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Iraqis Reject Constitution

All three Sunni provinces rejected Iraq’s new constitution. Two overwhelmingly rejected the document, but in order to force a re-drafting, Sunnis had to muster a two-thirds ‘no’ vote in Nineveh province as well. Amid the inevitable claims of ballot fraud, Nineveh only rejected the constitution by 56% — falling 10% short of the votes needed.

It'd be one thing if Iraqi's differences over their new constitution were ideological -- lower taxes vs. more social spending, for instance. But the differences in this case are far more cleary defined: Shiite vs. Sunni. I'm not big on analogies, but it's as if some new US Constitution was being ratified today, and every black American rejected it because it codifies outright racism, persecution, and marginalization.

It's a fact that the new constitution mandates a purge of Baathists from the Iraqi government. Under Saddam, all Sunnis were members of the Baath Party. The passage of this constitution cuts the Sunnis out of the government completely.

It's also a fact that the Sunni provinces are poor and lack the oil resources so abundant in Shiite and Kurdish regions. The extreme form of federalism enshrined in Iraq's new constitution -- nothing at all like our own weak federalism -- ensures the Sunni region/state will be destitute and isolated.

I can't foresee the future, and people are surprisingly resilient and resourceful, but I wouldn't put money on Iraq remaining a coherent state in the long run. The Sunnis are the only faction clamoring for a stronger union, and from their point of view, they tried boycotting the democratic process and they tried being a part of it -- but got screwed either way. I expect the insurgency to gain strength on a wave of Sunni outrage.

Posted by American Pundit at October 26, 2005 5:45 AM
Comments
Comment #88069

AP,
Although your title is misleading, you do bring to our attention the problem created by President zbush’s early actions in Iraq. By removing citizens who were Baath from power, he and others allowed their rage to open the door of distrust.

Now the 64 million dollar question is can they learn from their past and present a case of politics that will win. Sort of like the Republicans in the 70’s when wholesell change was seen in our representaives.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at October 26, 2005 6:45 AM
Comment #88073

AP

Hold on a minute here.

Since January,Iraqi people have had an election to elect an intrim government and ratified a constitution.

In December,they will elect a permanent government.

Not a bad year’s work.

All this was done,by the way,under threat of death if they even showed up at the polls.

For a country that is being torn apart,consider the following:

1.By next year there will be over 250,000 security forces in Iraq and the level 1 preparation for their battalions will increase from 1 battalion now to 13.

2.By this time next year,oil production will increase to 2.5 million barrels….beating the pre-Sadam figure.

3.The Iraq GDP will soar to 37 billion…dwarfing the pre-Sadam era.

4.Private and cell phone use will increase from the pre-Sadam figure of less than 800,00 to in excess of 5,000,000.

5.Daily newspapers,FREE daily newspapers ,will go from zero to over 150.

6.Thousands now use the internet and are getting a global perspective.

7.Alternatives to Al Jazeera TV now exist reversing the anti-West brainwashing that has occured for five decades.By next year,even the liberal BBC will be broadcasting there from West Africa.

8.The UN,NATO and the Arab league all continue to grow in their influence there…almost on a daily basis.

Take a step back and re-read the above for a minute.

The above has come at a heavy price.

Yesterday the casualty toll broke 2,000 dead for US forces.

Brave men and women every single one of them,herocially giving their lives for their nation.

Is their sacfrice for nothing?

By next year,more and more terrorists will be hunted down and killed.

By next year,more and more terrorists will be killed by Iraqi security personnel.

As a permanent government takes office and then takes control…whatever the form that it takes…ultimately American forces will be drawn down.

Maybe the solution is for Iraq to be ripped in three.

I personally believe that.

However,if that were to happen,that ultimately will be there choice.

Maybe the mentality of that present culture cannot grasp democracy at the moment.

Maybe theocracy is too ingrained.

Maybe enlighnment of that culture will take take place slowly..as its populations begin to get exposed to global prespectives and not localized ones.

In any case,the president find a weapon of mass destruction there.

