Thursday, April 26, 2007

Walking the plank for Iraq

Here's an interesting little squib from the latest issue of US News and World Report, which is usually too conservative to my taste, but Washington Whispers, and Inside the White House often have many juicy items:

Staying the Course Toward Shipwreck

"Pollster Stan Greenberg says that President Bush's arguments in favor of his Iraq policy have been effective only with conservatives so far, not with a wider audience of Americans. Only 35 percent of the voters support his "surge" of extra troops into Iraq-mainly conservatives, Greenberg says. "He's lost the country on that," adds the Democratic pollster. "Now it's all about the base." Greenberg believes that because Republicans are "walking the plank" for the president on Iraq, this makes them vulnerable in 2008. But the situation also presents difficult challenges for the Democrats, because Americans understand the dangerous consequences of withdrawal. But, says the pollster, if the United States is still in Iraq on Election Day 2008, "it will be a very big win for the Democrats, a tsunami."

"W" just extended tours of duty to 15 months. At present casualty rates, by this time next year 4293 US soldiers will be dead, and by then likely 30,000 US wounded.( 26,188 US as of 2/07)

Meanwhile, the Maliki govt. is making no moves towards even sitting down and talking with the Sunni's. There was some recent talk of a conference in Turkey, but none of the factions wanted to go there.

As I have noted before the Sunnis and Shiites have been living in the same Mesopotamian area for over 900 years, so it is the height of folly to believe the US can resolve their rancor within 5 or ten years by being an occupation force. Basically, at some point its up to them, if they want to indulge in civil war.

It is very sad, very sad, that by summer of 2008, we will have lost over 4000. And Iraqi civilians, something like 31 a day.

The war in Iraq at present has become like Gallipoli, a military blunder where the Allies kept pouring in troops for a year, to no effect.

I am so angered at the Republicans, that if they want to walk the plank, I'll be there clapping my hands. But what a price to pay, likely 4773 dead by November 08. I would rather those troops, not already dead, get to come back alive.

I suppose one small thing we can do is let out representatives know that there should be some conference, say at a neutral site like Cyprus, where Sunni and Shiite representatives actually sit down and just keep talking to reach some sort of solution they can live with. The 'surge' and extended tours of duty, just keeps our troops there indefinitely acting as a shield for the Shiites, using the US troops to die , while hurting Sunnis, as payback for their sufferings under Saddam. Not good, not good. Very disturbing. Anyway, my thoughts on the subject, and btw I recommend reading Imperial Life in the Emerald City as an eye opener, if nothing else. Also Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq
by T. Christian Miller.

Okay, my vent. Sorry, if it is a little hard core, but it is one of the things happening in the larger world we live in. I am curious how others feel.

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