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United States Government Politics

Iraq Study Group Reaches Concensus 621

Posted by kdawson
from the bring-them-home-but-when? dept.
reporter writes to point us to a story in the Washington Post reporting that the Iraq Study Group has reached consensus and will issue its 100-page report on December 6: 'The Iraq Study Group, which wrapped up eight months of deliberations yesterday, has reached a consensus and will call for a major withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, shifting the U.S. role from combat to support and advising, according to a source familiar with the deliberations.' The Post mentions that first word of the panel's conclusions came from the New York Times yesterday. The Times points out that it is not clear how many U.S. troops would come home; some brigades might be withdrawn to Iraqi bases out of the line of fire from which they could provide protection for remaining U.S. operations.
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Iraq Study Group Reaches Concensus

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  • by krell (896769) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:21AM (#17047740) Journal
    "shifting the U.S. role from combat to support and advising"

    That's how we got into Vietnam.
    • Shhhhhhh (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AoT (107216)
      Don't tell anyone we can't win, we Americans hate the truth.
      • we Americans hate the truth.
        Actually, I think it's more accurate to say that Americans hate to lose (or admit defeat). This just goes to show once again that your greatest strength is also your biggest weakness.
    • When reading The Washington Post, always consider the diametric opposite position from whatever agenda the WaPo pushes.
      Consider http://newsbusters.org/node/6863 [newsbusters.org]
      • by krell (896769) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:43AM (#17048006) Journal
        "When reading The Washington Post, always consider the diametric opposite position from whatever agenda the WaPo pushes. Consider http://newsbusters.org/node/6863 [newsbusters.org] [newsbusters.org]"

        Reading Newsbusters is as valuable as reading FAIR.org. These so-called "watchdogs" are lapdogs of media that share their own fringe biases, and they bite the media just for not sharing their opinions and political bias.
        • What you say is true: NewsBusters certainly parks itself in the right-hand ditch as a means of avoiding the one on the left.
          However, did you read the letter printed on the linked page, or are you merely shooting the messenger?
          • by krell (896769)
            The letter is old, and not about this particular news item.
    • by xoyoyo (949672) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:38AM (#17047944)
      You've spotted the Chimp's cunning plan. If this thing goes like Vietnam in reverse then the step after "military advisors" is handing it over to the French.
    • I don't know where Concensus is. Don't tell me we're going to invade there as well?
  • There are no winners. Only losers. No Correct solution to the problem. Personally I wish we (the US and its allies) would formulate a common long term plan (good or bad) and just stick to it.
    • by krell (896769) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:27AM (#17047794) Journal
      "Personally I wish we (the US and its allies) would formulate a common long term plan (good or bad) and just stick to it."

      Personally, I'd rather they not stick to any bad plan. Why would anyone possibly want that? What has "sticking to the same plan no matter what" brought us for the lasdt 3 or so years?
      • It's a simple one step process we can follow to its finish:

        Step one: Leave Iraq.

        Taadaa!!! Problems solved.
        • TaaDaa! (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jefu (53450)

          Step one: Leave Iraq.
          Taadaa!!! Problems solved.

          Much as I thought that getting in to Iraq was at best stupid, and much as I think the US really should not be there, simply getting out seems less than responsible. We replaced an insane, cruel, arbitrary dictator who nonetheless kept order (but, of course, for how long) with chaos, foreign occupation and what might seems to be turning out to be an insane, cruel , arbitrary and very disorderly civil war. If there is a way to do it, (which I'm far fro

