Transplant Athlete
Monday, October 01, 2007

After reading Anonymous' other comments, I realized I didn't answer his/her original question. What is the "plan". And, I think it's a bit unfair to ask pro-troop/anti-war people to come up with one, considering the Commander in Chief and his top military minds don't have a plan either. Bush saying, "We're Kicking Ass." is not a plan.

Splitting the country up sounds good, if it worked for Yugoslavia, then maybe it'll work in Iraq. Although, kicking out ethnic/religious groups from one area to a new country might breed the same type of resentment that fuels the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This probably should have been done when Bush first declared victory, because now they already have a government set up and it would be really difficult to implement now.

As I mentioned before cutting their supply lines is a valid tactic for winning a war. So, the first thing I would do is STOP ARMING THE BAD GUYS. I read in Newsweek that a recommendation was made to scrap the entire Iraqi police force and start off from scratch, because it was infiltrated with thugs and insurgents. That sounds like a good idea. The Iraqi army is faring much better, so maybe have them take over local police action until the new police force is up and running (I'm assuming they don't have the same Posse Comitatus issues we have in the US). A stable Iraq with law and order sounds like a win to me.

I got a chance to review the historyplace.com site's genocide page, not only Pol Pot, but Nazi Germany, Nanking, Stalin, Bosnia/Herzegovina, and Rwanda. For some reason they don't have Darfur listed, or more recently the Monks in Burma. I think my point here is not to say we should retreat to fortress America, but that if we say we are going in to stop genocide, then we need to do it for all peoples, not just the ones who sit on massive oilfields. And even then, we should go in as part of a UN Peace Keeping coalition. We're supplying 90% of the troops in Iraq, that's not a coalition.

We've spent 1/2 trillion dollars on Iraq for minimal results and there is no end in sight. We spend more in a month over there than we've ever spent on cancer research. The dollar is sliding against gold, the euro, and even the loonie. Fixing Iraq could break us.


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I find it interesting that asking someone who doesn't like the current plan (and just because one doesn't agree with it, doesn't invalidate the fact that there is one) to come up with a plan is perceived as "unfair".
You can hate Bush (I don't like him either), you can think all the pre-war intelligence was "cooked", you can equate this situation to Darfur (though we didn't create Darfur) but to just leave the area to fend for itself is immoral. If we leave the area without a solid plan in place that is exactly what we would be doing.
The reason that I pointed you to Vietnam and Cambodia is that they are different from Darfur, Burma, etc. We didn't create those problems. Though we didn't create the ethnic problems in Iraq, we did remove the despot that "kept the lid" on the problem. Leaving now would result in a bloodbath, just like it did when we abandoned Vietnam. As Colin Powell said "you break it, you bought it". We broke Iraq, you may think that is a good or bad thing, but it's a fact. We have a moral obligation to "fix it". If we don't, the great likelihood is it will become the flashpoint that destabilizes the entire region (ala Vietnam). Were that to happen, I fear that the atrocities in Cambodia, Darfur, etc would look like child's play compared to what would happen in the Middle East.
You say this is about oil. Only a fool would say that oil doesn't factor in. The world is not in a position to walk away from oil anymore than it can walk away from oxygen. Wishing it were different is fine, but we have to deal in realities. Sure money we spend on Iraq could be spent in "oil independence research". Do you honestly think it would be? It wasn't BEFORE the war, why would it be spent that way now?
It goes back to the pie in the sky "perfect world" that so many seek (myself included - who wouldn't want to live there?). It isn't to be found here. The best that we can hope for is to conduct our affairs morally and do the best we can for each other. Even the most ardent pacifist is far from perfect. Taking our $ and investing it in research while millions die as a result of our withdrawl from the region isn't something I can condone.
We can't "Monday Morning Quarterback" this, we are where we are and have to go forward with a plan, whatever it is.
I don't think it's unfair to ask those seeking a withdrawl to have a plan, I think it's immoral for them to seek a withdrawl without one.
I wondered if my last statement was harsh, so I emailed it a friend before posting it and asked. This friend recently got back from Iraq. This was the response:
No, people don’t really understand the situation and they can’t until they go over there. The country in itself is a shit hole. People who are living in boxes, shacks, there are the well off. If we leave (I am not saying we belong either but we cannot just leave) then leaving without a plan will make us murderers. Look what happened when we pulled out and didn’t follow the Iraqi’s north after we took back Kuwait (Gulf War I). Thousands of Kurds were killed in the aftermath. Leaving now would be worse much worse.
I think we are in agreement. I think what Vernon and the Democrats are doing is putting pressure on the current administration to come up with a plan and properly execute it.

Getting the police force up and running is a good plan, giving them US Troop support is a good plan, restricting our troops ability to interfere when the police are indiscriminantly beating people is a bad plan. Giving those same thuggish police officers weapons that they give to the insurgents is an execution failure.

As someone who was high and dry in VA while NO flooded from Katrina, I watched in horror as people like Brownie were left in charge. It wasn't until public pressure built up that Bush put Gen Honore in charge. Honore came in and got stuff rolling. I think that fix it now attitude is missing in Iraq.
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