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Stick A Fork In Them

Both Culture Ghost and Paradox have opinions on the fact that Clinton, Obama, and Edwards have been convinced to leave a residual force in Iraq after withdrawing the majority of the troops.

The three offered up all kinds of reasons for this that simply demonstrate that neither they nor their advisors really understand the military realities of the situation. I offer them a hint: if we cannot provide reasonable control of the current situation with 150,000 troops, why would you believe that a much smaller force has any reasonable expectation of success?

There is a technical term for the small residual force that they advocate leaving behind – hostages.

The only way of preventing the civil war that we are responsible for, would have been to not have invaded. If you read what the actual, trained, experienced regional experts had to say before the war, you will note that they were uniform in their assessment that a civil war was highly probable if Saddam Hussein was removed. This was the major reason that Saddam wasn’t removed in the first Gulf War.

It is probable that the killing will get worse after we pull out, and that there will be a regional conflict, but that is the result of the invasion and the real experts told people it would happen. There is a possibility that diplomacy can forestall the regional conflict, but the civil war is going to end on its own terms.

As it stands now, the US has supplied everyone, but the Kurds most of all; the Saudis are supplying the Sunnis; and Iran is supplying the Shi’ia. The country is awash in arms and explosives and there is no way of controlling the situation. It has to burn itself out. Democrats don’t need to increase American losses by leaving behind troops to die for the Shrubbery’s ego.

All three of you: you aren’t being tough, you’re being stupid.


1 Badtux { 08.11.07 at 11:55 pm }

One thing that both wings of the Hegemony (the insane wing and the sane wing) agree upon is that control of Iraq’s oil is important for the nation’s future and, most importantly, for the profits of their corporate partners. What I fear is that they are deliberately trying to engineer a Dien Bien Phu situation where tens of thousands of our soldiers are wiped out. Except that their reaction, unlike that of the French, would not be to admit they were whipped and skedaddle out of town. Rather, it would be to ramp up a draft and send over an expeditionary army of over a million men to “punish” the Iraqis — by “punish”, I mean a war as genocidal as anything the Russians have done in Chechnya, where they probably killed 1/4th of the population and sent another 1/4th of the population fleeing as refugees to neighboring countries or provinces.

Maybe that’s just paranoia. But then, in December 2002, people said I was paranoid when I said that the U.S. was going to invade Iraq and all the U.N. posturing was just posturing. We all know how that worked out…

– Badtux the Paranoid Penguin

2 Bryan { 08.12.07 at 12:35 am }

Thanks, Badtux, that was a disaster I hadn’t imagined, but it all too possible with these crazies.

I don’t think they quite understand how crazy some of the Iranian elements are. Push them hard enough and oil production drops to zero in the Persian Gulf.

It would be really nice if somebody involved in this was a sane adult.

3 Badtux { 08.12.07 at 11:18 am }

&The Iranians are crazy like a fox. The Bushevik wing of the Hegemony is just plain crazy, though the kind of crazy that has worked quite well at transferring wealth from the people into the hands of corporate cronies. Every dollar of that wealth is blood-stained with the blood of people they’ve killed through bombs or neglect (both Americans and non-Americans), but they don’t care. They’re crazy.

If you read the novel 1984, one of the primary mechanisms for societal control is the perpetual war, which requires perpetual vigilance against overseas enemies as well as a) keeping the populance employed while not producing anything that would increase their standard of living to the point where they would have the leisure time to question their situation, and b) providing a means to get rid of excess unwanted populations such as testosterone-filled young men. The crazy wing of the Hegemony reads 1984 and they see a manual for governance, not a cautionary tale… throwing away the lives of tens of thousands of our soldiers would rank a “meh” from them.

That said, I think you’re right that Obama/Clinton/Edwards do not understand the Iranian reaction. The Iranians aren’t going to shut down the Strait unless the U.S. directly attacks them, but they will shut it down if bombs start falling on Iranian cities, regardless of the consequences that the U.S. threatens them with. This isn’t 1984 anymore. The Iranians have had two decades to build up missile emplacements around the Strait, and the U.S. experience chasing down Saddam’s Scuds in the original Gulf war (as well as the Israeli experience trying to knock out Hezbollah’s missiles from the air during their recent Lebanon campaign) should be proof enough that you aren’t going to knock them out from the air, it’ll take boots on the ground to take them out. And if the U.S. begins a major escalation in Iraq that directly targets the Shiite population… there *will* be hundreds of thousands of Iranian “volunteers” surging across the border to help, “volunteers” armed with the best stuff that Iran has (which granted is not all that good, but certainly sufficed in Lebanon to take out Merkava tanks, which are at least as well armored as the M1 if not better). The Iranian MANPAD’s still aren’t good enough to take out U.S. jets, but in the end urban combat boils down to boots on the ground — air power complements, rather than replaces, boots on the ground. If said boots don’t have direct-fire armor support because of Iranian anti-tank missiles, that makes their job just that much harder.