  • Iraqi's are slow (Score:4, Interesting)

    by otacon (445694) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:28AM (#17047812)
    Didn't most of the U.S. (government aside) reach this consensus in like 2003?
    • It's a Civil war (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tentimestwenty (693290) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @10:10AM (#17048350)
      The Iraqis may be slow but the problem is that the whole country was used to a dictator and it took someone that strong and tyrannical to overcome the religious and ethnic differences between the people. Take away the order of the dictator and nobody knows what to do or to expect. You'd be moving slowly too if you'd never experienced democracy and lacked the overwhelming government infrastructure required to make it work. All we have now is lawlessness, and no clear roles for people or groups. Naturally all the thugs and zealots are struggling to get whatever power they can and it has turned into a civil war. In my opinion, the Iraqis are not going to pull it together by themselves because 1.) they have no experience 2.) the disruptive forces are much bigger than the calming forces and 3.) there's no help from their neighbours or anyone in the world. The only way to avoid a 100 year civil war is to have the UN go in with 50,000 peace keepers along with a coalition of middle east leaders (honest ones) and work for 5-10 years on setting up a functioning government and infrastructure. The chances of that happening are next to zero. Bush wrecked the country
  • In light of the dreadful mortality rate in that country, I guess it wouldn't be so absurd if the word actually existed.

    • Dreadful mortality rate brought to you courtesy of Islamofascism via generous donations from Syria and Iran.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by AoT (107216)
        Stupidity on Slashdot brought to you by NeoFascist trolls via generous donations of talking points from the retard right.

        Go team, go!
  • The US and their Allies went into Iraq, without any proof. They messed up the country (and profited from it) now they have to sort it out.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by Oligonicella (659917)
      Yes there was proof. Violations of 19 UN resolutions, breaking the no-fly zone, photographic evidence of torture and genocide. What more would you need?

      By way, profited HOW? This is costing us, not making us money. The Oil for Food fiasco was profit motivated, not the deposizing of Saddam.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bahwi (43111)
        "By way, profited HOW? This is costing us, not making us money. The Oil for Food fiasco was profit motivated, not the deposizing of Saddam."

        You mean, profited WHO. You misspelled who. I mean, c'mon, $25 and up hammers? I'm a more well informed buyer than the whole of the US Gov't? Are you kidding me? No, it didn't make the US any money, but tanks, armor, hammers, and other stuff, are not free. And in a no-bid situation, you're just throwing money away.

        Who knows, Halliburton may have been the best one to go
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by LordEd (840443)

        What more would you need?

        All those things you listed are nasty and probably reasons for invasion, but none of those were the STATED reason for invasion. What we need are those lovely Weapons of Mass Destruction that we were promised. I think they were supposed to be in some moving trucks or something like that.

        profited HOW?

        Well, it isn't the country that profited, but i'm sure there's a few weapons companies that made some money on the x billion / day being spent.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Chris Burke (6130)
        This is costing us, not making us money.

        Yes, this is costing us, the taxpayer money. Currently to the tune of over $300 billion.

        That money didn't just vanish you know (though certainly a lot of it is unaccounted for).

        It largely has gone to the defense contractors, the boeings and halliburtons and so on and so forth. We are spending that money, not shoveling it into a furnace to fuel a war machine. The shoveling is metaphorical. The profit for the defense industry is very very literal.

        So yeah. You are l
    • > The US and their Allies went into Iraq, without any proof. They messed up the country (and profited from it) now they have to sort it out.

      I like that principle, but what do you do when you can' fix what you broke?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by crabpeople (720852)
        "I like that principle, but what do you do when you can'T fix what you broke?"

        Well from what I've seen, it looks like you suffer and then die.

        Maybe next time america won't be so hasty to take other peoples land. The best you can hope for here is a long bloody lesson in not randomly fucking people. Responsibility isn't always a pretty thing to learn.

  • In other words (Score:5, Informative)

    by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:34AM (#17047898) Homepage Journal
    what the study group is recommending is "cut and run" or possibly, "cut and walk".


    Not that it really matters since Bush is already planning to ignore what the study group says [washingtonpost.com]. He'll just continue to "Stay the course".

    • Re:In other words (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:57AM (#17048174)
      what the study group is recommending is "cut and run" or possibly, "cut and walk".

      Not that it really matters since Bush is already planning to ignore what the study group says. He'll just continue to "Stay the course".


      You are correct. Bush will ignore what the panel recommends and force the next president to do it.