His name was Saddam.

Ask 300,000 dead Kurds their view on whether or not Sadam was a WMD.

The big picture is that an Islamic Reformation is taking place..pitting a fundamentalit view against a more moderate view…and it is taking place in every Muslin country in the world.

At stake is the future of the Western free world.

But you know that.

Right now,the left is smiling….the Rove thing…Bush’s drop in the polls…The Myers nomination…conservatives attacking the president on spending….everything that Dems could pray for is now happenning.

Guess what?

Everything is cyclicial.

Soon Rove and Libby will pass.

Soon the nomination hearings to the Court will pass.

Then the Republicians…all of them…will view the alternative…

And elect either McCain or Guilliani in ‘08.

The reason,of course,is that by then,the Islamic Revolution will be even bigger because they have sensed a fear in us….and that is truly tragic.

Finally,I have noticed some really terrible responses to posts that have appeared on the site the last week…especially on the right column in response to a column about us winning in Iraq.

The banner says “critique the message,not the messanger”

Instead,people who do support the administration have been called chicken-hawks,neo-cons,fasists,..and these are the more moderate comments that I have read.

Can we make an agreement that this thread will have comments on the issues without the personal attacks?

Let’s try,anyway..before we take the gloves off again…


Posted by: sicilianeagle at October 26, 2005 7:47 AM
Comment #88078
Since January,Iraqi people have had an election to elect an intrim government and ratified a constitution.

In December,they will elect a permanent government.

Not a bad year’s work.

And it means nothing unless Sunnis are integrated into the political system. That hasn’t happened, and I don’t see any sign it will. A couple weeks ago, the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government made a rule change that rigged the system against the Sunnis. It was only a UN threat not to legitimize the referendum result that made the Shiites change it back.

By next year there will be over 250,000 security forces in Iraq and the level 1 preparation for their battalions will increase from 1 battalion now to 13.

Don’t count yer chickens SE… The Bush administration told us there were 250,000 level 1 indigenous security forces in Iraq last year. Now there’re less than 3,000. And the rest of your numbered points are also based on pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking rather than facts on the ground.

Brave men and women every single one of them,herocially giving their lives for their nation.

Is their sacfrice for nothing?

It’s funny that the right can simultaneously play the sacrifice card AND the “Sheehan knew what he was getting into when he signed up” cards. :)

But that really is the question, isn’t it. And my answer has always been, it’s not worth it. This could have been handled the same way the invasion of Kuwait was handled, and America would be far better off for it.

Your guy’s argument is always that what we have in Iraq is the best that America can do. Bullshit. The whole operation — from the diplomatic groundwork to the regime change to the nation building — could have been handled far better, and could have yielded a result that strengthened American power and prestige rather than destroying it.

Jack made a prediction that Iraq will be better next year. He made the same prediction last year. Pretty soon, the talking point will be that decades from now, Iraq will be a better place. Maybe so, but it will be at a cost in US lives, money, and power that is unacceptable.

Back in 1965, you could have predicted that in 2005 Vietnam would be a great little capitalist country. You’d be right, but it dealt America a body blow that we still haven’t recovered from.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 26, 2005 8:17 AM
Comment #88082

Just got this off the wires…Here is what we are dealing with:

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran’s hard-line president called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and said a new wave of Palestinian attacks will destroy the Jewish state, state-run media reported Wednesday.


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also denounced attempts to recognize Israel or normalize relations with it.

“There is no doubt that the new wave (of attacks) in Palestine will wipe off this stigma (Israel) from the face of the Islamic world,” Ahmadinejad told students Wednesday during a Tehran conference called “The World without Zionism.”

“Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation’s fury, any (Islamic leader) who recognizes the Zionist regime means he is acknowledging the surrender and defeat of the Islamic world,” Ahmadinejad said.

Ahmadinejad also repeated the words of the founder of Iran’s Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who called for the destruction of Israel.

“As the Imam said, Israel must be wiped off the map,” said Ahmadinejad, who came to power in August.

