Tag Archives: Iraq

When US Soldiers Depart, What Happens?

As the date draws closer for the departure of American soldiers in Iraq, there are many unresolved problems such as will Iraqi troops be sufficient to handle the ensuing issues of law and order. Mosul, the nation’s third largest city and still a strong supporter of al-Qaida is watching with anxiety what will occur once the last US troops are gone. “If you don’t have the Americans this is not going to be good,” said captain, Ahmed, “I cannot take care of it” and he refused to give his last name out of fear of retaliation. American military leaders fear the capacity of al-Qaida to renew violence once the Americans leave.

A problem still impacting Iraq is that al-Qaida still have some strongholds and most probably its soldiers are lying low waiting for the Iraq government to be in full charge. The unanswered question is whether President Obama will decide to maintain thousands more US troops even though they are expected to leave by the end of 2011. In a nutshell, when, if ever, will it be safe to just pack up and leave. Does anyone know?

Secretary Gates On Bush And Obama

The United States has a new president whom most Republicans believed would not support the military and would act in an indecisive manner once in office. Secretary of Defense was asked on “Meet The Press” to compare the two men in terms of style. Gates noted, “I think that President Obama is somewhat more analytical. And, he makes sure he hears from everybody in the room on an issue. And, if they don’t speak up, he calls on them.” Gates believes that Bush was “interested in hearing different points of view, but didn’t go out of his way to make sure that everybody spoke if they hadn’t spoken before.” Of course, another major difference is that Bush wanted to be surrounded by “yes” people who knew it was wise to repeat back what the leader had said or face the consequence of not being allowed in his presence.

Admiral Mullen commented that President Obama was “anxious to get the military’s input to all his decisions.” In the lead up to the disastrous invasion of Iraq, many American military leaders insisted they lacked sufficient troops in order to control Iraq but Bush listened to the noted military expert, Don Rumsfeld, and the rest is history.

Bye Bye US Troops, Hello Iraqi Army!

It is virtually a certainty the United States will be withdrawing its forces from Iraq over the coming months, but the exact date of final departure is still unclear. A recent survey by the Army Times reveals a wide difference of opinion among Iraqis over the planned American departure from their nation. Prime Minister Maliki repeatedly insists the US must go so his army can assume control over the land. Sunni lawmaker, Mustafa al-Hiti reflected the views of many people by noting, “the aspirations of many Iraqis who want to see the occupying forces our of the country.” On the other hand, there are some who worry before leaving, America “should solve the ethnic and sectarian disputes in Iraq” in order to avoid the potentiality of civil war.

America is going to leave Iraq, the question is not merely when, but what might result in altering the plan. One concern of this writer is why have we constructed a huge embassy with 1,000 employees for such a small country?

British Cooperated With Bush Rendition Program

British forces In Iraq handed over two terror suspects to the American officials who then flew the men to Afghanistan where they were interrogated. The British Defense Secretary admitted this happened in 2004. The disclosure contradicts claims by the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown government that their nation was never involved in any such activities. John Hutton, Defense Secretary said “the US Government has explained to us that they were moved to Afghanistan because of a lack of relevant linguists necessary to interrogate them effectively in Iraq. The men were classified as “unlawful enemy combatants.” Hutton now says, ‘it is clear to me that the transfer to Afghanistan of these two individuals should have been questioned at the time.”

It is fascinating a reason is offered concerning the lack of qualified linguists in Iraq. If this was true, it speaks volumes about the lack of planning on the part of the Bush administration for their invasion of Iraq. One would assume they realized in planning the invasion there would be need for linguists in Arabic. But, then again, we are discussing George Bush, Don Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney.

US Soldier– Hell No, I Won’t Go!

An American soldier who has served in Iraq, refused to leave the United States on Friday because he has come to believe the war in which he has fought is “an illegitimate, unnecessary campaign” and his country has broken the contract he signed. Spc. Kristoffer Walker of Green Bay, Wisconsin says he originally entered the service out of patriotism due to the 9/11 attack, but his tour of duty in Iraq has made him aware that his nation has been doing things which violate his conscience. “I feel absolutely justified in doing what I’m doing based on their breach of the initial contract” I signed when enlisting.

The ironic aspect of this case is that Walker did see a legitimate reason for fighting a war so he could not be classified as a conscientious objector. He is willing to be part of the military but he simply does not wish to be part of the Iraq operation which he has grown to intensely dislike.

This is a case in which a patriotic individual has come to believe that the disastrous campaign which George Bush has conducted in Iraq is morally wrong. An individual with such a strong moral belief should be allowed to serve in a non-combat role and once his enlistment ends, sent home. Any society needs people with such strong beliefs.

