Phineas @ Sister Toldjah:
This is potentially very bad:
After a week of violence in Iraq in which more than 170 Iraqis, including tribesmen, soldiers, and policemen have been killed in clashes during Sunni protests in Salahuddin province, the Awakening is preparing to take up arms against the Iraqi government. On April 24, Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha, the head of the Awakening, said in an interview with Al Jazeera that “from Fallujah to Al Qaim” the tribes are coordinating and “united” to battle the government if need be.
For those who don’t recall, the “Anbar Awakening” was an alliance of mostly Sunni tribes in western Iraq, which aligned itself with the US military starting around 2006 after having had enough of the atrocities committed against them by al Qaeda in Iraq. (1) To say they were crucial to our victory during the surge would be no less than the truth. Without the Awakening, we don’t benefit from pacified areas that allow us to concentrate against al Qaeda and the Shiite militias, and we don’t have the eyes and ears of locals who know the situation on the ground far better than we do.
In return, we acted as interlocutors between the local tribes and the new, mostly Shiite national government, mediating the frictions caused by, literally, centuries of bad blood between the two sects. In the politics of Iraq, our military was essential to keeping the peace the surge won, not just because of our military power, but because we were the only group both sides trusted. If an American officer said something would get done, it would get done — and done honestly. It is almost impossible to put a value on the worth of that trust.
But now, with the Americans gone after Obama’s half-hearted, bungling efforts to negotiate a status of forces agreement, all that is in danger of falling apart as the groups revert to old habits and the Syrian civil war draws them in:
Al Qaeda has just begun their ”Spring Offensive.”
Without our troops to assist these Sunnis will be decimated by al Qaeda and the official government of Iraq which is majority Shiite.
Remember the atrocities Muqtadā al-Ṣadr committed against his fellow Iraqis who happened to not be Muslim enough?
Expect that in spades this year.
I’d say lost. Most definitely set back. We don’t live in a power vacuum. If the USA doesn’t want to wax influence in Iraq, someone else will. Iran/AQ in this case.
Frustrating. There’s potential. Saddam killed off most local islamists, affording Iraq one of the largest secular middle classes of the entire ME. But at this point it seems like the will is lost. We had a Billion Dollar Embassy in the kitty that we basically folded on.
We never “had” Iraq. We’ll never “have” Afganistan. The Russians came to the same conclusion a long time ago. Our idea of “freedom” doesn’t compute in the Islamic world. Middle-East thought processes and the philosophy that informs them are so fundamentally different from those prevalent in Western Civilization that we will NEVER matter to them. While we strive to influence them, we will at best be a means to an unrelated end. We have adopted the mentality of the Crusades all over again, with no hope of victory. It’s a waste of time and money. They are net crazy. Period. They are a threat to everyone. The only way to protect ourselves from their madness is to quarantine the whole lot. Don’t fly to and from, don’t do business with, don’t fight their wars, we can live without them. It’s a shame that there are some good people in Islam, but it’s not our job to help them. Get out now and don’t THINK about going back. They’re not ready for us and they never will be.
@George Wells: Western Civilization that we will NEVER matter to them.
Mr. Wells – Would you kill the person who would kill you?
Isolationism has rarely worked. Alexandria built a mile long bulwark then sacked the island city of Tyre. Ask the Chinese how isolationism worked for them. And please remember Pearl Harbor.
Now about them being net crazy. The net is usually suppressed – that’s the norm throughout history. Silence is sin.
Valid question, easy answer. I love to mess with Christian minds over the sanctity of life. (Start here with acceptance that life IS sacred.) Then how to justify the “death penalty” and…AND how to justify killing in war? (See, we’re arguing here that abortion is a violation of sacred life.)
Killing in War is a zero-sum-gain scenario: God gets one soul either way. You kill the other guy so it’s not you. This calculus works whenever lethal force is in play, re: street crime. But the moment the opponent is subdued, God’s soul count freezes, and additional killing is gratuitous, unnecessary and profane. This is the fundamental objection to capital punishment: the death of the criminal is not absolutely essential to the survival of other human life. IF life is sacred, leave capital judgment to God. (note a similar thought: Kill to eat, not for sport.)
