Joe Biden Blasts Bush Vision of Iraq; Nir Rosen Says “Iraq Does Not Exist Anymore”

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joe biden.jpg
Even President Bush is likening Iraq to images of Vietnam — but in an opposite way from the Iraq War’s critics.
Bush has suggested at the National Convention for the Veterans of Foreign Wars that withdrawal from Iraq would lead to the same kind of upheaval in the Middle East as occurred in Southeast Asia after U.S. withdrawal from Saigon.
Senator Joe Biden responds to the President thus:

President Bush continues to cling to a fundamentally flawed premise — that Iraqis will rally behind a strong central government. That will not happen.
There’s no trust within the Iraqi government; no trust of the government by the Iraqi people; no capacity of that government to deliver security or services; and no prospect that it will build that trust or capacity any time soon.
Unless Iraq moves towards a federal system that gives the warring factions breathing room, we will end up trading a dictator for chaos that will set back our national security interests for a generation.
President Bush today attempted to draw an analogy to Vietnam, but in fact it’s the President’s policies that are pushing us toward another Saigon moment — with helicopters fleeing the roof of our embassy — which he says he wants to avoid.
The President also continues to play the American people for fools — conflating the terrorists of 9/11 with Al Qaeda in Iraq today. Al Qaeda in Iraq didn’t exist before we invaded — it is a Bush fulfilling prophecy.

Separately, my New America Foundation/American Strategy Program colleague Nir Rosen has been all over the news and blogosphere today with his comments on Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now in which Rosen suggests there is no more Iraq:

AMY GOODMAN: What do you think of Senator Levin calling for the Maliki and the whole government to disband?
NIR ROSEN: Well, it’s stupid for several reasons.
First of all, the Iraqi government doesn’t matter. It has no power. And it doesn’t matter who you put in there. He’s not going to have any power. Baghdad doesn’t really matter, except for Baghdad. Baghdad used to be the most important city in Iraq, and whoever controlled Baghdad controlled Iraq.
These days, you have a collection of city states: Mosul, Basra, Baghdad, Kirkuk, Irbil, Sulaymaniyah. Each one is virtually independent, and they have their own warlords and their own militias. And what happens in Baghdad makes no difference. So that’s the first point.
Second of all, who can he put in instead? What does he think he’s going to put in? Allawi or some secular candidate? There was a democratic election, and the majority of Iraqis selected the sectarian Shiite group Dawa, Supreme Council of Islamic Revolution, the Sadr Movement. These are movements that are popular among the majority of Shias, who are the majority of Iraq.
So it doesn’t matter who you put in there. And people in the Green Zone have never had any power. Americans, whether in the government or journalists, have been focused on the Green Zone from the beginning of the war, and it’s never really mattered. It’s been who has power on the street, the various different militias, depending on where you are — Sunni, Shia, tribal, religious, criminal. So it just reflects the same misunderstanding of Iraqi politics.
The government doesn’t do anything, doesn’t provide any services, whether security, electricity, health or otherwise. Various militias control various ministries, and they use it as their fiefdoms. Ministries attack other ministries.

The implications of what Biden and Rosen are saying is that it appears impossible to reassemble Iraq under a single strong government, or even a strongman of the likes of Hussein. Biden’s plan may be the last chance for a semi-workable model of government, but if that is not achieved, then Iraq may melt into warring, unstable fiefdoms under warlords that will assign their loyalties to Iran, Saudi Arabia, or some Talibanized network of affiliated semi-states.
Bleak, but we’ve known that.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

31 comments on “Joe Biden Blasts Bush Vision of Iraq; Nir Rosen Says “Iraq Does Not Exist Anymore”

  1. MP says:

    I would add only that Biden’s “plan” is not so much a plan as an expression of despair. It’s not that he wants Iraq to break up, but he thinks that that is what is happening and is going to happen anyway. My take.

    Reply

  2. MP says:

    Posted by rich at August 25, 2007 03:06 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Really a fine post. You’ve gotten to think a lot more about the Constitution over time.
    I’ve been reading Marcus Raskin’s Essays of a Citizen lately and thinking that you and JohnH would like this book, if you haven’t already read it. Especially the first essay.