Ahmadinejad referred to Israel’s recent withdrawal from the Gaza Strip as a “trick,” saying Gaza is part of the Palestinian territories and the withdrawal was meant to make Islamic states acknowledge Israel.



Posted by: sicilianeagle at October 26, 2005 8:43 AM
Comment #88084
Maybe the mentality of that present culture cannot grasp democracy at the moment.

Maybe theocracy is too ingrained.

That would be strange, since they haven’t been ruled by a theocracy in recent memory. Saddam ran a SECULAR government, NOT a theocracy. That’s why Osama bin Laden was calling for his removal for so many years — he wanted an Islamic government in Iraq. Of course, ObL couldn’t pull that one off, but it looks like we may have done it for him….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at October 26, 2005 9:16 AM
Comment #88085

Sicilianeagle,

Maybe the solution is for Iraq to be ripped in three.

Turkey just called: they’re NOT happy about a Kurd country!
Iran just called: they ARE happy about a Shiite country.
Al-Quaida just called: they ARE happy about their Sunnis new recruts.

Maybe the solution when building nations it not ripping them into smaller parts after breaking the whole. Someone may confuse “build” with “split”.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 26, 2005 9:22 AM
Comment #88087
By next year,more and more terrorists will be hunted down and killed.

The problem is that the U.S. war in Iraq is creating terrorists faster than we can kill them, and has done nothing to track down Al Qaeda. That’s one of the main reasons many people opposed the Iraq war from the beginning.

Bush’s war is making the U.S. less secure against terrorism.

Posted by: Steve K at October 26, 2005 9:37 AM
Comment #88094
and has done nothing to track down Al Qaeda.

err, you mean we didn’t capture or kill thousands of al qaeda fighters, including many high ranking officers like the person who actually planned and operated the 9/11 attacks?

Hmmm, interesting…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 26, 2005 10:50 AM
Comment #88096

SE I absolutely agree that we’re in a huge conflict. However your Iran example proves a main point I’ve always had against the whole Iraq war. When Bush went into Afgahnistan I was huge supporter (although I believe that we should’ve sent more troops). When he brought up Iraq and made his arguments I kept thinking to myself that with the arguments being made Iran is a much more a target than Iraq and was perplexed as to why we’d go after Iraq for those reasons when Iran was much more guilty and dangerous.

Now the truth comes out about Iran, and I don’t think the American public (who feel largely burned by Iraq) have it in them to support yet another war.

Posted by: chantico at October 26, 2005 11:02 AM
Comment #88098

Just saw a news story where Kerry said that the US could pull out about 20,000 troops after the Decmeber elections in Iraq…finally pulling all of them out over a 12-15 month time frame.

With more and more Iraqi troops becoming trained and ready to take up the defense of their country, God I hate to say this, but I might actually AGREE (yikes!) with John Kerry.

The article went on to say that he (Kerry) broke with others in his party who called for an immediate full withdrawal. Kerry went on to say that the lower level of US troop involvement should mean less of a reason for terrorists to carry on their program of violence.

Makes sense.

My opinion is that it will also show the Islamic world that we are not a perminent occupying force. That we do plan to leave ASAF (As Soon As Feasible).

Posted by: Jim T at October 26, 2005 11:12 AM
Comment #88100

AP,Robb,Phillipe,Steve K

Let’s analyze “cutting” Iraq in three”for a minute.

1.Iraq’s Shia,despite living under Saddam,very much have lived under a theocracy,albiet a shadow government,for decades.

Sistiani has to burp and half of Southern Iraq jumps.And the same has been true there for generations.

2.The Shia and the Sunni cannot live together.What we trying to do is akin to putting a tom cat in a barrel with a pit bull.
It will never happen.

I think the best solution is the following:Three autonomous area that have a pro=rata share of all oil income.

Then let the chips fall where they may.

2.As for the Kurds.We now need to put the Kurds in their place.

We need to tell that that they have an autonomous area now in the north .

We need to tell them however that we will support Turkish sovereignity.

