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r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq


@Canuck_2 wrote:

Although some want to just say it was Bush and Iraq and it is water under the bridge world events are never that simple.

What Bush unleased with his illegal and unprovoked attack on Iraq is still being played out and is having repercussions through out the Middle East.

Indeed may have repercussions further afield than that and for many years to come.

 

If you want more details of what is going on through out that region and a little insight into who all is involved in the problems there this article is worth reading.

 

http://www2.macleans.ca/2014/01/03/an-ancient-war-is-new-again/

The Middle East’s sectarian divide sharpened following the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. Until then, Sunnis dominated the region, with Shia strength concentrated in Iran. When America toppled Saddam Hussein and brought democracy to Iraq, it also liberated the country’s Shias, who had long been suppressed by Saddam and his mostly Sunni power base, despite forming a majority of Iraq’s population.

“This was a tremendous earthquake in the regional balance of power,” says Landis. “It strengthened Iran tremendously. It made the Sunni powers extremely fearful of this growing Shia menace—at least what they saw as a menace.”

 


What did Moammar Gadhafi do that Saddam Hussein did not? Is what is happening in libya any different from what is happening in Iraq?

Canuck_2
Senior Contributor

Re: Gates and Iraq

Read the article and you might start to understand how religion is interwoven in much of the troubles through the region.

 

Old 'beliefs' carried forward and used to cause death and destruction.

jput
Senior Contributor

Re: Gates and Iraq

Iranians are Persians.  That puts a different twist on it.

 

But again,  where are the protests against war monger obummer?   Where are you Cindy Shehan?   Where are you guys all concerned about the innocent civilians being killed and crippled by war monger obummer?   Where's the outrage over those wedding parties gobsmacked by obummer's drones? 

 

(sounds of liberal crickets chirping).

 

r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq


@Canuck_2 wrote:

Read the article and you might start to understand how religion is interwoven in much of the troubles through the region.

 

Old 'beliefs' carried forward and used to cause death and destruction.


You mean the Candian general took out Gadaffi and his grand kids because their religious beliefs?

hardnox604008
Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq

Thinking about Gates' comments that he had become too personally attached to the troops and too tired of sending condolence letters to families.

 

Or about the furor du juor over CNN anchor Jake Tapper who had the temerity to ask the actual survivor of the Lone Survivor movie whether he thought there was anything worth fighting for there. How dare a newsman ask that question of a Hero.

 

What a mess. We've got a million or so folks who served in those wars and deserve respect and financial support, in many cases support for life.

 

While the military leadership obviously didn't learn much from their collossal blundering in Viet Nam, they did learn that they needed to do a better job of PR on the homefront. And of course the onging 60s Culture Wars offered a wide open field to play off the meme of how badly the antiwar liberals treated returning vets. Part truth, part urban legend that has been carefully cultivated in the weeds of the culture war.

 

BTW, the Viet vet who I am closest to wasn't particularly bitter toward the opponents of the war. He was deeply bitter that when he came home after flying two tours in choppers at the peak of the war he went down to the local Legion and got called a loser by the WWII guys at the bar.

bruce MN
Advisor

On that "spreading bets around" thing

http://www.alternet.org/economy/big-money-and-populism?paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

 

Tea Party AND Occupy up the same Sh!t Creek without paddles.

 

Intersting stuff in there about unions, and how what little is left of non-public employee unions have thrown in their lot with  the neoliberals who's aim it is to control policy in both parties

hardnox604008
Advisor

Re: Gates and Iraq

An interesting fugure who shows up in both books is Emma Sky, a British civliian expert on disaster response/community rebuilding who was employed to advise US forces.

 

In the early years she is filled with disgust for everyhting about America and its culture from observing the behavior of American forces in the strategic leadership vacuum.

 

In the surge she is attached to Gen. Odierno's HQ and finally comes to a somewhat different conclusion. Given good strategic direction the American military performed magnificently under very difficult circumstances and is actually "better than what their country deserves."

 

Gen. Odierno observed that while he hadn't quite come around to accepting her criticisms of American culture he was getting a little bit closer after being home in Texas and observing a birthday party for a 10 year old held at a shooting range.

 

I'll relate that to current news by wondering (as some have begun to) whether counterinsurgency theory really works or whether it is just the last possible tool in a toobox where clearly nothing else works against insurgency. The British were pretty cocky in the early going as their softer tactics in the Shiite south went over a lot better initially. But in the end they lost everything and had retreated to a Fort Apache type perimeter at the Basra Airport.

 

That was the point where al Maliki suddenly directed the Iraqi Army to retake the city, against US advice. It wasn't pretty and required a lot of air and logisitical support from the US but they prevailed and by most accounts performed a lot better than they ever had under mixed US command.

 

So now they're going to have to try to retake Fallujah, and this time without US support.

 

We'll see.