    Reply

  3. rich says:

    I find claims that Iraq was never a true “nation” and that Iraq has “ceased to exist” to be, with all due respect, disturbing and irresponsible.
    It opens the door to implementing the final step of an appalling end solution, one that would’ve been rejected out-of-hand had it been proposed at the outset.
    Circumstances are bleak, no question.
    The arrogance required to install a strong central government in Iraq–or install any regime–is the same arrogance that allowed the British to draw the boundaries of Iraq in the first place.
    That arrogance pales next to the mindset that wiping the nation of Iraq the map entirely is somehow preferable to having a strong, vibrant nation that Iraq had been (without Hussein’s repression).
    Had Jay Garner had his way and held elections immediately, prior to “de-Baathification,” (now America does purges?), Iraqi civil society would’ve been in a position to rebuild a whole and coherent nation, if not quite as cohesive as those bound by a single ethnicity or religion.
    So do not play into neocon hands by eagerly writing Iraq’s epitaph. I worry that Biden’s abandonment of Iraq as a nation is not realpolitik so much as it consents to the active partition-by-occupation that was the CPA’s tacit pollicy. It makes him handmaiden to a neocon agenda of annihilation.
    I hate to simplify Biden’s position. He’s better than that. But the CPA steered a course starkly antithetical to nation-building. Refuse elections. Shut down newspapers. Issue arrest warrants for al-Sadr. Hardly the way to win over a political polestar you’d want to move to the center if you were operating in good faith (American good faith). Disbanding unions and other civic institutions.
    Bremer came straight from Kissinger Associates.
    At some point, sovereignty is for the sovereign. The end-state governing regime is a question for Iraqi citizens. And for Iraqi political and tribal institutions. Not for think-tankers and career State Dept. to conceive, spawn, and implement.
    Had Bremer/Bush/Kissinger/Cheney allowed or insisted Iraqi groups come to the table immediately, we’d have a whole different ball game. Guess that wasn’t the point.
    The Vietnam lesson has been actively ignored: Diem, Minh, Khanh, Suu, Thieuh–none of these US proxies could succeed precisely because none were generated by local-national political forces.
    We repeat that egregious error in Iraq, by presuming to construct a government, deciding what that should/would look like, or dismantling it entirely. It’s wholly dishonest to say this outcome is better, or was inevitable.
    Further, Diem’s regime failed (as did the US) b/c he systematically abused each political sector making up his coalition (of existing or potential support). First repressing Catholics, then Buddhists, etc., etc. Suddenly–and unsurprisingly–Diem was left without allies. South Vietnam, divided within, and couldn’t effectively oppose the North.
    This is precisely what has been ignited in Iraq. I’d argue, consciously. When Bremer goes after al-Sadr, presuming to ‘marginalize’ a supposedly ‘radical’ cleric (who is clearly mainstream in his own community), does that have the effect of uniting Iraq? Of bringing al-Sadr to the table? Of soothing anger, or moderating tone?
    I think not. You don’t have to be Chomsky to understand that inflicting punishment is the goal in some quarters.
    Our mistake was in not enabling Iraq to apply our own principles of sovereign, democratic governance, generated by local, nationalist Iraqis. An even greater error was the lie that imposing order can ever substitute for that. There can be no “new sherrif in town,” no legitimate military/authoritarian rule until and unless it is legitimized by civilian supremacy acheived through democratic compact. Enforcing “order” without that backing is predestined to backfire, each and every time. It fundamentally upends what we’re supposedly trying to achieve. And turns on its head every rational method, proven at the inception of the American nation, for accomplishing those ends.

    Reply

  4. Kathleen says:

    POA.. thank you for the Josh Holland piece, but I disagree with you that helping Israel is more important than the oil.
    I think “helping Israel, the only democracy in the ME, yadayada”, is the nice sounding excuse we use to justify our piracy in the ME. Rest assured, if Palestine had had any oil reserves, there would be no Israel.
    Remember that boat load of Jewish refugees we and Brittain refused to admit to our soil, knowing they were doomed to death if they had to return to Nazi Germany? Don’t tell me WaspUSA gives a real damn about Isreal, Jews or Arabs, except as it serves our selfish interests. Just look at former Senator Prescott Bush to see where their true feelings lie.

