20 Dec

Iraq will be Barack Obama’s Vietnam [Reader Post]

                                       

Iraq will become Barack Obama’s Vietnam. Not in the boogieman sense that the left has been using the Vietnam War for the last 40 years where every American use of force is the “next Vietnam” but rather in its aftermath.

The Vietnam War ostensibly ended in ended in early 1973 with the signing of the Paris Peace Accords. The agreement was based upon an agreement by all sides to stop hostile activities and for American troops to depart. The Americans would continue to supply the South Vietnamese military. In addition, the SVN leadership was explicitly assured that were the North Vietnamese to resume hostilities the United States would begin bombing Hanoi and other targets in the North.

Unfortunately for the South Vietnamese, the promises of arms and support were mirages. In 1974 Congress cut military aid to Vietnam from $2.3 billion to $1 billion and then in 1975 to $300 million. Thanks to the Democrat’s Case-Church Amendment, when the North had resupplied and resumed hostilities, the promised US bombing never came. In April 1975 Saigon fell and the South surrendered.

Then came the nightmare. Upwards of a million South Vietnamese found themselves in prisons, “re-education camps” or other tropical outposts where they were treated to starvation, torture and murder. Hundreds of thousands more braved the oceans in order to escape, a quarter of them never reaching shore. The effects of this nightmare reached into Cambodia and Laos as well.

And now there is Iraq.

The war in Iraq was obviously far different from the one in Vietnam. Unfortunately however, the aftermath may be similarly unpleasant.

While Iran will not invade Iraq anytime soon, the country could still become a vassal of the ayatollahs. If Iraq escapes that fate it may well collapse into a civil war that eventually draws not only the involvement of the Iranians, but of the Saudis, the Turks and other neighbors as well. Oh, and, yes, perhaps eventually the Americans again.

However one feels about the war in Iraq in the first place, the manner of the exit ensures one thing, that the American blood and treasure spent toppling Saddam Hussein and seeking to establish a viable democracy in the Middle East will likely be for naught.

Not that Saddam Hussein will be coming back anytime soon, he won’t… but the country he once ruled will likely become a basket case or a failed state.

The writing on the wall has been there for years. Candidate Obama had been a critic of the Surge and President Obama’s only priority in Iraq seemed to be leaving.

Iran was paying close attention. Although they had been heavily arming insurgents and Shia militants during the dark days of 2005-2007, by 2009 their efforts had largely been defeated with the establishment of a fledgling but credible Iraqi government infrastructure.

However, the national elections of 2010 opened the door to Iran once again. Barack Obama was inexplicably a proponent of a laissez faire policy in reference to the dysfunction in the formation of the Iraqi government following the 2010 elections. To anyone looking (and there were many) it was clear that the United States was disengaged and focused on wrapping up the operation.

Such chaos invites the efforts of a strong horse. Iran was willing to play. With an ambiguous constitution and a Chief Justice carrying Prime Minister Maliki’s water, the Iranians became the power brokers behind the new government, forcing Mr. Maliki into a coalition that included the Sadrists, erstwhile insurgents led by cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. This was only possible because of the vacuum left by the Obama administration. Had the Iraqis been confident that the United States would be standing with them until they could stand on their own, there would have been no vacuum for the Iranians to fill.

As things stand today, Iraq sits on a precipice of disaster. Within the last three months terrorist attacks have increased, sectarian infighting has escalated and two of the country’s eighteen provinces have sought semi-autonomous status, seeking to enjoy the autonomy the Kurds enjoy. Other provinces will surely follow. For a country with a weak central government and deep divisions amongst its population, such a centrifugal force is not exactly helpful. This will be particularly problematic as the national government seeks to collect and distribute oil revenues, bolster the power grid and perform other traditional tasks. Apart from the growing separatism at the local level, the federal government is a patchwork of alliances, most of which are held together by Iranian influence. That influence comes in various forms, from their covert (but hardly secret) support of terror groups Khataib Hizballah and Asaib Ahl al-Haqq, who are not only responsible for killing US troops but for targeted assassination across the country, to their overt economic, diplomatic and religious ties. As if to put a cherry bomb on the top of this powder keg, the day after the last American troops left the country, the Shiite-led government issued a warrant for Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, the country’s highest ranking Sunni official, on terrorism charges.

