Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Iraq's are better than the French at quelling muslim riots.

Not really, but at least unlike the french they are admitting there is a problem to be solved. And the French have not faced something like the Iraqis are facing, yet. I don't even want to think about what it would be like if the French faced the level of violence that has been taking place in Iraq this past week. And who knows they might actually some day, it's ok though I have their toast recipe, it's all good.

If you've been listening to the mediagasm going on this week you've probably heard nothing except the words civil war repeated over and over again. I think. Honestly the reporting smacks of exploitation and "see we told you so" vibes. The media has been waiting for something like this to happen ever since the war started. They want nothing more than for Iraq to descend in to brutal civil war with thousands of casualties that they can blame on President Bush. Thankfully we have the new media to help us figure out what is really going on.

In case you don't know what actually happend that pushed this fledgling democracy to the brink of civil war, one of the oldest mosques in the world was destroyed by a terrorist. The Mosque was run by the Shiite sect of Muslims in Iraq. This sparked anger and violence of the shiites against the Sunni Muslims, their rivals. Iraq is at a crossroads right now as the Sunni's, Shiites, and Kurds attempt to put together a legitimate government. This is a struggle that the Iraqi's must win for themselves and for Iraq.

But the western media immediatly seized this incident and the ensuing violence and called it civil war. Which technically it could be called that, the problem was you could literally see them jumping for joy that this was going on. Predictions of doom not only for the Iraqi people but for Bush are widespread throughout the media these days. They have been waiting for this since we invaded, they now feel vindicated by reporting every IED that goes off as a quagmire.

Are they right? Is Iraq going to be torn apart in a civil war? Indications at this point are a resounding NO.First this was done by terrorists, by Al Queda to try and start a sectarian war in Iraq. It was actually very shrewd of them because they knew that the american media would be all over it helping their cause. I've been following this very closely over at the Fourth Rail. Where Bill Roggio looks at what would actually qualify as civil war:
• The Shiite United Iraqi Alliance no longer seeks to form a unity government and marginalize the Shiite political blocks.
• Sunni political parties withdraw from the political process.
• Kurds make hard push for independence/full autonomy.
• Grand Ayatollah Sistani ceases calls for calm, no longer takes a lead role in brokering peace.
• Muqtada al-Sadr becomes a leading voice in Shiite politics.
• Major political figures - Shiite and Sunni - openly call for retaliation.
• The Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party and Muslim Scholars Association openly call for the formation of Sunni militias.
• Interior Ministry ceases any investigations into torture and death squads, including the case against recently uncovered problems with the Highway Patrol.
• Defense Minister Dulaimi (a Sunni) is asked to step down from his post.
• Iraqi Security Forces begins severing ties with the Coalition, including:

o Disembeddeding the Military Transition Teams.
o Requests U.S. forces to vacate Forward Operating Bases / Battle Positions in Western and Northern Iraq.
o Alienates Coalition at training academies.

• Iraqi Security Forces make no effort to quell violence or provide security in Sunni neighborhoods.
• Iraqi Security Forces actively participate in attacks on Sunnis, with the direction of senior leaders in the ministries of Defense or Interior.
• Shiite militias are fully mobilized, with the assistance of the government, and deployed to strike at Sunni targets. Or, the Shiite militias are fully incorporated into the Iraqi Security Forces without certification from Coalition trainers.
• Sunni military officers are dismissed en masse from the Iraqi Army.
• Kurdish officers and soldiers leave their posts and return to Kurdistan, and reform into Peshmerga units.
• Attacks against other religious shrines escalate, and none of the parties make any pretense about caring.
• Coalition military forces pull back from forward positions to main regional bases.
None of these things have happend. In fact cooler heads are prevailing, and the violence is dying down. The Iraqi police have aquitted themselves very nicely and we should be encouraged by their handling of the situation. Trucess are being called between the Sunnis and Shiites and the government forming process will soon be underway again. In other good news it appears that a top Zarqawi aide has been captured along with 5 other terrorists in raids this morning.

Our friends in Iraq need to realize that this was done by terrorists to incite them to turn on each other and to keep them from achieving the freedom that will spell the terrorists doom. This was not done by Sunnis to hurt Shiites, that idea is ridiculous if you take a step back for a minute. The Golden Dome was considered holy to Muslims everywhere no matter what version of Islam was practiced. The dome survived many different wars between many different armies. The fact that Al Qeada resorted to something so extreme in the heart of the middle east speaks only of desperation and the realization of the fact that they are loosing in Iraq. Iraqi's need to come together over this just like America did after 9/11. They need to realize that their enemy is not each other, but the people who will do anything to keep them from living in freedom.