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    What Unites Iraqis: Blocking Western Petroleum Companies From Seizing Control of Their Oil
    by Joshua Holland
    Global Research, August 22, 2007
    Alternet.org – 2007-08-09
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    Print this article
    If passed, the Bush administration’s long-sought “hydrocarbons framework” law would give Big Oil access to Iraq’s vast energy reserves on the most advantageous terms and with virtually no regulation. Meanwhile, a parallel law carving up the country’s oil revenues threatens to set off a fresh wave of conflict in the shell- shocked country.
    Subhi al-Badri, head of the Iraqi Federation of Union Councils, said last month that the “law is a bomb that may kill everyone.” Iraq’s oil “does not belong to any certain side,” he said, “it belongs to all future generations.” But Washington continues to push that bomb onto the Iraqi people, calling it a vital benchmark on the road to a fully sovereign Iraq. Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio accused his own party of “promoting” President Bush’s effort to privatize Iraq’s oil “under the guise of a reconciliation program.”
    As is the norm, nobody bothered to ask Iraqis what they thought of the controversy until recently, when a coalition of NGOs and other civil society groups commissioned a poll (PDF) to gauge Iraqis’ reaction to the proposed legislation. It found that Iraqis from all ethnic and sectarian groups and across the political spectrum oppose the principles enshrined in the laws. Considering the multiethnic bloodbath we’ve witnessed over the past four years, it’s an impressive display of Iraqi solidarity.
    The package of oil laws represent one of the clearest examples of a dynamic that’s fueled much of the country’s political instability but is rarely discussed in the commercial media. While the war’s advocates continue to sell the occupation of Iraq as part of a grand scheme to democratize the region, anything resembling true Iraqi democracy is in fact a tremendous threat to U.S. interests. The law, after all, was not designed with Iraqis’ prosperity in mind; plans for throwing the country’s oil sector open to (almost) unregulated foreign investment were hashed out by a State Department working group that included major players from the oil industry long before the planning for the invasion itself. These plans were discussed in the White House (under the guidance of Dick Cheney) before that — even before the attacks of 9/11.
    The framework law — from what we know from a series of leaked drafts — will hand over effective control of as much as 80 percent of the country’s oil wealth to foreign firms with minimal state participation. According to an analysis by the oil watchdog group Platform, Iraq stands to lose tens of billions of dollars in potential revenues under the contract terms being considered.
    The administration claims that offering such lucrative terms is necessary given the dire need for investment in Iraq’s war-torn oil infrastructure, but those investments could just as easily be made out of Iraq’s existing operating budget or financed through loans — despite the chaos on the ground, Iraq’s massive energy reserves would be more than enough collateral for even the strictest lenders.
    So while most oil-producing states are moving toward more state control of their energy sectors — according to the Washington Post, “about 77 percent of the world’s 1.1 trillion barrels in proven oil reserves is controlled by governments that significantly restrict access to international companies” — Iraqi lawmakers are under enormous pressure to go in the opposite direction. (See here for a detailed critique of the framework law.)
    It should come as no surprise that Iraqis overwhelmingly reject this arrangement. According to the poll of 2,200 Iraqis released this week, almost two-thirds of Iraqis said they would prefer “Iraq’s oil to be developed and produced by Iraqi state-owned companies” over foreign companies. Less than a third favored foreign control — less than the number who expressed a “strong preference” for the sector to remain under state control.
    The findings cut across the divisions that have haunted the post-war occupation: 52 percent of Kurds, 62 percent of Sunni Arabs and 66 percent of Shia Arabs favored state control. Significant majorities in every metropolitan area and every region of the divided country agreed.
    Opposition to the privatization scheme that U.S. lawmakers have pushed for with such zeal is reflected, too, in the Iraqi parliament, where a growing number of lawmakers have come out in opposition to the oil laws.
    So, too have many experts in the field, including some of the technocrats who originally drafted the laws. Tariq Shafiq, one of the co-authors of the original version of the legislation, told UPI’s Ben Lando that “the version penned by oil experts has been compromised by politics,” and that he “no longer wants it approved.” Farouk al- Qassem, another expert who worked on the original draft, came out against it earlier. “I think really the majority of the oil technocrats are against it,” Shafiq told Lando.
