The 'Success' of the Surge in Iraq
Public support for the war in Iraq has been steadily falling and for this reason the Bush administration desperately required a good news story coming out of Iraq rather than just more reports of a never ending quagmire. In recent times we have been bombarded with media stories concerning the 'success' of the surge in Iraq in quelling violence in the country, which would suggest that what the situation in Iraq required all along was the application of a greater concentration of military violence, since apparently this was the missing part of the equation in the past. Now that the surge has proven to be beneficial we now here reports that the Bush administration is authorizing a second surge, this time in the number of troops recruited into the American armed forces, and funding will now be given to increase the size of America's military. The timing of this announcement follows the announcement of the success of the surge into Iraq, since the conclusion one must draw is that America is short of troops, and since more military force equates to success on the battlefield, America needs to allocate more funds to expanding its military.|
Certain readers may be unaware of some important details concerning the fall in the level of violence in Iraq, and so I thought it would be good to fill in some of the blanks. Now one of the first reasons for the fall in the level of violence in Iraq is that the period of ethnic cleansing is now over, and given how there are no longer Shi'ites living in Sunni claimed neighborhoods or vice versa, there are no longer any civilians for the armed militias to terrorize and chase away so as to create pure ethnic enclaves in Iraq. The seeds for this great outburst of ethnic strife in Iraq were planted right at the beginning of the occupation when suddenly many tens of thousands of Sunnis, members of Saddam's tribe, were suddenly out of a job having been summarily fired by Paul Bremer who was running Iraq on behalf of Washington at that time. The Sunni insurgency then began to build up steam in the following months. In order to fight the Sunni insurgency it then became necessary for Washington to become cozy with the Shi'ites, who now dominate Iraq's parliament, this being the old imperialist strategy of 'divide and conquer', and the hope was that by recruiting the Shi'ites they could be employed to help put down the rising Sunni insurgency. Next came the constitution, which granted oil rights based upon regions, so as to please the Sunnis in the South and the Kurds in the North, while leaving the Sunnis in the middle with next to nothing, since there is no oil discovered in the middle of Iraq at the present time. This constitutional division of the oil rights based upon regions was once again required to keep Shi'ites and Kurds on board in the fight against the Sunni insurgency. This was then followed by the Sunni bombing of the most sacred Shi'ite mosque, which was then followed by an escalating round of tit for tat episodes of ethnic cleansing and one car bombing and episodes of kidnapping, torture and murder as Sunnis drove out Shi'ites and Shi'ites drove out Sunnis, resulting the new creation of ethnic enclaves in Iraq where you won't find a single Sunni in a Shi'ite claimed territory or vice versa. This phase is now over since there are now several million internally displaced refugees in Iraq and no more ethnic cleansing is required to purify various neighborhoods since they were already purified in the past couple of years. Thus this sort of violence has subsided in Iraq, and it has nothing to do with a success of the surge but rather is the result of the success of ethnic cleansing, a totally different matter altogether.
Now given that the Bush administration needed a good news story, and given that the surge was not producing results earlier in the year, and the situation was so bad that during the September report to Congress and the media on the surge, the theme of the day was that the surge just needed more time and then it would be successful, so therefore people should be more patient.
Well, given the failure of the surge, as reported in September, it became quite obvious that a surge was never going to work, no matter how damn long they tried that strategy, and so the decision was made to try a different strategy. Therefore now the militias in Iraq are on the Pentagon payroll. They are now receiving pay cheques of three hundred dollars a month to not attack American troops. In this way peer group pressure could be brought into play, for if everyone in that militia wants to keep getting their monthly pay cheque they will have to make sure that all their associates in that militia do not ruin things for everyone else by attacking American troops. This strategy of paying the militias in Iraq has worked where the previous surge had failed and now violence is dropping in Iraq. As well, you might have heard the one about how the militias in Iraq finally came to realize the grave danger posed to Iraq by foreign Al Queda fighters and then began fighting Al Queda in Iraq. What happened there is that in order to keep their payments of 300 dollars a month the militias had to agree to fight Al Queda in Iraq while also agreeing not to fight America troops. It gives a person some idea of just how much people in Iraq want three hundred dollars when you consider just how quickly those militias began fighting Al Queda in Iraq, which was duly reported in the media, incorrectly, as being the result of the growing unpopularity of Al Queda, when actually it was all about being on the payroll and getting paid for doing certain jobs. A lot of these militias haven't been paid by the month ever since they got unceremoniously dumped into the streets by Paul Bremer, and now that they have finally found gainful employment, it is not surprising to see them at work and on the job everyday.
