Skip to comments.Is America's war winding up?
Posted on 07/31/2005 11:17:14 PM PDT by ChristianDefender
Is America preparing to pull out of Iraq without victory?
Are we ready to leave that war-ravaged land without any assurance a free, democratic, pro-Western Iraq will survive? Is President Bush willing to settle for less than we all thought?
So it would seem. For it is difficult to draw any other conclusion from the just-completed Rumsfeld mission.
Standing beside our defense secretary in Baghdad, Prime Minister Ibrahim al Jaafari called for the speedy withdrawal of U.S. forces. The top U.S. commander, Gen. George Casey, also standing beside Rumsfeld, said "fairly substantial" withdrawals of the 135,000 U.S. troops in Iraq could begin by spring.
This seems astonishing, when hawkish critics of Bush are saying we need more, not fewer U.S. troops, if we hope to win this war.
What is going on? "The struggle against the Iraqi insurgency has passed a crucial tipping point," writes UPI's senior news analyst Martin Sieff.
Casey's comment lends credence to a secret British defense memo that described U.S. officials as favoring a "relatively bold reduction in force numbers." The memo pointed to a drawdown of Allied forces from 170,000 today to 66,000 by next summer, a cut of over 60 percent.
Previously, the administration had denounced war critics who spoke of timetables, arguing that they signal the enemy to go to earth, build its strength and strike weakened U.S. forces during the pullout.
Now, America's top general is talking timetables.
Jaafari set two conditions for a rapid U.S. withdrawal: faster training of Iraq security forces and coordinated transfer of duties for defending the cities to the Iraq army. These conditions would seem easily met by the United States.
Among growing signs of American impatience with the situation in Iraq is Rumsfeld's tough talk to Baghdad to complete the writing of its constitution by Aug. 15. "We don't want any delays," he said. "Now's the time to get on with it." In October, Iraq is to vote on that constitution, and on December on a new government.
The reasons for America's impatience are understandable. First, the poll numbers are turning against the war, with half the American people now believing the United States will not win it.
Second, two years into a guerrilla war, the Iraqis, whose fathers and brothers fought Iran to a standstill in an eight-year bloodbath in the 1980s, still cannot cope with an insurgency of 20,000 to 30,000 enemy. Or not enough are willing to fight.
Third, while Gen. Casey says the level of enemy attacks "has not increased substantially over the past year," their lethality has increased, especially the suicide car-bombings.
"Insurgencies need to progress to survive," said Casey. But it is also true the guerrilla wins if he does not lose, and the Iraqi insurgents are not yet losing. And if 135,000 U.S. troops cannot, after killing and capturing tens of thousands, crush a guerrilla movement, how can the Iraqi security forces, heavily infiltrated, succeed where we failed?
Fourth, the new Iraqi constitution is reportedly not going to track the work of Madison and Hamilton, and women look like the big losers. If the new Iraq resembles Iran, Americans are unlikely to support having sons and daughters dying to defend such a regime, elected or not.
Then there is the budding Baghdad-Tehran axis. Neither Condi Rice nor Rumsfeld nor any U.S. official has been invited to visit the Grand Ayatollah Sistani. Yet, Iran's foreign minister was invited to visit that Shia pope, and Jaafari and eight cabinet ministers paid a return visit to Iran. There, Jaafari apologized for the Iraq-Iran war and laid a wreath at the tomb of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who first branded us "the Great Satan."
U.S. forces in Iraq are thus today fighting in defense of a Shia-dominated regime that sees its future in close collaboration with an "axis-of-evil" nation Bush has declared a state sponsor of terror.
While Jaafari backed away from an earlier agreement to have Iran train Iraqi troops, we can begin to see the shape of things to come.
Sunni terrorists and foreign fighters have begun to target Shia clerics and mosques. And the Shia have begun to retaliate with counter-terror, portending a religious-civil war when U.S. troops depart. Kurds are demanding that their virtual independence be enshrined in the new constitution. Or they veto it.