    There’s evidence to support that statement; last month, more than 100 Iraqi oil experts, economists and legal scholars criticized the proposed legislation and urged the Iraqi parliament to put it on hold.
    The most vocal opposition to the oil framework has come from Iraq’s influential oil workers’ unions. Hassan Jumaa Awaad, president of the Iraqi Oil Workers union, called the proposed hydrocarbon laws “more political than economic” and “unbalanced and incoherent,” and said they threatened “to set governorate against governorate and region against region.” Iraq’s oil unions have threatened to “mutiny” if the law is passed as drafted.
    In favor of the laws are the multinational energy companies who stand to gain tens of billions more profits in Iraq than they could expect from any other major oil producer’s reserves. They’re supported by Iraqi separatists — especially Shias in the South and Northern Kurds — who want control over the country’s oil to rest in the hands of the regional authorities they dominate. They include Iraq’s prime minister, Nouri Al-Maliki, and its president, Jalal Talabani.
    Faced with such broad and intense opposition to a set of laws that were effectively crafted in Washington, London and Houston, the Iraqi government and the U.S. authorities in Baghdad have kept Iraqis in the dark over the details of the proposed legislation, brought all manner of pressure on lawmakers and, when that failed, used heavy- handed coercion to move the legislation forward.
    According to the poll released this week, more than three out of four Iraqis — including nine of 10 Sunni Arabs — say “the level of information provided by the Iraqi government on this law” was not adequate for them to “feel informed” about the issue. Only 4 percent of Iraqis feel they’ve been given “totally adequate” information about the oil law.
    But enough people did learn of the law and specifically its call for the use of “Production Service Agreements” (PSAs) — the onerous contract form favored by the United States and Big Oil — to elicit outrage among the Iraqi people. The Iraqi regime responded by renaming the long-term contracts “Exploration and Risk Contracts” (ERCs). According to Hands Off Iraqi Oil, a coalition of civil society groups, ERCs are “the equivalent of PSAs under a different name.”
    It’s not just Iraqi citizens who have been kept in the dark; Raed Jarrar, an Iraq analyst with the American Friends Service Committee (and my frequent writing partner), has called Iraqi lawmakers to get a reaction to the draft legislation, only to be asked if he would send them a copy to review. According to Greg Muttit, an analyst with Platform, by the time Iraq’s parliamentarians saw their first draft of the oil law, it had already been reviewed and commented on by U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman, who “arranged” for nine major oil companies, including Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco and ConocoPhillips, to “comment on the draft.”
    The regime in Baghdad, under pressure from Washington, has responded to opposition to the law in a profoundly undemocratic fashion. In May, Hassan Al-Shammari, the head of Al-Fadhila bloc in the Iraqi parliament, told AlterNet: “We’re afraid the U.S. will make us pass this new oil law through intimidation and threatening. We don’t want it to pass, and we know it’ll make things worse, but we’re afraid to rise up and block it, because we don’t want to be bombed and arrested the next day.” Armed Iraqi troops have faced down peaceful strikes called by the unions and arrested labor leaders who oppose the legislation. Last week, the Iraqi oil ministry directed “its agencies and departments not to deal with the country’s oil unions” at all.
    At this point, progress on the oil laws is stalled in Baghdad. The Kurds this week passed their own legislation, setting up what has the potential to become a whole new front in Iraq’s multifaceted civil conflict. Senior Kurdish officials — most of whom are separatists — have vowed to block any legislation that doesn’t include extensive regional autonomy over oil contracting, an issue opposed by most Iraqis and a serious problem for Iraqi nationalists.
    Ultimately, the turmoil around Iraq’s oil is a result of commercial interests being placed before the interests of the Iraqi people by an administration that routinely privileges its “free-market” ideology over common sense. Historians will no doubt note the great irony of Iraq’s proposed oil law: What is considered a prerequisite for stability in Washington in fact threatens to tear the country further apart.
    Global Research Articles by Joshua Holland
    http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6596