The moral of the story would appear to be that when a country is invaded the very first thing that should be done is that cheques should be issued on a monthly basis for humanitarian causes. Now there are those who might say, 'who the hell am I, Santa Claus?' However, you did invade their country, and you will be spending hundreds of billions and then even multiple trillions on the barbaric attempt to beat that country to a pulp, and it would seem to me that while playing Santa could also cost you a few hundred billion it would still be more cost effective than sinking all that money into some endless sinkhole only to wind up at the end of it all writing some miserly cheques to try to make up for some of the damage done when you spent that previous trillion bucks on barbarism and violence.
Faith in ViolenceThe cost of the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is climbing towards one trillion dollars, with some estimates suggesting that the total cost will climb into the multiple trillions by the middle of the next decade, assuming that these two seemingly endless quagmires were to continue for that long. Iraq was once one of the most prosperous countries in the Middle East, with modern infrastructure such as power utilities and water and sanitation being built over the course of decades using the proceeds from a state owned oil industry. Now the country is destroyed and poverty is endemic, while child starvation is a persistent fact of life in Afghanistan. All the hundreds of billions and even trillions of dollars are not being spent on human needs but rather are being poured into violent bloodshed, with the human and social toll of the conflicts feeding back into a growing insurgency that gains more support as the months and years go by, resulting in even more money being poured into the open cesspool of violence and oppression in response to the constantly swelling support for the insurgency in those two countries. The Taliban have made a comeback in Afghanistan and the great majority of Iraqis want the Americans out of their country, while millions of Iraqis have become homeless refugees because of the conflict in their country. In order to fend off starvation the farmers in Afghanistan have turned to the heroin trade such that 90 percent of the world's heroin is now being produced. When attempts were made by the NATO forces to spray the poppy plants, the population turned to the Taliban for protection so that the poppy fields could be protected, and as a result the Taliban now once again control the southern part of the country.
When you consider the trillions of dollars being flushed down a sewer and when you consider just how much easier it would have been to win people over with a little help, or even a lot of help, since a trillion is a lot of money to be spending, then you can realize just how fucking brainless political leadership on this planet has become and just brutish and barbaric the minds of the entire political establishment must be to think that they can 'win a victory' simply buy using more brutality and spending ever greater amounts on violence as the violence they unleashed previously inspires more insurgency, thus requiring more spending on brainless violence. It is exactly this process which occurred in Vietnam and as the soldiers in that country used to say, there were no civilians in that place, since everyone was a supporter of the Viet Cong, this rising militancy occurring over the period of years as a response to brutality and violence. The same process is underway in both Iraq and Afghanistan and the brutish policy of the political establishment is the same as it was in Vietnam, more money and more violence, and while the idiotic twaddle about 'victory at any cost' continues, it is easy to predict how things will turn out at the end of it all. Some people apparently learn nothing from history.
The following interesting article appeared in the Observer, written by Jason Burke and entitled "No Hope of Victory Soon in Afghanistan."
He wrote, "In late 2003 I interviewed starving peasants in a ward of Kandahar hospital. That there was still famine two years after Afghanistan had been invaded by the world's richest superpower was not just a disgrace, but plain dumb. When I spoke to inhabitants of the village outside Kandahar where the Taliban had been founded a decade previously, they told me how they were planting opium to survive, how they did not want the religious hardliners back, but wanted security, justice and protection from rapacious government officials and warlords, and how they would like a well.
Last week, fierce battles raged around that village as NATO troops tried to wrest it back from the insurgents. The international coalition fought one easy war to win Afghanistan in 2001, then lost a third of the country through negligence and is now fighting a hard second war to get it back.
This puts recent tactical victories in perspective. Musa Qala, the town retaken from the Taliban last week, is a small district centre in one of the remote parts of the country. If Afghanistan were the United Kingdom, it would be a market town in mid-Wales. If [Conservative Opposition leader] David Cameron seriously thinks the fight for it is the equal of D-Day, then he should look at an atlas.
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