The world is indeed a dangerous place. Too many people. But when George Bush came up with his “doctrine of preemptive strikes,” it put the whole world on “red-alert.” He put the cart before the horse.
If preemptively killing an opponent because you THINK he’s going to strike you otherwise is a legitimate national defense policy, what’s to stop other countries from adopting the same policy? What happens when everyone starts to preemptively attack each other? And the same goes for folks on the street. Do we start shooting each other because we THINK someone plans us harm? Chaos!
There has to be a distinction made between justifiable homicide and murder. War is justifiable homicide, the death penalty is murder.
Final part of your answer: The “…who WOULD kill you” part is the trick. Regardless of whether or not Sadam Hussain had WMD’s, he would NOT have killed US. How about Iran, North Korea etc., etc? At some point it just becomes more expedient to wait until we ARE attacked, and then nuke’em. I think they’d get the message.
Nice of you to admit you like to ridicule Christians.
Ummm, and what nation struck us on September 11, 2001? Of course, you, who claim to have “conservative” values when it comes to a selection of things, holds a totally progressive mindset. We do not take out people, even with drone strikes, because of their nationality, but because of their political beliefs; radical Islam. Guess that is just too difficult for you to understand.
I would say that 99.9% of all people put to death is because they have forfeited their own humanity by taking the life of another human through violence, not war. Guess understanding that is above your pay grade, as well.
it just becomes more expedient to wait until we ARE attacked, and then nuke’em. I think they’d get the message
Big talk keyboard general. If only you meant what you said. You wouldn’t push the button. But neither did Clinton or Bush.
I morn the lose of life from: WTC1, Embassy Bombings, Cole, 911. … Africa is a crying mess. So sad. Slavery still exists, damn the tea party and bless the religion of peace.
What happens when everyone starts to preemptively attack each other?
Pearl Harbor? 911? Wait until we are attacked agains, what?
Killing in War is a zero-sum-gain scenario. You went for line drawings… Heh. You’re on repeat, part of the noise from the progressive echo chamber.
I love to mess with Christian minds. – Are you trying to channel 90’s SNL? – So special.
So you WANT nuclear war? You WANT nations preemptively attacking each other?
I’m guessing that you have neither children nor grandchildren, as there would be nothing left for them to inherit.
Your sarcasm makes the point that you hold my opinions in low regard, but does not support your arguments. Does verbal spit really distract effectively from weak logic?
*pardon the delay – life happens – nameste*
@George Wells – ME???! I want nuclear war? Are you serial?
You said: it just becomes more expedient to wait until we ARE attacked, and then nuke’em. I think they’d get the message.
“Wait until we are attacked, and then nuke’em?”
Are you f’ing kidding me? That trigger has never been pulled. Despite 911 and all the other attacks we have endured.
““Wait until we are attacked, and then nuke’em?”
Are you f’ing kidding me? That trigger has never been pulled.”
Actually it has. The US waited (much to the detriment of the USSR and to England’s anxiety) to enter into WWII until AFTER Japan attacked Pearl Harbour. Ultimately, we hit Japan with 2 nukes, and they surrendered. While that is a gross oversimplification of the events, it is useful to note that while there was some small measure of disapproval over our letting the nuclear cat out of the bag (and also some distaste for the “mass-destructive,” less-than-sportsman-like use of nukes) it did get the job done with a minimum of friction. I suspect that had we similarly leveled Kabul shortly after the Taliban refused to hand over Bin Laden, we would have been criticized for a heavy-handed retaliation over the 9-11 attacks, but there would have been fewer Muslims eager to mess with us after the fact. It’s just a kind of cause-and-effect relationship that is understood and appreciated, especially in the Middle East. The “you-slap-me-with-a-glove-and-I’ll-slap-you-right-back-with-a-glove, Queen’s-rules-apply” sort of thing is just a funny game, sporting even. Trading dead-for-dead is considered useful odds way too often to have any deterent value. And going after “potential” enemies turns them into “actual” enemies and sows the seeds for future crops of the same. Better a patient and deliberate peace followed-when broken-by a crushing response that teaches the more useful lesson that if you start something, you won’t be around to see it end.