Historian Victor David Hansion has an update from Iraq that is a must read. I will quote a large part of it here but you really need to read the whole thing.
The insurgency in Iraq has no military capability either to drive the United States military from Iraq or to stop the American training of Iraqi police and security forces — or, for that matter, to derail the formation of a new government. The United States air base at Balad is one of the busiest airports in the world. Camp Victory near Baghdad is impenetrable to serious attack. And even forward smaller bases at Kirkuk, Mosul, and Ramadi are entirely secure. Instead, the terrorists count on three alternate strategies:

First, through the use of improvised explosive devices (IED), assassinations, and suicide bombings, they hope to make the Iraqi hinterlands and suburbs appear so unstable and violent that the weary American public says “enough of these people” and calls home its troops before the country is stabilized. In such a quest, the terrorists have an invaluable ally in the global media, whose “if it bleeds, it leads” brand of journalism always favors the severed head in the street over the completion of yet another Iraqi school.

Second, the al Qaedists think they can attack enough Shiites and government forces to prompt a civil war. And indeed, in the world that we see on television, there is no such thing as a secular Iraq, an Iraqi who defines himself as an Iraqi, or a child born to a Shiite and Sunni. No, the country, we are told, is simply three factions that will be torn apart by targeted violence. Sunnis blow up holy places; Shiites retaliate; and both sides can then blame the Americans.

Third, barring options one and two, the enemy wishes to pay off criminals and thugs to create enough daily mayhem, theft, and crime to stop contractors from restoring infrastructure and thus delude the Iraqi public into believing that the peace would return if only the Americans just left.

One of the great lapses in world journalism is investigating what happened to the 100,000 criminals let out by Saddam Hussein on the eve of the war. Thus the terrorists have succeeded in making all the daily mayhem of a major city appear to be political violence — even though much of the problem is the theft, rape, and murder committed by criminals who have had a holiday since Saddam freed them.

We are at a standoff of sorts, as we cannot yet stop the fear of the IED, and they cannot halt the progress of democracy. The Americans are unsure whether their own continued massive use of force — GPS bombings or artillery strikes — will be wise in such a sensitive war of hearts and minds, and must be careful to avoid increased casualties that will erode entirely an already attenuated base of public support for remaining in Iraq at all. The terrorists are more frustrated that, so far, they cannot inflict the sort of damage on the Americans that will send them home or stop the political process entirely.

During this sort of waiting game in Iraq, the American military silently is training tens of thousands of Iraqis to do the daily patrols, protect construction projects, and assure the public that security is on the way, while an elected government reminds the people that they are at last in charge.

The IED and suicide bomber answer back that it is a death sentence to join the government, to join the American-sponsored police and army, and to join the rebuilding efforts of Iraq.

Who will win? The Americans I talked to this week in Iraq — in Baghdad, Balad, Kirkuk, and Taji — believe that a government will emerge that is seen as legitimate and will appear as authentic to the people. Soon, ten divisions of Iraqi soldiers, and over 100,000 police, should be able to crush the insurgency, with the help of a public tired of violence and assured that the future of Iraq is their own — not the Husseins’, the Americans’, or the terrorists’. The military has learned enough about the tactics of the enemy that it can lessen casualties, and nevertheless, through the use of Iraqi forces, secure more of the country with far less troops. Like it or not, the American presence in Iraq will not grow, and will probably lessen considerably in 2006, before reaching Korea-like levels and responsibilities in 2007.

The terrorists, whom I did not talk to, but whose bombs I heard, answer back that while they fear the Iraqization of their enemy and the progress of democracy, they can still kill enough Shiites, bomb enough mosques, and stop enough rebuilding to sink the country into sectarian war — or at least something like Lebanon of the 1980s or an Afghanistan under the Taliban.

It is an odd war, because the side that I think is losing garners all the press, whether by blowing up the great golden dome of the Askariya shrine in Samarra, or blowing up an American each day. Yet we hear nothing of the other side that is ever so slowly, shrewdly undermining the enemy.

The Iraqi military goes out now on about half the American patrols, as well as on thousands of their own. It is not the Fallujah brigade of early 2004 — rather, it is developing into the best trained and disciplined armed force in the Middle East. While progress in reestablishing the infrastructure necessary for increased electricity and oil production seems dismal, in fact, much has been finished that awaits only the completion of pipelines and transmission lines — the components most vulnerable to sabotage. It is the American plan, in a certain sense, to gradually expand the security inside the so-called international or green zone, block by block, to the other 6 million Iraqis outside, where sewers run in the streets and power from the grid is available less than 12 hours per day.
Things will get better in Iraq, the terrorists(and the western media) are on the wrong side of history. They can feel it, they know their time is coming, and they will continue to engage in desperate acts of terrorism to keep that day as far off as possible. In the mean time we should keep our Iraqi brothers and sisters in our prayers.

Linked to Don Surber, Basil's Blog, Joe's Cafe, and Rightwingnation.com.