Mission accomplished?

Well at least half way.

Shiites sweep to victory
A Shiite-dominated ticket has won the January 30 elections for the Iraq National Assembly, winning over four million votes -- or about 48% -- of the ballots cast.

A Kurdish alliance finished second with 2.175 million votes or 26 %, with 1.168 million -- or 13.8 % -- for interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi's list.

Officials said 8.456 million votes were distributed among the 111 candidate lists.
Will things get better? Or will there be a new round of conflict between those who didn't win?
Mission accomplished with Allawi bring up the train?

I think not. Tough Titties von Rumsfeld, the electorate has spoken.

Now let's get the hell out of there.
PartTimePongo said:
Now let's get the hell out of there.
Good thinkin', PTP. Before the Kurds go for independence, the Sunnis feel oppressed and rise in a REAL rebellion, and the Iranians push their policies through their Shia allies. There's a shi*storm comin' and we're out of Kevlar brollies. :cry:
Comeon guys,

We know it would be great to get all the guys safely home from the sand pit today, but lets be honest. If we pull out now, the Iraqi army and security forces will collapse like a house made of cards. They are not able to look after themselves yet (and this could have been avoided had we not dissolved the Iraqi army as soon as the spams rolled into baghdad). As it is they need our back up until they can stand on their own.

The sooner we can get them organised and our guys home the better, but lets not abandon them.

and this could have been avoided had we not dissolved the Iraqi army as soon as the spams rolled into baghdad
We didn't disband the Iraqi Army. We argued long and hard to retain them. The British Ambassador at the time argued long and hard, so did the Military , so did Jay 'We don't like home truths you're fired' Garner.

But Rumsfeld wanted them humiliated , and Bremner was all too happy to oblige.

It didn't take the brains of an Archbishop to work out what was going to happen, when you threw 100000 men , including combat veterans , on to the street, and then announced you weren't even going to pay them.

I blame Bremner almost exclusively for the post war mess. Well Bremner and everyone's favourite Granpaw von Rumsfeld.
Agree with A_S, walking out now would be almost as bad as when we withdrew half way through an uprising last time. Every time anyone asks me about GW1 you can guarantee that they end the conversation with the phrase "it's a pity you didn't finish the job last time".

Lets not walk away again with the job half done, otherwise everything that has been sacrificed will have been in vain. I'm sure that no one relishes the thought of a GW3
Let's get out before we have to explain to the Kurds why getting their own country is not going to happen, unless we want to end up fighting another NATO member.

Let's get out, before the Sunnis decide they don't like the Government, and are damned if they'll be ruled by them

Let's get out , before the internal bloodletting starts among the shi'a.

Yes I know just getting the hell out of Dodge is not an option , I knew that when I typed my last line.

The Iraqis will have to grow up fast and start looking after themselves. They are more than capable, or is everyone suggestiong that Saddam and his hierarchy were Iraq's 'Brain' and the average Iraqi is just a drone?

Maybe we need to do more, to re-recruit all the Army personnel that were sacked? Because sure as hell, some of the 'insurgent' activity is coming from these people, and they are good. Ok the Iraqi standing Army may have been dross, or maybe they didn't want to die for Saddam, but they've proven they can fight , and fight damned well, when it's for something they believe in, like the Iran-Iraq conflict.

Maybe the new Government will look at re-recruiting the old NCO cadre from the Iraqi Army and Republican Guard?

Maybe they can re-recruit all the Coppers they sacked? You know, the ones that knew who the real badmashes were?

Iraq can look after itself. It will once we are gone. I keep hearing the "If we leave , they can't look after themselves"

If we leave, the main reason why there IS insurgent activity will be gone, or did we all forget that? Yes there is going to be a continuation mini civil war, and maybe there won't be, as Arab horsetrading between factions comes into play.