      I considered myself to be pretty much a "yellow dog Republican" prior to this election. For you non-USAers, the short explanation of this term means that you would vote for anyone, even a yellow dog, as long as they run under a particular party's banner. I have to give the Republicans credit that whoever invented the "cut and run" statement was able with 3 words to stop all rational discussion of the issue by turning it into a debate on cowardness. All anyone has to do is say "cut and run" and rational debate is over because it's now been shifted into an emotional issue. What finally did it for me and made me vote Democrat a few weeks ago was that I concluded that Henry Kissinger is right that Iraq is not winnable in a conventional sense. More troops won't shore up the porous borders around Iraq that allow the non-stop flow of weapons that are fueling the Shiite-Sunni civil war. The Republicans try to fear monger that the second we leave, Al Queda will come in, but I finally concluded that we aren't stopping Al Queda right now anyway, so why are we still there?

      Unfortunately I didn't realize this until after the 2004 elections where I foolishly voted for Bush, but I finally figured out last year exactly why he does what he does. There is a small subset of people who see the world in black and white. He is one of those people. Most people don't see the world in black and white, so they don't know what it is like to deal with these people because there aren't a lot of them. People who see the world in black and white don't agonize over any decisions. They make their minds up very quickly and rarely change them. If they do change them, they go completely to the other side. Ever heard of former smokers who now compaign non-stop to stop everyone, everywhere from smoking? That's kind of how these people are when they change their minds. The biggest problem with these people who see everything in black and white is that they are completely unable to see the viewpoint of anyone who disagrees with them. It's because to them, everything is crystal clear and it's so clear that if you don't see it that way, you must be crazy. Any dissenting words are just "crazy talk" and their minds are completely closed. This is why Bush says things like "If you aren't with us, you're against us." He sees everything in black and white. Once Chaney and Rumsfield and a few others convinced him that Iraq had to be invaded, it was game over. He'll never back down because to him, it's all crystal clear that he was right to go to Iraq and to leave is wrong. I'm amazed that more people don't understand this about Bush. Once you grasp how he sees the world, it's not difficult to understand what he'll do. It explains why he refuses to talk to North Korea except in those bogus "6 party talks". He's made up his mind that the 6 party talks are the only way to resolve it and he can't conceive of a one-on-one approach because that's "crazy talk". Bush is never going to remove troops from Iraq because to him, the issue is clear cut. He's right, his opponents are wrong, end of story.
      • Re:In other words (Score:4, Insightful)

        by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @10:21AM (#17048512) Homepage Journal
        Glad to hear that you've finally seen the light. As a fellow GOPer (registered as such but not necessarily in political agreement) I have long not voted the party line but rather for the person. I even worked for Perot when he ran which I'm sure put me on some GOP hitlist. :)


        As far as Bush and Cheney are concerned, there are numerous blogs, articles and whatnot out there which describe how people like Dennis Feith and other hawks are manipulating things to make the U.S. the sole power in the world. Not just superpower, militarily, but power as in "We'll tell you what to do" power.

        Certainly some of these writings are from conspiracy wackos but others are written by seasoned journalists who document and provide evidence for everything they write. In fact, this article [atimes.com] from Asia Times Online, discusses Bush's willingness to ignore both the Study Group recommendations and his avoidance of talking with Syria and Iran.

        Let me put it this way. When I first heard Bush say that Iraq had wmds I knew he was lying. I knew Iraq didn't have all these tons of weapons lying around nor have the capacity to produce any such weapons on a moments notice.

        Which begs the question: if I knew there were no weapons there, how could this administration not have known there were no weapons there? Further, even when the UN inspectors were doing their inspections (contrary to what some people have said never took place), the U.S. was giving them specific sites to inspect because we "know that he [Saddam] has them" yet not one facility ever produced any evidence that banned weapons were there. That should have sent red flags up all over the place so either Bush ignored these warnings and was determined to "stay the course" or he had already made up his mind to invade Iraq before this whole thing started and the case for wmds was simply a front.

