Iraq being declared a win

#1
I'm not so positive but I guess the reality will be when our guys and gals start coming back home.

Seems to me this started with a whimper, went to a bang, then ended with a whimper again.

According to Mike Yon, he's pretty much calling Iraq a "done deal" and we've won.

Now considering he's spent almost the entire war in Iraq and that he's declared us losing, a civil war, etc that I can almost believe what he's saying.

Now he's off to Afghanistan.


The war continues to abate in Iraq. Violence is still present, but, of course, Iraq was a relatively violent place long before Coalition forces moved in. I would go so far as to say that barring any major and unexpected developments (like an Israeli air strike on Iran and the retaliations that would follow), a fair-minded person could say with reasonable certainty that the war has ended. A new and better nation is growing legs. What's left is messy politics that likely will be punctuated by low-level violence and the occasional spectacular attack. Yet, the will of the Iraqi people has changed, and the Iraqi military has dramatically improved, so those spectacular attacks are diminishing along with the regular violence. Now it's time to rebuild the country, and create a pluralistic, stable and peaceful Iraq. That will be long, hard work. But by my estimation, the Iraq War is over. We won. Which means the Iraqi people won.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/
 
#3
ABrighter2006 said:
Just out of interest Ghost_US, just how influential do you think Yon is, in shaping opinion over there?

Can see what Yon is saying, inevitable really.
I think he has some higher up connections and he's been on CNN a few times and his book is selling well.

Only problem is the rest of our media really seems to feed on sensationalism at this point and us winning a war that they were just saying is lost and the same as Vietnam, in an election year, with a democrat candidate that the media love, tends to drown him out a bit, ok, a lot.

I tend to believe him more because I've been reading his stuff for years and know he's called it when it was bad, and getting better way before MSM did.

He's also been on the ground there for years and knows the subtleties of the situation there.

I expect that the news of a US win in Iraq won't come until November, and only after an Obama win. I suspect that if McCain wins, we somehow won't win the war for another 4 years. But that's just me.
 
#4
I think there are some issues between the urban elite Sunnis and the rural tribal ones (hence the Anbar handover delay), and seeing how they handle themselves will be a good measure of the likely future discourse in the country.

The ops North of Baghdad are also a little ploddy, but then again, I think cleaning out Mosul of the remnents will take until the end of the year.

The wider picture however points to a win. Looking at the south, for example: Between the Iraqi army, the marines and the national police, there are six perminent brigades in Basra province alone, with two more visiting. The British are now helping then set up an intelligence net to prevent re-infiltration. It really will be over by Christmas - I honestly can't see any sort of Sadr re-match shifting a blooded and dug-in 6+ brigade force. We at least can leave having won, all be it having suffered a painfull interlued between losing control of the place and the Iraqi army being fit to take over.

That being said, it will be the end of the year before it will be safe to make a call over a win.
 
#5
Thanks Ghost. Agree with most of your viewpoint. Overall, Yon is an intelligent voice, but with the US media so weighted around the Fox News type output, it's difficult to guage how much impact his words will have.

You've hit the nail on the head regarding the impact of the Presidential election. The Primaries have shot a number of blows in all directions, in relation to the sort of "picture of Iraq" that will be painted to the US people. The incidents that occur over the next three months in Iraq will surely have an impact in the race to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Today's White House statement on Iraq can be read here.
 
#6
So, how many 'wins' does that make it now?
 
#7
It will be interesting to see if one of the thinnest books in the world, The Book of American Victories Overseas, gets itself another page.
 
#8
The country is a disaster; the government is a puppet one propped up by US/UK presence; fighting is still going on... US can no longer sustain its presence there, especially if it needs its military elsewhere, -- let's declare a victory so US can get out!

Indeed, looks like another page in The Book of American Victories Overseas.
 
#9
Domovoy said:
The country is a disaster; the government is a puppet one propped up by US/UK presence; fighting is still going on... US can no longer sustain its presence there, especially if it needs its military elsewhere, -- let's declare a victory so US can get out!

Indeed, looks like another page in The Book of American Victories Overseas.
its still getting better, so there :D
 

Biped

LE
Book Reviewer
#10
Michael Yon should be counted as one of the ONLY voices of truth about Iraq. He's spent time embedded with all manner of units, in the thick of it, and he's sat down with all the top generals, Sheiks and provincial leaders.

If he says it's pretty much over bar the shouting, then I'm inclined to believe him. This 'win' of course is still fragile - it'll only take one politico screw-up and it'll be back to square one.

Reading his book about Iraq and the 'awakening' he makes a very good point about the civvy cost of battling the insurgents. They are tired of it, sick of it, and no matter how Iraqi civvies see those 'bad' Americans who aren't wanted in Iraq, some of the insurgents are seen as MUCH worse. The septics haven't been blowing up souks, beheading people, killing families and regional governors and leaders - other insurgent groups have. Whereas the septics (and us of course) killed people a lot and bombed things flat, we have also rebuilt, are trying to get the services back on, government by Iraqis back in place and we want to bug out. The insurgents on the other hand, when they aren't killing our troops, are also murdering lots of Iraqis in the most unpleasant manner, and NOT putting the power back on, NOT clearing the rubbish, NOT governing the areas in which they reside, and NOT doing the local Iraqis any favours.