Now we have the first series of elections , let's talk about a timetable to get our people out of this mess.
Aunty Stella said:
...Every time anyone asks me about GW1 you can guarantee that they end the conversation with the phrase "it's a pity you didn't finish the job last time".
Yup. I dont think we were actually consulted about it at the time, Aunty Stella.

concur with you and A_S etc on the main point also

PS just seen good points from PTP also - not getting the hell out of Dodge - but rapid transformation. I dont think many of us would have chosen to start from here
hackle said:
Yup. I dont think we were actually consulted about it at the time, Aunty Stella.
Indeed, I always answer the statement with "well it wasn't my fcuking idea"

I remember the roll that we were on and the local support that we had but the people who make the comment are right, we should have finished it the first time.
Aunty Stella said:
hackle said:
Yup. I dont think we were actually consulted about it at the time, Aunty Stella.
I remember the roll that we were on.
Zactly, A S. Everybody on their chinstraps, but a bit of reconstitution and a L wheel was all that was required. I was surprised at the time but thought it was probably right. In contrast to that earlier moment when some ppl heard it wasnt going to happen after all and were briefly cheering and taking 'victory' photographs, stupidly at the time I felt fcuking furious
It's a Catch 22 dilemma. Yank officers tell me that there may be as few as 5000 "reliable" Iraqi security personnel - as in: will respond to orders, not desert and join the opposition and actually turn up for ops - in the entire Sunni area. Pentagon claims of more than 100,000 "trained" national guard and police are just Bliar-type spin.

The problem is, the majority will not assume responsibility for enforcing law and order while coalition troops are doing it, as best they can, on their behalf. There's a halfway house somewhere, but it looks like being a long haul.
Just a couple of things ....

I reckon that during GW1 the price of broad support for military action was that Iraq stay intact. No-one wanted to see it fall apart and cause problems in their own country as various ethnic groups decided to press for independence. We'll soon know whether or not that was a valid reason.

The second reason was that in those days Saddam had WMD and would have used them all to defend Iraq. Kuwait was an opportunistic move that might have paid off - and as he used the regular Army to garrison it then no great loss if they bought it. No point opening the WMD can of worms to defend that. The RG - as guarantor of the regime - were the only troops he minded losing.

The other point is that it is difficult to define reliable in the context of Iraqi security forces. The Kurds will quite happily kill Sunnis but are unlikely to suppress their own side. Shia and Sunnis are loath to move against their own people to enforce what are seen as US wishes - but may very well prove effective at policing themselves once all foreigners have left. The current US definition of reliable equates to a willingness to shoot ones neighbours and not be concerned that they will come round later to get some payback.
If the mission was to stir up a hornet's nest, then it was accomplished.

Here's an article that says that USA is going to outfit "small militias" with Pakistani arms to fight against proponents of Shi'ite autonomy. The purpose of the non-US gear is to prevent folks from figuring out who is behind this.

These "small militias" will be staffed by "former members of the "Ba'ath Party."

The proponents of Shi'ite rule, it is said, have influence in southern Iraq and are urging Shi'ite control over the oil fields. Ahmad Chalabi, until recently Washington's picked man, is now a leading political figure among the Shi'ia.

It also says that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and others aligned with Iran, have infiltrated in strength to back the Shi'ites.

"US Fights Back Against 'Rule By Clerics'" by Syed Saleem Shahzad. 15 February 2005
Re the article mentioned by N-W_D

So if that story is correct, British soldiers could come up against militias equipped by an ally??

On a less speculative note, the article (written by a Shi'ite? if that makes any difference) does cast very interesting light on the idea of an autonomous vilayet-e-faqih in southern Iraq.
PartTimePongo said:
So if that story is correct, British soldiers could come up against militias equipped by an ally??
Wouldn't be the first time Hackle :cry:
It is even better when British Forces come up against opponents equipped by Britain.. anyone remember the two T42 destroyers we sold to Argentina during the seventies? :roll:
Don't remember them as such, I was very young, but do remember that our destroyers needed black lines painting down their sides to aide recognition.

Didn't the French sell them the Exocets? Read something about how half way through the war, they were trying to buy more but MI6(?) buggered the whole thing up!!!

Good old french people :D

Bit of shit stirrer this one but here goes.

Would there be any merit in just splitting Iraq up? The Kurds could have their areas, the Shi'ites theirs and the Sunni's their own bit of sand. It may prevent a lot of tension, to come. Look at Yugoslavia, lots of different races, bit of tension held under pressure for years and the moment Tito pops his clogs (or nearly) the whole place goes mental.

If this Shi'ite govenrment do any thing to p1ss the Kurds off then they will blame all Shi'ites. At least if they have their own government they could only blame themselves.

Like I say bit of shit stirrer, am pulling my quilt up....NOW!!

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