        What is really disturbing is that by January or February of 2007, more american lives will have been lost in Iraq than were killed on September 11th. Put another way, Bush, by his actions, will have killed more americans than did Bin Laden. You do remember Bin Laden, don't you? The guy Bush has called irrelevant.

        I will make this prediction. Before Bush leaves office, the vast majority of troops will have been pulled from Iraq so Bush will be able to (again) declare, "Mission Accomplished". It will then be left for the incoming president to figure out a way to extract the remaining troops, under fire no less, and not make it look like a retreat. Thus, the onus of failure will not taint Bush's record for posterity, regardless of the facts.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by catfood (40112)

          By January or February of 2007, more american lives will have been lost in Iraq than were killed on September 11th.

          Actually, we're almost certainly at that point already.

          3,030 people were killed [vikingphoenix.com] in the 9/11 attacks, including WTC, Pentagon, and Shanksville. Wikipedia says 2,973. In the ballpark anyway.

          icasualties.org [icasualties.org] says 2,885 US military personnel have been lost in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

          What people forget is that those who died at the World Trade Center were not all Americans. Con

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Nimey (114278)
            Firstly, I detest Bush and nearly everything he's done since taking office, and I'm not anti-military. But I'll be devil's advocate just for the sake of discussion.

            Say that neocon claims are right, and there would have been a campaign of terror attacks in the US had we not done what we have[1]. There could have been thousands more US civilian deaths[2] and trillions of dollars in damage and economic disruption. Are the lives of a few thousand volunteer soldiers worth that? They knew what they were signi
  • Was produced a few years ago by Al-Jazeera, well, technically it's not about Iraq but Lebanon.

    http://fineartfilm.com/index.php?main_page=product _info&products_id=59 [fineartfilm.com]

    (or watch it on google video)
    http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=war+of+leban on [google.com]

    There are 15 episodes, about 12 hours long with english subtitles.. so sit back and enjoy how history repeats itself.. the stage moved to the left, a bit, but it's the same story happening all over again. Iraqi society descending into chaos, neighbourhoods div
    • by krell (896769)
      "Was produced a few years ago by Al-Jazeera, well, technically it's not about Iraq but Lebanon"

      Which makes all the difference in the world.
  • by RevMike (632002) <revMike AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:40AM (#17047964) Journal

    I've been a hawk since day one, and don't regret that. I do think that the aftermath of the military victory was handled poorly. I think that completely dismissing the Army and police and starting over new was a bad idea, and helped the insurgency get hold.

    That being said, at this point I don't think we have the ability to stop Iraq from descending into civil war. The chaos and widespread murder is unacceptable, and I don't how we can stop it and preserve Iraq as a single entity.

    The RevMike Plan

    Divide Iraq into three regions. Kurdistan in the north, which would include the border areas around Mosul, the northern oil fields, etc. A central/western Sunni Arab area, and a southern/eastern Shiite Arab area, including the southern oil fields. There might be a treaty that says that the governments of all three areas split the oil revenue by some formula.

    The establishment of a Kurdistan is really going to piss off Iran. Good. It will also piss off Turkey. Sucks to be them. Maybe they should have let us invade through the north too, a couple of years ago.

    I'm not as worried about the Shiite dominated area. I think that, in the long run, Arab/Persian tension will keep them from being dominated by Iran. It would be nice to have alternative leadership for the Shiite world.

    As for the Sunni area? They basically become irrelevant, especially since Baghdad will become Shiite. The Saudis will likely step in and offer some sort of support to stabilize this area.

    As part of the deal, anyone who want to move will be given the chance. At the end of it, the two Arab regions should be fairly homogeneous, and the whole religious/ethnic issue will be gone. The Kurd dominated area is already fairly secure, and likely would remain so. The Arabs, Turkmen, and Christians in this are fairly well integrated minorities.