Of course it did not have to be this way. American Military planners had long sought to leave a force of between 20,000 to 30,000 troops to provide continued security, run counterinsurgency operations and to focus on training of the Iraqi military. Most analysts believed that number was the minimum number necessary to maintain many of the hard fought gains won over the last four years.

While 20,000 troops may sound rather small in terms of maintaining gains achieved in a country of 30 million people, the message they would have sent to the Iraqis, and equally importantly, to the Iranians, would have been crystal clear: The United States will not allow a democratically fragile Iraq to become an battleground of the Middle East or an Iranian puppet.

That however was never Barack Obama’s message. His campaign would later reveal his message: “Ending the War in Iraq: A Promise Kept

For some perspective, one might observe that leaving sizable troop levels in a theater for a period of time after a conflict in order to maintain hard fought gains is nothing new. A quarter century after the end of WWII there were 260,000 American troops in Germany and today, sixty years after the Korean War there are 30,000 US troops in South Korea. Obviously the Korean peninsula and Western Europe are different than Mesopotamia, but the notion remains that leaving troops to midwife a long term positive outcome is far from foreign. At least to most people not named Barack Obama.

Instead, the message the Iraqis and their neighbors received from the United States was one of detachment driven by a President with little interest in anything other than ending “Bush’s War”. Whereas Bush talked with Prime Minister Maliki on a weekly basis, President Obama spoke with him rarely and not at all between February 13 and October 21 of this year, critical days in the period leading up to the end of the American presence in Iraq.

After months of doing nothing the administration finally proposed in August of this year to leave 3,000-5,000 troops, far below what most believed was necessary to secure the peace. Those numbers, far too small to fulfill its mission did prove helpful to the administration however: it provided a fig leaf behind which it could hide its retreat. This fig leaf came in the form of a lack of immunity for American troops on Iraqi soil. While Mr. Maliki and other members of the government may have been willing to go to the mattresses to secure such immunity for a substantial force that demonstrated a serious American commitment to Iraq, they were not willing to do so for a token force that would provide little support or security. Even that fig leaf was too small to provide true cover because the administration could have easily put any forces in Iraq on the diplomatic rolls, which would have provided such immunity.

At the end of the day, Iraq will be Barack Obama’s Vietnam in the sense that not only will most of the hard fought gains be lost, but there will be thousands who will pay the price for his choice, starting with the innocents who will be caught in the sectarian crossfire. They will not be the only ones however. So too will a price be paid by neighbors who fear an emboldened Iran as well as freedom advocates across the region who might have sought replicate Iraq’s success and build secular, democratic governments. And then there is the world’s confidence in the United States as a long term ally in the fight for regional stability and a bulwark against Iranian intervention.

Of course all of this comes on the heels of another futile round of sanctions seeking to keep the Iranians from developing or delivering a nuclear weapon. Barack Obama has certainly conveyed a message of strength and stability to the region. “Ending the War in Iraq: A Promise Kept” Indeed.

About Vince

The product of a military family, growing up in Naples, Italy and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and being stationed in Germany for two years while in the Army, Vince spent half of his first quarter century seeing the US from outside of its own borders. That perspective, along with a French wife and two decades as a struggling entrepreneur have only fueled an appreciation for freedom and the fundamental greatness of the gifts our forefathers left us.
This entry was posted in Barack Obama, Baracks Broken Promises, Iran, Military, Politics, The Iraqi War and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 3:00 pm
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19 Responses to Iraq will be Barack Obama’s Vietnam [Reader Post]

  1. Nan G says: 1

    All Sharia states are ”failed states.”
    Some have enough slaves or dhimmis to look like they are not failed states.
    Saudi Arabia is one of those with a very large percent of foreign workers who are limited to wages without rights.
    Even their children, born there of Saudi citizen males are denied rights as citizens.
    The problem with Islam as a ruling system (Sharia) is that it relies so heavily on slaves, servants and non-priviledged people to even look like a success.
    No wonder so many Muslims keep leaving Sharia states.

