Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm having a thought...

I have a few theories I'm tossing around in my head. I've done no research. The first is that al Sadr was sitting in a three month meeting with Al Quaida leaders and Iranian power brokers and such. They came to the conclusion that would have kept Hitler in power, had he been smart enough to think it. The American war machine can outproduce any country around. If they were to stop fighting the war machine we would have to stop fighting them. We are the good guys, right ? Politically, they would gain all the allies in the world if the killing stops. Looks so much better on CNN than bodies. So then the anti war Americans gain footing. The people teetering on the fence fall on to their side. And I think even a few proponents of the war would go over. We'd eventually have to pull out. Regardless of what happened after the withdrawal, we would never have the political juice to go back in, even if it was George Senior at the helm instead of the second string. The bad guys would reign supreme and have freedom of movement toward whatever end they saw fit.
The second idea would give all the conspiracy theorists a mental erection. Think of it. We can't win there short of extending the war to Syria and Iran. As much as it would further greatly the war on terror, America's leaders have dragged their feet too long. Our only other option that would save face is to create conditions that on the surface are pleasing to the American people, i.e. something resembling peace and democracy. So the spooks grab al Sadr. We don't debrief him or hurt him in any way as we need him for the plan to work. We tell him we want the fighting to stop. If that happens, we'll pull out. We convince him of our sincerity by NOT killing or torturing him. We tell him to have his people switch to peaceful protest so that George saves face and the American people can buy it as something resembling a victory. We tell him we don't care what happens afterward, just do this and we'll leave. Seeing a way to get the war off his turf and back on to ours (through terrorist cels and what have you ) al Sadr agrees. Who knows, maybe like the Viet Cong of old al Sadr's forces are starting to dwindle. Maybe he has an ounce of humanitarian in him and doesn't like seeing all his people die. Or maybe he sees this as a quick victory that will allow him to get on with his true aims in life. I'm thinking about it.....

Friday, May 25, 2007

Mahatma Sadr ?

Muqtada al Sadr is back out of the bomb shelter. Hope he wore his shades. Not too many trees out there. He held a conference in which he (surprise) made an Anti-American speech.

"He (Al Sadr) also condemned fighting between his Mahdi Army militia and Iraqi security forces, saying it "served the interests of the occupiers." Instead, he said the militia should turn to peaceful protests, such as demonstrations and sit-ins, he said. (Al Sadr Gandhi ?)
Al-Sadr's Mahdi Army fought U.S. troops to a virtual standstill in 2004, but to avoid renewed confrontation he ordered his militants off the streets when the U.S. began its security crackdown in the Baghdad area 14 weeks.(Oh No ! Body count forced the politicians to allow the soldier on the ground to fight ! Better run.)

Sadr's associates say his strategy is based partly on a belief that Washington will soon start reducing troop strength, leaving a void in Iraq's security and political power structure that he can fill. (What's scary is it might even add stability to the country. The drawback being that he hates Israel. )

Al-Sadr also believes that Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government may soon collapse under its failure to improve security, services and the economy, al-Sadr's aides say. A political reshuffle would give the Sadrist movement, with its 30 seats in the 275-member parliament, an opportunity to become a major player. (Did he just point out that the Prime Minister's inability to stop Al Sadr's terrorists is a sign of weakness ?)

Now here is the part that kind of scares me. The intelligence behind this move is calculated. Its brilliant.

His speech had new nationalist overtones, calling on Sunnis to join with him in the fight against the U.S. presence.

In Washington, National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe expressed hope that al-Sadr's reappearance signaled that he wanted "to play a positive role inside Iraq."
Credit: By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer , Yahoo News

Now do you see it ? Instead of fighting on two fronts, figuratively, he wants the weaker enemy, the Sunni, to join his people, thus bolstering his manpower and at the same time giving the outward appearance of a positive change in viewpoint. On the World Stage he'll appear to have the best interest of Iraq in mind. With passive resistance, he'll then appear to be the humanitarian, questing to stop the bloodshed and rebuild Iraq to the benefit of the people. His party will have a stronger vote in the parliament. With proper backing al Sadr may even become Prime Minister. Think of what he could do then. With the government under control, he could then work to control his nation. If this meant the elimination of key Sunni figures I'm sure he would not blink.

