In my daily run of reading today, I came across a review of World War IV , a new book by Norman Podhoretz about the threat of Islamofascism and the new war we are in.
------ The Final Failure of the Bush Foriegn Policy is The Iraqi Refugee Crises------
One of the consequences of War in Iraq is the millions of well educated middle class Iraqi's that are fleeing their home country. The first time such a dynamic has played out, where refugees are not starving, but waiting out an end to a war, living on their savings. They have been swelling the ranks of Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The poets, the technocrats, doctors, professors, the educated class, that graduated from Iraq's many Universities, speak English well that have fled the war zone, hoping to 'wait out' the war, earnestly waiting for the now broken promise from the US, of a new and stable Iraq. At the moment these once well to do Iraqi's are not so much concerned about food, but about their children who are not attending school, because there aren't any schools to go to.
As these once well to do refugees run out of money their choices are stark. The uprooted families and their children who have not attended school are desparate. How will they view the 'liberation' of Iraq by US forces. Will they hold a lasting resentment against the US? Will they be recruited to fight to expel US forces from the region, especially if the US decides to attack Iran. What recourse do these Iraqi refugees have? They can't return home, and they are a burden on their host countries who are no longer accepting Iraqi refugees.
McCain has proposed the formation of a League of Democracies to supplement if not surplant the current UN.
To Mr. McCain, the days of the United Nations as anything other than a refugee and humanitarian emergency organization are numbered. "There are some things they do very well," he said, but he went on to deride "the so-called U.N. Human Rights Commission," which he said is made up of regimes that perpetrate some of the most flagrant human rights abuses in the world.
I3gdOB I really enjoy the blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Want more.
eCts5n Looking forward to reading more. Great blog article.Much thanks again. Keep writing.
Can anyone name a major Cheney-Bush policy that has worked out well for the American public?
- Iraq - $10-12 billion a month, 80-100 U.S. deaths a month, almost 20,000 injured, military stretched to the breaking point
- Oil/gas prices - Highest ever recorded
- Deficit - From a budget surplus to a current estimate of $9 trillion in debt with a renewed threat of inflation
Hey, everyone: there's already a a comment thread (h/t missliberties) on this, but I wanted to pull the Blackwater discussion into its own section so we can pull apart some of the many issues involved here. Iraq's demands that Blackwater leave the country immediately are highlighting some of the complex issues involved in outsourcing military functions to private firms, and the legal implications of doing so.
First, for the purposes of context, here are some important tidbits of info before we proceed:
*The executives from Blackwater are ex-Navy SEALS, so we're talking about a high level of professionalism.
*The funding for Blackwater is not determined by Congress, but by the State Department's own discretionary spending. Because of this, the actual legal status of contractors has never sufficiently been determined, although a number of pending lawsuits may change that in the near future.
*The number of Blackwater employees in Iraq has not been made public, but the most conservative estimate [edit:] of total private contractors is 20,000. The most liberal estimate of total private contractors is 100,000. For comparison's sake, the number of U.S. troops has consistently fluctuated between 100,000 and 200,000. This is a marked increase over typical usage:
In the first Gulf War 15 years ago, the ratio of private contractors to troops was 1 to 60; in the current war, it's 1 to 3.
b8WBAE Thanks-a-mundo for the article.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.
wzdVV1 Thanks so much for the article.Thanks Again. Will read on...
For your Weekend Viewing Pleasure. An Interview with Tom Woods, Author of "33 Questions about American History"
The video is embedded below the fold.
Once through discussing the book, the later parts of the interview go through recent American History and weave together an fascinating take on our current climate.
It's a not libertarian rant but rather a look at history through an un-typical lens of analysis that looks many captivating topics that Dems, Repubs and Independents alike will enjoy (I think).
I think that US policy towards Iran would be a good topic for a discussion and, if people are still so inclined, a formal cross-blog debate with The Forvm . I suggest SC argue either the liberal or conservative case and they take the other, with our post being commented on at their site and vice-versa. It would be something different, potentially fun, and hopefully result in relatively polished final arguments that could make a useful reference. We can decide in comments which side we'd prefer (or let them pick) and gather supporting evidence. Anyone should feel free to start a separate diary if that's more convenient to address particular details or subtopics related to the admittedly broad area of US-Iran relations.
