Grim truth about Iraq

#1
The caravaning one has spoken...

Telegraph Online said:
Beckett: Grim truth about Iraq

The possible break-up of Iraq into three separate states was acknowledged for the first time by Margaret Beckett, the Foreign Secretary,yesterday as she scaled back expectations of what could be achieved before British and US forces leave.

The growing pessimism in Whitehall over the prospects for Iraq's future came as the country's deputy prime minister, Barham Salih, urged Britain and the US not to "cut and run".

Mrs Beckett, after talks in London with Mr Salih, accepted that the invasion of Iraq might come to be judged as a "foreign policy disaster" for Britain.

When asked on BBC Radio 4's The World At One if historians would hold that view, she said: "Yes, they may. Then again, they may not."

Full text here: Telegraph Online
What is might about it? Many people, significant and insignificant, have already gone on record saying, in their opinion, is IS a "foreign policy disaster". If she is only speaking of historians 50 years hence, then she has a 50% chance of being right at the very best. :)

And on the same theme, this website says US military casualties have now reached 89 this month alone - with another full week still to run.
 
#2
I think I`m right in saying that the current count is 90. With the heightest ever loses being 137 in Nov 2004. When will it end????
 
#3
bigjarofwasps said:
I think I`m right in saying that the current count is 90. With the heightest ever loses being 137 in Nov 2004. When will it end????
Only when the idiots in Washington come to their senses and realise that this scandalous war will not be won by the barrell of a gun but rather by compromise.We have to talk to the Iraqis mano-a-mano and somehow convice them (even after all we have caused them) that Iraq is all about them and very much less about us.

What a fecking senseless war.What a fecking senseless war!!!!!!!!
 
#4
At excellent article about the effects of the war.....ignore the stuff about the creator of Doonesbury. Look at his comments on his decision to maime B.D. in the comic strip and his contact with Veitnam and Iraq War Vetereans.

Washington Post Magazine
 
#5
Devil_Dog said:
bigjarofwasps said:
I think I`m right in saying that the current count is 90. With the heightest ever loses being 137 in Nov 2004. When will it end????
Only when the idiots in Washington come to their senses and realise that this scandalous war will not be won by the barrell of a gun but rather by compromise.We have to talk to the Iraqis mano-a-mano and somehow convice them (even after all we have caused them) that Iraq is all about them and very much less about us.

What a fecking senseless war.What a fecking senseless war!!!!!!!!
Devil Dog we are talking to the Iraqis all the time. Have you been to Iraq? Your view is very simple and I think shows a real lack of understanding when it comes to the way in which the coalition forces over there are working and what they are achieving alongside their Iraqi counterparts.
 
#6
Some killer pieces by Simon Jenkins and Matthew Parris:

We have turned Iraq into the most hellish place on Earth



I also particularly like this piece from Parris in the Times:

Time for the neocons to admit that the Iraq war was wrong from the start


HARK — CAN YOU hear it? Borne on the wind, can you hear the sounds of construction — of hammers hammering and woodsaws sawing? And do you detect a note of panic? I do. The good ship Neocon is going down. She has struck the Iraqi rocks, the engine room is awash, and on the deck in anxious pursuit of something to float them away is a curious assembly.

Her Majesty’s Brigade of Neocon Columnists and Leader Writers mingles with much of the elite of British politics. The new Labour Cabinet and its courtiers and most of the Opposition’s front bench rub shoulders with Fleet Street’s finest. Is that David Aaronovitch I see, hammer in hand? Jack Straw is handing him the nails. There’s Michael Gove scribbling notes while Danny Finkelstein rips a blank sheet from a discarded do-it-yourself regime change manual, and ponders a hastily sketched design. Willie Shawcross has the saw and Tim Hames and Margaret Beckett are ripping planks from the deck. Gordon Brown skulks behind the mast as those unlikely bedfellows, Matthew d’Ancona, of The Spectator, and Johann Hari, of The Independent, assemble what timber they can find.

They are building a lifeboat for their reputations. The task is urgent. It is no small thing to find oneself on the wrong side of an argument when the debate is about the biggest disaster in British foreign policy since Suez; no small thing to have handed Iran a final, undreamt-of victory in an Iran-Iraq war that we thought had ended in the 1980s; no small thing to have lost Britain her credit in half the world; no small thing — in the name of Atlanticism — to have shackled our own good name to a doomed US presidency and crazed foreign-policy adventure that the next political generation in America will remember only with an embarrassed shudder.

It is no small thing to have embellished the philosophy, found the prose and made the case for the most almighty cock-up in politics that we are ever likely to witness. They meant for the best, these politicians, dreamers and writers. They didn’t think it would end like this. But it has: more killed than even Saddam could boast, and nothing to show for it but an exhausted British Army and the global energising of violent Islamism on a scale of which Osama bin Laden never dreamt.

Our British neocons have invested heavily in this ill-fated craft, and the wreck is total. How shall they be saved? Never fear. They’ve been working on the elements of a rescue plan. By Christmas all will be singing from the same sheet. All together, now, warrior-columnists and soon-to-be-former Cabinet ministers: one, two three . . .

“The principle was good but the Americans screwed up the execution.”

Oh diddums, guys. Damned awful luck. You had this fantastic plan for invading a foreign country and harnessing a grateful populace behind your ideas for rebuilding an Arab nation along better lines — and then along come the Americans and make a mess of it. Now why in Heaven’s name would they do a thing that? Vandals.

Funny, because I don’t quite recall most of you saying it at the time — some of you wrote columns and some of you delivered speeches declaring that Iraq was making giant strides; most of you blamed the difficulties on “Saddam loyalists and foreign fighters”, and some of you actually visited and returned rejoicing at the progress — but let’s overlook that. Let’s for the sake of argument grant that you worried from the start that the US just didn’t have the hang of this nation-building business. Now, you declare, we know that’s the reason the whole strategy hit the rocks.

Crap. The strategy failed because of one big, bad idea at its very root. Your idea that we kick the door in. Everything has flowed from that.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspaper/0,,175-2414249,00.html

On another note, did anyone catch that BBC 2 prog on the Baghdad hospital last night?

Harrowing, sobering stuff...cant get some of those images out of my head.
 
#7
FARMBOY said:
Devil_Dog said:
bigjarofwasps said:
I think I`m right in saying that the current count is 90. With the heightest ever loses being 137 in Nov 2004. When will it end????
Only when the idiots in Washington come to their senses and realise that this scandalous war will not be won by the barrell of a gun but rather by compromise.We have to talk to the Iraqis mano-a-mano and somehow convice them (even after all we have caused them) that Iraq is all about them and very much less about us.

What a fecking senseless war.What a fecking senseless war!!!!!!!!
Devil Dog we are talking to the Iraqis all the time. Have you been to Iraq? Your view is very simple and I think shows a real lack of understanding when it comes to the way in which the coalition forces over there are working and what they are achieving alongside their Iraqi counterparts.
Talking to some dude walking down the street on his way to buy groceries so you can fulfill some propaganda need is not the same as talking to the guy with the shovel planting an IED.What I mean is talking to the militia overlords and reaching some kind of compromise.

If anything , you are the simplistic one.What do you mean achieving in Iraq?You mean building schools ( as if schools did not exist there before we went in) or providing electricity? Well the Iraqis used to enjoy( as I'm sure you do) 24 hrs of electricity each day.Now on average in most parts of the country it's two hrs.

http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/345

Hospitals?Even with the sanctions of '91 to '03 Iraqis had a better health system than they do now.

http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/345

Don't tell me Sir that you are one of those who actually believe that life in Iraq is better now than it was before we kicked the door in and proceeded to try and impose our way of life in a country we had zero understanding of.

Oh yeah.It's the media's fault that there is no good news coming out of Iraq.

And yes, I've been to Iraq.Three times.

So there.
 
#8
I do think that the only reason King George II is showing sum signs of "Turning' is the forthcoming elections and probable loss of control of Congress. If Impeachment does not follow then some very nasty questions will get asked.
john
Oh to be a shredder salesman in Washington and Downing Street.
 