    • by AoT (107216) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:49AM (#17048078) Homepage Journal
      I'm not as worried about the Shiite dominated area. I think that, in the long run, Arab/Persian tension will keep them from being dominated by Iran. It would be nice to have alternative leadership for the Shiite world.

      You should be worried, of course given your apparent dearth of knowledge about the region it is no surprise you see it that way. But here's the problem: Saudi Arabia also has Shi'a areas. And, surprise, surprise, those area have oil. You separate the Shi'a in Iraq and they get a base of operations to foment resistance to the Saudi regime.

      As for the Sunni area? They basically become irrelevant, especially since Baghdad will become Shiite. The Saudis will likely step in and offer some sort of support to stabilize this area.

      Wow, tacit approval of ethnic cleansing, nice.

      All in all you seem to miss the point, the US in reality has no say on whether Iraq splits or not, there is and will continue to be a civil war which will decide these matters.
    • by Peeteriz (821290)
      Such plan was considered in the very beginning, because even when the war was in process, the Kurds already had secured/liberated much of their territory - however, this was considered politically impossible because Turkey - NATO main ally in the region, from whose bases the war logistics were supplied - is completely opposed to an independent Kurd country. And so USA won't do this even now (although the Kurd movement rightfully can feel betrayed by this).
    • by fantomas (94850) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:55AM (#17048148)
      "Divide Iraq into three regions"

      Word of advice from the British Empire: things get really sticky later on down the line when outsiders draw lines on maps and tell locals how it's going to be.
      • by misanthrope101 (253915) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @10:38AM (#17048754)
        You're talking to an audience who is never, ever wrong, and who do not feel that the intractible, insoluble problems faced by every other great power in history apply to them. Every objection to the invasion of Iraq--that Saddam didn't have WMD, that Saddam wasn't involved with Al-Queida, that the invasion would destabilize the region and make terrorism worse--have proven true, and still they think they were right all along.

        Iran wanted Saddam removed because they want a Shia superstate. This little gem of an idea was on the news for about 10 minutes a couple of years ago, when the Pentagon opined that Chalabi was an Iranian double-agent who duped the US with bad intel so Iran could foment a regime change to destabilize the region so the Shia majority could take control. But when the news agencies realized that they were saying that the entire Executive Branch of the US Government had been suckered by selective intelligence into doing the bidding of a known sponsor of terrorism, the story sort of dried up and went away. We're still working for Iran and Israel. Two masters, though with incompatible ends, but both being served by our own Wilsonian idealistic crusade mentality. It's an interesting, if depressing, situation.

    • by hey! (33014)

      As part of the deal, anyone who want to move will be given the chance.

      Yep. That solution went smooth as goose shit when the Brits pulled out of India.

      What's sad is that a long running India/Pakistan type scenario is looking pretty attractive, in relative terms.

    • IOW, your "plan" is to hope for something similar to what the civil war is ultimately going to produce.
    • by HangingChad (677530) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @10:46AM (#17048866) Homepage

      I do think that the aftermath of the military victory was handled poorly.

      This is the latest right wing talking point. Don't admit it was a brain dead idea from the beginning, blame the execution. They're trying the same arguments about Viet Nam. It wasn't the intent, it was the execution. It's setting up Rumsfeld to be the patsy and gives the Republican Congress a pass on not doing anything resembling oversight. Where was all this brilliant insight during the build up to the war?

      Divide Iraq into three regions. Kurdistan in the north, which would include the border areas around Mosul, the northern oil fields, etc. A central/western Sunni Arab area, and a southern/eastern Shiite Arab area, including the southern oil fields.

      ROFL! That's almost as good the pre-war planning. You just alienated Turkey with the independent Kurdistan idea and gave the Kurds a nearly infinite supply of money to fund Kurdish separatists with the oil field revenue. You alienated one of our better allies in the region and funded ongoing instability in a formerly stable region. Off to a great start.

      The Saudis will likely step in and offer some sort of support to stabilize this area.

