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Posted by on May 17, 2009 in War | 6 comments

Oh, No, Say It Ain’t So

A terrible scenario is unfolding in the Sadr City district of Baghdad where the U.S. military outposts will pull out June 30.

Some U.S. and Iraqi military officials and civilian leaders believe the impoverished Shiite community will return to lawlessness and ignite a civil war.

When the Americans leave, everything will be looted because no one will be watching,” an Iraqi army lieutenant newly deployed there said. “There will be a civil war — without a doubt,” predicted an Iraqi interpreter. Council members have asked about political asylum in the United States.

Such a doomsday offering is portrayed in a story in Sunday’s Washington Post.

The story has credence because since the U.S. troop surge began destroying the Shiite Mahdi Army, its commander cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his followers to lay down their weapons in Sadr City.

The issue is whether al-Sadr will cooperate with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s assertion that his government stands ready to assume control over security.

Sadr City and Mosul are ticking time bombs.

If the situation explodes after June 30, all the gains the U.S. military achieved at a horrendous loss of lives will go down the drain. No doubt our forces will be called back into a never ending presence to provide security for a nation we invaded with no exit strategy.

One segment of the Post story made me wince. As part of the reconstruction effort in Sadr City, the U.S. paid civilian leaders to act as informants in what could be described as a neighborhood watch program. These people, who now drive Mercedes Benzes and Hummers, fear for their lives.

I concur that as a presidential candidate John McCain received a lot of flak from the left when he asserted U.S. troops may be needed in Iraq for the next 50 to 100 years.

We’ll find out this summer.

Cross posted on The Remmers Report

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • Silhouette

    Gosh if I was mad at the Iraqis for selling their [THEIR oil] to the Chinese instead of me at a basement price, as was the pre-invasion agreement once we took over and “stablilized” the “democracy” there, I’d throw any effort I could at destabilizing the region if the new administration was trying to withdraw my [Cheney/US military at taxpayers’ expense] presence there.

    Anyone not predicting massive upheaval and violence once US troop withdrawel begins apparently wasn’t around when “a seemingly related string of bombings” went off the day before Obama “secretly” arrived in Bagdhad this April. A kindergartener could see if Airforce One was scaring people in a “photo shoot” recently, that there would be uprisings in Iraq. You can set your watch by it.

    Plus, if we get some “predickted” uprisings in Iraq, Dick Cheney will look better for having tortured people…more “proof” that he was “right”….right?

    It just makes perfect sense.

    And why haven’t we found Bin Laden yet? And why does Bush have financial and close business ties with the Bin Laden family? And why were they fishing for nonexistant evidence to link 9-11 to Iraq? And why was “al qaida” bombing in Bagdhad the day before the one president sympathetic to US troop withdrawel there was “secretly” scheduled to land?


    If I and others are right about these ever-more-glaring-links-by-the-day, you can predict exit-violence in Iraq. Like clockwork. It will be the new link.

  • StockBoySF

    I’m mad at Bush for getting us into this unnecessary situation… and for us to continue to nurse it along. It is an explosive situation and perhaps we do need to let it “blow up” so the various factions in Iraq will call a truce. As long as the US is meddling in Iraq the Iraqis can’t do what they want. What we (the US) wants is not what the Iraqis want, so there is bound to be discord as long as we are there. And if the Iranians take over at the end of the day, then Iraq will be their headache and will at least distract the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons which,once the Iranians realize how much of a headache Iraq will be, the Iranians will wish they had a couple nukes.

    So I believe we’re staying in Iraq because the American people believe that our presence there is necessary to accomplish something (stability in the region? Control of the Iraqi oil? Some belief that if we withdraw we are admitting defeat?). And of course we don’t want the Iranians to have more influence in Iraq…. which they would have if we left.

    But perhaps we need to withdraw and let the situation play out. With the world in a recession and demand for oil down, this should be a minimal concern (though future Iraqi oil would go to Iran).

    As far as the notion that there have been military gains which we would lose… granted that’s true, but we broke the country in the first place. Six years after our unnecessary invasion, thousands of Americans dead, and trillions of dollars spent (much of it for redevelopment no-bid contracts) the Iraqis are worse off under the US…. Saddam had control of the country and could at least provide them with basic services.