3.The Suuni must be told that a threshold requirement that they receive anything at all is a handover of Al Queda in Iraq intellinence.Alternatively they will be disarmed.

Bat that one around.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at October 26, 2005 11:16 AM
Comment #88101

Chantico,

As much as I opposed the Iraq war (for much the same reason that you did), I have to admit that the only reasonable place to invade Iran from would be Iraq, as all of the important cities are on that side of the nation. I believe that this was one of the administration’s biggest unspoken reasons for choosing Iraq.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at October 26, 2005 11:21 AM
Comment #88102
Just got this off the wires…Here is what we are dealing with:

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran’s hard-line president called for Israel to be “wiped off the map”

Oh good, SE. The Iranians can expect help from their friends in the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq who run the country now. Hooray for free elections that put Islamists in control of the Middle East!

I just pulled this off the wire:

Chanting “Islam is the Solution,” Muslim Brotherhood supporters are taking to the streets in rare public rallies to encourage Egyptians to vote for their banned Islamist movement in parliamentary elections next month.

The grandfather of all Islamic terrorist organizations is fielding 150 parliamentary candidates in Egypt this year. The Egyptians can help the Iranian and Iraqi Islamists wipe Israel off the face of the planet too. Hooray for freedom and democracy!

Posted by: American Pundit at October 26, 2005 11:21 AM
Comment #88104
2.As for the Kurds.We now need to put the Kurds in their place.

We need to tell that that they have an autonomous area now in the north .

We need to tell them however that we will support Turkish sovereignity.

The Kurds in Iraq aren’t a direct threat to Turkish sovereignty. The concern is that Turkey has a bunch of Kurds in their nation as well, whom they are treating very poorly. If the Kurds in Iraq get their own nation, that will encourage the Kurds in Turkey to rise up as well.

Of course, if Turkey would treat their Kurdish populations like something other than second-class citizens, we wouldn’t have this problem.

I’ve been saying all along that splitting Iraq was the way to go, but that we should have done it first, before the invasion. We should have applied our military in support of a Kurdish state in northern Iraq. It would have allowed us to go in with popular support to support a pre-existing government (the Kurdish Authority). Turkey wouldn’t have approved, but I’m fairly certain that we would have been able to get U.N. support for such a mission.

Now, of course, any such effort would be considered a failure of American efforts, instead of Old Glory coming to the rescue.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at October 26, 2005 11:35 AM
Comment #88105

Eagle,

A little early in the morning for a healthy dose of hypocrisy isn’t it?

The above has come at a heavy price.

That sure was a lot of “will happen”.

Yesterday the casualty toll broke 2,000 dead for US forces. Brave men and women every single one of them,herocially giving their lives for their nation. Is their sacfrice for nothing?

Well, their sacrifice is for not enough, that’s for sure. And yes, that is a tragedy. Giving their lives for their nation? If their nation was Iraq, I might agree with you. But please stop deluding yourself and others into thinking that they are dying for “our freedom.” They are not. And that’s the problem isn’t it. And that’s why the majority of Americans have finally gotten fed up with this President’s handling of Iraq.

By next year,more and more terrorists will be hunted down and killed.By next year,more and more terrorists will be killed by Iraqi security personnel.

And by next year how many more terrorists will be created?

Maybe the solution is for Iraq to be ripped in three.

Boy that sounds fun. How involved will we be in that civil war?

In any case,the president find a weapon of mass destruction there. His name was Saddam.

How trite. Who buys into that kind of rhetoric outside of the most hard-core, mouth-breathing, Fox watchers? If Saddam was a WMD, Bush was a big fat dud.

Ask 300,000 dead Kurds their view on whether or not Sadam was a WMD.

I would, but I imagine they would be rather silent on the matter.

Right now,the left is smiling….the Rove thing…Bush’s drop in the polls…The Myers nomination…conservatives attacking the president on spending….everything that Dems could pray for is now happenning.

That’s the truth!