      You got that part right but if you think the Saudi money will go to fund stability you need to put the crack pipe down. The Wahhabis supply most of the really freaky, unstable radicals in the region and there's a good chance the bulk of those funds would end up in the hands of Al-Qaida. Everyone who thinks leaving the Sunnis to depend on the most radial elements of radical Islam for funding please raise their hand.

      'm not as worried about the Shiite dominated area.

      You're not worried about setting up an Islamic regime run by a radical strong man with ties to Hezbollah? Now I know you're high.

      You are right that there's no avoiding a civil war at this point, mainly because it's been going on the last year and half. And you're right that we're not going to fix what's broken with the exercise of military power. Pull our troops back to over the horizon bases...an idea which John Kerry suggested and Bush poo-poo'd. Situate those bases so our guys can help control traffic across the Saudi and Iranian borders. Not that leaving Syria and Jordan borders unguarded is a bright spot, but you have less than 100K troops to work with and that's all you can do. Turn over management of our continued presence to the special forces generals instead of regular Army, which was another huge mistake that tends to get glossed over. But when you have so many screw ups to pick from, it's easy to miss one or two.

  • by pubjames (468013) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:49AM (#17048072)
    Speaking from the Whitehouse lawn, President George Bush made a surprise statement today.

    "Today's report from the Iraq Study Group has highlighted something that has been on my mind for sometime - my Iraq strategy has failed. I think the right thing for me to do is to apologise to all those people who, during the build-up to our invasion, warned me both publicly and privately that my strategy was unsound and the basis for it wrong. Members of the U.N. weapons inspectors - Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei, I would like to apologise to you for deliberately undermining you. Jacques Chirac - Jacques, you were right, and I'm sorry that my adminstration went out of their way to mock you. My good friend Tony Blair, who chose to stand by me even when I acted like a bully and knew you had deep reservations about my decisions. To all of you, I hope you accept my sincere apology."
  • Legality of sources? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jbarr (2233) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:51AM (#17048106) Homepage
    While I certainly respect and uphold the /. notion of us controlling government instead of government controlling us, I question why media outlets like the New York Times and others continually print "leaked" memos and information without any consequence? The only explanation is that this "leaked" information, much of which is reportedly classified, is intentionally leaked. When is it considered a security breach, and when is it considered propaganda? Every time I hear someone question the legality of this (on talk radio and such), the respondents never actually address the fact that the information was leaked, only commenting about the leaked information. Shouldn't media outlets be accountable to and responsible for what they publish? I am absolutely for protecting freedom of speech and freedom of the press, but those freedoms are not always without consequence.
    • People are willing to *die* in order to release information. Of course, people are willing to kill to keep it quiet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lonewolf666 (259450)
      The problem is that punishing the media for publishing "leaked" information makes it too easy for the government to suppress reports about things they did wrong. Just put a "classified" sticker on the topic and hey, we can prosecute anyone who calls us on it. There are very good reasons to guarantee freedom of speech, one of them is protecting against government's abuse of power to silence critics.

      So if publishing "leaked" information is prosecuted at all, there should be a reservation that makes it punisha
  • let it become a pile of cards.
  • by tjl2015 (673427) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @09:56AM (#17048164)
    I supported the conflict initially, but have since come to realize how foolish this little adventure was. Ultimately, we were duped into believing we could do the impossible. The main problem is that Iraq is an artificial state, with little real unifying history, religion, or any common identity. It was created by the European powers at the end of World War I, following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. It was created arbitrarily, for the sole convenience of the Western powers, with complete disregard to ethnicity and religion. THAT's the problem with Iraq. This is a problem at the very root of society. You can't drop some troops in there, and expect a vibrant, healthy democracy to just magically spring out of the Euphrates.

    I think occupations can create democracies, by holding a diverse group of people together long enough to develop a common identity. It was done by some European powers, take India for example. The problem is that this sort of colonialism takes a large-scale occupation, much larger than we have now, for a time span of MULTIPLE DECADES. This is economically, strategically, and politically impossible in the modern era.

