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Andrew Reeves

I actually think that the administration (okay, not the administration, but Khalilzad) has the right idea on this one. Train Iraqi security forces that shoot back rather than dropping their guns and running, and try to get at least a good portion of the Sunnis to buy into the political process.

Failing that, you could just try and build an army that's strong enough to occupy Al Anbar by force.

French Swede the Rootless Vegetable

"Train Iraqi security forces that shoot back rather than dropping their guns and running"

That's been the idea, for at least as long as Bush talked of Iraq as kid on a bicycle with training wheels.

The aber is that it (very, very much) easier said than done. It's more than that, one the absolutely gravest threat in Iraq, is those militias, ranging from indepedent quasi-armies like the Peshmergas to very large vigilante mobs, with police/army badges.
Check the 'Facility Protection Forces' for instance:

To believe that such a force giving their allegiance to the US, much less the comedia buffa that is the Iraqi government, is not wishful thinking, it's the hallucination of the clinically schizophrenic on crack.


"To deal with Iran, the United States must pull free of Iraq. Abandoning Iraq in a hurry risks a worse outcome for Iraq specifically and the region generally"

It could be discussed if engaging in Iran at a latter date would be a good or a bad idea.

But those Iran drum-beats really worry me, cuz I got absolutely no clue if they're gonna invade or are just rattling the sabers for now.

Totally different than in 2002 when it was absolutely to me clear that they were gonna invade in the spring.

There was a rational logic for invading, if you have the right weltanshauung. The premises were wrong (and in operational practice mind-bogglingly incompently executed), but it was theoritacilly viable (*if* the premises had coresponded to reality)

But not to see how bad it would be to do the same with Iran, is showing a blindness to reality... that just leaves me wordless.

Something that all (AFAIK)commentators and analyst overlook is the O. Been Forgotten War. If Iran is attacked, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq will merge from three different theaters into a single one; I can't say what the consequences may be be, but my gut tells me they mostly ain't gonna be good.

What, a half dozen US divisons, a dozen, even a score and a dozen, trying to control more than hundred million people "from the Fertile Crescent to the Khyber Pass"? "Arc of instability" will the euphemism of the century

If this is the case and they're serious about it, it spells 'fuite en avant', 'flucht nach vorn' writ larger than life. Revolutionary France, Napoleon and Hitler in Russia doesn't even begin to compare.
I can only think of Charles X of Sweden as more reckless, when he was about to throw himself into war against a coalition that could have comprehended England, France, Holland,Denmark, Brandenburg, Saxony, Poland and Russia TOGETHER, with at best two or three of them neutrally hostile, when he was struck by an untimely death.
Or maybe it *was* timely? History would not have been as kind to him as to ranking him number three of the Swedish Warrior-Kings if things had gone where they looked going to.

Perhaps it is the destiny that Bush's Higher Father has on hold for him? "O woe us, if only Saint Georges had been alive he would had slained the Saracene dragon"...

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