Iraq: How did we get here, and now what?

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  1. Polimom,
    I agree that there is unlikely to be an “October surprise” before the election. I also would not make book that there will not be a move made in November or December.
    I doubt that a strike on the Iranian nuclear facilities will be the move, though. That threat is not imminent, and the facilities are too dispersed and hidden for such a strike to have actual military value, and the political value in the mideast would probably accrue to Iran.
    There are less direct ways to shake the Iranian regime. For example a blockade on refined petroleum product imports would bring the country to a halt very quickly. Putting a couple of armored divisions on the Iranian border would force Iran to make expensive and painful preparations to repel an invasion–one that might never come. Iranian money in the international banking system could be frozen, or just messed with.
    All in all, a strike at the nuclear bogeyman seems counterproductive, if only because it represents a direct attack on the line of maximum expectation. Such directness in the attack has a long and bloody history of failure. Let’s hope someone in Washington has learned something from history.
    Sigh . . . . . .

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  3. The only real “surprise” to involve Iran would be anything new on Iran’s part, not anything done by us. Like you said, there has been talk of bombing them somehow, or sanctions, or a blockade. We have insisted that we will hold them to the August deadline that has passed. So we are bound to do something eventually, and when we do, knowing that we were going to do something will sort of take the surprise out of it. It is then left to Iran to shock everyone with some serious statement or action. And we can’t really predict that right now, or it wouldn’t be a surprise.
    Could a surprise be simply that the Republicans retain control of the House, after all this talk for two elections now that they would probably lose it due to Iraq? The Dems have been betting for long time now that the Republicans would be their own worst enemy, and even Republicans have said this summer that that is true now finally. But wouldn’t it be more shocking if they kept control, and really threw all the analysts into chaos as to why or how.

  4. If solving the Iraq situation requires help from Iran, then God (or Allah, if you are of such a mind) help everyone. We weren’t likely to get any sort of help from that quarter (other than in the fashion that Syria ‘helped’ Lebanon) from as long ago as when the Shah was still in Iran – those two countries simply hate each other too much.
    Unfortunately, Saddam was one of those leftovers from the Cold War, where we tolerated the lesser evil (tyrannical despots) to focus on the greater evil (the USSR, with its announced intentions of worldwide hegemony.)
    Interesting, in all the comments on Iraq (and Syria), little mention has been made of their ideological ties back to Naziism, and the fact that several war criminals from that regime were taken in and given shelter by the Baathists in Syria. In that regard, W’s comparison of Saddam to Adolph hasn’t been that far off – not at all.
    One wonders what would have happened if the British and French had mobilized their forces and taken action when Hitler re-occupied the Rhine…

  5. I thought this article by Rick Moran CIA vs the White House: the leaks go on in the American Thinker an interesting bit of information considering Clinton’s Blow Up last Friday and played yesterday about his continued belief of a Great Right-Wing Conspiracy and now these latest rounds of leaks reportedly from “someone” in the CIA.

    Reading today’s story in the Washington Post by Dafna Linzer about a National Intelligence Estimate of Iran detailing the mad Mullah’s progress toward achieving a nuclear weapon, one could be forgiven for thinking that we’ve been down this road before.The leaking of classified information is, after all, a felony. That doesn’t seem to stop some employees at the CIA from assuming the job of policy makers by leaking information that buttresses their opinion that Iran is not an immediate threat to the United States and that the Administration is once again lying about a potential adversary’s intentions.
    The problem is that, as the article points out, only selected portions of the NIE were relayed to the reporter. Is it an accident that those portions that were leaked are at odds with the Administration’s oft-stated claims that Iran, if left to its own devices, would be nuclear capable in a matter of a year or two?