    In order to hold this unstable country together, you either have to be a brutal dictator like Sadam or act like the freaking Romans. I suspect if every time a US soldier was killed we rounded up and killed 500 random people, the resistance would end quite quickly. However, any nation created this way will only last as long as that threat of force is present.

    Ultimately, I think the people in charge of this whole charade knew this was going to happen all along. In the minds of the neocons who started this whole thing, the people of Iraq are just one piece in a puzzle. You'll notice lately that US troop casualties have been falling while Iraqi casualties have been rising. This is because our troops have been retreating to fewer, larger bases, performing fewer daily patrols, and patrol in more heavily armored convoys. The insurgents have gone for easier targets, Iraqi army members, and mainly, innocent civilians. Sunnis fight Shiia, Shiia fight Sunnis, the Kurds just want out entirely, and everyone wants a piece of the non-uniformly distributed oil resources.

    I think the military is really content to sit back and watch as Iraq destroys itself, while the US troops serve their purpose, guarding the valuable oil pipelines. For the people in charge, as long as the crude is flowing, the whole country might as well just drop dead. Also, the troops presence serves a second important function. By having a large troop presence in the center of the Middle East, the pentagon intends to keep Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and all the major powers in line. While our boys on the ground fight for their lives trying to help the Iraqi people, the people at the top are looking at grand strategic goals.

    And that is why we went there in the first place. Not WMDs, not democracy, not anything else. Our troops are there to stabilize Iraq's oil flow, and to keep the whole region in line, stabilizing the larger oil supply. The Iraqi people are meaningless. Our troops will be behind high walls and thick armor, while the rest of the country degenerates into pure chaos.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CmdrGravy (645153)
      I'm glad to see that some people are capable of changing their minds, can I ask what made you support the war in the first place ?
  • We'll be killing each other, until the invaders are humiliated and withdraw in shame.

  • by misanthrope101 (253915) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @10:19AM (#17048482)
    After being entertained for years by the notion that to leave Iraq, or pull back, or draw down, or really anything other than what Bush was doing would be "cutting and running" and "emboldening the terrorists," I'm curious to see how Bush pulling troops back will be called something other than cutting and running. My guess is that they'll (they being neoconservatives) declare victory and trumpet Bush's genius, then lament the incompetence of the new Congress in letting Iraq descend into civil war.

    Since we never really had an objective, it would be easy to declare victory no matter the outcome. Disarm Saddam of his WMD? Done--before we even arrived! Regime change? Done. Would've been done sooner, if we hadn't armed and financed him, but let's not dwell on fine points. Pay him back for his support of Al Queida and his role in 9-11? Er, okay, bad example.

    But PR can do anything. All they have to do is say "We won! Bush is a great leader!" and trumpet it over and over and over and over, while acting indignant that anyone would ever suggest that Bush, Cheney, and the neoconservatives bear any responsibility at all for anything bad that happened in Iraq (though we can credit them for every flower that bloomed, it seems) and eventually people will come around. If there is ethnic cleansing and tens or hundreds of thousands killed in internecine war, it's not as if the US population is going to sit down and say, "well hell, our President is responsible for that." People consider themselves and the government they voted for responsible for the noble things they meant to do, not what they did. A school opened and a child got a puppy? That's because of George Bush, God bless him. That kid gets killed later that day by a rocket? Not us, Bub. This isn't new--how many Americans felt responsible for the Khmer Rouge? How many Americans care that American financiers helped Hitler? There won't be a reckoning, because there never is. It's too easy to pat ourselves on the back for our nobler motives, and ignore what our decisions actually resulted in.

  • Question is... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mauledbydogs (853179) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @10:24AM (#17048550)
    Who, exactly, are they going to support? The current government is a barely functioning coalition of religious factions, several of which have their own private armies. The only thing stopping them going hammer-and-tongs at each other are the US forces.
  • Thanks, Slashdot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrn121 (673604) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @10:52AM (#17048958) Homepage
    I have read obituaries that have been more positive than slashdotters' comments on the Iraq War. I know it doesn't look great, but what looks even worse is if this whole country obsesses over how bad it all looks instead of remaining confident and positive.


