Tag Archives: Iraq

Iraqd, We Hardly Knew Ye

The End of Iraq’d,” by Spencer Ackerman, Iraq’d, 25 April 2005, http://www.tnr.com/blog/iraqd?pid=2640.

Iraq’d, the war-liberal New Republic’s online blog of that country, is gone

THE END OF IRAQ’D: Given our open-ended commitment to Iraq, I’ve never really known when this blog should come to an end. Journalistically, several milestones–the June handover of power, the January election–offered an opportunity to phase out IRAQ’D, but doing so then might have falsely suggested that these events lent some sort of finality to our endeavor. Better then to use quality as the right measurement of the blog’s shelf life, and by that standard, it’s past time to say goodbye to IRAQ’D. The last several weeks of posts haven’t really added much to anyone’s understanding of a very complex situation. (Though a reasonable argument can be made that that’s been the case since my first entry.) So, let me offer my thanks to everyone for reading, and my unyielding admiration for the U.S. and coalition troops and brave Iraqis who sacrifice so that Iraq enjoys a future of reconciliation, peace, and liberty.

Farewell.

Iraq’d has been replaced in my blogroll by the Boydian Defense in the National Interest.

New TV Series: Allawi’s Law

Courtesy PKA:

The Allawi’s Law Season 2 Teaser Script

The teaser is meant to be a bunch of clips from the upcoming season.
Ayad Allawi: One Good Bad Cop

The teaser begins with Allawi chasing some bad guy down the street. As Allawi turns a corner we see a shocked expression on his face. The camera turns and we see the bad guy being cuffed by two regular cops and a female is standing aside looking on at the cuffing. The female lifts her eyes

Female: Good job detective. I’ll take it from here.

Narrator voice over:Condi Rice joins the cast of Allawi’s Law

medium_200px-condi_rice.jpg

The next shot is Allawi walking into the police station. He sees one of his bosses, the district commissioner who Allawi never liked.

Allawi: What’s going on?

Narrator voice over: Also staring Paul Bremer.
City Councilman L. Paul Bremer

Bremer: Now that I’m on city council, Rice is your new boss. Have fun. I’ll be sure to tell her all about you.

Bremer and Allawi then try to stare each other down

Next shot is Bremer and Rice in the commissioner’s office

Bremer: Allawi’s a loose cannon. Al Capone with a badge. He’s one mistake away from starting a war. If I were in your position I would cut him loose.

Rice: Really? Then why haven’t you gotten rid of him? Long silence. Maybe because he’s too effective?

Next seen has a man’s back talking on a celephone in the foreground and Allawi walking up from the background. Allawi walks up.

Celephone man: Got to go, he’s here.

Allawi: What was that about?

Camera moves to see behind Allawi’s back.

Narrator voice over: Ahmed Chalabi

But is he workign for internal affairs?

Chalabi: Silent laugh to Allawi’s face.

Next scene is in the break room with Rice and Allawi

Rice: How can I trust you if you are already lying to me? Do you know what city hall wants to do with you? The same thing they did to your partner. Put you behind some bureaucratic desk until you rot.

Allawi looks a picture of his old partner Benjamin Netanyahu. Rice, disgusted, walks out and is immediately stopped by Chalabi.

Chalabi: I think its time we allow Allawi chuckles to himself to have the strike team he always has been wanting.

Rice: Perplexed and just stares at Chalabi

Chalabi: But “allow me” laughs to himself this time to add an additional member.

Next scene is Allawi gearing up. A lieutenant runs up to him.

Lieutenant: Sir, we have a problem. It’s the new guy.

Allawi walks over and sees Chalabi’s addition
Jimmy Carter: The New Cop on the Beat

Narrator voice over: Jimmy Carter

Carter: I am ready to defend freedom.

Allawi has a skeptical/fearful expression on his face

Next shot is a meeting of Allawi’s loyal strike team members at a darken corner of a bar

Lieutenant: It’s the only way sir.

Allawi: But how can we trust Chalabi. If he finds out about the money train we’re all doomed.

Another Lieutenant: Drug money really is the devil’s money.

The final scene shows Allawi beating up a tied down drug overlord.

Muqtada al-Sadr
Narrator voice over: And a special guest appearance by Muqtada al-Sadr.