Everything is cyclicial. Soon Rove and Libby will pass. Soon the nomination hearings to the Court will pass. Then the Republicians…all of them…will view the alternative…And elect either McCain or Guilliani in ‘08.

This is hillariously arrogant logic. You say everything is cyclical, which is true. But then you state that cycle will just produce another Republican President. Amazing.

Keep the arrogant attitude. It’s sure serving Bush well in his second term, and I’m sure it will pay big dividends for your party in the future.

The reason,of course,is that by then,the Islamic Revolution will be even bigger because they have sensed a fear in us….and that is truly tragic.

Yes, it is tragic. So why does the right continue to show its cowardice in public. As I’ve said before, hike up your skirt and act like a man. OOOoooo. Iran is talking tough about Israel…better go run and hide in the corner while sending other people’s kids to protect you.

Which is it Eagle? Fight terrorism or build democracies? This President has shown to be inept at both, let alone just one task.

Finally,I have noticed some really terrible responses to posts that have appeared on the site the last week…especially on the right column in response to a column about us winning in Iraq.

Yes, it’s pretty pathetic actually. I agree. I also noticed that you didn’t cite any of the crap coming from the right.

Posted by: Burt at October 26, 2005 11:41 AM
Comment #88107
err, you mean we didn’t capture or kill thousands of al qaeda fighters, including many high ranking officers like the person who actually planned and operated the 9/11 attacks?

Hmmm, interesting…

I’m talking about Iraq here, not Afghanistan, not Pakistan. Iraq. Can you name the names of the “high ranking officers” captured or killed in Iraq? You you tell me who the Al Qaeda fighters are who have been captured in Iraq, and were members of Al Qaeda before we invaded?

Or are you just pulling a Bush and mentioning Iraq and Al Qaeda in the same sentence in the hopes that I’ll believe the two are one in the same, when they are not?

Steve K

Posted by: Steve K at October 26, 2005 12:02 PM
Comment #88115

Burt

Figured you’d come around sooner or later.

By the way,score another one in the “fact” column…the approval of the constitution,whic ten days ago you said was “opinion”

Oh well.

By the way,Joe Liberman (he IS a Democrat,no?)coined that bit about Sadam being a WMD during the Democratic debates two years ago…..you remember that debate,right…when everyone except Sharpton and Dennis the Menace was backing the invasion.

That was then,this is now,I guess..

To anwser your question…we have to fight terrorism.

If a democracy is a by-product of fighting terrorism,so be it.

We defeated the Nazis and Japanese first ,then over a 6 year period,democrized them.

I don’t recall anything happening overnight back then and don’t invision that happening anythime soon.

As far as hiking up my skirt…well at 6-2,250 pounds that would be quite a treat for the ladies,but not just yet.

AP
All of the stats I used in the piece at the top came from CNN,so none of them were opinions.

Keep firing

Posted by: sicilianeagle at October 26, 2005 12:57 PM
Comment #88120

You know…I’m just really, really, really happy that we’re fighting Al Qaeda in Baghdad instead of Baltimore.

Don’t forget…the more terrorists we tie down in Iraq, the fewer they have to blow themselves up in Indianapolis.

The more terrorists we kill in Fallujah…the fewer to attack Philidelphia.

As long as we have Al Qaeda focusing on a sand box, they’re not focusing on San Diego.

Posted by: Jim T at October 26, 2005 1:10 PM
Comment #88126

Jim,
No. Sorry. Wrong.

Al Qaida is not in Iraq. That is not who we are fighting. We are fighting insurgent Iraqis, Al Qaida in Iraq, and foreign jihadists. Al Qaida in Iraq, declared allegiance to Al Qaida, but the two groups have different goals.

No Iraqi has ever launched a terrorist attack against the US within US borders. Not one. Zero. Zip. Get it?

The group which attacked the US was Al Qaida, headed by OBL. Attacks against the US within US borders are consistent with Al Qaida’s goals. However, Al Qaida lacks the ability to launch such an attack. In terms of organziational effectiveness, Al Qaida apparently lost most of its operational capabilities after the capture of Sheik Khalid Mohammed in 2003. For all practical purposes, the War on Terror ended then.

