If there is any truth to what Mohammed and Omar have posted regarding your deal with Moqtada al-Sadr, I have only one thing to say to you: I agree with them. Please, either get busy and fix the mess you’ve made in Basra, or get out or Iraq.
Mohammed at ITM:
… but what did the Soviets, and later the Russians, get in return for those favors? All I can see is thousands of jihadists roaming through what remained of the Soviet Union spreading death and fear and murdering Russian civilians even inside Moscow itself in the hope they can impose a Salafi regime in that part of the world… all the time Moscow spent sucking up for Arab dictators couldn’t spare the Russian blood.
Perhaps someone can remind Moscow, Berlin, and Madrid that they have been reaping the fruits of diplomacy with extremists. It’s not going to work this time, either, whether we’re talking about Islamofascist terrorists or Iran.
Less talk. More action.
From the “well, duh” department:
US President George W Bush says the threat of terrorism in America and across the world is not just because of hostility to the Iraq war.
al Qaeda-affliated terrorists have been attacking civilian targets since at least August 7, 1998, when U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya were bombed. Our President should not need to remind Democrats of this incident, or of the attack on the USS Cole. Of course, there were the 1993 World Trade Center and 1996 Khobar Towers bombings, which while they were not apparently related to al Qaeda, they were certainly not related to the war in Iraq.
It seems to me that we’ve done an awful lot in the United States to curb the terrorist threat. Are we less safe than our friends in the United Kingdom, who deal with terrorism on multiple fronts? I fear that we’ve already given up too many fundamental freedoms as it is, regardless.
The President is right: the terrorists are using Iraq as a primary battlefield, and we must not shirk our responsibility to meet them there.
Is it civil war in Iraq or is it not? And if it is, is there a way to stop it and if it’s not, is there a way to avert it?
I wonder: would I be willing to organize and stand up to these criminals if they were in my community? I hope so, but given the same circumstances, I’m sure I would be tempted to “play it safe.”
Captain Ed brings hopeful news just as I was starting to fear that rising violence would turn what many consider a de facto civil war into a full scale, declared conflict. He writes:
Two weeks is not much of a sample by which to extrapolate future performance. However, this does demonstrate that the US has finally applied force to the problem of the militias on both sides of the sectarian divide.
While a full scale war doesn’t seem as unlikely as it once did, I feel it is still far from a foregone conclusion.
Mohammed has a a great deal to say in a recent entry over at ITM. Tucked into the middle of it, we see this:
… For example so far I have never met one Iraqi who could answer the few simple questions I usually use in a conversation that begins with “they’re stealing our oil”. The questions are “do you know the GDP of the US?” or “do you know how much money the US military spends in Iraq alone?”
The common answer is “I don’t know” and sadly the people I usually talk to have at least finished a college.
Then comes the other question “Ok, so do you know what Iraq’s GDP is? Or the UK’s or Spain’s or Israel’s or Iran’s…?”
Almost in every case I get no answers …
Reading this makes me wonder: do you suppose that this is the source of the shrill cry of ignorant bandwagon jumpers in the United States? People who are so desperate for a cause that they will latch on to anything, no matter how flimsy the case may be, in order to pursue their own agenda, ultimately at the expense of the Iraqi people?
Whatever you believe regarding the necessity for the United States’ invasion of Iraq in the first place, the simple fact is that what’s done is done. It’s long since time to stop wishing we hadn’t and pretending that an exit will take place in the next few months, or worse, that this is something that will benefit Iraq. As PFC Torin Howling Wolf said in a recent documentary:
Our goal here is to help an oppressed people. Our goal here is to restore one of the most ancient and beautiful civilizations of all time.
Some will call these honorable men and women misguided. While it is true that there are criminals in the military, there are also criminals in any group or society. These are the exception rather than the norm. Most U.S. soldiers believe they are there to help the people of Iraq. Most want Iraqis to control their own destiny. Most simply want to go home, but only as soon as their job is done.
Let us hope that Mohammed is not a lone voice in the wilderness, for our sake and particularly for the sake of the Iraqi people.
I say to you: been there, done that.
“But there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction! We weren’t in imminent danger!”
So, what’s your point?