Iran Demands Return Of Rebels

The Iranian government has supported terrorist groups in many areas of the Middle East, but is now furious at Iraq and the United States for failure to deal with the Mojahedin Khaiq Organization (MKO) which is an Iranian group that seeks to overthrow the present government of Iran. The Iranian ambassador in Iraq has demanded these rebels be turned over to Iran for what most probably would be a death sentence. MKO members fought alongside Iraq troops during the war between the two nations in the 1980s. Iraq has told the MKO they will be expelled from their nation so it is best they move along.

The MKO could be a bargaining chip for Barack Obama in negotiations with the Iran government since America could ensure their supplies were cut off and they were dispersed to other parts of the world.

Wiggling Out Of Iraq

Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, admitted the time table for withdrawing US troops from Iraq is not written in stone and has some flexibility. He indicated President Obama would be happy if the vast majority of American troops were out of Iraq within his sixteen months goal, and would not be that upset if a few thousand still remained. “It there wiggle room,” he posed to reporters, and answered: s”yes. Is there a lot of wiggle room? No.” He also told the media ending the ban on gays in the service was on the agenda of his committee and it would be among the initial issues to pursue.

There are over 300 military bases in Iraq. Before leaving, American forces must ensure each of these bases has been made environmentally secure as well as cleared of all mines in order to prevent problems for the citizens of Iraq. We can not just leave without respecting environmental needs of the region and its people. This may require more time than originally planned.

Dick Cheney An Meaning Of Truth And Power

Vice President Dick Cheney is among the unreconstructed advocates that war in Iraq had something to do with al-Qaeda and the September 11th attack. He still believes it was necessary to invade Iraq to destroy al-Qaeda even though Saddam Hussein never allowed any al-Qaeda group to become a force in his nation. Under Saddam, there was one terrorist–his name was Saddam. But, to Dick Cheney, evidence or truth are always strangers who never knock on his door of knowledge. Joe Biden put on his gloves and slammed the vice president for misunderstanding the meaning of power. “The only value of power is the effect, the efficacy of its use. And all the power Cheney had did not result in effective outcomes.”

The history of the Bush administration has yet to be written and future historians will most likely term it the “Bush/Cheney” presidency because bumbling confused George Bush never fully comprehended his own lack of intelligence nor did he realize how his dear friend manipulated and assumed powers no vice president had ever possessed in American history. Historians have used the expression, ‘the imperial presidency” but from now on they will have to add “the imperial vice presidency.”

Ironically, both men assumed they had knowledge, but neither ever grasped how their ignorance of the Middle East or the Muslim religion made them ineffective in formulating successful policies for the region. The further tragedy is their bumbling confusion only helped to exacerbate the mistakes of the Israel government who actually thought George Bush was their friend. With friends like Bush/Cheney, Israel had no need for enemies.

Obama Will Gradually Withdraw US Troops

Incoming Vice President Joe Biden on a trip to Iraq promised its government that Barack Obama will proceed in a gradual fashion to withdraw US troops in order to avoid creating any military issues for Iraq leaders. Biden visited the Kirkuk region where he urged the squabbling Kurdish and government representatives to resolve issues pertaining to the place of the oil-wealthy city in the Iraq nation. The Kurds want it to become part of their semi-autonomous region while the Maliki government will not surrender control of an area that promises to bea rich source of oil revenue in the coming years.

Regardless of whether American troops leave in 2010 or 2011 there will be unresolved issues remaining in Iraq pertaining to control of oil in the nation. The Kurds do not trust either Shiites or Sunnis to control them, given their experiences under Saddam Hussein. There is trouble brewing at the OK Corral and America will be unable to head off the shooting that eventually will erupt.

Ways Of Death–Iraqi Suicide Bomber

This writer is not a devout religious person and therefore admits to a lack of understanding how individuals can kill others on the basis of religious differences, particularly, when the object of death is someone of your basic religious faith and nationality. A female suicide bomber was thwarted in her attempt in Iraq to blow herself up and kill dozens of Shiite believers who were on their way to observe the martyrdom of one of their saints. Police arrested a suicide bomber who was getting ready to enter a procession near Baghdad as millions of Iraqi Shiites prepared for their procession. The Iraq government has sent over 30,000 troops to protect people engaged in religious activities.

Most probably these suicide attacks on Shiites are instigated by Sunni Iraqis who have yet to accept the reality that their centuries of dominance in Iraq are over. Perhaps, Sunni Iraqis believe that killing innocent men, women, and children will somehow advance their goal to get rid of the Shiite Iraqi government. All that results from such actions is hate and a resolve to give even less power to Sunnis.