Your confusion is understandable. The Bush administration has gone to great lengths to confuse the Invasion of Iraq with the War on Terror. Often, Bush and others will include 9/11 and Iraq in the same sentence; it’s a psychological ploy, transference. It creates an emotional association, although the two are clearly separated in fact. To this day, large numbers of Americans still believe we found WMD’s, and that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11.

Posted by: phx8 at October 26, 2005 1:27 PM
Comment #88127

Eagle,

Lieberman is a democrat in name only. An embarrassment to the party as far as I’m concerned. If only he had more Joe-mentum!

By the way,score another one in the “fact” column…the approval of the constitution,whic ten days ago you said was “opinion”

Apparently, you are unfamiliar with the definition of the word opinion. If I say the White Sox are going to win the World Series, that is an opinion. If they beat Houston tonight, my opinion has become fact, but it was still an opinion when I said it. Capice?

To anwser your question…we have to fight terrorism. If a democracy is a by-product of fighting terrorism,so be it.

Yes, we do have to fight terrorism. Why does this President refuse to do so? Is a democracy that is staunchly anti-American a good by-product of this fight? How about conducting a fight that produces more terrorists than it eliminates? Is that a good strategy?

We defeated the Nazis and Japanese first ,then over a 6 year period,democrized them. I don’t recall anything happening overnight back then and don’t invision that happening anythime soon.

Yes, that was after we were attacked by the Japanese and the Germans were attacking our allies. Who was Iraq attacking again?

As far as hiking up my skirt…well at 6-2,250 pounds that would be quite a treat for the ladies,but not just yet.

Ok, Sally. Just keep the whimpering to a minimum the next time some lunatic issues a meaningless fatwa, alright?

Posted by: Burt at October 26, 2005 1:31 PM
Comment #88129

Jim T,

Well, you have the alliteration trick down pat. Too bad the logic is lacking.

Do you support the troops by comparing them to fly paper? Don’t worry my little friend, when American troops finally leave Iraq, the terrorists won’t suddenly make a bee-line for Birmingham, Alabama or wherever you’re from. They’ll be content to stay where they are - living in their own country without a foreign occupation.

Posted by: Burt at October 26, 2005 1:36 PM
Comment #88130

I second phx8’s comments. When Bush first started talking about the War on Terror, right after 9/11, we all knew he was talking about Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. But since then he has expanded it to include anything and everything that he doesn’t like about the Middle East. Thus, we created a civil war in Iraq, which in turn created extremists who posed little or no threat to the security of the United States, but are killing U.S. soldiers every day.

Being against “Terror” anywhere and everywhere is like being against air power or the tides. It will always be there no matter how hard we try. We need to be against those terrorists who threaten our nation’s security. The best I’ve heard from pro-Iraq war side of the debate is that Saddam Hussein provided a retirement community for a bunch of old airline hijackers. Sorry, but those aren’t the terrorists who keep me up at night.

Posted by: Steve K at October 26, 2005 1:37 PM
Comment #88140

Burt

Call it fact or prediction but I called the ratification weeks before it happened.

To answer your question:A democracy that is staunchly anti american is acceptable because sooner or later we co-opt them one way or the other anyway.

The key idea is that it is a democracy…the population is free to choose who they want…no matter what we think.
If they are a threat to us,that is a different matter altogether.

Regarding your comment about producing more terrorists than we are killing.

Blame the Sunnis here.Both inside Iraq and in Saudi Arabia.

My view is that these folks exist in a finite,not an infinite quantity.

Sooner or later..using a velvet hammer approach(so to speak),they will come around…especially as we draw out troops down and they replaced by Arabs.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at October 26, 2005 2:25 PM
Comment #88144

phx8, Burt, Steve K…

So let me get this straight.

We leave Iraq and suddenly there are no more people who hate the US?