    Iraq choose to become a Sharia state when it had been given a chance for real freedom after Saddam.
    Now the various Muslim tribes and sects are all vying for top dog in that Sharia state.
    Everybody else will be enslaved.
    Yup, it will be bloody.
    But I can’t blame Obama for this one.
    IF you read the Al Qaeda Handbook you would recall the letter between then #2 al Qaeda Zaqari and Iraq’s al Qaeda #2 Zawahiri.
    Zaqari ordered Zawahiri to STOP killing ”fellow” Muslims while American and its allies were in Iraq.
    He ordered Zawahiri to limit his missions to foreign fighters until we all left.
    THEN, he said, then you can kill all opposing Muslims who do not submit to al Qaeda’s form of Sharia, not before!
    Nothing has changed except the names of the top leaders of al Qaeda.

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  2. MataHarley says: 2

    ouch, Vince. Sorry but I’m going to disagree. You’ve got some perspectives and facts mixed up here.

    Yes… the military planners – and that includes this much despised CiC – wanted to keep up to 20,000 troops there. The Iraqis do not feel we’ve abandoned them. They didn’t want nearly as many troops at best, and even that it had to be under their own unacceptable (IMHO and others) terms. Otherwise they wanted to go solo.

    Therefore, not being able to negotiate troop presence, protected from Iraqi laws for their actions, the Bush-Iraq SOFA agreement was followed as written. Let me say this again…. the Iraqis didn’t want that many troops there, and the amount they wanted there, they wanted to be subject to Iraqi law.

    But you cannot say that Obama did not want to stay. The best criticism you could give is that he couldn’t negotiate acceptable terms for staying and a larger number of troops. Frankly, I would not want to see that happen. So that fact that he failed to extend the US stay is, in my opinion, a good thing. But it wasn’t for his not trying.

    Nope, nope and more nope. Time for our guys to go home. Our military and coalition partners helped Iraq start their journey on their version of an Arab democracy, and now it’s their turn to maintain it. The birds have to leave the nest to learn how to gather their own food.

    As Ben Franklin said to Dr. James McHenry at a far more fragile beginning of our own nation in 1787 (Constitutional Convention closing…)

    McHenry: “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?”

    Franklin: “A Republic, if you can keep it.”

    Iraqis have been trained. They are farther along that the US was at that point in our history. They have tasted a tenuous beginning at a type of government they’ve never experienced, and they’ll need to work out their own bugs… just was we continue to do after 235 years.

    But they are not withouta base of natural resources and financial capabilities. They are not without far more central government organization than we had in the beginning, or infrastructure. They are not without military and police.

    But now you are telling us they are without will?

    I disagree that your doomsday vision is inevitable. Possible? Perhaps, but I highly doubt they, as a people and a new nation, would willingly allow themselves to be subject to another Saddam type coup, or to be a pawn of Iran.

    South Vietnam of the past has nothing in common with today’s Iraq and their chance at stability. In fact many forget that the South Vietnamese state had also had several self declared rulers who seized power in coups in the years before the war. It’s not like they were an organized and prolific free zone south of North Vietnam.

    Compare that status of revolving door rebel leaders to Iraq, with their constitution, multiple elections, built up army and police forces, Parliament, economy, infrastructure, financial world etal. Vast difference.

    It was four months after the Paris peace agreement that Congress tied the CiC’s hand, forbidding *any* military intervention (not defunding) with the Case- Church Amendment in 1973. Thousands of South Vietnamese were killed during the Peace Accords ceasefire in the first year alone because the North didn’t honor the agreement. Despite the escalation, Congress punctuated the lack of will to aid Vietnam with ensuing years of defunding.

    That is the right of Congress.

    The abandonment of South Vietnam by the US… tho Constitutionally legal… was more that the nation really was never equipped to defend itself… militarily, with manpower, strategy or financially. It wasn’t when we went in, and it wasn’t when we left. That is not the case with Iraq.