#9
Devil Dog

If you see a guy with a shovel planting an IED I would hope that talking would be the last thing that you would do!

O.K so you've been to Iraq, apologies - it's just that what you wrote before sounded a bit generalised (not much detail and alot of soundbite stuff in your first post that I reacted to my friend) and I felt the post did not appreciate the hard work that lots of our guys and girls are doing there.

When I was in Iraq things did seem to be improving, sometimes three steps forward then one back but I certainly had a sense that given time a future could be crafted out of the mess.

If you re read what you wrote then you will understand why I responded in the way I did. I am not in the business of pi**ing off a fellow vet, but we have to look after ourselves and I rightly or wrongly react to general opinions.

Take it easy Devil Dog.
 
#10
U.S. says Iraq agrees on timeline to peace

By Alastair Macdonald

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi leaders have assured the United States they will stick to a timetable of measures over the next year to curb violence and allow U.S. troops to go home, Washington's top officials in Iraq said on Tuesday.

Two weeks ahead of U.S. congressional elections that have put President George W. Bush's Republicans on the defensive over their Iraq strategy, the U.S. ambassador and military commander in Baghdad told voters directly via a rare televised joint news conference success was still possible, and on a "realistic timetable."

Insisting sectarian bloodshed had not caused Washington to water down its goal of a stable, democratic Iraq, envoy Zalmay Khalilzad said he expected Iraqi leaders to make "significant progress in the coming 12 months" in meeting "benchmarks."


He did not refer to any deadline nor spell out any U.S. response if the Shi'ite-led coalition failed to rein in violence, some of it by pro-government militias, or to address concerns among minority Sunnis over sharing Iraq's oil wealth.

"Iraqi leaders must step up to achieve key political and security milestones on which they have agreed," Khalilzad said.

"They have committed themselves to a timeline for making some of those decisions," he added. "We will work with them as closely as possible so that they do meet those benchmarks."
There's only one thing glaringly obviously wrong.

Iraq agrees on a timeline to peace , ok Roger so far , but the Iraqi Government hasn't confirmed saying anything of the sort. This wasn't slipped in and press spun while they were hunched over a prayer mat for Ramadan was it? Blissfully unaware thet they had committed themselves to a time line?

Still, I doubt the Iraqi Government will be saying "What the woolly blouse and skirt are you banging on about"

Though they might.

Curiouser and curioser said the little Blonde Girl.

Continued
 
#11
FARMBOY said:
Devil Dog

If you see a guy with a shovel planting an IED I would hope that talking would be the last thing that you would do!

O.K so you've been to Iraq, apologies - it's just that what you wrote before sounded a bit generalised (not much detail and alot of soundbite stuff in your first post that I reacted to my friend) and I felt the post did not appreciate the hard work that lots of our guys and girls are doing there.

When I was in Iraq things did seem to be improving, sometimes three steps forward then one back but I certainly had a sense that given time a future could be crafted out of the mess.

If you re read what you wrote then you will understand why I responded in the way I did. I am not in the business of pi**ing off a fellow vet, but we have to look after ourselves and I rightly or wrongly react to general opinions.

Take it easy Devil Dog.
Farmboy.I appreciate your sentiments very much and from one vet to another I say Salutations to you (although I would rather be called a vet when I'm old and greying and not while I have the ability to raise an assault rifle and ask in no uncertain terms "who goes there?")

Be as it may be. My analogy about the guy planting an IED should not be construed as giving any quarter to our foes.When you round the corner and come face to face with Abdul al Jihadi it's not about God or country.It's about the survival of you and your squaddies.It is a very lonely and sublime moment.A moment, I must add,that does not look kindly upon hesistation.

That said.I find it very hard to believe that the situation is improving or that the media is focusing on the negative at the expense of the good things happening over there.Building schools and rebuilding bridges would be front page news if there was peace in Iraq.Then we could all pat ourselves on the back and extol the virtues of democracy.