All the people who are blowing themselves and our troops will suddenly melt away and become Boy Scouts and sit around learning how to tie knots and start campfires?

There will be no more people willing to blow themselves and 3,000 of our innocent poeple up?

There will be no more “Great Satan”?

Gosh, gollee and whoop-de-doo. Let’s pull out now!!!!

Al Qaeda is dead!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

Posted by: Jim T at October 26, 2005 2:44 PM
Comment #88147

Burt…

BTW, I really, really, really LOVE regional bigotry.

Hey…ALL people from the South are just dumb-ass hicks, aren’t they? They just all need to die and raise the national IQ level, right?

Posted by: Jim T at October 26, 2005 2:51 PM
Comment #88149

Jim,
You intend sarcasm, but you’re basically correct.

While it’s safe to say the Sunnis will continue to dislike us, the Kurds will be good allies and, unless we insist on maintaining an antagonistic relationship with Iran, the Shia government in Iraq may could be friendly too.

If we withdrew today, the Sunnis in Iraq won’t attack the US. They’ll attack the Shias, and vice versa.

But you might have noticed something, Tom. The Sunnis from Iraq have never attacked the US outside of their own region.

Never. Not once.

You’re shooting for sarcasm, but in operational terms, Al Qaida has been dead for some time. Think about it. There have been several terrorist attacks since the capture of Sheik Khalid Mohammed. How many of those can be attributed to Al Qaida and OBL in terms of planning and operations?

Put aside your fears, Tom. Take a deep breath. Yes, it’s a tough world, and there will always be the occasional nut job out there. And yes, there are sharks in the ocean as well. But it’s ok to go swimming in the sea, really, it’s ok. And it’s ok to perceive US foreign policy priorities in terms other than oil, fear of Muslims, and support of Israel.

Posted by: phx8 at October 26, 2005 3:33 PM
Comment #88152
I can’t foresee the future, and people are surprisingly resilient and resourceful, but I wouldn’t put money on Iraq remaining a coherent state in the long run.

I have a strong feeling Iraq will split along ethnic/cultural fault lines.

Posted by: Mike Tate at October 26, 2005 3:48 PM
Comment #88169
in operational terms, Al Qaida has been dead for some time.

Who do you attribute Bali, Madrid and London to?

Posted by: bobo at October 26, 2005 4:50 PM
Comment #88173
Regarding your comment about producing more terrorists than we are killing. Blame the Sunnis here.Both inside Iraq and in Saudi Arabia. My view is that these folks exist in a finite,not an infinite quantity

Ethnic cleansing? Top notch, Eagle. Top notch.

Posted by: Burt at October 26, 2005 5:14 PM
Comment #88175

Burt

Ethnic cleaning? Where did that come from?

The Sunnis ..the dissent ex-Sadam loyalists anyway,make up the largest portion of the insurgency.

In time they will re-enter the politicial system…at least the vast majority will…and the lunitic fringe left overs will be tracked down and killed.

Nothing about ethnic cleansing.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at October 26, 2005 5:22 PM
Comment #88178
We leave Iraq and suddenly there are no more people who hate the US?

No, there will always be liberals. We hate the US, don’t ya know?

All the people who are blowing themselves and our troops will suddenly melt away and become Boy Scouts and sit around learning how to tie knots and start campfires?

They won’t melt away, they will simply have no more Americans in their backyard to blow up. As phx8 said, no Iraqi has ever come to the US and blown up anything. Why should they now? Aren’t you guys always telling us how grateful the Iraqis are for what we’ve “accomplished” in Iraq?

There will be no more people willing to blow themselves and 3,000 of our innocent poeple up?

I’m sure there will be. Just as there are crazies here who think its ok to blow up 3000 innocent Iraqi civilians to kill one terrorist. But thankfully, both sets of crazies will have few resources to do anything about it.

BTW, I’m sorry that you were offended by my reference to Birmingham. I just picked a place out of a hat. It’s a decent town and I know some very smart people from Birmingham for what it’s worth. Guess I hit a nerve though.