The Iraqi Sheiks, tribal groups and a few insurgent groups such as the JAM and the 1920's have weighed all this up and many of them now work WITH the coalition to try and regain control over their districts. They have two objectives in this: Get rid of the murdering b@stards (NOT coalition troops), and help bring about the situation where they get their country back and coalition forces leave. They know this won't happen as long as they are fighting. This is partly the reason why JAM stopped fighting, and the 1920's switched sides to fight alongside the US forces in the North.

It's not called an 'awakening' for nothing.
 
#12
parapauk said:
So, how many 'wins' does that make it now?
Two:

1. Saddam gone (May 2003)

2. Islamo-loons prevented from taking over (December (ish) 2008)
Just who are these "Islamo-loons"?

It seems a bit of a catch-all phrase like "reds under the bed". You know, the sort of thing to generate fear and panic without actually nailing down who it is that everyone is supposedly being threatened by.
 
#13
Just who are these "Islamo-loons"?

It seems a bit of a catch-all phrase like "reds under the bed". You know, the sort of thing to generate fear and panic without actually nailing down who it is that everyone is supposedly being threatened by.
Sunni and Shia extreamist fighting not just to force out the allies but in order to impose their interpretation of islamic values on an unwilling population. This invariably involves murder, extortion, and crippling lifestyle contraints.

The "Reds under the bed" scares of the 50's was a paranoid fantasy. At no point did it involve having to scrape people off the walls of market places and bus stations.
 
#14
parapauk said:
The "Reds under the bed" scares of the 50's was a paranoid fantasy.
Not too dissimilar from the notion that "Islamo-loons" threaten the US's integrity or existence. Nevertheless, that is the main selling point to the Iraq and Afghanistan adventures.

parapauk said:
At no point did it involve having to scrape people off the walls of market places and bus stations.
Which is still going on with monotonous regularity even though, we've "won".
 
#15
Finally having an "horizon" for extraction probably does seem like some kind of triumph from Yon's rifle sight perspective. I'm more encouraged by the signs of consolidation in Iraqi politics than any military events. There'll be further reckonings but the hopeless Hobbesiain chaos of the last couple of years seems to be ending.

Call me cynical though I seem to recall Iraq being practically declared "a win" in the run up to last Presidential election while deep structural faults screamed for attention.

We'll experience this phenomenon at least a couple of more times. The end game is still a decade away and likely that will be Kurdistan and an unstable enemy state that's way to close to Qom not to mention a greatly enhanced Jihadi terror threat.

I can think of much better ways to spend three trillion borrowed bucks not to mention the killed and the maimed.

Defeat has many faces.
 
#16
parapauk said:
Sunni and Shia extreamist fighting not just to force out the allies but in order to impose their interpretation of islamic values on an unwilling population. This invariably involves murder, extortion, and crippling lifestyle contraints.

.
Extremists? Insurgents? Terrorists? Freedom fighters? ------ Spot the difference! (a clue: it's in connotation)

When did they have referendum in Iraq to determine what Iraqi population is/isn't willing to accept; or is it something that US administration decided for them?

Please, tell me, do people still study physics in US? Are they familiar with the spring effect?
 
#17
When did they have referendum in Iraq to determine what Iraqi population is/isn't willing to accept; or is it something that US administration decided for them?
No they decided for themselves - see Biped's post above.
 
#18
Extremists? Insurgents? Terrorists? Freedom fighters? ------ Spot the difference! (a clue: it's in connotation)

If I fight to allow people to live as they chose, I'm a freedom fighter.

If I fight in order to force you to do everything I say on pain of death, I'm an extreamist.

If I fight by targeting civilians to achive my aims, I'm a terrorist.

If I fight against an occupying force - with my sole motivation being to remove them - I'm an insurgent.
 
#19
parapauk said:
When did they have referendum in Iraq to determine what Iraqi population is/isn't willing to accept; or is it something that US administration decided for them?
No they decided for themselves - see Biped's post above.
Oh, they decided for themselves that they don't want to accept their interpretation of islamic values? Western author wrote a book/article about what Iraqis really think and feel! Great! More assumptions, but that's what we all want to hear.

No matter how much West rebuilds what it destroyed, it can't turn the clock back on the civil war, it can't bring to life those that perished all BECAUSE of the US greed for power. In time the civil war will run its cause, all factions will make peace and the life will go on, but the West will always be blamed for what happened in Iraq.
 
#20
parapauk said:
Extremists? Insurgents? Terrorists? Freedom fighters? ------ Spot the difference! (a clue: it's in connotation)

If I fight to allow people to live as they chose, I'm a freedom fighter.

If I fight in order to force you to do everything I say on pain of death, I'm an extreamist.

If I fight by targeting civilians to achive my aims, I'm a terrorist.

If I fight against an occupying force - with my sole motivation being to remove them - I'm an insurgent.
You have a great sense of humor! Try guessing again. I did give a clue: it's in connotation, not denotation!
 

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