Uncle Jimbo wrote:I have spent too much time among too many different shades of people, having worked in more than two doze countries, to hold an opinion such as that.
I would readily cop to a kill all the bad guys mentality, even with the attendant guilt for any mistakes, but the brown and other folks are fine with me.
Oops. I went back and checked. I was thinking that you were Uncle Fester. Apologies for the mistaken ID.
Uncle Jimbo wrote:My concern is that we gain very little by withdrawing now, and we lose so much.
With this I basically agree (see my reply in your other thread); although I seriously doubt that there is anything for anyone (not just "us") to gain at this point. My thinking is that stability in the region is a strategic and humanitarian necessity. If we leave and bad things happen, it is all our fault. We have a responsibility to do whatever's possible (which may not be much) to repair the damage we caused.
Uncle Jimbo wrote:Why we did it, why the post-war period sucked and who is to blame or who is still in charge for a few more years, none of that has much to bear on what the best thing to do now is.
With this I completely disagree. In my opinion, the decision to invade showed catastrophically poor judgement (and quite probably sinister machinations on the part of some in the Admin); and everything that happened after exposed gross incompetence (and more sinister mechanations). Those responsible for this disaster should be duly castigated for the ruinous villians that they are. To what end? So the American electorate understands that they cannot trust their judgement. They got us into this disaster, they cannot be trusted to get us out.
U Jimbo wrote:We are at war with the Army and leadership we have, not the ones we wish. We can prevail in Iraq, by which I mean muzzle the Shia militias and make deals with the Sunni tribal leaders enough to allow us to provide fire support and training only. It would be as big a mistake to walk away now as the post-war plans were.
It's not the Military leadership that I question (for the most part; there are some sycophants amongst the Brass); but again, the civilian leadership responsible for the war are charlatans and cannot be trusted to make good decisions. It's a hopeful sign that Rumsfeld is out; jury's still out on Gates, but he seems to have been part of the group who blocked Cheney on negotiating with Iran recently (if I'm reading what happened correctly). Anyway, if the rest of what you wrote worked to stabilize that hell-hole, great - but I'm not optimistic. My advocacy for remaining in Iraq is based on dispair and resignation, not optimism or naivite.