Americans must get ready for a long term presence in Iraq

By Ted Belman

Patraeus and Crocker take the wind out of the sails of the Democratic Party’s ship of retreat and they blew apart the ISG report recommending negotiations with Iran.

Although I didn’t hear any questions dealing with the alleged primacy of ending the Arab/Israeli war, the fact that it wasn’t worth a question is testimony to just how phony the linkage is.

Iran was fingered as uncooperative and deadly. What was clear was that something had to be done about Iran.

Meanwhile, though American’s don’t support the War in Iraq, they do support the War on terror. As Michael Barone wrote

    But when it comes to the question of protecting Americans from Islamist terrorists, the Democrats have little to say, or nothing. Democratic candidates have mentioned Islamist terrorism only briefly or, more often, not at all in their several debates. In contrast, Republican candidates in their debates have more to say on the subject. On this issue, it is the Republican candidates who are in line not only with their primary electorate but also with most voters in the general election.

Don’t count out the GOP just yet. They might just ride to power next year on the same security ticket.

September 12, 2007 | 4 Comments »

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4 Comments / 4 Comments

  1. As long as Israel accepts money from the US, US policy is a major concern for Israel. As such, the differences between Republicans and Democrats are a topic worthy of discussion on a blog abour Israel.

    Personally I think both major political parties are bad for Israel. At a minimum, Israel should phase out aid from the Americans and in time eliminate it completely. Better yet the Israelis should immediately reject all financial assistance from the US. This would give Israel a freer hand to chart a course for its policies that are separate from the US.

    Currently the US would not seem to be a stablizing force in the ME. This is primarily becuase of two basic reasons. The Iraqis misunderstand the intentions of the Americans. They erroneously think the Americans plan to stay permanently,

    Also, they misunderstand American capabilities. One Iraqi who was polled thinks the Americans could fix his country in “one hour” if they wished to. This is simply beyond the capabilities of the Americans. Fighting a very powerful enemy while trying to build a country that was destroyed by the previous government is a very tall order. Personally I disagree with the “nation building” concept. I would not have implemented the policy, however, this does not alter the fact that the Iraqis over estimate American capabilities.

    This is hardly surprising. The US has been demonized in the ME for decades now. If the power of an enemy is over stated, it becomes much easier to vilify them.

    If the US wished to become a stabilizing force, it would need to commit enough troops to actually establish security for the entire country of Iraq and it would need to do more to counter enemy propaganda. If the things were done, perceptions of America in Iraq and the broader ME would probably change for the better.

    More troops will not be forthcoming. The Bush Administration is already talking about cutting troops by next summer. In any event, the US Army, at its current size, cannot sustain the current deployment for much longer. As such, by this time next year all US forces will be completely out of Iraq. This will be the case regardless of the situation on the ground.

    As for countering enemy propaganda, US efforts, to the extent that they even exist, are so amatuerish compared to its enemies that it is generally a futile effort. The US lags so far behind its enemies in this area that I’m not so sure they can narrow this gap any time soon. Someone once said “repeat a lie long enough and loud enough and people will start to believe it.” American enemies have taken this to heart.

    As for the Iraqis, if they want the US out of Iraq, they have a soverign government now. There government officials can make the request for the US to leave. Of course many Iraqis incorrectly believe the US would not honor this request!! This seems unlikely to happen in the near term because Sunnis and Kurds seem to be currently getting a net benefit by the US presence, at least their leaders are. These things always seem to be in a state of flux. In any event, the American domestic political climate and military neccessity will force a complete American withdrawl by this time next year regardless of how any Iraqi or anyone else may feel about it.

    A permanent US military presence is not feasible. The elite media would never allow it. They would vilify any politician who would seriously attempt such a thing, eventually destroying his or her career. Often times the mere accusation is enough to ruin a political leader. Memebers of the elite media can and do smear people they don’t like. If Republicans tried to keep a permanent US presence in Iraq, the Democrats would never allow it and vice versa. This is because the American people will never allow it. Also, permanent American military bases in Iraq would have no marginal utility for the Americans. The restrictions that the Iraqi government would place on their use would make them a net liability for the Americans becuase the Iraqi government has already stated that its territory cannot be used to launch attacks on its neighbors and these bases would be under constant attack by insurgents. The bases that are probably being built would have huge utility for the Iraqi military. This is who the bases are being built for.

    As for the Americans, they will be withdrawing from Iraq very soon. In the ocming years, the US will be obsessed with improving its world wide image. After its losses in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US will no longer be a major power. Perhaps the world will be a better place when Russia and China dominate it or perhaps not. In any event, the world will be finding out soon.

    Finally, and most important of all, as for Israel who this blog is about, the Israelis should begin to chart a course for all of its policies that is separate from the US. In the coming years, it seems unlikely that the US will be either willing or able to help Israel in any significant way. Since an overriding concern of US citizens and the US political elite will to improve America’s image around the world, this is potentially very dangerous for Israel. I think it is highly likely that the US may think it can score cheap points with the world if it pressures Israel harder than it already has.

