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Old 12-04-2003, 03:47 PM   #1
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Pollock & other Experts View on "Winning the Peace"

http://www.ipsnews.net/interna.asp?idnews=21384

I though this article was worth reading. I admire Pollock's take on things and the other experts. Hopefully someone is listening.

IRAQ:
Recent Visitors Question U.S. Tactics

Analysis - By Jim Lobe


WASHINGTON, Dec 3 (IPS) - While electricity generation now exceeds pre-invasion levels, markets are plentiful, and virtually all school-aged children are back at their desks, the war for Iraqi ''hearts and minds'' remains very much up in the air, say independent analysts who have recently returned from that country.

''This could go either way,'' Kenneth Pollack, a former Middle East analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), told an audience gathered at the Brookings Institution here Tuesday.

''There's a great deal of good going on Iraq, but there's also a great deal of bad.''

Like many experts, Pollack, who supported last spring's invasion, is growing increasingly concerned that U.S. military tactics in trying to defeat resistance to the occupation might in fact be creating new enemies among the population.

...
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Old 12-04-2003, 06:08 PM   #2
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Old 12-04-2003, 06:09 PM   #3
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I have always felt, having read Pollack's book twice cover to cover, that he was for a much broader coalition which included Arab partners and the UN itself.

Others feel this coalition did that.

I would still read the book, it REALLY should have been the case for the humanitarian reason for war.
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Old 12-04-2003, 10:20 PM   #4
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Hey, I want to read this, if I can get away from holiday distractions. Can you order it from Amazon.com?
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Old 12-05-2003, 06:54 AM   #5
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Yes....The Threatening Storm is the Title. Pollack is NOT a neocon. He is a neo liberal. He presents five alternatives to war, but the one he supported is war. He also presented an excellent history of Iraq to give an overview of the culture and religious influences. It is well worth the read. The interesting part is that Pollack uses other nations intelligence sources if my memory serves me correct (Germany) to make his case in the WMD area. It is well worth the read. I may read it again just to have a kind of hindsight take on things.
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Old 12-05-2003, 07:55 AM   #6
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This is part of the reason the reconstruction is not going so well.

http://www.informationclearinghouse....rticle5338.htm

...
When the history of the occupation of Iraq is written, there will be many factors to point to when explaining the post-conquest descent into chaos and disorder, from the melting away of Saddam's army to the Pentagon's failure to make adequate plans for the occupation. But historians will also consider the lack of experience and abundant political connections of the hundreds of American bureaucrats sent to Baghdad to run Iraq through the Coalition Provisional Authority.

...

In their place, the architects of the war chose card-carrying Republicans--operatives, flacks, policy-wonks and lobbyists--for almost every key assignment in the country. Some marquee examples include U.S. civil administrator Paul Bremer's senior advisor and liaison to Capitol Hill, Tom Korologos, one of the most powerful GOP lobbyists on Capitol Hill. Then there's the man in charge of privatizing Iraq's 200-odd state owned companies, Tom Foley, a venture capitalist and high-flying GOP fundraiser. Foley was one of the Bob Dole's top-ten career donors, Connecticut finance chair for Bush 2000 and a classmate of the president's from Harvard Business School.

...
By making partisan loyalty their primary criteria, the administration ruled out most of the people with experience in the field and restricted themselves to politically trustworthy Republicans, many of whom, though often well-meaning and admirably willing to serve their country in a very dangerous place, had little to no experience to prepare them for the challenges they'd encounter in Iraq.

...

CPA officials say that the older GOP functionaries do a reasonable job keeping their partisanship publicly under wraps. But the younger Republicans in Iraq spend much of their time plotting against the Democrats. "Everything is seen in the context of the election, and how they will screw the Democrats," said one CPA official. "It was really pretty shocking to hear them talk."

"They are all on the campaign trail," said another official. "They see this as a stepping stone to a better job in the next Bush administration." "I don't always know if they are Republicans," said yet another senior CPAer. "But what is clear is that they know nothing about development, and nothing about transitional economies." They're trying to do the right thing, this official adds, "but they do what they do without any knowledge of how the post-war world works in reality. They come up with hare-brained schemes that cause so many problems they take more time to fix than to create."

It's also driven journalists on the ground, watching these operatives move in and out of Saddam's marble Republican Palace, which CPA commandeered as its headquarters, to joke: "They don't call it the Republican Palace for nothing."
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Old 12-05-2003, 05:20 PM   #7
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That was interesting, Scarletwine. Thanks for the link. I'm going to try and fit the Threating Storm in my budget, somehow. It sounds like a good read also.
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Old 12-08-2003, 08:18 PM   #8
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Here are the last two pages in the conclusion of Ken Pollacks book, The Threatening Storm, a book in which he debates the various options for dealing with Saddam, and decides that war is the only option that will succeed.