Below, some information to get us started:
dGDNrz Say, you got a nice article post.Much thanks again. Great.
A bit of debate is being stirred up regarding Congressional resolution H.Res 106 , which recognizes the genocide of the Armenians by the Turks back during WWI. This is particularly relevant to the Jewish community, due to their own experience with genocide and the suggestion that silence regarding the Armenian genocide reassured the Germans that they would not face any repurcussions for their own Genocide.
He disagrees with an idea brought out by co-blogger Arnold Kling that terrorism threats are evolving because of technology.
I just don't see that the evolution of technology has been important here. Every terrorist attack I know of in the last ten years used technology that has been available for the last fifty years. What's evolving, in my view, is willingness to use existing technology in horrific ways.
Or, at least he would if he judged himself by the standards he set out in the Army/Marine Counterinsurgency Field Manual...
As many here know, General David Petraeus was one of two authors of the U.S. Army/Marine Counterinsurgency Field Manual (caution: large pdf).
Petraeus' manual calls for a force-to-population ratio that would have required 120,000 troops (U.S. and Iraqi) in Baghdad in order to achieve success.
Petraeus admitted in confirmation hearings before implementation of the surge that it was undermanned. As Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard, Sarah Sewall, wrote in The Washington Post at the time of the hearings:
According to the new counterinsurgency field manual, the proper "troop-to-task" ratio for Baghdad requires 120,000 U.S. and allied security forces. During his confirmation hearings, Petraeus carefully predicted that the present numbers will rise to 85,000, but only with some important caveats: if there is a full surge of 21,500 additional U.S. troops (recent administration hints of stopping deployments midway through the increase raise questions about this, however), and if you count all Iraqi security forces (which presumes that the troops both report for duty and prove capable -- both large assumptions). If you also count private American and foreign security contractors and the Iraqi guards that protect government ministries, the counterinsurgent numbers increase by tens of thousands.
Petraeus has never denied that the numbers didn't add up to the ideal. Instead, he has said that he could accomplish the security mission by using these forces differently than they have been used in the past, aggressively pushing them out among the population that they are supposed to secure. Petraeus may conclude -- consistent with the field manual -- that he needs more U.S. forces for a longer period of time. But given current political calculations in Washington, neither the administration nor Congress is likely to provide them.
Petraeus's counterinsurgency doctrine also holds that 80 percent of any counterinsurgency effort should be political. Yet the military has always been the 800-pound gorilla in Iraq. Petraeus is politely urging other government departments to play larger roles, and in particular to increase economic assistance to support the security effort. But the State Department can't even fill the civilian slots on the planned additional provincial reconstruction teams it is sending to Iraq; it has asked the Defense Department to provide military officers instead of foreign service officers. And no one has much confidence that State, Treasury or Justice Department support in Iraq will suddenly become effective -- particularly if security continues to disintegrate.
Some key points there:
- With the collapse and failure of Iraqi police units into sectarian militias, and with the inability of Iraqi military units to stand up as predicted (those that aren't either functioning as sectarian militias, or actually show up to their assignments), the surge is monumentally undermanned by Petraeus' own field manual.
ONp44M Great post.Really looking forward to read more. Awesome.
(excellent analysis of the spin machine, and the way presentations rely on consumers' lack of long-term memory -- promoted by pico)
Crossposted on DailyKos
One of the talking points that Iraq War supporters used for YEARS was that most of the violence in Iraq was taking place in "only" four provinces in Iraq (out of 18).
But now that there's some improvements in the security situation in just one of those provinces, Anbar, they've dropped the "only". Now, just one province-- one of the four provinces they've been minimizing for years-- has taken on paramount significance.
To summarize: if you're Alice and you live in Wonderland, I guess 1 > 4.
A dissection of the spin, after the fold...