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Old 01-26-2007, 02:09 PM   #91
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Originally posted by Irvine511
more evidence that the mentioned "surge" is incredibly dangerous -- it isn't a serious effort to win but an effort to smear some of this mess on the next administration as the US dangerously sides with the Shia against the Sunnis and begging a worse question, just how many American lives are we prepared to throw at the Sunni/Shia civil war especially as it spreads beyond Iraqi borders?
Could we afford to ignore it if it spread beyond Iraq's borders? What might the consequences for other states in the region and beyond be if Iraq were to remain violently unstable, or if partition occurred resulting in a weak and fragile Sunni state and an embattled Kurdish one? And what about the human cost to Iraqis of an ongoing civil war, is that somehow more acceptable if we're not there than if we are?
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:28 PM   #92
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Could we afford to ignore it if it spread beyond Iraq's borders? What might the consequences for other states in the region and beyond be if Iraq were to remain violently unstable, or if partition occurred resulting in a weak and fragile Sunni state and an embattled Kurdish one? And what about the human cost to Iraqis of an ongoing civil war, is that somehow more acceptable if we're not there than if we are?


arguments for either partrition, or simply moving American forces out of Baghdad and redeployment to Kurdistan, often rest upon two ideas. first, that forcing Iraqis to deal with their own security situation and removing a source of blame -- the Americans haven't stabilized, what can we do? -- might do much. the second idea, and a far more ideological one, is that removing the Western element from Iraq fundamentally undercuts the ongoing narrative in many Muslim minds, that Iraq (and to a lesser extend Afghanistan, and certainly much of the GWOT) is an example of The West vs. Islam. so instead of Shia/Americans vs. Sunnis, it becomes Shia vs. Sunnis, effectively changing the narrative to Islam vs. itself. we might have to accept a more bipolar middle east, with a Syria/Sunnistan on one end, and a greater Iran on the other, with a bit of a Kurdish wilidcard to the north.

perhaps the dismantling of Iraqi borders -- which were always a British fabrication -- might naturally reveal more stable borders drawn up along ethnic/clan lines.
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:29 PM   #93
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Yes - but im sure that everyone will be really sorry about it after the fact.

As far as the West versus Islam goes the continuous stream of cultural flashpoints where the free world capitulates in the face of religious barbarism shows that this will not end.
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:39 PM   #94
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Yes - but im sure that everyone will be really sorry about it after the fact.


but it seems as if everyone's really sorry about the effort to hold Iraq together.

i also have no answer to this.

but it's starkly clear that what's going on is unacceptable, asking people to die in a civil war for a country that doesn't really exist.
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:44 PM   #95
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but it's starkly clear that what's going on is unacceptable, asking people to die in a civil war for a country that doesn't really exist.
Yes that is soo... true
Too many people have died in this war already!!!
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:54 PM   #96
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but it seems as if everyone's really sorry about the effort to hold Iraq together.

i also have no answer to this.

but it's starkly clear that what's going on is unacceptable, asking people to die in a civil war for a country that doesn't really exist.
There is a big difference between being annoyed at the ineptitude in fighting a sensitive war without taking the steps neccessary to win and declaring that the best option is to walk away and hand the Basran oil fields and really the whole Gulf over to Iran (once that nuclear shield comes up).
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Old 01-26-2007, 02:59 PM   #97
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but it seems as if everyone's really sorry about the effort to hold Iraq together.

i also have no answer to this.

but it's starkly clear that what's going on is unacceptable, asking people to die in a civil war for a country that doesn't really exist.
Afghanistan is just as much a "Civil War" as Iraq is, yet, I don't hear anyone opposing the mission there. In addition, Iraq is closer to being a "real country" than Afghanistan.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:06 PM   #98
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There is a big difference between being annoyed at the ineptitude in fighting a sensitive war without taking the steps neccessary to win and declaring that the best option is to walk away and hand the Basran oil fields and really the whole Gulf over to Iran (once that nuclear shield comes up).


is redeployment to Kurdistan the same thing as walking away?
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:07 PM   #99
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Afghanistan is just as much a "Civil War" as Iraq is, yet, I don't hear anyone opposing the mission there. In addition, Iraq is closer to being a "real country" than Afghanistan.


no, it isn't.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:11 PM   #100
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is redeployment to Kurdistan the same thing as walking away?
Do you think that the next administration will be willing to stop a nuclear power from moving in?
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:22 PM   #101
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Do you think that the next administration will be willing to stop a nuclear power from moving in?


but they're already there. Iran operates, very effectively, within Shia Iraq already.