    Vietnam wanted us to stick around and protect them. Iraq does not.

    If Iraq were in trouble, and perhaps not smothered by pride, they may request future assistance from the evil western Satan, the US. At that time, that Congress will have to decide whether they would allow re’entry. But I’d say all of us are curious to see their first solo baby steps… and wish them the best.

    Yes, like Franklin said… you have an Arab democracy, if you can keep it. That’s their job, not ours. And it will have to be fueled by a desire to keep it.

    @Nan G, Iraq is a parliamentary democracy, and has a mixed civil and Shariah law foundation. I would expect any nation that is predominately Muslim would have a mixture at best… i.e. Pakistan, UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan etc. Rather amazing Iraq, or any of them, has it at all when their jihad elements persist in telling the rest of them that any form of democracy is unIslamic.

    You cannot impose your western vision of government on to these countries, and their particular brand of Islam. They have not known what American born Muslims have known. Thus why they leave and seek a life in the western nations. They aren’t doing so to change the western nations in to what they fled.

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  3. liberalmann says: 3

    Nice spin. Obama ends the war, pulls the troops and it’s ‘his viet-nam.’ You’re just nuts.

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  4. One area where many politicians seem to agree is that “we will be in the ME”. Even Bush and McCain. If not today then soon. We cannot just let that place fall apart, no matter how much a part of me would enjoy seeing that. Both Russia and China are pushing to establish themselves as well as they can. And then there is Israel. And not to mention the strategic importance of many areas and waterways in the ME. And then of course the Black Gold. So yes, sooner than later American Forces will once again be pounding the sands of the ME and spilling their blood. And that is the saddest part right there out of all of it. What remains to be seen is how fast will Iraq become a puppet of Iran, and or be nothing more than another radical islamic state. Then American will have to make up for lost ground, and then start over from there. One good thing can come out of this though depending on how you look at it, if Iraq starts to crumble really fast in with-in the next year, even Rommy will beat Obi. There will be many angry Americans (i hope asking how such a thing could have happened after the price so many Americans and their families paid, and are still paying). And that finger will be pointed at the Supreme WarLord and Demi-God Our President Obama.

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  5. Liberal1 (objectivity) says: 5

    Vince says, “Then came the nightmare. Upwards of a million South Vietnamese found themselves in prisons, ‘re-education camps’ or other tropical outposts where they were treated to starvation, torture and murder.”

    I know this is part of the right-wing story about the aftermath of the Vietnam War, but would you please document you statements? The are also contrary views, like the fact the Socialist Republic of
    Vietnam invaded Cambodia to stop the atrocities of Pol Pot. (http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/vietnamwar/section10.rhtml)

    War is hell. If we hadn’t been involved in Vietnam in the first place, almost 4 million people would not be casualties of the war for no purpose. (ibid)

    Just because we’ve withdrawn from Iraq (except for a number of mercenaries) doesn’t mean the war is over. That’s what happens when we go to war with a country under questionable circumstance. Again, millions of civilians were killed, dislocated, wounded, or orphaned, for what? The only winner I can see is Bush family friend and their associates that gained oil contracts in the Kurdish region.

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  6. MataHarley says: 6

    @liberalmann: Nice spin. Obama ends the war, pulls the troops and it’s ‘his viet-nam.’ You’re just nuts.

    Speaking of “nice spin”… duh wuh The war was ended via the Bush/Iraq SOFA, which was signed, sealed and delivered almost two months before “da won” walked into the Oval Office with his redecorators.

    Obama did not construct that SOFA, nor the withdrawal schedule. Obama actually attempted to change that schedule and leave more troops in Iraq… ergo extending the war.

    But he failed.

    Therefore he deserves no credit for “ending the war”. And it deserves note that he wanted to elongate the war.

    Put that in your pipe and smoke that instead, libzero

    libman… (you and libzero are starting to blend discernibly…): War is hell. If we hadn’t been involved in Vietnam in the first place, almost 4 million people would not be casualties of the war for no purpose. (ibid)

    What?? Another of Greg’s classmates, graduating from Tarot Card History 101? LOL

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  7. MataHarley says: 7

    @libzero sez: I know this is part of the right-wing story about the aftermath of the Vietnam War, but would you please document you statements? The are also contrary views, like the fact the Socialist Republic of
    Vietnam invaded Cambodia to stop the atrocities of Pol Pot. (http://www.sparknotes.com/history/american/vietnamwar/section10.rhtml)

    Your attempt to alter history lacks factual events, libzero. Your timelines are simply incorrect and you happened to leap over a few important years in South Vietnam’s history.

    Paris Peace agreement was signed in late January, 1973. By Jan 1974, North Vietnam had already seized a great amount of the territory back for control, and over 25,000 South Vietnamese were dead… even before their “formal” campaign. Anything called the Hồ Chí Minh Campaign ring a bell for you? While the deaths and skirmishes had been ongoing, despite the peace agreement, the formal campaign began in Dec 13, 1974 north of Saigon, and ended when the South Vietnamese government surrendered on April 30th, 1975.

    Pol Pot, tho a leader of the Khmer Rouge since the late 60s, and unsuccessfully soliciting North Vietnam’s aid for seizing Cambodia, was busy fighting his own guerrilla war in Cambodia at that time. He did not come to power until April 17, 1975… just 12 days before the surrender of South Vietnam.
    Only then did Pol Pot, along with his newly formed Democratic Kampuchea/Khmer Rouge dominated forces, begin waging war against what was then the newly conquered Socialist Vietnam.

    So what you attempt to ignore is what transpired between the Paris agreement in Jan 1973, and April 1975… when South Vietnam was ill-equipped with both military supplies and trained military, and had been experiencing encroaching massacres from the North.

    Therefore the abandonment of Vietnam being discussed is the denial of air support, fighting forces and military supplies… all of which occurred before Pol Pot assumed power, and was still conducting his own civil insurgency in Cambodia.

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  8. Greg says: 8

    @Liberal1 (objectivity), #5:

    I know this is part of the right-wing story about the aftermath of the Vietnam War, but would you please document you statements?

    I’ve never seen any credible documentation of state sanctioned post-war atrocities in Vietnam. People like Paul Bogdanor assert that credible documentation exists in abundance, but what they cite turns out to be anecdotal reports or propaganda dating from the period.

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  9. MataHarley says: 9

    Greg: I’ve never seen any credible documentation of state sanctioned post-war atrocities in Vietnam.

    “state sanctioned post-war atrocities”????

    No, Greg. It was neither “post-war” nor “state sanctioned atrocities”. It was a continued war waged by the North Vietnamese, despite the peace accord, to seize the “state” of South Vietnam as theirs. I believe in civilian war deaths, they call that “collateral damage”. For military, it’s casualties. It’s not called “state sanctioned atrocities”.

    The peace agreement was bogus, never adhered to. Congress told the CiC that the US will not supply air support or intervene militarily in the event the agreement was broken via Case-Church. After that, they started defunding even sending military supplies to South Vietnam, so the South Vietnamese had little but old equipment to work with, and depleted manpower. Nevertheless, the South Vietnamese waged some major battles in 1973. However the losses in both manpower and equipment were devastating, and no US replenishment was enroute.

    Therefore 25000 soldiers and/or civilians approx died between 1973-74 (per then President, General Nguyen Van Thieu) during this NOT “post war” war via the continued military action by the Vietcong. Then came the real campaign.. and the end.

    They weren’t equipped to defend themselves when we went in, and we sure left them unable to defend themselves when we left. Short and simple.

    BTW, do you notice that the Vietnamese didn’t take to fleeing in boats during the war, but only after they were conquered by North Vietnam? Ever wonder why that is? Probably not.

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  10. Pingback: Peanut Farmer Sends Condolences to North Korea | Random Ramblings from IowaDawg

  11. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 10

    Hi Mata (#2). OUTSTANDING. Big tip of the hat.

