Friday, August 24, 2007

Ghost Writing Petraeus’ Final Report
Wearing Rose Colored Glasses

Uncertain why GW Bush and his frenzied neocons not only want to write the Petreaus/Crocker 15 September report to Congress, but want Condoleezza and Sobbing SecDef Gates to deliver it. Does not seem to make much difference who in this cast does what to whom. According to recent polls, a majority of people do not trust General Petraeus to tell the truth. Condoleezza lost most of her credibility in her 9/11 testimony, with the rest of it swept away in her atomic mushroom cloud fulminations, used to promote the invasion of Iraq. By now most people realize Gates dutifully supported the GWB SURGE, so he is not going to undercut himself or the President – Gates' key to success has always been super loyalty; never, never to act smarter than your boss. His modus operandi has been certainly tested lately in his new position.

These are all intelligent people. Certainly to the person, they understand the Iraq war is lost. The generals, VEEP Cheney, and neocons are now blaming the Iranians for their inability to win the war in Iraq. One US General said that there are 50 Iranian military instructors training Iraqis in Southern Iraq. Wish the US general would quit whining about them – he has helicopters and 160,000 troops – go GET THEM or KILL 'EM. That the Iranians are providing infernal devices that kill Americans fighting in Iraq is a certainty. Once fighting such a war, this weapon supply should be ruthlessly interdicted, but bombing Iran as proposed by the excited neocons and promoted by Israel, will not stop the supply and employment of these weapons any more than the Israeli bombing of Lebanon stopped Katyusha rockets fired into Israeli or expedited the return of Israeli POWs. These Israeli soldiers still have not been returned. The US is losing the war in Iraq for many other reasons – try delusional military and political US leadership for starters.

Bombing Iran would cause even more deadly chaos in the region, much to be borne by US ground and sea forces in the area when Iran retaliates. That does not seem to trouble the US war-hawks and Israeli lobbyists; one thing they certainly understand is the price of oil will break 100 dollars a barrel. This devastating mercantile factor should hopefully make them hesitate to miscalculate in Iran as they did in Iraq.

GWB and his generals still do not seem to understand that the presence of US forces in Iraq provides the infrastructure for insurgency. Even more corrupting is the US arming of the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis; this makes the ongoing civil war even more deadly. The war in Iraq becomes more surrealistic by the moment as bloodshed through-out country increases, its people flee and the central government evaporates. The US is now up to its ears in death and destruction in Iraq; delusionally arguing it is there to fight al Qaeda in Iraq. Mr. Bush, if you want to fight al Qaeda, make a serious military effort in Afghanistan, the Hindu Kush and Waziristan.

Even Petraeus in a lucid interval admitted that political stability in Iraq was key to the defeat of the insurgency in Iraq. And that it was the function of the SURGE to provide security for political stability. This is as it was sold by the Administration to Congress and the American people. During the SURGE the opposite has occurred: the central government has stopped functioning. It was rejected by the Sunnis and the Parliament went on a month-long vacation. To make matters worse, Maliki wanted Petraeus relieved. As a result Maliki will be pushed aside as Bush searches for a new puppet who loves America more than Iran. Let's hear it for democracy and pipe dreams! . .
The 15 September report will point to the arming of Sunnis in Anbar as creating more stabilization and a positive result. This is a step that could have been made years ago however, its too early to assess the long term impact or to take bows. This policy has little to do with the SURGE tactics; it has everything to do with Saudi pressure to protect Sunnis. The latest military operation in Diyala province involved 10,000 US forces and planned on 6,000 Iraqis forces. Uncertain how many Iraqi forces really showed up. The results on this massive operation appear mixed – the US announced that Arab sheiks in the province signed loyalty oaths to insure security. If the Petraeus/Crocker/ Bush/Neocon report cited this as progress to Congress, it may be laughed out of the committee room. Oaths sworn under duress by Arabs to Coalition infidels are not recorded by Allah. If I had a seat on the congressional committee taking General Petraeus’ testimony, I would ask him when we could expect a revision to his counterinsurgency field manual, since the current one appears to be flawed and outdated.

One thing the report will certainly predict is that the civil war in Iraq will get more brutal if the US troops depart – which it may or may not... So far the strategic judgments on Iraq have been mostly flawed. The US already bears the guilt for wrecking Iraq and is making the situation worse daily, so withdrawal probably would make the situation better if Iraqis are forced to cooperate with each other or perish. That would be a quantum change from the tribes self-righteously blaming the US for their continued misery. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA RET

*Photograph: Etching La Ratram ne la Paque de MAHOMETANS

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