Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Iraq Debacle Nears Total Chaos

From two very prominent bloggers, very similar opinions on the failed invasion of Iraq. It appears that while the world is focused on the Israeli-Hezbullah conflict, things in Iraq are deteriorating quickly.

Andrew Sullivan:
I fear the cycle of civil war is now beyond our control - or anyone's control. Here's an email from an American soldier in Northern Iraq about the fast-deteriorating situation:

Baghdad has descended into complete anarchy, as near as I can tell. We have police investigators in Northern Iraq who are scared to drive down there to attend an IPS investigator's course for fear that they will be stopped by Sunni or Shia checkpoints and killed. And these guys are police! I imagine the situation is terrible for ordinary citizens.

This is the dark side of the big shift in the U.S. strategy/presence over the last year. As we've reduced our forces, disengaged from the cities, and consolidated on massive super-FOBs like Balad and Camp Victory, we have lost the ability to impose our will on the streets of Iraq. At this point, I don't know how effective U.S. forces can/will be in imposing order. We just don't have the combat power, nor the presence in the city, nor the right mix of constabulary and civil affairs units. It's frustrating.
And so one of the biggest military fiascoes in American history lurches toward another down-draft.

And from Glenn Greenwald, the final paragraphs on his article:
So, to recap as dispassionately as possible -- Iraq is falling apart. There is apparently serious talk of dividing Baghdad, or even the country as a whole, along sectarian lines. Sectarian tension is at an all-time high, with continuous reprisal mass murders, and the government appears incapable of enforcing the law or maintaining even basic security, and worse, relies upon the good will of powerful, well-armed lawless militias and death squads just to maintain the level of chaos currently engulfing the country.

Meanwhile, for the very first serious crisis which arises in the Middle East, the Iraqi Government is on the opposite side of the U.S., condemning Israel's actions with increasing fervor. All the while, the government does not hide its intent to maintain strong alliances with Iran, the country we are told is now the worst threat to American interests and world peace. And all of this is occurring while we have 140,000 troops occupying the country and the Iraqi government is dependent upon them. Imagine what will happen in terms of Iraq's allegiances if we ever actually leave that country and that dependence no longer exists.

Our invasion of Iraq certainly ousted Saddam Hussein from power, but in his place will be a government that is a close ally of Iran, our new arch enemy, and which appears incapable of maintaining even basic stability for a long time to come, if it ever can. And we are told that Al Qaeda-type terrorists thrive in environments where there is a weak government and chaos, which happens to be exactly what we created in Iraq for the foreseeable future -- at the cost of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars, and counting. Is there even a single theoretical benefit to American security that we derived from our invasion and occupation of that country in exchange for the immeasurable damage we created and are enduring?

The Iraq invasion has been an egregious mistake at every step, but having created this mess and put the stability of the entire region at risk, failure cannot be an option.

If Iran is our new enemy, an Iranian-Iraqi alliance would be disastrous for the entire Middle East. Rather than spreading democracy, they would spread fundamenalist Islam among a population that really does not want to live such a repressive regime.

I certainly don't know what the answers are, but a divided Iraq would be exactly what the Iranians have been seeking. And that can't be good.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

No comments: