Thursday, November 09, 2006

Well, It's a New Day...

The elections are over and as I’ve felt after so many other elections before this one, I don’t feel that much different other than to say I’m a little bit more hopeful about our future Iraq policy, driven primarily by the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld. I’m even glad that the elections were what made it happen. I’m also glad that we won’t have to hear the GOP talk about ID, stem cell research funding bans, Terri Schivo, gay marriage, etc… all of which they had wrong. The new Democrats should remember this as they move their stuff into their new offices: While I may not have voted for them, they still nonetheless represent ME. Something those they replaced did a poor job of.

The sole issue that has thrown my vote towards the GOP for so long is that of our national security and with the recent Democratic victories, they now have a whole lot to prove. I am deeply concerned about the Democrats ability to comprehend our enemy since so many Democrats I know personally seem so clueless as to their true nature. They just don’t understand the determination and inflexibility of a religious zealot and the dangers their societies produce. They seem to think that there is some diplomatic tactic that doesn’t include the threat of force that will somehow magically smooth the way towards peaceful coexistance. They are wrong. Islamic fundamentalism is a cancer, a cancer that needs aggressive treatment, not touchy feely band-aids. A society build on religious fueled hate of non-believers is not to be negotiated with. If Bill Clinton’s failed North Korean policy teaches us anything, it’s that our ENEMY is not to be trusted, and Kim’s game is socio-political vs theocratic (note: I was a proponent of the Clinton/Carter nuke accords and hoped they would ultimately succeed, but the bastard went ahead and build them in secret anyway).

We do not have the luxury of having the Democrats learn this hard truth the hard way with our troops deployed across the line from the enemy. There is NO appeasement option to the war on terror. It sucks that we have to fight this war and that soldiers have/will die, but fight we must. I will wait with the patience of Jobe for the new house and senate to show signs they understand the fight we’re in and hope they can see past their partisanship and naivety to provide the protection our country needs at this time.

The most overused phrase which held the most truth this election season: It’s all about Iraq (it certainly was for me). On this, at least to some degree, the Rumsfeld move is a win. As for the current situation in Iraq, it would appear that everybody got it wrong, some more than others. Those who thought we’d be welcome with open arms got it wrong, as did those who thought the U.S. is and has been the Iraqi peoples public enemy one got it wrong, even those who thought that the idea of a protracted war was something all Iraqi’s would want to avoid after having suffered so badly under a despot for 50 years (I include myself in the last classification). Nope, it turns out that Iraqi’s hate each other more than the desire for peace. They seem driven to carry out revenge on each other more than live prosperously. In many ways I don’t blame them, on the other hand standing back and letting them kill each other is not a very attractive option either.

I’ve always thought it strange that during debates over the future of Iraq for the last couple of years, specifically speculating on results of all out civil war, that I would hear and (continue to hear) the notion of a three way confederation of Iraq states as an option. To this I say, “What dope are you smoking?”. I finally found at least one guy who agrees that if an all out civil war were to be fought in Iraq there would be but two survivors: The Kurds and the Shia. The Sunni’s would be dispatched within a year (again, if the Sunni’s had killed 30 plus members of my family during Saddam’s reign I’d probably line up for a rifle of my own too). But alas, this is NOT a desirable state either.

Having said all that, and with all the news of late I am prepared to fully endorse Fareed Zakaria’s policy 110%. I beg any and all of you to read it. Fareed Zakaria has always told it like it was from the beginning when it comes to the war in Iraq. He has shared my optimism and my disappointment, but he now offers the best solutions and policy I’ve read in the last 160 days of trolling poli-blogs from the left and right.

The Shia dominated Iraqi government MUST begin to offer a contrition path to the Sunni’s and funnel some desperately needed construction money towards the Anbar providence. The oil revenue must be shared. At some point, there MUST be amnesty for all, otherwise complete ethnic cleansing will be the sure result. The Sunni’s MUST realize that coalition forces are the ONLY thing keeping them from being buried in big pits in the desert much like their former leader used to do to others on a regular basis, that we offer them the ONLY choice to remaining alive in Iraq, much less a political power of any concern (Zakaria indicates that this is sinking in to some degree with the Sunni’s already). The U.S. and the U.K. must make this these equity positions fundemental to continued troop/money support.