    I’d be willing to talk about a Iranian controlled Iran… otherwise the alternative is to stay in Iraq for 100 years at trillions of more dollars with a steady stream of American dead. I’m just not sure why we think Iraq is so valuable for us to commit to this sort of cost. We didn’t control it (or Saddam) before we invaded…. So maybe we should give the Iraqis back their country. I think if Iraq had been an “American protectorate” before we invaded and was truly a stabilizing country in the region, then we would have concern about our exit causing a destabilization… But the fact is that Iraq, before our invasion, was not a stabilizing force (though it did offer a counterpoint to Iran) and our continued occupation of Iraq is making the country and region more destabilized. And it will continue to be that way until we leave.

    I’d be happy with a little pain (civil war on Iraq) for some gain- and for the US to stop spending trillions of dollars, and stop sending in American troops to be killed in Iraq.

    So the point I made earlier about the cost of our occupation is what we really should be discussing. We should not be worried about losing military gains (that just gains for the US, not for the Iraqis and I’ll remind you that we are in their country). We should be asking ourselves exactly what are we hoping to accomplish in Iraq and is it worth another century of American lives and at great cost to our treasury.

  • mikkel

    Even though I am very pleasantly surprised by how much the surge cut down on violence, this was still the overriding concern and why I thought we should have left long ago. Of course, Petraeus himself said that it would most likely take 15-20 years in the best case scenario to stabilize the country…but for some reason that was never discussed in the public arena during that time. It was very unreal…only another 10-15 years to go…ideally.

  • Oh to turn back the clock. Imagine a mostly peaceful Iraq, with no militant fundamentalism, no terrorists, no Al Qaeda. A country where girls went to school, women (and men) went to college at some of the best schools in the Middle East, drove cars and no burqa required. It was a cafe culture, in which people congregated in lively cafes with no fear of roadside bombs, extremist thugs enforcing dress code or barbering standards. The electricity worked, as did the water, the sewers and the oil wells.

    Imagine having our 4500 dead soldiers back, those 25000 limbs and eyes and brains back. Those trillions back.

    GOP, you fckn blew it. But we can, and should leave.

    As for civil war, Robert Dreyfuss pointed out before the surge even started:

    “the civil war is limited by physical constraints. Neither the Sunnis nor the Shiites have much in the way of armor or heavy weapons — tanks, major artillery, helicopters, and the like. Without heavy weaponry, neither side can take the war deep into the other’s territory… Shiites may have numbers on their side. But because the Sunnis have most of Iraq’s former army officers, and their resistance militia boasts thousands of highly trained soldiers, they’re unlikely to be overrun by the Shiite majority. Equally, the minority Sunnis won’t be able to seize Shiite parts of Baghdad or major Shiite cities in the south. Presuming neither side gets its hands on heavy weapons, once you take U.S. forces out of the equation the Sunnis and Shiites would ultimately reach an impasse.

    Even if post-occupation efforts to create a new political compact among Iraqis fail, the most likely outcome is, again, a bloody Sunni-Shiite stalemate, accompanied by continued ethnic cleansing in mixed areas. But that, of course, is no worse than the path Iraq is already on under U.S. occupation.”

  • This should come us no surprise. It was bound to happen if we left two years ago or if we left in five years. The surge was never anything but an attempt to push the inevitable forward till someone else would have to take responsibility. In that sense the surge was a success.

  • joeaudio

    “When the Americans leave, everything will be looted because no one will be watching,” an Iraqi army lieutenant newly deployed there said”An Iraqi army lieutenant. Who the fuck is training the Iraqi army? Oh, I forgot. It’s supposed to be us.The U.S. Army and other services turn out thousands of incredibly well trained soldiers and officers EVERY YEAR.How many years have we been failing at the same job in Iraq? And why?Iraq had a well trained Army until IDIOT Jerry Bremer disbanded it.…If the people of Iraq want to take care of themselves, they’re going to have to step up to the plate.I’m really sorry that Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld trashed the place, but we can’t fix it.Not in five years, ten years or fifty years.Some people over there are going to have to make their own plan and make it work, hopefully without torturing and killing everyone that doesn’t agree with the plan.We should help the good folks who want to rebuild and put down the folks who just want revenge.Declare victory and get … out!

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