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Thread: 12 Steps and Iraq

  1. #1
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default 12 Steps and Iraq

    Defense chief: U.S. underestimated sectarian hatred in Iraq
    By Nancy A. Youssef | McClatchy Newspapers

    ABOARD A U.S. AIR FORCE PLANE Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, returning from a four-day trip to the Middle East, offered a pessimistic view of Iraq's political progress Thursday, saying he thought that the United States had underestimated the level of distrust between the Shiite Muslim-led government and other ethnic groups.

    "I just think in some ways we probably all underestimated the depth of the mistrust and how difficult it would be for these guys to come together on legislation, which, let's face it, is not just some kind of secondary thing," Gates said aboard his plane en route to Washington.

    "The kinds of legislation they're talking about establish the framework of Iraq for the future, so it's almost like our constitutional convention. . . . And the difficulty in coming to grips with those we may all have underestimated six or eight months ago," when the Bush administration began implementing its policy of a U.S. troop buildup.
    The say the first step is to admit one has a problem. At least SecDef Gates has taken it.

    Best

    Tom

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    Council Member Mark O'Neill's Avatar
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    Default Really, Homer Simpson summed this one up well

    D'oh ...........

  3. #3
    Council Member T. Jefferson's Avatar
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    The say the first step is to admit one has a problem. At least SecDef Gates has taken it.

    Best

    Tom
    If American political leaders are willing to admit that they underestimated the difficulty in political reconciliation in the Sunni / Shia conflict, what is the next step?
    Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

    It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to
    ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be
    neglected.

  4. #4
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Jefferson View Post
    If American political leaders are willing to admit that they underestimated the difficulty in political reconciliation in the Sunni / Shia conflict, what is the next step?
    Have a drink?

    Seriously, there has to be a reevaluation of political strategy to match or at least approximate what is happening on the ground. Personally I see the Iraqi Parliament's vacation as something of a Nero-like violin concert.

    Admiral Mullen's had similarly blunt words on Iraq this week.

    Tom

  5. #5
    Council Member T. Jefferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Have a drink?

    Seriously, there has to be a reevaluation of political strategy to match or at least approximate what is happening on the ground. Personally I see the Iraqi Parliament's vacation as something of a Nero-like violin concert.

    Admiral Mullen's had similarly blunt words on Iraq this week.

    Tom
    Unfortunately I had the same thought, Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

    I guess I was wondering if we could do an end run and maybe catalyze a ground up political solution. I believe that the USA had much stronger state governments before our Civil War changed their relationship to the Federal government.
    Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

    It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to
    ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be
    neglected.

  6. #6
    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by T. Jefferson View Post
    Unfortunately I had the same thought, Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

    I guess I was wondering if we could do an end run and maybe catalyze a ground up political solution. I believe that the USA had much stronger state governments before our Civil War changed their relationship to the Federal government.
    Pardon me for pointing out what I see as a little bit of hypocrisy. Why not have same knee jerk reaction to American Congressional recesses when we don't have a budget or need some other important legislation passed?

    The Iraqis' timetable may very well not coincide with ours. We certainly need to get that point pretty soon if we do not want to continue to be perceived as a self-centered bully/occupying force.

  7. #7
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    Pardon me for pointing out what I see as a little bit of hypocrisy. Why not have same knee jerk reaction to American Congressional recesses when we don't have a budget or need some other important legislation passed?

    The Iraqis' timetable may very well not coincide with ours. We certainly need to get that point pretty soon if we do not want to continue to be perceived as a self-centered bully/occupying force.
    WM,

    I take your point. However, ultimately the US Congress will not return to Baghdad from its break; that would be the fate of the Iraqi Parliament.

    Tom

  8. #8
    Council Member T. Jefferson's Avatar
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    Apparently we have a different perception as to the consequences of major pull back in our force levels without the necessary Iraqi political and military structure in place. I would expect an escalating civil war with several hundred thousand people dead. If the surge does not demonstrate necessary political progress, then I see a major reduction in force levels and a change in mission as inevitable.
    Sun Tzu said: The art of war is of vital importance to the State.

    It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to
    ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be
    neglected.

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