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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Iraq and Pakistan

(TimesOnline) "A SENIOR Downing Street aide has sounded out Washington on the possibility of an early British military withdrawal from Iraq.....

Behind the scenes, however, American officials are picking up what they believe are signals that a change of British policy on Iraq is imminent."

The NYTimes looks at the planned British turnover of Basra to the Iraqis.

(CNN) A look at the "warlordism" that fuels the violence in Basra.

(AP) Gordon Brown meets with Bush at Camp David today.

(NYTimes) The general in charge of training the Iraqi forces, Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik, says that he can't build the Iraqi forces right now because of sectarianism.

(Telegraph) Turkey's new government is still talking about military operations in Northern Iraq.

(Iraqslogger) When faced with a list of weapons the Turks have captured from the PKK, the US said "it was highly probable that the PKK got these weapons from Iraqi security forces."

Pakistan: Two reports of a meeting between Musharraf and Bhutto to discuss a possible power sharing agreement. (TimesOnline, CNN)


  • What if we completely pull out of Iraq, but promise to consider returning if 2/3 of the Iraqi parliament vote in the affirmative to ask that we return.

    I wonder how that would go?

    By Blogger -epm, at 6:08 PM  

  • With the current situation, I wonder if they could get 50% for a simple "sense of the parliament" measure supporting the current US presence.

    If I'm an Iraqi politician, do I really want to go on the record in favor of the US occupation?

    Separate from judgement, it would put a bigger target on me and my family, and would also likely destroy me after the US leaves.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:21 PM  

  • True. But if the American military is indeed a net plus for Iraq, then that's the price of leadership: to stand up and be counted. If the Iraqi leaders aren't willing to stand up, why should we be will to be shot down?

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:16 PM  

  • Well, I really can't blame them on this one.

    Your point is valid from the US side, but I don't think you can expect these guys to take that vote.

    Imagine if we were talking about your children, family or wife being targeted, kidnapped, or subjected to whatever. Wouldn;t you just walk away from the parliament first?

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:22 PM  

  • No. I wouldn't just walk away. Not if I was a serious patriot to my country. In that's exactly what hundreds of thousands of American servicemen have done. The are risking making their wives widows and their children fatherless, all in the name of duty and (in their minds) patriotism.

    I expect no less from the Iraqi parliament. The more I think of it, the more I think we need to demand the Iraqi government needs to stand up and be counted as to where they stand regarding the American military occupation. Of course, I really think it's time we simply shake the Iraqi sand from our sandals -- or combat boots, as the case may be -- and move on to other, more productive activities to stabilize Iraq and the Middle East. But calling for the Iraqi government to either stand with us (2/3 vote to the affirmative) or against us seems to be a reasonable request.

    By Blogger -epm, at 8:41 AM  

  • Well, you're a better man than I am.

    I understand your point completely, I just don't think that there's enough of an Iraqi government left for them to sacrifice for.

    Maliki's political life could end in weeks.....

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 9:07 AM  

  • "I just don't think that there's enough of an Iraqi government left for them to sacrifice for."

    Well that's my point exactly. There is NO Iraqi government, yet our entire "strategy" for years has been predicated on the notion that there was... and that that's what we were there for: to allow the government to get it's sea legs and DO IT'S JOB!

    A functioning Iraqi government, Bush tells us, is our only exit strategy. But since there exists no such thing, then, like Katrina victims, our troops are waiting with false hope for relief that will never come.

    My call for a vote from the Iraqi parliament was meant as a stark wake up call to those who still cling to the fantasy that we are there because the Iraqi's want us there... that we're invited guests. I think legislation that requires such a vote from the Iraqi parliament before expending another dime on the war might actually move some Repub.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:39 AM  

  • I would say that the US involvement right now is actually delaying reconciliation by propping up the current status quo.

    It would be a big and potentially bloody thing to let Maliki fall, but the entire process on the Iraqi side has already been positioning for what comes next.

    Nobody is willing to do anything for this government seen as in its last days.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:47 PM  

  • "It would be a big and potentially bloody thing to let Maliki fall,..."

    Well that it, isn't it. We fear that things would get worse with the fall of Maliki. But we really have no idea, do we? And worse for whom? The Green Zone Elite?

    I'm conflicted in this, but at the end of the day, no matter what our culpability in enabling (facilitating?) the devolution of the nation of Iraq, it is Iraqis, and only Iraqis, that can find their way to peace in this civil war. The best we can do, militarily anyway, is to prevent other foreign powers from intervening, as we have done. I don't know.

    By Blogger -epm, at 3:13 PM  

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