    Established facts:
    1) There were no WMDs
    2) We all thought there were WMDs
    3) We are currently in Iraq
    4) Most of us think we should not have gone in the first place, largely based on what we know now

    I am tired of disputing these topics. We are there, right now, regardless of why, and whether or not you did support/would have supported the invasion. Let's get past that and talk about what to do now to try and make the best of this. This report (which, BTW, none of us have actually read) allegedly starts from the present and tries to figure out the best course of action from this point forward, and I applaud that. I just wish that some slashdotters could do the same thing.

    We get it, you hate George Bush. He is not (by a long shot) my favorite president either, but that shouldn't matter right now. Can we grow up and move on to actually accomplish something, or do we need to keep pointing fingers and accomplishing nothing?

    • by QCompson (675963) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @11:25AM (#17049468)
      2) We all thought there were WMDs

      I'm tired of disputing these topics too, but when people make blanket statements such as this, I find it difficult to sit back idly. We all didn't think there were WMDs. I saw Colin Powell's presentation to the UN concerning the threat Iraq posed to the world. It was shite. Showing pictures of double-wide trailers, give me a break. During the whole lead-up to the war, the administration (IMO) seemed to be grasping at straws, trying their very best to convince americans that Saddam was the biggest threat the US was facing. It was all Bush would talk about at the time.

      Scott Ritter, a former UN weapons inspector, was on the talk-show circuit in 2003, disputing the administration's claims that Iraq had WMDs.

      You want to move forward, fine. You want to work to find solutions to this mess, fine. But don't rewrite history, and don't tell me what I did or did not think.

  • the new plan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blurker (1007141) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @10:56AM (#17049014) Homepage
    The plan is to stay in Iraq until the last helicopter leaves the embassy rooftop...
  • by rs232 (849320) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @11:13AM (#17049296)
    Declare the Geneva Convention obsolete. Bug the UN. Split NATO. Overthrow a stable military dictatorship and disband the Army the now unemployed members of which will go on to form the future insurgent organisations . Watch the country descend into total civil war, a magnet for every disaffected youth in the middle east. Watch helplessly as the country is infiltrated by insurgents from Iran, Siria and Jordan. Then announce victory and withdraw. Repeat same in Afghanistan. Give legal sanction to torture. Declare victory for democracy.

    http://www.kron.com/global/story.asp?s=1962000&Cli entType=Printable [kron.com]
    http://politics.guardian.co.uk/iraq/story/0,12956, 1157547,00.html [guardian.co.uk]
    http://fpc.state.gov/fpc/8688.htm [state.gov]
  • by kinglink (195330) on Thursday November 30, 2006 @12:58PM (#17050980)
    Sad that simple geopolitical facts escaped the group.

    But first look on the second page, the list of group members brings up an odd question. Why is Clinton Confidant Vernon Jordan on that list? Why are three out of four of the democrats, people who were under Clinton? Oh right because the Democrats believe he was such a genius. However I think that would make anyone but the most diehard Clinton fans balk. Why is the Fourth democrat a senator who was defeated in an election where he was the only democrat incumbant to lose?

    Republicans are slightly better, at least having attorney generals, and Supreme Court Justices from a variety of Area, but there's still a lot of concern to be had there. This just makes me feel there is just reason for anyone to ignore the report.

    The bigger problem is they have debated reaching out to Iran and Syria for help on Iraq. Anyone who has a little knowledge of the situation of both countries knows Iran is a quagmire waiting to happen and have likely been sponsoring or instigating the insurgence in Iraq, Syria is normally seen as a group who has in the past conducting state sponsored terrorism, however they have "cleaned up their act" at least enough after 9/11 that we can pretend to work with them. Though both countries would have been better options to attack over Iraq, and still are, the only problem is both have issues that made them less desirable.

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