" At the beginning of this book, I raised the analogous situation confronting Britain and France as they faced Germany in 1938. Despite the fact that the balance of power lay in their favor, London and Paris decided against war in 1938 because of the potential cost of a war at that time, even one they expected to be victorious. Those costs seemed so high that they concluded that there had to be another way and so opted for appeasement. In addition, many people in Britain and France were certain that HItler would be satisfied with the Czechoslovakian Sudetenland and would change his ways after that. Imagine going to those same decision makers in 1945, after the graves of tens of millions had been dug, hundreds of cities had burned to the ground, and the smoke from London, Rotterdam, Dresden, and Berlin had started to clear. Imagine asking them then if, knowing what they did in 1945, they might have felt differently about the costs of going to war on their terms in 1938 rather than allowing Hitler to start the war on his terms in 1939.

We face a similar choice with Iraq today. No one can say for certain that we will have to fight a war with a nuclear-armed Saddam, but based on all of his history and all of the evidence we have about his thinking, it seems very likely. If we go to war today on our terms, we can be as confident in victory as it is possible to be in an undertaking as inherently uncertain as warfare. On the other hand, we can wait till tomorrow and risk the death of millions and the ruin of the global economy in the hope that Saddam will defy the evidence and the odds and become a man of peace.

It is wrong to claim that Saddam Hussein is irrational. However, it is equally wrong to believe that because he coldly and rationally calculates the odds, he gets those calculations correct. For more than thirty years, Saddam's pattern has been to coldly miscalculate the odds, with disastrous results for Iraq and its neighbors. Where the lives and livelihoods of so many are at stake, it would be reckless and irresponsible to gamble with the future by betting on Saddam's sudden conversion to prudence and restraint.

What's more, it is also important to consider the two futures of the Middle East and the world. The status quo means more of the same: more crises with Iraq, someday with the added incendiary of nuclear weapons; more disputes with our Gulf allies over our policies, our military presence, and everything else under the sun; more Arab-Israeli crises; more instability; more stagnation; more autocracy, anti-Americanism, and terrorism. The Middle East has bred nothing but trouble for decades. A U.S. invasion of Iraq probably wouldn't suddenly transform the entire region any more than Saddam's acquisition of nuclear weapons is likely to transform his decision making. However, it would present an opportunity to rebuild Iraq-to create a stable, prosperous, inclusive new Arab state that could serve as a model for the region. It would give us an opportunity to turn Iraq from a malignant growth helping to poison the Middle East into an engine for change for the entire region. It would allow us to harness the human and material resources of what is probably the most richly endowed of all of the Arab states and try to make it a force that could help start to bring the Arab world out of the miasma into which it has sunk.

We are at an important moment in the history of the United States. We know that we face a grave problem with Saddam Hussein, and we have good evidence that it is going to be a much bigger problem in the future than it is today. We can ignore the problem and hope it will just go away, or we can take the steps needed to solve it. Those steps will not be easy, and we should not downplay them. But they also will not be excessively onerous, and we should not exaggerate them-we will not have to mount World War II and the Marshall Plan again. The question that we need to ask ourselves today is, ten years from now, when we look back on this moment which choice will we most regret not having made?

We faced an identical moment in 1941. We like to tell ourselves that the reason we fought World War II in Europe was because Hitler declared war on us. Nonsense. We went looking for that fight, and we welcomed it when it came. If we had not felt threatened by Hitler long before Pearl Harbor, there would have been no aid to Britain and Russia, no Lend-Lease, no Churchhill-Roosevelt converstations, no staff discussions, no destroyers-for bases deals. And had we not been open supporters of Germany's adversaries, there is little reason to think Hitler would have declared war on us when he did. Instead, we could have remained in isolation and embraced a policy of deterrence against Hitler, just as we are being urged to do against Saddam. After all, the threat we felt from Hitler was also not immediate- it was the vague notion that if Germany possessed all of the wealth of continental Europe, it would inevitably pose some kind of threat to the United States. We knew that joining the war against Germany would not be easy, but we believed that the costs were worth bearing because the alternative was to fight a much worse war in the future. Fighting Germany in World War II was one of the best things this country ever did. It did cost us a great deal, but it saved us from having to fight that much worse war, and it allowed us to remake the world.

Saddam Hussein is not Adolf Hitler, mostly because Iraq is not as powerful as Germany was. And defeating Saddam Hussein will not require the same sacrifices as defeating Hitler did. But the threat that Saddam presents to the United States and to the world is just as real, and the one we have today is no less pressing than those we faced in 1941. Franklin Delano Roosevelt defended the provision of aid to Great Britain against Nazi Germany under the Lend-Lease Act by arguing that if your neighbor's house were on fire and you had a hose, wouldn't you lend it to him-if only to put the fire out before your house caught too? Today another house is burning, and we are the only ones strong enough to douse the blaze. An invasion of Iraq may not be cost-free, but it is unlikely to be horrific and it is the only sensible course of action left to us. We would do well to remember John Stuart Mill's remark that "war is an ugly thing, but it is not the ugliest of things." In our case, the ugliest of things would be to hide our heads in the sand while Saddam Hussein acquires the capability to kill millions of people and hold the economy of the world in the palm of his cruel hand."
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Old 12-08-2003, 08:47 PM   #9
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He still does an excellent job presenting the other options and it was.is worth the read. I still feel that Pollack advocated a stronger declaration of war, a stronger base of arab support. and stronger support from the UN.