    Reply

  6. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Sorry. That’s what I believe THEY thought would happen.”
    ROFLMAO!!!
    Yeah, like Bush or the likudniks really give a shit about the welfare or “freedoms” of a country made up of a majority of Shiite Muslims, who, given their druthers, would prefer a theocracy based on Sharia law. This was NEVER about democracy for the Iraqis. It was a sales pitch, period.
    There are those here that think the entire thing was about oil. It wasn’t. It was more about the establishment of a massive US military presence in the Middle East, primarily to protect Israel, and secondarily to steal the oil. These people calling the shots in Washington and Israel don’t give a tinker’s damn about the Iraqi people, their welfare, or their freedom. To Bush and these monsters in Israel, they are nothing more than insects, inconvienient and irritating.

    Reply

  7. Kathleen says:

    MP.. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/Decision2008/story?id=3478895.
    I think the art of politics requires one to accept money from those who want something in return and Kucinich defintely would not be in that category. I think the reason he is so far ahead of every other candidate is impeachment.
    I wish Russ Feingold hadn’t chosen not to run.

    Reply

  8. MP says:

    Posted by Kathleen at August 24, 2007 01:41 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Yes, all the oil. But I don’t think that that goal required chaos in Iraq. In fact, success with the Iraq mission–that is, stability–would have served as an overwhelmingly good reason to move on to Iran and Syria. Bush’s poll numbers would have been sky high; his opponents would have genuflected before him. Halliburton would have been mainlining money as we toppled one regime after the next. Chaos in Iraq–and all the troubles flowing from it, especially for the military–have put a severe break on these plans, despite Admin. spin. And they are on the brink of losing Republican support in Congress.
    Bush may double down–I still don’t think he will–but he may if they can cook up a good enough trigger event. But it will be much, much harder than if things had gone the way they had thought they were going to go. I really don’t think one can make a good argument that “this” is what they had expected.
    As to the election…I know this sounds pedestrian and horribly compromised–but I will vote for the Dem who I think can win in the general election. My priimary goal is not to be sitting here next year “looking forward” to four years of Guiliani, Thompson, or Romney. Anyone on the Dem dias would be much better than any of these three. I’m realistic or idealistic enough to think that this binary choice does still make a difference. None of the Dems would have taken us into Iraq, IMO.
    I wouldn’t call it “PR”…I’d call it the art of politics.
    If a “live poll” is one of those where views vote online…I’m not sure I trust them. But I’ll take a look.

    Reply

  9. Kathleen says:

    MP.. do I actually believe they wanted this situation? Yes, I do. Halliburton is still packing it in the bank, no, off shore of course? Peace is not profitable for business. And being there makes it easier to cook up a reason to go to war with Iran and Syria. They want ALL the oil, not just Iraq’s.
    I think BushCo, et al are callous sadists, who get a kick out of inflicting pain. they don’t care how many get killed, just don’t show the damned coffins, people might catch on.
    Kucinich does not have the PR savvy, as you say, but I’m sick of shallow PR savvy. I want clear thinking and substance. As for PR savvy, check out ABC’s live poll on their debate. Kucinich is running waaaaay, waaaay ahead of evryone else, despite their trying to sideline him and set Hillary up for uninterrupted lenghty spiels.
    I think the only way to bring about campaign finance reform may be to support the candidate with the least amount of money and bogus bullshit ads, like a boycott.

    Reply

  10. MP says:

    Posted by PissedOffAmerican at August 23, 2007 09:09 PM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Sorry. That’s what I believe THEY thought would happen. With very little reason to think it. The oil would be safely in their hands, and the country would be functioning.
    Do you actually believe that they thought they’d be stranded with the current situation on their hands?

    Reply

  11. Kathleen says:

    In MP’s defense, I think average conservatives who are not news junkies may have naively thought we were bringing freedom and a better life to Iraq. Certainly the troops did.
    What Dopey and Darth were “thinking” is another story. For them, anyone not in their immediate circle is expendable, there to be used for their aggrandisement and enrichment. Wars are for the little people to fight and fund.
    I call Barbara “Battle-Axe” Bush the Leona Helmsley of politics.

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  12. arthurdecco says:

    POA said: “Sometimes, MP, you forget yourself, and your true loyalties reveal themselves through the BS. When all the straw and the subterfuge is cut through, what remains is the self same propaganda Bush and AIPAC are selling.”
    I echo your thoughts, POA.

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  13. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “I think it’s pretty clear what they expected, however naive it might seem: A decapitated dictatorship replaced by a governing democracy in which everyone would more or less get along or settle their differences through democratic means.”
    “They thought that Saddam was keeping the lid on a country thirsting for democratic rule. Once the lid was lifted, democracy would issue forth.”
    They thought that Saddam was keeping the lid on a country thirsting for democratic rule. Once the lid was lifted, democracy would issue forth.
    Posted by MP
    Oh bullshit.
    Anyone with half a brain knew that the Iraqi’s weren’t “thirsting for democracy”. Under Saddam, before ’91 and the sanctions, Iraqis had a standard of living far and above what most of the Middle East was experiencing.
    Democracy, and the welfare of the Iraqi people, had NOTHING TO DO WITH the goals of the Israeli zionists and their neocon co-conspirators.
    Sometimes, MP, you forget yourself, and your true loyalties reveal themselves through the BS. When all the straw and the subterfuge is cut through, what remains is the self same propaganda Bush and AIPAC are selling.