Allawi: Now, one last time. Where is the mayor’s daughter? Allawi holds a pistol against al-Sadr’s head

Narrator voice over: Allawi’s Law! This fall!

Cole Boat

Shiites, Kurds, win Big: Bush Loses Election in Iraq,” by Juan Cole, Informed Consent, http://www.juancole.com/2005/02/shiites-kurds-win-big-bush-loses.html, 13 February 2005.

Cole on Iraq, post election” Discussion Thread, by Collounsbury, et al, Lounsbury, http://www.livejournal.com/users/collounsbury/286441.html, 10 February 2004 through present.

ZP’s Mark has a high opinon of Juan Cole. Mark is more knowledgeable, more experienced, and wiser than me. Mark is a genius and I defer to him.

Nonetheless, I will keep criticising Juan Cole.

His quasi-Marxist leanings intrude themselves again

Allawi’s defeat (he will not be prime minister in the new government) is a huge defeat for the Bush administration, though it will not be reported that way in the corporate media.

As, I believe, he seriously misinterprets our actions in Iraq

Ironically, [Kurdish leader Jalal] Talabani is extremely close to Tehran and has been a client of the Iranians for many years. His alliance with the UIA will ensure warm relations between the new Iraq and Iran. The US, in pushing for Talabani for Iraqi domestic reasons, is creating a Baghdad-Tehran axis in regional politics.

As I wrote on Lounsbury

An objective of the war is forcing common interests with Iran. That relies on Shia predominance.

Further,

We changed the region so that Iranian and American interests now largely overlap. Iran has proven itself a cynical and realist power.

U.S. and Persian interests now overlap. We both have reasons to put pressure on Saudi Arabia. We both are leary of Pakistan’s ISI. We are maneuvering both to have pacific relations with the current Guardian government of Iran and to be the natural ally of a future free Persia.

Am I right? I think so. However, I know that Dr. Cole’s simplistic interpretation is focused more on politics than on academic honesty. He has built a niche for himself — regular reporting of Arabic-language news in English. He should be proud of that achievement. But he should also focus on using his knowledge to create something other than an anti-Bush screech.

Iraqification

Rumsfeld Seeks Broad Review of Iraq Policy,” by Eric Schmitt and Thom Shanker, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/07/international/middleeast/07military.html, 6 January 2005 (from Drudge Report).

A retired U.S. Army general is heading to Iraq

The extraordinary leeway given to the highly regarded officer, Gen. Gary E. Luck, a former head of American forces in South Korea and currently a senior adviser to the military’s Joint Forces Command, underscores the deep concern by senior Pentagon officials and top American commanders over the direction that the operation in Iraq is taking, and its broad ramifications for the military, said some members of Congress and military analysts.

My first thoughts reading this were “Iraqification.” South Korea has famously complained by American troops on the DMZ and in Seoul, and we have obliged them by pulling back. Allies need to be able to defend themselves, otherwise we get situations like France or Saudi Arabia. A quote further on seems to confirm this view

General Luck, who was a senior adviser to Gen. Tommy R. Franks at his war-time headquarters in Qatar during the Iraq campaign in 2003 and knows the operation in Iraq well, will lead a small team of military specialists. A principal focus will be to address one of the biggest problems facing the military in Iraq today: how to train Iraqi soldiers and police officers to replace the American troops now securing the country. Commanders have expressed disappointment in the performance of many of the Iraqi forces.

Iraq is in a civil war. The Shia are an overwhelming majority, and have a very large friend next door in Iran. It’s important we train Shia troops, whether regular Iraqi Army or SCIRI/Dawa-affiliated groups, to defend themselves against the Sunni Ba’athi/Salafist terrorists.

If General Luck can further show the need for this and open the last chapter in the Iraq War, so much the better.

The Pro-Democracy Faction

25 Insurgents Are Killed During Attack on U.S. Base in Mosul,” by Richard A. Oppel, Jr., and Khalid al-Ansary, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/30/international/middleeast/29cnd-iraq.html, 30 December 2004.

Ally of Militant Cleric Is on the Stump in Sadr City,” by Erik Eckholm, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/05/international/middleeast/05sadr.html, 5 January 2005.

Neither the supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr nor the Sunni terrorists particularly want us in Iraq. But the contract between them is striking…

From speeches ripped out of Daschle v. Thune

“You need to elect someone from your own city, someone who understands your problems,” the candidate shouted. “You need someone who suffered the way you did.”

