Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Mission Not Accomplished 4th Anniversary

Today marks the 4th anniversary of the absurd aircraft carrier speech by George Bush claiming that the mission in Iraq was accomplished. It's certainly not the fault of the military that peace has not been restored in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein; the mission was fatally flawed from the very beginning.

Rumsfeld, Cheney, Bush, Wolfowitz, Bolton, and all the others never really had any concrete plans that would allow for a long term war in Iraq against a stuborn insurgency, the reigniting of centuries of sectarian strife and conflict between the Sunni and Shiite sects of Islam, or for a small, but determined element of international Al Qaeda radicals to make a stand in this state.

A new popular political chant among Bush supporters is that the Democrats plan to withdrawal forces would mean defeat in Iraq. Certainly it would. It offers no real plans to restore public order in Iraq or stop the endless cycle of killing. But the Bush White House has no plans for any victory in Iraq either.

During the Vietnam War, at the peak of U.S. strength, there were well over 600,000 American soldiers in South Vietnam, a nation of 19 million. Yet this number of U.S. forces proved to be inadequate to prevent the continued violence in that nation. In Iraq, a far smaller force of 130,000 to 150,000 has hoped to stem the insurgency and violence there. Yet in a nation of 26.7 million persons, this American force is even more overwelmed by an even larger population to police.

Both Iraqi police and military units have proven themselves to be not as effective as would be hoped by now, and also many police units are corrupt or part of some militia organization. These police units are simply feared by many citizens and not respected, so public cooperation is weak with these largely feared forces.

For all of the complaining about the Democratic nonproposal to simply withdrawal American forces from Iraq, the ultimate White House plan is hardly any better. At best it intends only to merely prop up Iraq forces just enough to hand over power and security duties and eventually for U.S. forces to leave Iraq, and declare some sort of symbolic political"victory". Of course this is no plan to secure peace in Iraq. And just like South Vietnam, this government will likely collapse within a few months, and be overrun by some Shiite militia group, probably most likely the one run by radical cleric Muqtada al Sadr.

Maybe the U.S. needs to admit that Iraq is way out of control, and ask for a UN force to come in, or even a regional Arab peacekeeping force, and American forces should hand the job over to some other group like this.

The American presense in Iraq doesn't appear to be working in this backward nation, not at all ready to join the modern world. Maybe a Muslim peacekeeping force of some type is the only way to get a handle on all the violence.

But the mission is hardly accomplished in Iraq, and won't be either at the present rate. The neoconservative plan to get rid of Saddam Hussein to help Israel, help the American oil industry, and to help American defense contractors certainly went real wrong.


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