I think ^(link) therefore I err

Monday, March 20, 2006

Civil War in Iraq

I was listening to NPR yesterday and heard once again about the civil war in Iraq. This morning the papers are repeating the weekend's stories that the administration is "upbeat" while everyone else including Allawi knows there is a civil war going on in Iraq. The New Zealand Herald has Cheney denying such a case.
WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney today said Iraq had not fallen into a civil war that insurgents were trying to incite, and predicted success despite the constant violence three years after the US invasion.

Former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi had earlier said on BBC television that Iraq was nearing the "point of no return" and had already plunged into sectarian civil war.

Cheney said "terrorists" like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, and others were trying to stop the formation of a democratically elected government in Iraq by violence such as the bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra on February 22, one of the holiest Shi'ite sites.

"What we've seen is a serious effort by them to foment civil war, but I don't think they've been successful," Cheney said on CBS television's "Face the Nation."

Of course all of this relates to the President's falling poll numbers, etc, etc.
What the hell? Just hush people! And help me by defining what exactly you think constitutes a civil war? Shouldn't a civil war include a group of people within a country that is trying to overrun and take over that country? Or split away and create a new country?? What is happening in Iraq that is making people think that's what's going on? Have there been requests to the nascent government there? You know, the one that hasn't really even had it's first meeting. Has anyone seen a "new" leader emerging from the insurgants who would then be able/willing to head a new government?
Democrats sharply criticized the administration's Iraq policies.

"I think that the political leaders in Washington have failed when it comes to our policy in Iraq. They misled us into believing there were weapons of mass destruction and connections between 9/11 and Saddam Hussein. None of that existed," Sen. Richard Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, said on "Fox News Sunday."

Ok Mr. Durbin - what do you propose? What are the policies that are working so badly that you would change? (And yes, once again I'll let you get away with that dumb ass wmd comment. As the documents get out, I realize you will ignore them for a while and then one day just incorporate it all into the daily dialog.) And not just in hindsight. What would you do differently tomorrow? Shall we quit training Iraqi troops? Should we use a heavier hand? Should we force a different government? Seriously. What exactly is it that this president is doing wrong there?
And Mr. Allawi - do you know anything about leadership? Do you know that your words mean something to people? Or should anyway. If you think you are in the midst of a civil war, then what does that mean to you? What should happen next? Come on ....you can not just come out and say something so serious like that without some words of something following it. What does it mean in the big picture? Do you want to encourage strength in the fledgling country? Do you want to encourage the insurgants? Do you want the Sunni or the Shia to "win" this new war you are talking about? It matters what you say so use your head.
Thank you Mr. Cheney for doing so.

Captain Ed this morning has the latest on evidence for Sadaam's trial. It basically shows that he personally ordered the gassing of the Kurds in Halabja. He ends thusly:
It's fashionable these days to claim that the Iraqis were better off under Saddam than after his liberation, given the civilian death toll from the fight against the insurgents. Some claim that over 100,000 Iraqis have died since the invasion, although the methodology for those calculations has been highly suspect. In two years, Saddam killed over 180,000 Kurds just for being Kurds, and destroyed their homes, forcing them to live in the hills to survive -- and that doesn't count the hundreds of thousands of Marsh Arabs, Shi'a, and even Sunnis who died either in droves in reprisals for suspected disloyalty or individually as Saddam and his henchmen desired. This letter reminds us that Iraqis and the world have all benefitted from the removal of this sick, twisted dictator.


(ps: The Officers' Club links to some interesting charts on casualties in Iraq. )

(pps: If this Christian man in Afghanistan gets put to death for converting from Islam to Christianity, then I say screw em. Keep our satellites on that country and work to be able to identify every little thing that is going on but get hell out. It is not worth one more American life to keep a country going that will prosecute, to death, "thought crimes" such as this.)