    If Israel begins right now to chart a course for its policies that are separate from the US, in time, the US will have less influence over Israel. As such, the world will not pressure the US as much to pressure Israel becuase the US will no longer have the influence over Israel.

  2. I ageree: you are running a U.S. political policy batch of stuff here and misdirect readers, who thought this was to be about Israel. Yes. You will work up a justification of some sort. Barone is a fool and not very bright, in my opinion. Bush has not got Osama, as he said he would; his Iraq war has put Iran in charge of the region, and his Homeland Security is not very good when all is considered. And you badmouth the Dems for lacking this or that. The US is not a stabilizing force. If it were, why would poll after poll of Iraquis show that they want us out? Saddam–yes, that bastard–stabilized things and kept Iran at bay. Now he is gone and we have the turmoil that political scientists foresaw.

  3. I always try to answer your provocative questions. I believe that America will be a stabilizing force in the ME with their presence. The line must be held against Iran and their proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas. Otherwise Lebanon will be taken over as will the territories and Jordon. Thus Israel needs American presence in the ME for its own good.

    Now I know that the US, no matter who is in power will push for Israel’s capitulation.

    As for US imperialism I must ask what is your druthers. Should the US retreat from the world and disengage. Should it allow greater hegemony to Iran Russia and China. How is this good for the American people or for Israel.

    Having said that, I am very much against America being in bed with Islamofascists both at home and abroad. I fault America for supporting the KLA in Serbia, Fatah in Judea and Samaria, the Saudis while they spread Islam throughout the world. I also fault them for selling Israel out.

  4. Ted

    I do not understand your political line. Why is this an issue on this site? Why is what happens between democrat and republican in the US even an item.

    Both these parties are parties of US Imperialism. What the US Imperialists and the British and EU Imperialists have created in Iraq is a nightmare.

    They have replaced Saddam with the worst kind of Islamofascist hell hole.

    The US and the British have basically supported Sistani, Sadr and SCIRI.

    Well a good test of these people is their attitude to women, Jews and homosexuals.

    I have this quote from an article Peter Tatchel wrote last year:

    “Sistani fatwa encourages terror against queers

    Shia Badr Corps execute sodomites, Sunnis and others

    UK fetes Sistani and hosts Badr’s political wing, despite anti-gay murders

    London – 15 March 2006

    Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani of Iraq has issued a death fatwa against lesbian and gay people. In a question and answer section of his website, he calls for the killing of homosexuals in the “worst, most severe way” (see Sistanti’s text below).

    “Sistani’s murderous homophobic incitement has given a green light to Shia Muslims to hunt and kill lesbians and gay men,” says exiled gay Iraqi, Ali Hili, of the London-based gay human rights group OutRage.

    Mr Hili also heads up the new Iraqi LGBT – UK Abu Nawas group, which consists of exiled gay Iraqis and has close links with clandestine gay activists inside Iraq.

    “We hold Sistani personally responsible for the murder of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Iraqis. He gives the killers theological sanction and encouragement,” said Mr Hili.

    “Evidence we have received from our underground gay contacts inside Iraq suggests intensified homophobic abuse, threats, intimidation and violence by fundament ali st supporters of Sistani and other Shia leaders.

    “Grand Ayatollah Sistani is the spiritual leader of Shia Muslims in Iraq, including supporters of the main Islamic fundament ali st movement, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), and its armed wing, the Badr Corps.

    “The government in Iraq consults regularly with Sistani on political, social and moral issues. He wields huge influence over Iraqi government policy and the over Iraqi Shia public opinion.

    “Sistani is not even Iraqi. He is an Iranian national who has set himself up as a religious leader in Iraq. He wants to impose an Iranian-style theocracy on the Iraqi people.

    “The British government paid for Sistani to have medical treatment in the UK in 2004, and fetes him as a revered Muslim leader.

    “The Badr Corps, which is the armed wing of SCIRI, has instituted a witch-hunt of lesbian and gay Iraqis – including violent beatings, kidnappings and assassinations.

    “Despite Badr’s murderous record, the UK allows its political arm, SCIRI, to have offices and fundraise in the UK. Badr is the terrorist wing of SCIRI. Badr should be proscribed as a terrorist organisation.

    “Badr agents have a network of informers who, among other things, target alleged ‘immoral behaviour’. They kill gays, unveiled women, prostitutes, people who sell or drink alcohol, and those who listen to western music and wear western fashions.

    “Badr militants are entrapping gay men via internet chat rooms. They arrange a date, and then beat and kill the victim.”

    This is what the US and British war has created. This is who the US and British have placed into power.

    I do not understand even discussing Democrat or Republican options.

    When you say Petraseus and Crocker stop the retreat that `places you and this site in support of the war, or does it?

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