    – Larry W/HB

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  12. MataHarley says: 11

    @Larry, I shall revel in the delightful holiday moment of us being on the same side of the pasture fence for a change. :0)

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  13. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 12

    A Christmas miracle.

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  14. MataHarley says: 13

    … been known to happen, Larry.

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  15. Vince says: 14

    @MataHarley:
    Mata, while the SOFA may indeed have been followed, my point is that the opportunity to fight for the immunity existed, and I would suggest that for a force capable of providing the security needed would have been sufficient to engage Maliki to sell the immunity to the population. For 3,000 troops he wasn’t going to spend the capital.

    You may be right that the Iraqis are farther along than the US was at this stage of our development, but we were largely protected by an ocean that kept most significant threats far from our border. The Iraqis not only don’t have that, but they have a fifth column that is funded by a neighbor who combines designs on their country with a somewhat unhealthy dose of paranoia and megalomania.

    As for Congress and the SVN, I’m not suggesting they did not have the constitutional right to do what they did. I’m suggesting it was a bad course of action.

    You are correct, it is their job to keep their democracy, not ours… but we can help and it’s in our best interests to do so. (Just like it was in Japan, Germany, Italy, Korea etc.) A force of 20,000 troops would likely have been sufficient to demonstrate that the United States intended to support for that proposition.

    At the end of the day I hope that the dire picture I paint does not come to fruition, but with the West’s feckless response to Iran over the last decade I am not sanguine at the prospect. There is no guarantee that leaving more troops would have succeed, but in the Middle East, like most places on the planet a power vacuum beckons for a strong horse. In this case I would suggest that Iran has seized on the President’s detachment and our exit as an opportunity… I think that’s unfortunate.

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  16. Richard Aubrey says: 15

    If Iraq turns out to be as bad as Viet Nam, it will be another victory for the dems. It is their goal and has been forever.

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  17. MataHarley says: 16

    @Vince, thanks for the response. Just as continued dialogue on some points… with the caveat that, in reality, you and I are speculating on crystal ball events here. Only time will tell of Iraq’s future. But so far, I’m not seeing anything happen in that country that I haven’t expected to see.

    All of Iraq’s increased security woes, bombings, etal… were promised by Zawahiri back in Jan/Feb 2008. I blogged on that interview, pulling out some excerpts in the afore link. The link in that post to Part One of that interview, translated by Laura Mansfield, is no longer available. Ms. Mansfield never publicly released her translation of the second part, and instead provided the translations in their entirety as part of her book, “His Own Words: A Translation of the Writings of Dr. Ayman Al Zawahiri “. I still possess the part one 46 page translation in PDF form, archived in my computer files. It still remains very interesting, and prescient reading.

    Zawahiri specifically noted they merely needed to wait for the US to withdraw from both Iraq and Afghanistan, and then he predicted the jihad movement would proceed to re’enter and spread their influence. Not surprising… and doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that they’d put forth the effort to capture the most fertile Caliphate land in the ME – possessing not only rich oil fields, but two fresh water rivers. Then, of course, there is it’s siting and proximity to the rest of the ME states.

    Iraq is, without a doubt, a prize to the Islam jihad movement. And if they could again attempt to seize tiny Kuwait, they’d add substantial Persian Gulf shoreline to their holdings as well.

    I doubt that the Iraqis, knowing full well the prize they hold, didn’t anticipate violence from these elements increasing once the US exited. It was one of the reasons they signed the 2008 SOFA with Bush. For more time to prepare.

    But as I said, they have an Arab democracy… if they can keep it. It is not the job of the US to do so for them.

    They have the basics to police and protect their new government, plus the option to request aid and assistance if they see fit. But you cannot force it upon them.

    Stratfor has a release today with Scott Stewart’s thoughts about Iraq’s security. As he pointed out, up until 2003, Saddam’s military served as the check to Iranian influence. But his rule and associations with the jihad movements were a negative for the US, and the Iraqis in general.

