Friday, June 22, 2007


Whither Iraq

A few hard facts and suppositions drawn from my posts elsewhere

I see little hope for diplomacy in the area. We are in a kill or be killed situation, where money will not buy our way out, and all of the other sides of the table are rogues of renown. We seem to insist on treating Muslim fanatics as reasoned individuals, when they are cutthroats and dervishes that should be eliminated. The situation reminds me of the cold war “negotiations”. The other side took whatever concessions we offered and kept asking for more, while yielding nothing in return. If you don’t want to be taken to the cleaners, stay away from the negotiating table. The prescription for this situation is the application of unyielding force.

There is no known test for the honesty, trustworthiness, and humanity of a Muslim, be he fanatic or not. We cannot tell. We have no way to reach common ground with them in the end, since they are tied to Islam, which allows them in their minds absolute free reign over infidels like you and me. Their Qur’an states that it is just fine to lie, cheat, steal, and kill infidels, those who do not believe in Islam.

Thus, the practical steps of the situation are to garrison the capital, borders and the oil areas to prevent their falling into unfriendly hands, and to isolate the Muslims from any travel to the West for an indefinite period.

The US should not allow Muslims into our country, and those that are already here should be "encouraged" to leave. There are some exceptions to this, of course, such as diplomatic and business travelers with our approval.

Let the oil pay for our occupation and a goodly profit for us, with the rest of the money being shoveled to the Iraqi in shares to each family head and a large share to the government, say 10%. On this matter, we will have to return the oil infrastructure to our control, since we did give that control to the Iraqi earlier. They are not dealing with this issue properly, nor are we at the moment.

There should be no reconstruction program funded by the American taxpayer. Let oil money do its thing. We should keep hands off the internal machinations of the Iraqi government, unless their actions threaten us. We should give humanitarian aid where needed in a carefully managed manner.

Other than that, let them find their own way. We should immediately drop the facade of having to "win hearts and minds" of Muslims. That will never happen. What they will appreciate is security and a decent flow of revenue to all provinces, backed up by force.

For those who believe we should cut and run from Iraq, you cannot un-crack an egg. Iraq is a cracked egg, and we have helped to crack it, although for the best of intentions. Perhaps a better analogy is a whole carton of cracked eggs, one for each of the major parties to the crackup. By my reckoning there is at least: Sunni, Shiite, Kurd, Iraqi politicians, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, Palestine, Lebanon, and the US in the carton! There is therefore no moral lift whatsoever for us to abandon what we helped to undo. You cannot fix what is wrong in Iraq by running from it.

We need to assist in some ways to create a dozen new eggs: 1) help to protect the carton; 2) help to create new eggs by mainly commercial means; and, 3) in our own interest, to maintain substantial forces and well-organized bases next to Iran and Syria.

However, we cannot change the Muslim mind, the Muslim tribal loyalties, or the Muslim traditions of the various tribes, of which there are well over a hundred. Thus, we must stand aside, and let them solve their own internal problems and conflicts.

If they manage to build a sane government, we can help them further at their request. If they decide to split the nation into regions of Sunni, Shiite and Kurd influence, we can still help by sitting on the key element of their economic future--the oil--and doling out the revenue fairly. If they attack our bases, that would be a huge problem for them, since they would be drawn out into the open where our superior forces would prevail.

The major results of this proposal would be several fold: 1) disengagement and reduction in our losses; 2)defense of the infant government while it tries to find its way; 3)allowing (or even forcing) the various sects and tribes to seek their own solutions to both their ancient their and modern conflicts and problems of governance; 4)taking the question of fair distribution of oil profits off the table by fiat; and, finally, 5) providing for a US springboard in the event of escalation of Iranian and Syrian confrontations.

It is not incidental that we should control the oil revenue, since it would be a major resource for the Iraqi to use in rebuilding their military forces further than we would want.

Should massive genocide break out between the sects after our repositioning, we would be able to react quickly to help quell the bloodlettings--by both denial of oil revenue and by force.

US troops would be in Iraq still, and quite able to help in the event of sectarian violence should we be called upon by the Iraqi government.

We are not responsible for the ancient conflicts of the Muslims, nor should we even try to be. Nor are we responsible to try to fix them now and never have been. We can still support the current government as a power of last resort should serious sectarian violence break out.

The oil is the correct economic lever for us to control to ensure fair distribution of profits (less our expenses and profit!). Oil shares would likewise be a lever to control planned violence--more terror, less revenue.

Since I believe we will soon be fighting Iran, the feelings of the Islamic world about the Iraqi situation we would create will become a quaint backwater. The reaction to the devastation of Iran and the eventual takeover of their oil will be on page one everywhere. After Iran is neutralized, who is to take us on from the Islamic world?

Regarding oil production in Iraq, if we cannot protect it, modernize it, and ensure it gets to market, I submit that neither can the Iraqi. This is due to the deterioration of the infrastructure, the lack of trained mechanics, and the dearth of replacement parts, virtually all of which came from foreign sources. Thus, if we do not take this role, someone else will, such as Russia or China. Do you want the second largest proven reserves in the world under their aegis? I think not. Oil is the key to a stable Iraq, and a more stable world, if it can be developed to work as projected, and it should be in our interest and our objective to see it realized.

The only reason that one makes a claim that we cannot put massive troop power into Iraq is purely political. Without the will to win here, all is simply empty words, heralding a full retreat sooner or later. This notion of abject retreat I reject, and so does the American people if given a clear chance to express their opinion, which they haven‘t yet had. Do not draw the inference that the American people reject going for a win in Iraq from the results of the 2006 elections or recent polls.

If we need more troops, we can get them, that is reality, but only if the people and the government want them. So the simple question is, do we want to carry out a policy that has a real chance of ending to our satisfaction, or not? I see no other satisfactory option. My previous post covered the reasons for us to stay the course.

Unfortunately, we may well need the troop power increase very soon in any event, because of Iran, which would trump this Iraqi question without a doubt.

If one searches back five years, there are very many people that were on record then for a massive troop invasion of Iraq, including me. What, besides will to win, stops us now?


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