Should civil war break out as Americans depart, Iran would move to fill the gap with weaponry and perhaps volunteers to assist their Shia brethren in keeping Iraq in friendly hands. A Sunni-Shia war in Iraq, with Iran aiding one side and Arab nations the other, becomes a real possibility.
No wonder the Pentagon sounds impatient to get out. By the way, has anyone heard from Wolfowitz?
Eh... hmmm...Muslims against Muslims... no comment!
The war's over, Pat. We won.
I think Iraq is wrapping up and we then hit Iran, Syria, North Korea or France.
Just from what I've been reading it sure does look like Bush is making moves to get out. I could be wrong but I don't think there are plans to attack anyone else.
Well, thats's not exactly how it was put, Pat, but yes, as I've been saying for months now, things are improving.
As for the Sunni-Shi'ite war...the media has been trying to get that ramped up for over a year. I just don't see any evidence of that.
Yes, the media is trying to start a civil war.
Have you ever got that right. They've been screaming "civil war" since the day Saddam's statue fell. Anytime someone farts in Iraq, it is a sure sign that civil war is about to commence. The fact that our media is still making the same false prediction after two years of being wrong, moves them from the grossly ignorant category to the willfully misleading category.
And while I'm talking about grossly ignorant and willfully misleading....hey Pat, crawl back under your rock.
I've been saying the same thing for some time now.
Bush has to get out, Iran is boiling over. There is a lot of Islamic terrorist there planning attacks here and we need to be available to respond.
No such war anymore. There is only criminal activities by those who do not even fit in the category of guerilla since they do not wear uniform and do not even protect the standards of international agreements of the conflict.
buchanan predicted that if we went into Iraq we would get mired down in a new Vietnam...and now that that nation is free and forming a Constitution he's crying we're leaving.
Get over it pat...you're a bitter old hack.
If any of you remember the story of how we tapped unwater (ocean) communication lines of the soviets. then it wont be hard for you to believe something i heard John Loftus comment on the other day. "i'll try to get a link for it"
we (our governmet) have been listening in on some Irans internal communication (the stuff they didn't want us to hear) and as a result we have audio confirmation of Irans nuclear ambitions and progress. After all of the data was collected our government has a case for sactioning iran and N. korea. the germans , french, russian, and of course all of our more reliable allies were invited to the UN for sit down while they ad the UN got a presentation supported with audio files that makes the case for sanctions on both countries. according to John Loftus, the countries that wouldn't support us invading Iraq , have already signed on to this "on the condition that the US be prepared to enforce UN santions" . otherwise we are gonna have to play border gard to keep other countries sympothetic to iran and N. korea from importing aid not approve by the UN.
so if any of this gossip has any fact behind it, we may be looking at millitary actions that make Iraq look like a training excersize .
In other words, "perpetual war for perpetual peace"...right?
Not YET anyway...give President Bush a lil time, & he'll find an excuse.
He're a better idea, IMO: why not bring the troops home & use them to watch our border w/ Mexico? Naaaaaah...Bush wouldn't dare do that, he's in bed w/ the illegal immigration community too much & wants to exploit cheap labor from those coming from Mexico & other points south. Never mind.
One time, in a galaxy far far away, I held Buchanan in high esteem. No longer. He is a one note whiner.
Not so much to get out, but to reduce the troop numbers on the ground here. After all of the effort that has been made, the lives lost and the expense, they're not just going to walk off and leave Iraq.
I believe there will be a U.S. presence (on a much lower scale) in Iraq for a long time to come.
Wasn't Pat the one who kept insisting that the American century or whatever was over when we "lost" in Fallujah? He is a curious hybrid of liberal Washington defeatism and fearful conservativism. He gives some insight into Beltway pessimism of the moment, nothing more. Nothing will ever satisfy him, to him if we stay in Iraq it is a sign of weakness, and if we pull out it is a sign of weakness.
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