    With the fall of Saddam came the fall of his military… many of whom had intimate ties with Iran. During the war, and rebuilding of both Iraq by the Iraqis, and their military, the US served as that check against Iranian influence. And not always successfully. Fact is many in Iraq have relatives and friends in Iran. They are neighboring states, and both Islamic in their majority faith. They will always have to have some relationship… the question will always be, what kind of relationship, and how will it affect the western infidels?

    Now the Iraqi military has a strong start on their base… certainly not as strong as all of us would like it to be. But that choice is now theirs to make. And, as Stratfor points out, keeping Iranian influence at bay while the Iraqis attempt to police the expected jihad violence will fall to the US diplomatic stations there in Baghdad, Basra, Kirkuk and Arbil. Basra to the south has always been one of the sketchiest areas, and perhaps the most vulnerable to welcoming jihad with open arms.

    The US embassy in Baghdad is the largest in the world, covering 104 acres. It was built to withstand terrorist attacks… but not necessarily an attack against mob rule… i.e. Egypt, etal.

    Speaking of mob rule, that method of takeover was also another prediction of Zawahari in 2008…. referencing it as a “jihad awakening”. Removal of western forces from the Middle East was only step one. Step two was to remove apostate Muslim leadership – whom he also referred to as an “agent” of the infidel – with the jihad awakening.

    I expect – by the grace of Allah – the spreading of the Jihadi tide and an increase in its influence corresponding to the receding of the influence of the Crusaders, Jews and their agents in the places I mentioned.

    Considering his longing and attempts for decades to take down Mubarak, there was no one more pleased than him to see Egypt’s mob rule take effect. Now the mobs are still in the streets, that nation is under a form of martial law, and the MB is just fine with that.

    I think that Iraq’s new government, and the blood of Iraqis shed in its creation, make a mob rule coup less likely there than in the other Arab Spring venues. They would have to overwhelmingly want to take a step back towards the stone ages of despotic rule and fundamental Islam. Just don’t see that after their past eight years of growth in their new structure.

    The US POTUS meddled – most unwelcome by Mubarak, I’m sure – in Egyptian politics, stabbing an ally in the back. Instead, this POTUS and western press cheered on the mob rule. How convenient for Zawahiri.

    Now that mob has resulted in a new Egyptian rule that will not tolerate any public observations by US officials. When Hillary spoke up against the violence against female protesters, their foreign minister, Mohammed Amr, said:

    “Egypt will not accept any interference in its domestic affairs.”

    Being a friend to the US is now akin to allowing them to meddle in their affairs, as Obama did with Mubarak. I have no memories of Mubarak telling Obama to STFU. It doesn’t look like the new regime has any intention of allowing the US to have any influence within their borders.

    We cannot risk the same with Iraq. If they want us to leave, but still accept the large presence of US diplomatic stations, I think that a wiser diplomatic course to take than forcing ourselves upon them unwelcomed. Obama attempted that when he tried to up the ante on troop levels, and bargain for immunity.

    Personally, I don’t think Allah himself could convince the Iraqi parliament to allow US troop presence to go on… they were that determined to go it on their own, and have any remaining US troops stay on their terms only.

    I guess the difference between you and I is you still see Iraq as the vulnerable state just after the fall of 2003, confused with little organization and direction…. or a “vacuum”. I don’t. Young and untested, yes. But hardly a vacuum. They need to begin their new “norm” without the US as their protector. Then we will see if they have the will to keep their Arab democracy. If they don’t… well, you can’t force that on them either.

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  18. malize says: 17

    Gee Greg…what were all those boat people doing? Guess they couldn’t get good cruise boat tickets so they just pushed off into the SCS en mass as some kind of protest!

    I’m sure it had nothing to do with having upwards of a million people put into re-education camps, a couple hundred thousand executed outright, and having their whole way of life (if not their lives) up for confiscation?

    Nah…there’s no proof of that…there’s no documentation. Lets file a FOIA request with the Vietnamese government…I’m sure they’ll be as forthcoming as the Soviets were about those gulags, purges, and state organized mass starvations.

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