control would be to pull all of our forces to one border and then sweep across the country again. Setting up police forces and marshal law in our wake.

If we don't have the will to clean up the mess we have created, we should pack up and go home.


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That's a **** of an idea

by DanLM In reply to The US Lost the War in Ir ...

I like that, and your right.

It would work.


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I see it differently

by James_Randy In reply to The US Lost the War in Ir ...

The only war the United States has lost is the political war at home. The Democrats have won the war against President Bush. In the process, they have lost the war against the real enemy. I wonder how history will judge them?

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You have but a glimmering of the facts.

by deepsand In reply to I see it differently

But, in that regard, you are no different from GWB, who wholly failed to understand the complexities of the region, i.e. Sunni vs Shia, Arab vs Persian, secularists vs clerics, etal., and thus failed to have a plan for the control of Iraq prior to the invasion.

Even many of us "amateurs" recognized that, absent a suitable replacement for Saddam, all **** was going to break lose; it did, and we naysayers now are having the last laugh.

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The politics of war

by jdclyde In reply to The US Lost the War in Ir ...

If Bush had gone in and declared marshal law, then people like you would be crying about us being the "occupying force" in Iraq, that many dishonest people have tried to claim anyways.

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Why are people so afraid of this war?

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

Maybe they're afraid to admit the scope of the war. Or maybe they're afraid to admit the severity of this war. Or maybe they have to much invested in the status quo that exists in the middle east. Or maybe they're afraid to just admit that we're in a war. I'm puzzled at why the opposing party in the United States will not define a clear and specific alternative to what President Bush has indicated as his goal. They're certainly vocal enough to be against his vision, but they offer none of their own.

There are those who would like to see the world just get along and all live together in peace and harmony. The problem with such an outlook, however, is that the bad guys won't participate in their peace song. And be certain about it, there are bad guys to deal with. We can either deal with them or stick our heads in the sand and hope they go away. Who really believes they will simply go away? The world will not be at peace for a long, long time, regardless of how much we wish it to be so, and it's about time we all admit it.

We can either sit on the sidelines and hope for the impossible, or we can be the driving force in determining the direction we pass on to future generations. This will not be resolved in just a few years, but will linger on for decades. I sure hope we don't pass onto those future generations the same thing that was passed on to us. This is a fine mess previous generations got us into. I sure don't want the next ones to say the same thing about us.

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The real question is...

by Jessie In reply to Why are people so afraid ...

Why are we so afraid to let Iraq have their civil war? Every country that has ever won it's independence has followed that fight with a civil war. We "saved" them from Saddam but we cannot save them from themselves. We're not doing them any favors by fighting this fight for them. They need to get on with the business of figuring out who is going to run their country, and they need us to BTFU.

20,000 more troops are not going to prevent that civil war. 20,000 is a drop in the bucket. We need to either commit enough troops to find and put down all the insurgents (not bloody likely since terrorists are sneaky little bastards) or we need to get the **** out!

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