Would President Hilary impose a draft and send a million troops to Iraq? I hope not. But she certainly has voted in the past to send troops to Iraq, and seems to have this urge, like LBJ or Maggie Thatcher, to prove her balls are bigger than everybody elses. We’ll see. I just hope I’m being paranoid. Being a paranoid penguin is a far better fate than being a citizen of a fortress state right out of the novel 1984.

– Badtux the Orwell-readin’ Penguin

4 Badtux { 08.12.07 at 11:18 am }

Gah. Forgot to close my quotes.

5 Bryan { 08.12.07 at 1:52 pm }

You didn’t forget, it was a typo and is corrected.

If you look at a map of the religious groups around the Persian Gulf, one fact screams out, even in majority Sunni countries like Saudi Arabia, the wells and oil production facilities are in majority Shi’ia areas, with the exception of Kirkuk. Attacking the Shi’ia would be a total disaster for the world economy, and would face major opposition from Japan and Korea who depend on the region for almost all of their oil.

The Iranians make up in numbers what they don’t have in sophistication. Their long range ballistic rockets can reach the Saudi and UAE facilities. They have mountains and caves to conceal them and you would have to go in and clear them on the ground.

If they start dumping thousands of WWI contact mines into the Gulf, what is the US going to do?

How the hell are we going to get a million men into the Gulf now that the Hedgemony has pissed off all of out allies? How do we supply them?

Who is advising these idiots? Wes Clark is certainly not stupid enough to go along with this.

6 whig { 08.12.07 at 3:55 pm }

I still have an open endorsement of Dennis Kucinich, though I don’t think his chances of winning the primaries are good.

7 whig { 08.12.07 at 3:55 pm }

If Edwards turns out to be the best we can do, I prefer him to Clinton and Obama, both of whom seem to be intent on proving their warrior credentials.

8 Bryan { 08.12.07 at 4:15 pm }

At this point I think I’m thinking of writing in Gore and a curse on all of their houses.

9 hipparchia { 08.12.07 at 7:10 pm }

speaking of drafts… ordinarily i’m opposed to them, but i’m probably going to write in al gore too.

10 Bryan { 08.12.07 at 8:14 pm }

I just do not know how we convince these people that they have messed up. It doesn’t seem to be soaking in that staying in Iraq at any level will make things worse, not better.

11 hipparchia { 08.13.07 at 1:31 am }

i don’t know how to convince them of it either. they’re all old enough to have actually lived through the vietnam war, you’d think they’d have figured some of this out by now.

12 Bryan { 08.13.07 at 10:01 am }

You wonder if they look at the polls. This stance is political stupidity unless you have a really great reason for bucking the trend. I’d like to hear that reason.

13 hipparchia { 08.13.07 at 8:05 pm }

it started out as mostly a fun hobby, speculating on all possible reasons [i’d point you to some of them, but most have disappeared from cyberspace] but i’ve started beliving my own conspiracy theories [last paragraph].

14 Bryan { 08.13.07 at 9:19 pm }

The Chinese have lined up oil from everyone except the Persian Gulf. The loss of the Persian Gulf will affect them less than any major nation on earth.

The Iranians recently told the Japanese that they wanted payment in Yen not dollars, and that is going to hurt. If the Iranians go to non-dollar oil to everyone, it is a major blow to our economy.

15 hipparchia { 08.13.07 at 9:45 pm }

it doesn’t matter if china wants [or can get] middle east oil. all that matters is whether or not we believe it might be true. cheney’s 1% rule, extended.

16 Bryan { 08.13.07 at 10:02 pm }

They are insane. It’s that simple, the Hedgemony is insane.

17 hipparchia { 08.13.07 at 11:38 pm }

i haven’t decided yet whether i think they’re stupid, evil, reckless, ruthless, or just plain batshit crazy, but they are truly scary.

18 whig { 08.14.07 at 12:40 am }

They are concerned with their own privileges, only.