Friday, October 21, 2011

Out Of Iraq - The Lesson Learned?

President Obama has announced that all U.S. troops will be out of Iraq by the end of this year, except for 150 troops needed to guard the massive U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

“The rest of our troops in Iraq will come home at the end of the year,” Obama said today at the White House. “After nearly nine years, America’s war in Iraq will be over.”

Contrary to the spin given to this by the WashingtonPost and the other establishment media, this was not President Obama's choice, but the demand of Iraqi government, who insisted that all U.S. troops be out of Iraq by year's end.

While this is also being spun as an expression of 'Arab democracy' it's actually anything but.

Moqtada al-Sadr's Iran-trained, armed and funded Mahdi Army militia has been maintaining a publicly declared quiet period with the provision that all U.S. forces leave the country. They're doing so on Iran's orders.

The Iranian strategy is to allow U.S. forces to leave and then begin a political de facto takeover of the new Iraq, aided by Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki, who depends on the support of the Shi'ite Bloc controlled by Iranian proxy al-Sadr to stay in power. Maliki actually lost the last elections back in March to the secular, pro-American bloc led by Ayad Allawi, but Maliki was able to overcome that by making a deal with al-Sadr to form a government and 'disqualifying' a few of Allawi 's winning parliamentary candidates on grounds that would have done credit to a Chicago ward heeler.

Iran owns Maliki now, and the Mahdi Army will prove just as useful as Hezbollah was in Lebanon at persuading anyone who objects to the new order to see things differently by removing any particularly stubborn opponents as an example.

Maliki is simply acting like the creature of the region he is and gravitating towards what he perceives as the strong horse. As soon as President Obama got in, Maliki took his measure, saw his weakness and understood that we were leaving, Iran isn't and that working with the mullahs was not only a way to stay in power but to stay healthy.

Besides, he doesn't need us around any more. We've already built him a shiny new army and repaired the country's infrastructure at our expense.

So Iraq will almost certainly dance to the Mullah's tune, while President Obama will now campaign as 'the man who ended Bush's war in Iraq and brought the troops home.'

President Bush's frequently stated war goals in Iraq were to have a stable Iraq who would be democratic and an ally of ours in the so-called 'war on terror.' The goals themselves were absolutely farcical in terms of the reality on the ground and what our actual war aims should have been, and even at that we have only barely accomplished one out of three, stability. And it cost us over 4,000 lives and a trillion dollars, much of which was wasted or stolen.

In the end, we didn't even wind up with the oil. The leases on the oil fields Halliburton was miraculously able to save after Saddam set them on fire went to China.

What we've established in Iraq is a Shiite Islamic Republic based on Sharia that will have much of its government friendly or beholden to our enemies in Iran. Iraq has continued to adhere religiously to a boycott of Israel that is against US law, and there has been open season under our watch on Iraq's Christians, a story that rarely merits a mention in the dinosaur media. Iraq will no more be a 'ally ' of ours against our enemies than say, Pakistan, and will limit their 'war on terror' activities to simply suppressing any dissident elements in their own society.

This was something that was easily predictable.

Let me make one thing very clear. To repeat what I said more than two years ago, General Petraeus, his successor General Ordiano and our warriors achieved an amazing victory in defeating an in-country insurgency backed by unfriendly states to the east and north that acted as havens, bases and transit areas for our enemies. And even more miraculously, they did it in spite of ridiculous Rules of Engagement designed with political correctness in mind that no American fighting men and women have ever had to face before. The warriors who won WWII would have shaken their heads in disbelief at that.

That said, what their valiant achievement accomplished(aside from sending a notable number of jihadis to their just desserts and putting a fighting edge on our army) was to put the best possible face on a bad situation and allow America a graceful exit. It wasn't a victory, but thanks to what our warriors accomplished, it wasn't a defeat.

Before we get involved in another war with foggy, dubious goals and no clear path to victory, we need to remember the lessons of Iraq. Nation building and establishing democracy are all very well in their place, but they come from victory.

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Anonymous said...

Excellent piece. This is one of the few things I've seen that actually takes an accurate look at what happened in Iraq.

felix said...

Good analysis.

The lesson learned should be that the US keeps a small footprint in so-called Muslim Lands--air bases but few ground troops. Instead concentrate on immigration policy in our own country by denying radical islamists entry and legally deporting those already here.

Anonymous said...

The mistake was NOT the war in Iraq the mistake was to spend trillions to "fix" Iraq after we eliminated the threat. We should have appointed a strongman to run the country and got the hell out of their back in 2004. These people are disparate tribes who on the surface appear to be alike but underneath are quite different and very intolerant of their differences. They will fight until either they are beaten or the other side is beaten. Let them do it but confine them to their country until they are done. And if they export their violence then bomb them back to submission.

B.Poster said...

It would have done no good for the Iraqis to ask the US to remain. as the US was never going to remain any way. The US never expected to be in Iraq for as long as it was. In the desire for America to withdraw, both the American and Iraqi governments were in total agrement with the Americans probably silghtly more determined to withdraw than the Iraqis were for them to withdraw.

I think you are essentially right about the surge. It afforeded a face saving exit, however, with or without the face saving aspect America was going to be withdrawring regardless.

I hope you're rgith about this giving our troops a "figting edege." Unfortunately it seems instead we may just worn theem thin to the point that even basic national defense may be a problem.

Anonymous said...

The Iraq War's goals were not dubious; ask your dual loyalist friend Doug Feith who helped provide the false WMD intel.

He might not admit he was outfoxed by Chalabi and a strong though disparate Iraqi resistance ranging from Sunni Baathists to al Sadr's men to Sistani's "not a chance" thwarting of America's bid to install an Israel-friendly puppet via the initial Bush election scheme.

Rob said...

Ah yes, Anonymous's always all about The JOOOS, isn't it?

A few inconvenient facts:

1) The intel on Iraq came from various sources, including most Western intelligence organizations like MI5 and the BDS. One man couldn't have cooked it up, although I'm sure you will put it done to an International Zionist Conspiracy. Your kind always does.

2) The intel wasn't all false. While the threat was not imminent,it was there. Saddam definitely had uranium ( later sold to Canada by the post-Saddam Iraqi government), a strong beginning and the technological know how in country. Plus,if you read the few documents and affidavits the Bush Administration released, it's obvious that lots of stuff was shipped to Syria. Since we blundered for almost eighteen months dealing with sewers like the UN that were actually making money under the table from Oil For Food before invading,we'll never know exactly what Saddam had or didn't have.

3) The Israelis had no fear of Saddam and unlike President Bush, were smart enough to realize that Saddam was a counter-balance to Iran, where the real threat was. Th eidea that Bush invaded Iraq 'for Israel' is so stupid as tobe almost beyond belief.

4) Bush 's fetish for 'Arab democracy' was what led him to put Shi'ite leaders in power who had been cozied up with Iran during the Saddam years. The results were predictable. The Saudis and the Emirates fully expected us to put in a pro-American leader and were shocked when we didn't.

Of course, I realize that for someone like you, an Islamic Republic in Iraq is far preferable to a pro-American regime...uh, what was that again about 'dual loyalty' ?