    That was written August 2nd, 2005! The leaks in the past, as is this latest “leak,” have proven to be a political play – a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy, if you will.*LOL* Most paranoid people think something is happening to them that they themselves do wor would do if they had the means, à la The Clinton’s “Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy”.
    The Democrats jump on their high horse and scream for “equal time” when the President address the nation on the five year remembrance of 9/11 and what we’ve done since to work with the world to attack the terrorists on their on home area than in New York, LA, Boston, etc. All just a push to make any statement by our President political. Did the Republican’s do that about FDR’s Fire Side Chats; LBJ’s updates on the War in Vietnam; on Jimmy Carter’s discussions on the American’s held hostage in Iran?
    What I find absurd, in a black-humor way, is all the left-wingers are acting like it is a major surprise our war with Iraq has “created” new terrorist. The “leaked” information of course was edited in such a way to strengthen the Left-Wing agenda, as even they have admitted.
    . Folks,get a grip! Did you REALLY fail to realize the U.S. attacking ANYBODY but Israel in the Middle East would bring out every nut-job in every Muslim-led nation? Friend or foe as nations, as individuals many Muslims, a very large majority of Muslims in the Middle East, are taught almost from birth that the U.S. is Satan and killing U.S. citizens and any Westernized nation’s citizen is a great thing. The only way they can make it better is if they kill themselves doing it as that punches their ticket non-stop-to-heaven and their 70 virgins.
    Friends and neighbors, those of you who still don’t understand in mosques all around the world children are being indoctrinated with “U.S. Americans hate Muslims; we eat their babies; we are always drunk and fornicating with any moving thing – alive or dead” need to wake up before you have to take lessons on the proper way to beat your women. They are taught we are the reason they don’t have great quantities of food; why they drive Mercedes, don’t each have a palace, and have all manner of things wealth brings.
    I’m no great military or policy mind but I said when the media showed the statue of Sadarn down there’s the red flag for the bulls. As my wife and I watched it on TV I said, “well if this doesn’t ‘out’ a bunch of latent murder/suicide bombers, nothing will.”
    And I’m pretty sure so did the President and everyone involved in planning this. Why? Because it’s better to smoke them out now in someone else’s yard, than have them come over here for us to fight. And I post that in blogs months ago. Now it takes some politically timed felony to make the papers? BULL !
    It’s a war, a new kind of war, but a war just the same. And just because Ted Kennedy and John Kerry, heroes of Boston’s 3.5 mile “Big Hole” that continues to suck up the nation’s money and pouring it into Massachusetts, over $15 billion at this point, like a dry sponge (which, by the way, the tunnel never is – dry) says if we pull out of Iraq, it’ll make us better and stronger; the world will like us more; and will cause it to rain milk and honey over the world.
    Of course their Bush-hate speeches doesn’t mean the Golden Gate Bridge, NY Stock Exchange Building and Houston refineries will not go up in smoke during the next 15 years.
    Anyway, get used to it – war that is. For us, the always slow to understand whiners “Why don’t people love us?” country, we are about 60 years behind our enemy in preparation.
    Oh yea, how can it be an ‘October Surprise’ when Polimom and I, (and pretty sure we are not on the ‘Top Security List’ or married to anyone who works for the CIA so we can get our spouses’ a fat, government paycheck and a free trip to Istanbul to come back with a report and spout their political agenda, “the President is a liar”), visited about it month age? Polimom, I wasn’t on that elite ‘clandestine group of unknown Spy-vs-Spy committee, were you? It’s amazing how fast the left spin is.

  6. I would like to insert one personal observation concerning the average Arab. After having been in Saudi Arabia, I can tell you that the average Saudi does not wish to destroy the U.S. or kill Americans. They are not pathological haters of America or Americans. They are distrustful of us. Some do hate us. But some Americans hate Muslims, Jews, Chinese, French, etc. That does not mean that all Americans hate any of these groups.
    How much and how many Arabs hate and want to attack and kill Americans relates directly to our policies toward Arabs. I know that after Gulf War One, the average Saudi considered America their true friend. If that attitude has changed it is for reasons beyond a hatred drummed into them from childhood.
    I was taught in a management class that if you want to change the way people react to you, change the way you act toward them.
    If we really believe that all or the majority of Muslims or Arabs are and always be America haters, suicide bombers in waiting, or jihadists; the logical conclusion is “kill them before they can kill us.” Fortunately, I don’t buy into the premise.

  7. BTW, if I recall (and I do) the NIE is a classified document (that is a rhetorical statement: the fact that it is classified is mentioned in the article), and that disclosing classified information without authorization (or outside the scope of authorization) is a FELONY.
    So, when will we hear calls for a special prosecutor to determine who in the intelligence community leaked (selective portions of) such a sensitive document?

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