Thursday, December 27, 2007

Success In Iraq Is Just An Illusion

The Bush administration is trying to convince Americans that they are finally turning the corner in Iraq. They want to convince us they are winning this war before it takes a serious toll on Republicans in the coming election.

U.S. Embassy spokesman Phil Reeker told the media, "It is pretty clear that 2007 comes to an end in Iraq with Iraq as a substantially better place than where we began the year." Administration spokemen are now predicting that Iraq will be a less violent place next year.

That sounds pretty good -- until you look at the casualty figures. These figures show that there have now been 3900 American soldiers killed in Iraq. Another 19 Americans were killed in December. This is in addition to 1 British soldier and 460 Iraqis.

It is hard to see Iraq as a success, when at least 120 people are being killed there every single week. But the oil production figures are up. I guess if you consider oil production more important than human life, you could claim we are successful over there.

The Bush administration says that one reason for this "success" is the arming of 70,000 Sunnis to fight al-Queda (never mind that al-Queda has never been the primary enemy in Iraq). Most killings in Iraq are not done by al-Queda, but by Iraqis -- both Sunni and Shiite.

The arming of these civilian Sunni groups has done nothing but set up future violence in Iraq. The current puppet government (mostly Shiite) has already said they will seek to disarm these Sunni groups, although they have said nothing about disarming any Shiite groups.

Anyone who believes the Sunnis will peacefully disarm is living in a dream world. They are not about to leave themselves defenseless against the Shiite militias. All we are doing is arming both sides in the Iraqi civil war. It seems like Bush wants the violence to continue.

As long as the violence continues, Bush believes he has the excuse to keep our troops there. And as long as our troops are there, we can force the Iraqis to sell their oil to American corporations.

But this oil comes at a high price -- the deaths of hundreds of people each week, both Iraqi and American. Isn't it time we stopped arming their civil war and brought our troops home?

The killing will not stop as long as we occupy their country.


  1. The killing will not stop as long as we occupy their country.

    Are you implying that the killing will stop as soon as we leave their country?

  2. Not immediately. But they cannot begin to settle their own problems until we get out of the way. Until then, we are the common enemy.

  3. You sound like yet another sophomoric, college-aged idealist who doesn't quite know what he's talking about.

    In reality this decade is the most peaceful decade the Iraqis have had since the 1970s.

    Go do some research about the Iran/Iraq war, the Gulf War and resulting uprising. Then go to

    All of the kidnapping, rape, torture and murder was happening long before we got there.

  4. A-
    I don't know where you get your "facts" but before we invaded Iraq:
    -women had rights
    -most people had electricity
    -people had clean water
    -hundreds of people were not being killed each week
    -al-Queda was not in Iraq.
    Now none of that is true.

    PS -- Thanks for saying I sounded young.

  5. It's no secret that the US is funding BOTH the Shia and the Sunni militias in Iraq. The "Surge" is working only because our tax dollars are being spent to "buy" a decrease in attacks on American soldiers.

  6. Back on March 4, I made a comment suggesting that we revisit the Surge in 6 months. Well, it's been almost 10 months. At that time, total coalition fatalities for the month of February were 85; in December, it's 20. Iraqi security forces and civilian deaths in February were 3,014; in December, it's 460.

    But having lived through the Vietnam era, I don't put a whole lot of credence in body counts. Other examples of progress in Iraq are as follows:

    In August, electrical production of megawatts exceeded 5,000 for 25 days – producing enough power for approximately 450,000 homes. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division is helping the Government of Iraq jumpstart its electrical infrastructure by infusing more than $4 billion dollars into the nation’s system. More than 500 electrical projects have been completed thus far in areas of generation, transmission and distribution.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Gulf Region Division is constructing 142 Primary Healthcare Centers - worth more than $132 million – across Iraq. Currently, 73 clinics are completed and 23 are open and seeing upwards of 350 patients a day. The program, which is 96 percent complete, is expected to close out in January 2008.

    On March 4, I also made a prediction that if Iraq disappears from the news, the Surge will be working. As far as I know, the two items I've cited above won't be found anywhere in the mainstream media. I found them at, the official website of Multi-National Force - Iraq.

    An interesting feature on this site is a daily video called Freedom Journal Iraq, a 10-minute news show I started watching on the American Forces Network while I was in Germany this summer. This is stuff you won't see on the major networks either.

    Is this reporting one-sided? Of course. Does it cover the corruption among civilian contractors and Iraqi officials? No. But with so little bad news being reported lately in the mainstream media (and believe me, if it was happening, they'd report it), this seems to be a pretty good source of what's happening over there.

    There are other examples of what's going right in Iraq, such as the Sahawa (or Awakening), training of Iraqi military and police units, and Concerned Local Citizen (CLC) groups, which have been reporting weapons caches to coalition forces, who in turn destroy them.

    I'll be the first to admit that we've made a mess of Iraq, but I believe we have the moral obligation to clean up that mess and give the Iraqis the tools (both in infrastructure and indigenous security forces) to keep their country in order.


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