Battlepanda: Fuuuuuckkkkk...


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Monday, November 28, 2005


Don't get me wrong. I'm completely with Murtha -- lets withdraw as soon as practically possible. We never should have been there in the first place. And we're not doing any good today. So let's leave before we dig ourselves in any deeper.

But we mustn't fool ourselves. Withdrawal might be the best choice available. But it is not a good choice by any stretch of the imagination. There are no good choices left on the table. We are leaving Iraq in an ugly, fractured state, ripe for massive bloodletting, a renewal of oppression and fanatical Islamicism. I am reminded of the Washington Realist's ominous comparison of Iraq with Yugoslavia prior to their civil war. Here's the ZenPundit:
The loyalist paramilitaries are chomping at the bit, arguing that fire can only be fought with a fire that Washington does not have the stomach to do itself. They're probably correct - the insurgency can be defeated militarily ( or significantly degraded) but not without getting your hands dirty by slaughtering (or at least jailing) Sunni clansmen en masse until the insurgent networks collapse. It's a pragmatically ruthless tactic with a record of success in strangling guerilla armies that goes back to the Boer War, but it requires a Lord Kitchener type leader to carry it out and is exceedingly difficult to do and still look like you are the guy wearing a " white hat".

Here's the WaPo article that he's talking about.
BAGHDAD -- The leader of Iraq's most powerful political party has called on the United States to let Iraqi fighters take a more aggressive role against insurgents, saying his country will only be able to defeat the insurgency when the United States lets Iraqis get tough.

"The more freedom given to Iraqis, the more chance for further progress there would be, particularly in fighting terror," said Abdul Aziz Hakim, head of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the Shiite Muslim religious party that leads the transitional government and whose armed wing is the most feared of Iraq's many factional forces.

I have a feeling the "freedom" he's talking about has nothing to do with purple fingers. It would be ironic, would it not, if the United States expended all this blood and treasure to rid the Iraqi people of Saddam's death squads only to put Shiite death squads in their place.

Has it started already?
Gunmen dressed as Iraqi troops stormed the home of a senior Sunni leader Wednesday, killing him, his three sons and a son-in-law, Iraqi police said. Neighbors told authorities that at least 10 Iraqi army vehicles stopped outside the western Baghdad house of Kadhim Sarheed Ali al-Dulami in the early hours of the morning.

Jim McDonald of Making Light asks "Is there any reason at all to assume that these weren’t actual Iraqi troops, not play-acting insurgents “dressed as Iraqi troops”?"

I hope that we learn one lesson from this whole debacle -- you don't start wars (or allow wars to be started in your name) based on lofty principles ("Isn't freedom great?") or emotional blackmailing ("Isn't Saddam a bad man?"). Go into it as a only as a realist, or the war will make a realist out of you after making a mockery of all your good intentions.