STING, do you feel that we could have waited to build up more support in these areas? That is my hangup. It is my contention that Powell did not do his job.
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Old 12-08-2003, 09:54 PM   #10
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If I look back into our threeads before the war, I think the anti's and the moderate's would be right on target.

Dread,
I don't think Powell was given a chance to dissent. In the end it was follow orders from the Commanfer in Chief , no matter how wrong.

I kind of get pissed at you and STING2 because you have a little macho soldier thing going on, therefore you know better. While I haven't been in combat I am a military family. I have love ones that served, including my Dad, stepdad, uncle, ect. and loved ones serving.

I'm a member, my husband, and my son is a member of the AL., But I am going to use my right to dissent to the best of my abilities to prevent perpetual war for perpetual peace. Or better yet , let's bleed our country to defense contractors.
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by Scarletwine

I kind of get pissed at you and STING2 because you have a little macho soldier thing going on, therefore you know better.
I never would have noticed....


Its a BIG macho thing
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


I never would have noticed....


Its a BIG macho thing
Now if you could just keep up with the real warror class;



Try to kepp the Conservatives against this ---- No
This is our MAN
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Old 12-08-2003, 10:37 PM   #13
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Bush may not of crossed every t or dotted every i on Pollacks check list of things to do prior to invasion, but I think Pollack gave the administration a passing grade on this. Pollack was on CNN a lot in the months leading right up to the war, and I don't recall him saying" that Bush has not done a or b or that war should be put off for 6 months or a year. I do remember him saying that it was important to act now against Iraq while it did not have Nuclear Weapons to avoid a much more dangerous and difficult war in the future.

Could we have waited to build more support in the UN, in Arab countries, and a "stronger declaration of war"?

I'm not really sure how time, 6 months, a year or more would have changed the way many countries felt about going to war, especially in light of the 12 years prior to this point.

You have the issue of Saddam's verifiable disarmament and the ways to achieve that. There are those that cling to the methods that had yet to work and required cooperation from Saddam himself and then there is the method that required no cooperation from Saddam and had yet to be tried, that others believed was the only way to solve the problem.

Looking at the situation now, I do believe that Powell did his job. Most of the NATO Alliance currently has troops on the ground. The numbers may be small, but it is a sad fact that most NATO countries do not currently have large numbers of troops that are trained and prepared for operations in Iraq. It is not something that can be changed overnight either. It is disappointing that there are not Egyptian or Pakistani forces on the ground in Iraq, but Egypt simply did not feel it could support such an operation with troops because of the domestic problems with extremist whoe would try and twist such support by Egypt to their advantage. Pakistan has to many problems to deal with from Afghanistan to India to its own domestic problems.

Even if countries like France and Germany were lock step in support of the USA, they could not offer any more troops than the United Kingdom has to the force, at the current time.

I don't think Powell failed because he was unable to get France and Germany to send troops. He did get them to sign a resolution that authorized the use of force, regardless of what others may say, and they have since signed multiple resolutions that recognize and approve the situation that was set up by Coalition actions.

Is there something that the Bush administration could of said or done prior to March 2003 that would of convinced more countries of the need to act? I think that is really the key question rather than simply taking more time. The central issue had been there for 12 years and I think idealy, the military action of 2003 should have taken place in 1998 or 1999.
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:11 AM   #14
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Another articel about winning the peace,....maybe some the IsraŽl experts can help the usa out,...


http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/07/in...partner=GOOGLE


This part is desturbing,...


Two and a half weeks later, the town of Abu Hishma is enclosed in a barbed-wire fence that stretches for five miles. Men ages 18 to 65 have been ordered to get identification cards. There is only way into the town and one way out.

"This fence is here for your protection," reads the sign posted in front of the barbed-wire fence. "Do not approach or try to cross, or you will be shot."

American forces have used the tactic in other cities, including Awja, the birthplace of Saddam Hussein. American forces also sealed off three towns in western Iraq for several days.

"With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them," Colonel Sassaman said.

The bombing of the house, about a mile outside the barbed wire, is another tactic that echoes those of the Israeli Army. In Iraq, the Americans have bulldozed, bombed or otherwise rendered useless a number of buildings which they determined were harboring guerrillas.


We al know what for a succes IsraŽl is.
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Old 12-09-2003, 07:12 AM   #15
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