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Kira Zalan

Our (gradually reduced) presence in Iraq will be required for the next five to ten years. There is a philosophy that militaries in democracies must adopt. A military force must understand itself to be a tool of the state, subjected to civilian power. The Iraqi military cannot be abandoned until we ensure that they have the necessary institutional ethos of protecting civilian power. An alternative to anarchy could also be a military coup by a self-perceived independent actor.

On the other hand, it seems the media is getting bored with Bush’s resolve. The topic of a troop withdrawal may be just that - a way to stir the pot.

I hope this isn’t just wishful thinking on my part. I hope there are people that understand the consequences of an early withdrawal, and will withstand the mounting pressure of shortsightedness.

Steven D

I vote for the "they are all living in la-la land" option. This is a Presidency where bad news is punished and "good" news is rewarded, even if the good news has to be manufactured.

Good analysis.


We have a very strange episode here.

Kirk beams down, bungles it and then flounces off leaving the planet to the Klingons. It’s life Jim; but not as we know it.

victor falk

I think it's important to realise that where they wish to withdraw is *into the forts (aka 'permanent bases')*, not *out of the country*.

After all, that has been the plan all along, which I call the "MacArthur plan for the Japanization of Iraq", that would've yielded that "New Model Iraq(tm)", the shining beacon of peace and prosperity in the ME, with redesigned flag and all.

Now that Bremer only got to play Doug for a year or so, it's let's the Shias and Sunnis be Iroquois and Sioux, and let Our Good Injuns kill the Evil Bad Injuns. Dividere et imperare and all that.

So, I think they *don't want* the Iraqi army to be too indepedent of US support, lest the natives get into their head they could to boot out Uncle Sam instead of beeing thankfull of the help they get from their massahs.

But I think the Americans may end up the pawns in that foul play, judging by how al-Jafari has been cosying up with the Iranians.
The game is by no means up, but the odds are stacked in Teheran's favour, and against Washington, what with the latter's non-reality-based ultrapopulistic poll-driven electioneering Kool Aid rote MBA check-box military "transformationalist" politics/strategies/policies/tactics (slashes necessary since they couldn't tell the difference between any of these and their own ass****)

Steven Taylor

If anything, it is just fond to regail in Kirk talking computers into blowing up.

Steven Taylor

Make that "fun".

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