Royally Kranked

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I don't usually rip off my own posts at the CTV forums, but I make an exception here

I was asked by a very thoughtful poster how I would solve the Iraq problem, and this was my reply in the thread I started

I don't think it matters at this point whether the US pulls out or increases it's troop level, things have gotten away from the US at this point

It's a nasty reality, but I don't see things turning around in a positive way at all now

We've ended up backing factions that are now turning against each other, and we've turned a blind eye to the rights of women when it comes to a new Constitution, as the Administration has backed religious hardliners in an attempt to keep the whole mission from ending in complete failure

One way we could have established much goodwill with the Iraqis was to have repaired the badly damaged infrastructure-in terms of electricity, water purification, sanitation, fuel and, of course, security-right at the start

Unfortunately, there was so little oversight of the money provided for these purposes, with the corruption occurring with both the Iraqi contractors and the US corporations and their no-bid contracts-Halliburton, KBR-that Billions of $$$$$ that could have both aided the Iraqis, undercut the insurgency, and provided a better picture of the US, have instead disappeared in a financial black hole

Another huge problem that's too late to correct-The Administration has tried to wage this war on the cheap, as opposed to aiming for real results that could have provided some justification for the initial US invasion, and nowhere have the results of that disastrous policy shown up more than with our own troops, most notoriously in terms of ineffective or absent body & vehicle armor

Another problem that could have been solved before it became the deadly conundrum it is today-the insurgency is able to use IED's as their weapon of choice in terms of attacks on US troops-And the insurgents were able to get their hands on those huge weapons caches & ammo dumps that were not destroyed in the first US bombing runs of the invasion-a shortsighted decision that has taken far too many lives of US troops & Iraqi civilians in the resulting rigamarole

The other shortsighted policy done on the cheap:

Focusing on-and protecting only-the Oil ministry buildings with the initial invasion while other ministries were looted and destroyed in the orgy of violence that arose in the wake of Saddam Hussein's deposal-When Donald Rumsfeld's comment on the wave of looting that followed Saddam's downfall-most notably with the museums-is essentially a "Ho-hum what's the big fuss here?", the signal sent to the Iraqis was crystal clear-their security mattered not one whit to the Secretary of Defense-Only later was that policy's disastrous effect seen, and then it was too late to counteract

We were told the Oil would help lessen the cost to the US taxpayers-yet, there's less oil pumped & produced now than there was even before the invasion, and a major part of the blame lies in the fact that the various pipelines are not guarded in a way that ensures their viability

Instead, the insurgents target these pipelines at lightly guarded-if guarded at all-key points, resulting in such a shortage of fuel in the country with the world's 2nd largest petroleum reserves, that the result is lines-often miles long-of Iraqis waiting to fuel up their vehicles

And the result of all these stumbles and blown decisions is an increasingly bloody insurgency, a loss of long-established, secularly-protected rights for women, an infrastructure in even worse shape now than before the invasion and a deepening alliance between the ruling mullahs in Iran and their resurgent brethren in Iraq

At this point, I don't see how the US can exert anywhere near enough influence to turn the situation in a positive direction, as these were decisions and financial oversights that should have been established from the outset

That the US launched a pre-emptive invasion without taking these factors into account and planning for their implementation as soon after the initial invasion as possible is nothing short of disastrous as it relates to US policy in both Iraq, and the wider Middle East

As I said, I don't see how the US can influence anything anymore in Iraq, the elections and referendums the Administration has touted at every turn have not undercut the insurgency's support among the Iraqis, especially the Sunnis, and I doubt the big to-do this Saturday will have much positive effect either

I admit, I have no solution that will please anyone in the least, but reality is dictating a far harder picture to deal with in Iraq than our President either cares to admit, or can handle in a positive way.

And the results of this disastrous policy decision will effect the US for decades to come


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