But alas.It's not the case.There is very bad news coming from Iraq.This whole thing is a sordid mess.Any good news (and I'm sure there is) is insignificant compared to the overall picture.The sooner we face this grim reality, the better.

Is there hope for Iraq? If there is I'm sorry to say I don't believe the current administration can pull it off.Nearly four years down the line they are still relying on empty slogans, giving us all false hope while people like you and me face the enemy in a war that should not have been.At least not for the reasons they told us.There from stems my anger.

I hope to God that sooner than later, a new leadership comes along that realises publicly that griveous mistakes have been made and trying to sell a war while clothed in the clock of denial and ignorance will only lead to more deaths.On both sides.

Should we pull out now? No.We are dug in too deep.Do I have the magic elixir?If I did I WOULD be the true president of the US and that is saying a lot.Especially for someone like me who likes to hear the sound of his own voice.
 
#12
#13
Oh Chr*st.

Defiant Iraqi PM Disavows Timetable

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- An angry Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki disavowed a joint U.S.-Iraqi raid in the capital's Sadr City slum Wednesday, and criticized the top U.S. military and diplomatic representatives in Iraq for saying his government needs to set a timetable to curb violence in the country.

Al-Maliki spoke at a news conference a day after U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said Iraqi leaders had agreed to set deadlines by year's end for achieving specific political and security goals laid out by the United States, including reining in militia groups.

"I affirm that this government represents the will of the people and no one has the right to impose a timetable on it," the prime minister said.
I'm not prescient, (Well maybe just enough ;)) but it's also getting far to easy to spot. Desperation is getting a hold. It's the Dance Band on the Titanic.

Next on Iraq the tragic comedy...

Iraqi Boss says , "In fact , I want a timeline from you people as to when the hell you're getting out, you're making the problem worse."

Other future predictions - A major Middle East nation (Not Iran or the Kingdom of Hypocracy) unexpectedly steps up to the plate.
 
#14
PTP said

Other future predictions - A major Middle East nation (Not Iran or the Kingdom of Hypocracy) unexpectedly steps up to the plate.
Turkey?
 
#15
Syria or Egypt , possibly both. Not absolutely certain of course, more a strange feeling.
 
#17
Syria seems too enamoured to the Iranians.Egypt by it's very nature since the Camp David accord seems too unwilling to stick it's neck out too far.I believe the future of Iraq lies primarily in the hands of Iran and Turkey.

Very possibly just like the future of Korea was decided by the US and the Chinese/Russians.

Say for speaksake the US were to pull out tomorrow.

The Turks invade from the North while the Iranians invade from East and south.They meet somewhere in the middle and stare each other down along some demarcation line set up eerily along the Berlin wall model or the Korean 38th parallel.

They both establish simultaneous puppet goverments and for the next 30 years or so Iraq is a divided country until some cataclysmic event (the rise of another supernation more powerful than the US) forces a reunification?
 
#19
Now Daniel Pipes offers his considered opinion

Redeploy US troops to Iraq's desert

As coalition policy reaches a crisis, may I resurrect an idea I have been flogging since April 2003? It offers a way out of the current debate whether to "stay the course" (as President George W. Bush has long advocated) or to withdraw troops on a short timetable (as his critics demand). My solution splits the difference, "Stay the course - but change the course."

I suggest pulling coalition forces out of the inhabited areas of Iraq and redeploying them to the desert.

This way, the troops remain indefinitely in Iraq, while withdrawing them from the urban carnage. It permits the US-led troops to carry out essential tasks (protecting borders, keeping the oil and gas flowing, ensuring that no Saddam-like monstrosity takes power), while ending their non-essential work (maintaining street-level order, guarding their own barracks).
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1159193514499&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull

What planet is this man on?

......and Syria does have form for stopping civil wars....
 
#20
PartTimePongo said:
What planet is this man on?
Must be a planet where roses bloom and the sweet fragrance of love fills the air,where lambs and lions sleep side by side and the rivers flow with milk and honey.Where little children ride on the backs of crocodiles and leopards eat grass.

Pretty much same planet GW lives in.
 

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