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  14. TonyForesta says:

    Iraq never was, and never will be united. Saddam kept an scaulding iron on dissent, but the land of the two rivers is home to three, and actually more if you count the marsh arabs, yasidi’s, zorostians, and christians, distinct and ancient religions. Islam with all its violent intramural hatreds, conflicts, and fundamantalism espoused by sunni hating shi’a, and shi’a hating sunni sects, and the Kurds with thier Turkish claims and conflicts, all three of whom hold differing beliefs, traditions, forms of government, ideologies, and whose societies and cultures are distinctly unique.
    Many made this point well prior to the Bush government’s preemptive initiation of hostilities in Iraq, and pointed out that managing thousands of years of conflicts between these three primary factions would certainly not be a “cake walk”.
    All the voices of reason and any challenge then was immediately slimed as the spew of unpatriotic, antiamerican, giving aid and comfort to the enemy, lunatic spawn of the devil.
    Well… the devil is in the details, and the bloody costly noendinsight horrorshow and excuse for wanton profiteering in Iraq was from the beginning, is now, and always will be a CRIME SCENE, and a grievous series of crimes America must recognize, and remedy.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

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  15. MP says:

    Carroll writes: “Is it that the Isrmerica wurriors didn’t count on this?”
    I think it’s pretty clear what they expected, however naive it might seem: A decapitated dictatorship replaced by a governing democracy in which everyone would more or less get along or settle their differences through democratic means.
    They thought that Saddam was keeping the lid on a country thirsting for democratic rule. Once the lid was lifted, democracy would issue forth.

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  16. MP says:

    AD writes: “I find it interesting that the fate that has befallen Iraq is EXACTLY the outcome wished for by the Israeli-Firsters and Israeli warmongers that had their arms in up to their elbows in the formulation and execution of the illegal invasion of Iraq in the first place.”
    Really? Care to substantiate with…anything? Carroll is closer, but not there yet. Friendly, but not a prince.

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  17. Kathleen says:

    After the election in Iraq, their gov’t was unified, even with the Sunnis. Had we accepted their peace proposal they would still be unified and our troops would be home.
    Maybe Senator Biden can explain why we refused their peace proposal and why Dems did not speak out in defense of the Iraqi gov’t proposals for peace and our withdrawal???
    It seems like everyone is dissembling to cover up our desire for that damned oil law to be passed.

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  18. Carroll says:

    Like Rosen, many of us on here said over and over..that the power is on the “street”. And that it can/will spread to other states like Jordan, Egypt and Saudi. So what is the game here? Is it that the Isrmerica wurriors didn’t count on this? Friendly countries possibily falling to or under the influence of the street? Or do they truely have some vision of upending the entire ME, friendlies and all, and turning the entire region into a Isrmerica colony? Are they really that desulsional? It that what they want when they talk about a war of ‘generations”?
    snip…..
    “It’s been who has power on the street, the various different militias, depending on where you are — Sunni, Shia, tribal, religious, criminal. So it just reflects the same”
    snip……
    So I think it’s wrong to think of Iraq as its own conflict. There’s now a regional conflict. It’s going to involve Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon. And I think we’ll see governments being overthrown — for example, the one in Jordan. What we already see are fighters being exported, for example, the fighting in Lebanon the past few months. Many Iraq veterans have sought shelter in Lebanon among — in the Palestinian refugee camps, for example.
    >>>>>>>>
    Every day we get in deeper and deeper. THERE IS NO ANSWER. There are bloodbaths whether we stay or go. The warring fractions are just waiting us out and waiting us out. The only responsible thing I see that we can do is remove the US from Iraq and take responsibility for all the displaced Iraqis somehow by helping the ones who want to get out and funding their resettlement in whichever countries they choose or are willing to take them to lessen the burden on those countries. This does not make up for destroying their country but it seems the only honorable and realistic option left. For all the bs about our failure in VN, Bush doesn’t talk about our failure when we “cut and ran” and left the VN holding the bag. That was the real failure.
    Our planning right now should be in getting those Iraqis out prior to our own withdrawal. At least that way we would be giving Iraqis a choice of staying to fight it out in any bloodbath or leaving and it would made our own withdrawal easier when the time comes.