but i think an annexation/invasion, say, of Shia Iraq (Shiaistan?) by Iran would be grounds for a more multilateral military action that the Europeans might get on board for in the future, as opposed to a very weak Iraq that's little more than a satellite for Iran.

all good questions, and no easy answers.

this is also an example of where the tragedy of what Bush has done to America's soft power capabilities might be acutely felt.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:25 PM   #102
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Soft power is being brought to bear on Iran right now, it has been the method for the last five years and every step of the way the Mullahs have stalled, refused then made a concilliatory statement without conceeding anything - it's too late for hard power (short of tactical nuclear weapons but that is not going to happen) and the unwillingness to start internal problems for the Mullahs and the backtracking on democracy activists in the region are very worrying signs.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:26 PM   #103
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arguments for either partrition, or simply moving American forces out of Baghdad and redeployment to Kurdistan, often rest upon two ideas. first, that forcing Iraqis to deal with their own security situation and removing a source of blame -- the Americans haven't stabilized, what can we do? -- might do much. the second idea, and a far more ideological one, is that removing the Western element from Iraq fundamentally undercuts the ongoing narrative in many Muslim minds, that Iraq (and to a lesser extend Afghanistan, and certainly much of the GWOT) is an example of The West vs. Islam. so instead of Shia/Americans vs. Sunnis, it becomes Shia vs. Sunnis, effectively changing the narrative to Islam vs. itself. we might have to accept a more bipolar middle east, with a Syria/Sunnistan on one end, and a greater Iran on the other, with a bit of a Kurdish wilidcard to the north.

perhaps the dismantling of Iraqi borders -- which were always a British fabrication -- might naturally reveal more stable borders drawn up along ethnic/clan lines.
1. The Iraqi government can't deal with its own security situation if it does not have a military and police force with the size and capability to replace the daily tasks performed by coalition forces. Simply withdrawing coalition forces when there are only at best 35,000 Iraqi troops that could effectively replace coalition forces is a recipe for disaster. Whats more, the Iraqi military does not yet have its own logistical system for supporting and supplying its troops. Again, the Iraqi military is 4 to 5 years away from being ready for such a withdrawal by coalition forces. The Iraqi government can't take charge of its own security when it does not have the means to do so at this point.

2. The second point could be used to argue for a withdrawal from Afghanistan as well. A premature withdrawal is not going to change the mind of anyone who already illogically believes this is The West VS. Islam, especially given the violence that would errupt after any such withdrawal and the destruction it would do to the country.

3. Iraq is a lot more complex than simply the ethnic groups. Many Shia Iraqi's oppose others that have deep ties with Iran. There has been fighting in the past between Shia militia groups as well as Kurdish militia groups. A premature pullout and fall of the current Iraqi government will only make these intra-ethnic tensions worse.

4. The only way out is to preserve the Iraqi state, by strengthening the current Iraqi government and military. This will take many years, more fighting, and hundreds of billions of dollars, but it will prevent a civil war that could kill millions, and a regional war(not simply based on mere sectarian differences) further down the road with unpredictable consequences for the entire planet. Almost all of the sectarian violence in Iraq is contained to Baghdad despite more than half of the country is evenly mixed.

5. As the United States military, US State Department, and the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, have said, partition is not an option in Iraq today. To many area's of the country are to evenly mixed between ethnic groups to make any concievable partition work. An attempt at partition will make the civil war everyone fears more likely as well as make it easier for neighboring countries to interfere in the affairs of the smaller and weaker states that one would be creating. Partition is a recipe for Civil War and potentially a regional war.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:43 PM   #104
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no, it isn't.
Afghanistan has a 5,000 year history of no unity and warlordism. No government in Kabul has ever really controlled much of the country for an extended period of time. While everyone tends to respect the borders of Iraq in some way, many pashtun tribes in southern Afghanistan go back and forth across the border with Pakistan and live as if it didn't exist. The Pashtun are the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and form the base of support for the insurgency against the Government in Kabul which at least early on was dominated by other non-Pashtun ethnic groups. There is a much longer history of division and infighting in Afghanistan than there is in Iraq. The government in Kabul is weaker than the government in Baghdad. The Pashtun based insurgency against the government in Kabul is every bit as much a "Civil War" based on your definition of what a "Civil War" is.
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Old 01-26-2007, 03:45 PM   #105
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is redeployment to Kurdistan the same thing as walking away?
The United States has had a military presence in Kurdistan since 1991, so in effect simply withdrawing there would indeed be walking away in terms of the US's ability to impact events inside the country.
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