I guess at that point the US would have no choice but to pull out or start its (pretty darn obvious) war on Iran. The latter would be ignorant as then al Sadr would have the backing of the Arab Nations to attack our forces from the rear. So I doubt we would continue with that endeavor. No, I think we would pull out. Al Sadr would have nothing to stop him from subjugating the Sunni people then. He wouldn't hit a pot hole until it came down to 'The Israeli Question'. Yes, there is a reason I phrased it that way, and I think the parallel drawn is extreme but not set in stone yet. There are still a few roads al Sadr has yet to travel before the similarity is complete. One can only pray that Johndroe is right.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Our government, God bless them, thinks we are morons.

Note: If you click on the title of this entry, you'll be take to the article that sparked this entry.

"One of the biggest blows to human rights has been the attempt of Western democratic states to roll back some fundamental principles of human rights — like the prohibition of torture," Khan told The Associated Press, speaking before the launch of her organization's annual report on the global state of human rights.

Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International, recently made these scathing remarks about the United States and our conduct in the war on terror. Mind you, we're novices when it comes to torture, compared to say, the Iraqis just to name one. But you see, groups like Amnesty International are like padlocks. They exist to keep honest people honest. The dishonest pay them no mind.

"The U.S. administration's double speak has been breathtakingly shameless," the report said. "It is unrepentant about the global web of abuse it has spun in the name of counter terrorism."

I guess AI doesn't feel the end justifies the means. Mind you, our 'torture' of prisoners, at least as Combat News Network reports it, does not end up with bodies floating up the Euphrates River. I'm not so naive, and having been part of the machine myself, that I don't know we're sure to have killed a few ourselves. View the movie 'Rules of Engagement' for a glimpse.

"If we focus on the U.S. it's because we believe that the U.S. is a country whose enormous influence and power has to be used constructively," she said. "When countries like the U.S. are seen to undermine or ignore human rights, it sends a very powerful message to others."
Credit: RAPHAEL G. SATTER, Associated Press Writer , Yahoo News

Is she trying to say that if we use creative and innovative ways to extract intel, other groups will torture people ? Apparently she is naive. The enemy is against our methods and everything about our way of life. They have been fighting in that region for hundreds of years, is she saying that if we follow the rules they will too ? Next she'll expect the insurgents to fight a fixed piece battle, with meeting engagements rather than hit and run ambush tactics.
I have bad news for her and her organization. As a soldier, and from my viewpoint of fighting a stronger opponent, the insurgents are fighting as they need to. Were I in their shoes, given the objectives they wish to gain, I would be doing no less. Were she to ask other soldiers from all other countries, I'm sure she would get the same answers. But just as they have to fight the way they do, so do we have to fight the way we do. They have restrictions due to manpower and logistics. We have restrictions due to politics and the western ethic. The most she can expect to produce is more insane restrictions on the US fighting man, more Dilbert-esque managerial decisions by the upper echelon as dictated to them by the armchair quarterbacks in DC.
I have a buddy over there right now. (Yo Luis) He's assigned to a Water Purification Unit. The unit still has to do patrols, everyone is an Infantryman as the saying goes. The problem you got is the rulings as passed down by their chain of command. These guys have to go through a couple of hours of searches (in the US that would be unlawful search and seizure) before and after each patrol to make sure they don't have electronic devices such as cel phones and mp3 players and to make sure they don't steal from the locals.
So what command is telling them is this: We don't think you're smart enough to survive on a combat patrol, we haven't trained you not to do stupid things that common sense would tell you not to do. Then they send them out on a patrol with death lurking in every garbage pile. Then they tell them that the command staff and people of the United States think they are dishonest thieves ! I'm told these searches last longer than the actual patrol.
We're not playing by the rules, MS. Khan ? On the contrary, we are suffering the same disease that has plagued the US Military since the War For Southern Independence (thats the Civil War for you Yankees, no offense) We are playing by more rules than logic dictates ! And those rules are being laid down by people who have no earthly idea what it takes to fight a war. People like you. The dead from Vietnam must be rolling over in their graves.
Should we be fighting the war ? That's up to people such as the UN and yourself. How we fight the war is up to the soldiers on the ground. If you care at all about them, leave it to them.