Bottom line is that Iraq will not turn out like anyone would have wanted, including me, but there are severe consequences to not doing the right thing going forward. With the new players on Capital Hill and with a new Secretary of Defense on board my sincerest hope is for a plan like Mr. Zakaria’s be given serious consideration.

As far as the rest of the election hoopla goes, I think my man John Cole says it best here.


At 2:44 PM, November 09, 2006, Blogger Jackson said...

Well now, as one of the 'Democrats you know personally' I will respond as lucidly, and without insult as possible - though you insult me with your claim that I am 'clueless' on the subject.

A) We're cleaning up a mess created by people you supported. And, while I'm here, Nancy Pelosi was one Democrat who did not vote for this war.

Our involvement in Afghanistan was warranted. Iraq was not. It was stupid move, and now we have to clean it up.

Yes, we need to fight Islamofacism or Fundamental Islam, and it's spread. Yes these are dangerous zealots - but for God's sake, can we get some international help?

Iraq has become ground zero for this fight, because we (Bush/Cheney) brought it there.

B) Bill Clinton's 'failed policy' failed because on day one of the Bush administration GW shut it down. George stopped sending food, THEN Kim started building nukes again.

North Korea is a different matter. Belligerent yes, but broke. They have shown themselves to be incapable of carrying through with their threat. We need to watch them, but China is closer, and they are seeing it our way.

C) I don't think there is a hope in hell for the Sunni's. I think you fear that they are the more reasonable, less fundamentally zealously anti-western lot, and you may be right, but they are out-numbered and surrounded.

I say give 'em up. Save the energy for the real battle, which we both agree is unavoidable.

C)Oil has made this all possible. Oil has funded Al Queda and every other Islamoterror group.

Let's get off the oil.

It will help us live longer too.

At 4:39 PM, November 09, 2006, Blogger Tony Alva said...

For the record, the current administration did not stop sending aid to NK until they got intel that NK had violated the Clinton/Carter agreements. The key part of an effective agreement is that when you break it, you no longer get the benefits. With as many things you can criticize this administration for, the NK policy has worked, thus why it slipped away as a Dem campaign topic. NK know they're on the ropes and must deal with all of us together much like the coalition you seek for combating islamofacism. Why is that bad?

I wish gaining support of the Sunni's were the magic key, but it is only part of the larger solution. Getting them to hold off on reprisals by giving them jobs & money would be a start, and as FZ outlines, would at least show that the elected government is interested in equity sharing of oil revenue, but right now the Shia majority is fucking it all up by holding back funds (you REALLY should read his thoughts I think you'd really like what he has to say).

Contrition has to start somewhere, and it should start with the government. There is no doubt that sect based geography will/is being developed and that's okay as long as there's equity in the oil revenue sharing.

If you read further, and this is the key to staying involved, FZ states that this equity should be MANDATORY for the continued troop commitment in Iraq. While we are now guests of the Iraqi government, we should not in anyway give the Iraqi government, Sadr and his army, Sistanni, or any of them the idea that we will continue to pump money and blood into Iraq to watch the Shia commit genocide.

The problem gets more complex if we have to exercise that option. Mainly because a Shia dominated Iraq means unrest to the rest of the Sunni dominated all of the ME. Iranian influenced or not, there are more Sunni’s by a long shot. This might be bad, but it says that there is an opportunity for Iraq’s neighbors, friend or foe, has a vested interest in keeping Iraq whole.

The only real option is to make something work in Iraq, not the vision the president had, not the one I was hoping for, and not at all costs, but a best effort.

Re: the blame game… I told you a long time ago that the whole “Who started it” thing will only be good for getting you elected, it means nothing now. You have to have a plan to fix it whether you started it or not. The GOP has paid the price for their failed planning and may still in two years, but if the Dems don’t come up with an alternative plan that succeeds they will not be the majority for long. That’s the way it works. It’s a short and long term game.

At 1:03 PM, November 10, 2006, Blogger Jackson said...

At 3:37 PM, November 10, 2006, Blogger Tony Alva said...

Kim calls all bets off because SK's pres allegedly get's "dissed" in the March of 2001? Crock o'shite. Should have know since it's attributed to Mary McGrory whose speculation and editorialization is evident in the quote. Bush demands closer inspection of NK missles as part of continued talks (and in light of what Saddam is doing with his inspectors) and this guy calls his an asshole? No cred...

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