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So, you think your job is tough?

Good luck to Iyad Allawi, the man who will, inshallah, be Iraq’s next Prime Minister.

Hopefully he will be given the external support he needs to stabilise the security situation sufficiently to allow more internal solutions to develop. Although it would be difficult to underestimate the struggle ahead, the situation is far from the hopeless one often portrayed by people with axes to grind which have very littloe to do with Iraq.

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19 comments to So, you think your job is tough?

  • Here’s to no assasination attempts in his first week!

  • Scott

    the situation is far from the hopeless one often portrayed by people with axes to grind which have very little to do with Iraq.

    We are looking into the abyss, admits general
    …Gen Joseph Hoare, a former head of US Central Command, was seen as articulating long-suppressed concerns of the retired military when he delivered doom-laden testimony to the Senate foreign relations committee.

    “I believe we are absolutely on the brink of failure,” he said. “We are looking into the abyss.”…

  • tub

    Hoare is just another technocratic political soldier who learned all the wrong answers in Vietnam by asking all the wrong questions. The Brits had putting down rebellions in places like Iraq down to a fine and brutal art and Hoare’s attitude just confirms my views about the lack of historical education and perspective I saw when I had the very unpleasent experience some years back of working in that intellectual blackhole called the Pentagon

  • Scott

    Hoare is just another technocratic political soldier who learned all the wrong answers in Vietnam by asking all the wrong questions. The Brits had putting down rebellions in places like Iraq down to a fine and brutal art and Hoare’s attitude just confirms my views about the lack of historical education and perspective I saw when I had the very unpleasent experience some years back of working in that intellectual blackhole called the Pentagon

    The minute you engage in the “brutal art” of putting down rebellions in places like Iraq, you toss away the last standing claim (if you can still call it standing) of war supporters – we are liberating Iraq from ‘evil’. If we become Saddam, then we haven’t overthrown and replaced Saddam. All we’ve done is change his name and physical appearance.

  • tub

    Man, what a clown. Using the army means killing people. In the real world that involves kinda a lot of brutality and not a lot of hunging and singing kumbyah. Getting rid of the bad guys involves violence, Sherlock. War aint pretty but sometimes it is the only way to make things better in the long run. If you dont get that you got some growing up to do.

  • Scott

    If you dont get that you got some growing up to do.

    We must destroy the village in order to save it.

  • tub

    No, in order to kill the bad guys, we got to actually kill them. And usually that aint so neat and tidy as hollywood makes it out to be, but that is reality. But we still have to kill them. The “War is hell” quote is just the truth and anyone who thinks otherwise is going to be on the losing side.

  • James

    We must destroy the village in order to save it.

    Ah yes, the old “we’re tearing the place apart” argument, while U.S. troops risk their lives trying to ensure the preservation of holy sites even in the midst of battle.

    I believe the Iraqis are now doing their share of “putting down rebellions”. Of course, that becomes instantly immoral when U.S. troops do it, right?

  • Scott

    Ah yes, the old “we’re tearing the place apart” argument, while U.S. troops risk their lives trying to ensure the preservation of holy sites even in the midst of battle.

    I was responding to tub’s desire to tear the place apart if that’s necessary to stay in control. Disagreeing w/ tub about how violent we should get is not an accusation that we’re levelling cities, as I was talking about what tub proposes, not what we are doing.

  • tub

    I just propose that the only rational way to fight a war is to fight a war, and that means using whatever force is needed to defeat your enemy. This is not exactly a revolutionary concept in most military circles.

    In the case of Iraq, this just means using the usual range of weapons and tactics and applying them with resolution. There is nothing about Iraq that is at all unusual or outside historical experience to suggest this need be more than a footnote in military history.

  • Julian Morrison

    No, even in war there needs to be a close watch kept on proportionality of force. For four reasons. Firstly, overkill is wasteful. Second, it’s bad psychological strategy. Third, it corrupts the troops and scrambles their discipline. Fourth, it’s immoral.

    Otherwise the USA could just have thermonuked every city, town, villiage, hut and hovel in Iraq, problem solved.

  • Susan

    Mukty al-Sadr doesn’t speak for all Shiites or all Iraqi Shiites by far.

    Shiite Convention Urges Coalition to Stand Firm Against Al-Sadr

  • Scott

    Susan, according to Newsday:

    …In early April, Muqtada al-Sadr’s relations with the Americans exploded into open hostility and warfare. A Shia cleric of middling stature, his defiance against the United States has turned him into a hero among many Iraqis. A recent poll showed al-Sadr’s popularity second only to that enjoyed by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the spiritual leader of millions of Shias worldwide. About 60 percent of Iraqis are Shia….

  • Susan

    Well, I don’t know when that poll was taken but the fact of the matter is, Mukty doesn’t represent all Shiites and as your own story points out, he’s not as popular as Al-Sistani. Your own story also notes that Mukty’s military grandstanding near the Shrines at Najaf have elicted strong response against him from other Shiites.

    As I noted before on another thread with you, Scott, Shiite Islam is very hierarchical and a “middling cleric” doesn’t come anywhere near ranking with a Grand Ayatollah.

    You should study Shiite Islam before making these grandstanding type of comments.

  • Scott

    You should study Shiite Islam before making these grandstanding type of comments.

    Susan, read Juan Cole, Professor of History at the University of Michigan, before claiming the world should defer to your expertise on the Mid East.

  • Susan

    You still don’t know anything about Shiite Islam Scott.

  • Guy Herbert

    Me, I’ve always wanted to be a philosopher-king. But I think I’d like to start with somewhere less difficult than Iraq.

  • Scott

    Odom: Bush Should Admit Iraq Is a ‘Mess’
    And Make Plans for a U.S. Troop Pullout by Next Year

    William E. Odom, the head of the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration, says that President Bush should “eat a little humble pie,” admit the invasion of Iraq was a mistake, and seek U.N. forces to take over for U.S. troops. Odom, who opposed the war before it began, argues that Iraq will never become a liberal democracy. He also warns that “we’ve also nearly broken the U.S. Army by over-extension and over-commitment.”

    A retired three-star general who is now a senior fellow and the director of national securities studies at the Hudson Institute, Odom says that President Bush, “no matter if he’s re-elected or not, will regret it” if he doesn’t withdraw troops quickly….

  • Scott

    Here ya go, Susan:

    Portrait of a Rebellion
    Shiite insurgency in Iraq bedevils U.S.
    By Juan Cole

    …Spokesmen for the Coalition Provisional Authority and the U.S. military like to imply that al-Sadr is a minor figure with a miniscule following that has made itself significant only because of its thuggish tactics. A poll taken in late March and reported in the Washington Post, however, showed that a large proportion of Iraqis from central and southern Iraq backed Muqtada. Fully 67 percent of the population of Basra said they stood behind him, and 45 percent of those in Baghdad did. Since Baghdad is about 40 percent Shiite, that poll result suggests he is overwhelmingly popular among Shiites there and has attracted the admiration of a minority of Sunnis, as well. The poll was taken before the dramatic Sadrist uprising of early April, and it is likely that popular support for him has increased since….