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  19. Carroll says:

    I find it interesting that the fate that has befallen Iraq is EXACTLY the outcome wished for by the Israeli-Firsters and Israeli warmongers that had their arms in up to their elbows in the formulation and execution of the illegal invasion of Iraq in the first place. It appears that they, and their Israeli government co-conspirators, now have a series of powerless city states who pose no threat to them in place of what used to be their largest opponent in the region.
    Posted by arthurdecco at August 23, 2007 08:20 AM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>
    Well not exactly. What they had in mind originaly was putting one of the Jordan princes in Iraq as a friendly US controlled ruler. Then it became giving the Kurds a seperate state because they have oil resources and are friendly to Israel.
    But if it all devolves into tribal fiefdoms aligning themselves with different states like Iran..well then who knows what next…it could keep going and go all the way back to before the British carved up the ME into fakey states.
    The question will always be whether Isrmerica brought Iraq to this point on purpose for the outcome of breaking up Iraq or if they were just incompetent and stupid. It looks to me that as things have gone wrong they keep tweaking the game and adjusting the chaos to get as close to their desired original goal as possible.

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  20. Harpo says:

    So if Iraq consists of a collection of city-states, none of which controls any of the others, it is effectively defanged as far as any threat to the United States. No reason to stay on.

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  21. arthurdecco says:

    I apologize for the double post.
    Mr. Clemons, you have to do something about the glitch in your post code that results in these double posts. (wink)

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  22. arthurdecco says:

    I find it interesting that the fate that has befallen Iraq is EXACTLY the outcome wished for by the Israeli-Firsters and Israeli warmongers that had their arms in up to their elbows in the formulation and execution of the illegal invasion of Iraq in the first place. It appears that they, and their Israeli government co-conspirators, now have a series of powerless city states who pose no threat to them in place of what used to be their largest opponent in the region.
    No one ever mentions this fact. (…For fear of being labeled an “anti-Semite? I’d like to think you’d care more about the truth than about the personal consequences of belligerent serial liars’ name calling.)
    There are none so blind as those that will not see.

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  23. arthurdecco says:

    I find it interesting that the fate that has befallen Iraq is EXACTLY the outcome wished for by the Israeli-Firsters and Israeli warmongers that had their arms in up to their elbows in the formulation and execution of the illegal invasion of Iraq in the first place. It appears that they, and their Israeli government co-conspirators, now have a series of powerless city states who pose no threat to them in place of what used to be their largest opponent in the region.
    No one ever mentions this fact. (…For fear of being labeled an “anti-Semite? I’d like to think you’d care more about the truth than about the personal consequences of belligerent serial liars’ name calling.)
    There are none so blind as those that will not see.

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  24. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Prior the Iraq war, George W. Bush claimed that he had learned some powerful lessons from the Vietnam war.”
    Yeah, like snortin’ coke beats the shit out of schlepping an AR-15 through a rice paddy.

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  25. Patricia Hartwell says:

    After listening to Nir Rosen’s interview on Democracy Now, I am hard pressed to believe that Biden’s plan has even a remote possibility of actually happening. Since Rosen sees a regional conflict long underway, and an irrevocably changed Iraq that is now a collection of city states under the control of war lords with their own militas – he makes a convincing argument that there is no more Iraq – and without an Iraq, how do you make a government?

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  26. JohnH says:

    Nir also noted that, “what you’ll see is basically Mogadishu in Iraq: various warlords controlling small neighborhoods. And those who are by major resources, such as oil installations, obviously will be foreign-sponsored warlords who will be able to cut deals with us, the Chinese.”
    That will be interesting to watch. Will Bush have to deal with Moqtada, Fadhila, or SIIC, which has close ties to both Tehran and Washington?
    http://www.upi.com/International_Security/Energy/Analysis/2007/08/16/analysis_oil_flows_in_basra_power_vacuum/5416/
    And who will the warlords align themselves with, the Chinese, who have gobs of foreign reserves, or Washington, which has to borrow from the Chinese to finance its military operations? The Chinese can buy the oil at whatever price is needed to win the bid and then add incentives on top. Washington can intimidate, which hasn’t been working out real well lately.

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  27. TonyForesta says:

    I cannot imagine what could possibly compel anyone to take anything Bush says with any seriousness.
    The president is a pathological liar. The president and his fascist followers have decieved and manipulated the American population repeatedly and insistantly since taking office. How many lies do we have to take? How much flipflopflipping and shapeshifting of the policy de jour’s will it take before Americans realize this president is not working in our best interests, and harbors absolutely zero concern for Americans, or America beyond the wanton profits gleaned by fascist cronies, cabals, coteries, klans, cliques, and oligarchs in or beholden to the Bush government?
    The labrynthine web of lies pimped by the fascist warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars in the Bush government is so convoluted, intertwining, and so ruthlessly distorted that it is all but impossible to decipher any solid policy, or ambtion, or end beyond the craven and bloodthirsty desire for profits and power.
    The Vietnam comparisons then and now have always been flawed. We faced a far more equal and capable foe in Viet Nam, then Iraq. Though both debacles were indeed wars of political choice, rather than strategic necessity, – the horrors and quantum waste of blood and treasure in Viet Nam eventually forced a tectonic shift in the streets of America wherein the people openly rebelled against the war in an epic concerted social movement that DEMANDED an end to an unjust, and unnecessary war.
    American today (with the telling exception our warfighters, and their families) are still largely detached from the war, and view it as just another TV episodic. We do not care enough as a nation to take the deceptions, horrors, failures, wanton profiteering, and crimes of the Iraq nightmare with any seriousness. We do not have the courage as a nation to recognize the immensity of deceptions and crimes in the Iraq horrorshow and demand an end.
    No, – Iraq is not like Viet Nam.
    Iraq is America’s Palestine.
    Our openended neverendingwar committments to Iraq will always be fruitless as long as we are viewed by the Iraqi people as an occupier.
    No America should afford a single nanoparticle of respect, goodwill, goodfaith, or trust to anything pimped by anyone of the pathological liars in the Bush government.
    The entire regime is a cabal of fascist warmongers, profiteers, and pathological liars, whose singular and exclusive interests are narcissitic and bent on advancing the insane and criminal designs and machinations of the fascist who profit wantonly from neverendingwar.
    “Deliver us from evil!”

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  28. Marcia says:

    I am posting this again because I cannot insist too much; it is truely insightful. I am so pleased that Steve gives it a headline.
    I watched Nir Rosen on “Democracy Now” interviewed by Amy Goodman and his calm tragic report on the ME is one of the most chilling I have seen.
    He just exposes the facts and carries on to the logical conclusions.
    A must see!

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  29. eggbeater says:

    So Bush is saying that if he had been president during the Vietnam War (since he preferred to avoid becoming a combatant) he would have stayed there until he was thoroughly beaten (or until he could hand it off to a Democrat)? That should comfort the troops and their families.

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  30. pauline says:

    Prior the Iraq war, George W. Bush claimed that he had learned some powerful lessons from the Vietnam war. Among those lessons were the fact that U.S. must be “slow to engage troops.” “We can never again ask the military to fight a political war,” Bush said, adding that “the cause must be just”:
    “A generation shaped by Vietnam must remember the lessons of Vietnam: When America uses force in the world, the cause must be just, the goal must be clear and the victory must be overwhelming.” [Bush address to RNC convention, 8/4/00]
    The Republican presidential front-runner also says he learned “the lesson of Vietnam.” “Our nation should be slow to engage troops. But when we do so, we must do so with ferocity. We must not go into a conflict unless we go in committed to win. We can never again ask the military to fight a political war,” Bush wrote. [AP, 11/15/99, reporting on Bush’s biography A Charge To Keep]
    Forgetting entirely the lessons that he claimed to have learned from a war in which he did not serve, Bush invaded Iraq in March 2003 hastily, without just cause, and lacking a clear goal. For years, he maintained Iraq and Vietnam had no similarities. In April 2004, he said:
    QUESTION: How do you answer the Vietnam comparison?
    BUSH: I think the analogy is false. I also happen to think that analogy sends the wrong message to our troops, and sends the wrong message to the enemy.
    Today, in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Bush accepted the fact that Vietnam does have lessons for Iraq. But the lesson, according to Bush, is that it is a mistake to pull out of a quagmire. “One unmistakable legacy of Vietnam,” Bush said, is that “the price of America’s withdrawal is steep and painful.”
    http://thinkprogress.org/

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  31. Mstessyrue says:

    Despite the recent record low approval ratings, President Bush and his administration are still arrogant and blinded by the Iraq War. The people of this country are fed up with Bush’s senseless war and the lack of domestic policies. There are much more important issues in this world that the US should be taking part in, such as global poverty. According to the Borgen Project, whose goal is to fight global poverty, US is one of the nations pledged in the Millennium Development Project. MDP is aimed at eliminating world poverty in half by the year 2015. However, this country has done anything but reducing poverty. The war on “terror” has created more poverty, more hunger and more violence within Iraq and the United States. It is time for this country’s president to rethink the direction where this great nation is going. Perhaps the second lowest approval rating since Watergate will be a wake up call to President Bush.

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