To triangulation worthy of Bill Clinton

Mr. Sadr is not taking part in the elections, and at least one of his close aides has called for a boycott. But he clearly represents a significant constituency, mainly younger, disaffected Shiites, and people who have been watching the campaign here say he is hedging his bets.

He quietly approved the inclusion of about 20 supporters, insiders say, on the mainstream Shiite religious ticket, the United Iraqi Alliance, which has the implicit backing of the revered Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani and is expected to be the major winner in the elections.

Mr. Sheik’s ticket, Independent National Leaders, is fielding 180 candidates for the national assembly and 42 for the Baghdad city council. Here in Sadr City, where a Shiite population of two million includes both militant devotees of Mr. Sadr and those who call him a reckless upstart, the slate faces a head-on contest with the nationally dominant United Iraqi Alliance.

to the most absurd forms of interest-group politics

“You need backpacks and new books and pens,” he said to the children. “So will you make sure that your parents vote?”

Muqtada al-Sadr is acting like a politician. Maybe he’ll win.

However, those of the Sunni Arab persuasion are trying a different tact

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Dec. 29 – American troops and warplanes killed at least 25 insurgents who used car bombs and rocket-propelled grenades in a brazen but failed effort to overrun an American combat outpost in Mosul this afternoon, the fiercest fighting the restive northern city has seen in weeks. Fifteen American soldiers were wounded, military officials said.

The two-hour battle in Mosul followed an ambush on Tuesday night in Baghdad in which insurgents tricked Iraqi police into raiding a booby-trapped home and then detonated a massive bomb that killed at least 7 police officers and 25 others, Iraqi officials said today. Most of the civilian victims were residents of three nearby homes flattened by the blast, the officials said.

There, the troops were attacked by a coordinated force of about 50 insurgents who fired rocket-propelled grenades and semi-automatic weapons. At that point, two F-18 and two F-14 military jets swooped down on strafing runs and firing Maverick missiles, wiping out much of the insurgent force. “That’s when the close-air support came in and did a job on them,” he said.

A Civil War?

If Sunnis won’t vote, then what?,” by Dan Murphy, The Christian Science Monitor , http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0105/p01s02-woiq.html, 5 January 2005.

The Following is Pretty Obvious

1. The Reconstruction of Iraq could have been handled a lot better
2. There is a civil war in Iraq

But not to the Christian Science Monitor.

With growing tension between Iraq’s majority Shiites and the Sunni Arab minority who have always dominated the country’s government, low Sunni participation come election day is likely to further divide, rather than unite, Iraq’s two most important constituencies. Further division, in the worst case, could nudge Iraq closer to civil war.

I hereby create the Dan Murphy Award for Least Explicable Iraq Comment. There is a civil war. The enemy is capable of attacking cities, and holding them against the central government. The enemy is killing Iraqi military and civiliant officials. The enemy represents the bitter remnants of the Ba’athi apartheid system, and it must bed estroyed.

The leading Sunni political parties are now positioning themselves to reject the vote and its consequence – the writing of a new constitution – as unfair. If there is high turnout among the country’s Shiites, as expected, that assembly will be packed with Shiite politicians who suffered mightily under Saddam Hussein’s Sunni regime and could write a constitution that emphasizes majority rights at the expense of minorities.

Wonderful! In all probability the Sunnis will be treated better than the remnants of Germans in eastern Europe in 1945, and probably about as well as Russians throughout the shatered Soviet Empire. The Sunnis have invested themselves on the losing side of an antidemocratic struggle.

Many worry this could lead to sectarian conflict. A largely Shiite government, vested with the sovereignty that an election lends, will be fighting a largely Sunni insurgency that has killed thousands of Iraqis in recent months.

Yes! That’s the point!

A bit later in the story…

There are also conspiracy theories circulating. Omar Saadi, a laborer, says he’s not voting both out of fear and because he suspects the election results are being fixed by the US and Iran, the Shiite theocracy next door that has close ties to many of Iraq’s leading Shiite politicians.

The Islamic Republic is about as democratic as Britain was a century ago. Its on the right side of the war on Iraq — the democratic side. The Iranians are our friends. The Salafist Sunnis are our enemies. And the Iraqi Shia-Kurdish supermajority is the future.