Posted by: Burt at October 26, 2005 5:27 PM
Comment #88180
The Sunnis ..the dissent ex-Sadam loyalists anyway,make up the largest portion of the insurgency.

Indeed.

In time they will re-enter the politicial system…at least the vast majority will…

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the Sunni Baathists prohibited from re-entering the political system under the new Constitution?

and the lunitic fringe left overs will be tracked down and killed.

I wonder what percentage of Sunnis you would consider to be the “lunatic fringe”?

Posted by: Burt at October 26, 2005 5:31 PM
Comment #88187
There will be no more people willing to blow themselves and 3,000 of our innocent poeple up?

Again, you’re confusing Iraq with Al Qaeda. There haven’t been any Iraqis blowing themselves and 3,000 of our innocent people up. Those were Saudis, but, for some reason, we didn’t invade Saudi Arabia….

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at October 26, 2005 6:00 PM
Comment #88209

Bobo,
Bali, Madrid, and London may have been inspired by the words and example of OLB. However, none can be directly attributed to Al Qaida.

The Bali attacks can be blamed on an Indonesian Islamic Group, JI.

The Madrid bombings can be blamed on a cell of Moroccan terrorists. (Morocco used to be divided into Spanish Morocco and French Morocco. There are quite a few Muslims in Spain with Moroccan origins). There is suspicion that two or three of the killers had ties to Al Qaida.

The London bombings have no direct connection to Al Qaida either. There are suspicions about one participant, but I don’t think that was ever proved for certain.

In short, cells of fanatics operate within their own countries. There is simply no way a War on Terror or any conventional military campaign affects terrorists in Spain, Indonesia, or Britain.

It makes sense for countries to share intelligence, and for their Special Forces to cooperate & prevent terrorist attacks.

Invading Iraq has no influence on JI, the London, or the Moroccan terrorists, other than to inspire hatred of the West. None of these terrorist groups have any connection with the US.

Posted by: phx8 at October 26, 2005 7:58 PM
Comment #88231

AP

The situation in Iraq is better today than it was last year when many (most) people didn’t believe the election would come off. The election turnout (as eagle points out) was very high. Sunnis boycotted hoping to ruin the election. Tough luck on making a mistake. This time they came out to vote in large numbers and lost, much like the Kerry folks last year. When you lose an election, such happens it is a tautology.

The Sunnis insurgents are in the position of the KKK in the South of 1870. They are the former rulers who don’t like the former part. They are trying to terrorize others into letting them resume their privileged position. So if they managed to reject the constitution, what would they demand instead?

It is interesting that faced with the reality of the constitution, the Shiites turned out in large numbers and a significant number actually voted for the constitution. It is easy to be defiant if you think you can win by intimidating the opposition. People often become more reasonable when faced a reality they can’t change.

There is no democratic scenario that would ensure Sunni power. They make up 20% of the population and in a democracy 20% gets you the opportunity to work with others and get a bigger percentage on your side. Sunnis may learn this. I think they will. There is not much alternative. Those that want to rule or ruin are their enemies too.

Another old saying applies, “When you got them by the balls, their hearts and minds follow.”

Posted by: Jack at October 26, 2005 10:22 PM
Comment #88244

Bobo,
There are numerous articles on the web about Al Qaida. The Wikipedia article contains this in its first paragraph:

“Indeed the use of the name “al-Qaeda” dates from early 2001, when the American government decided to prosecute Bin Laden in his absence and had to use anti-Mafia laws that required the existence of a named criminal organisation.”

Read that again:

“… anti-Mafia laws that required the existence of a named criminal organisation.”

Today, the Al Qaida of OBL, such as it is, constitutes a loose network of groups with similar points of view. There is no apparent structure, and to date very few people have been captured who are even considered to be actual members of Al Qaida.

If you review acts of terrorism since 2003, they are relatively few in number: Bali in 2005, Madrid, London, and a particularly horrific attack in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. (Zawahiri used to head Islamic Jihad in Egypt, and merged his organization with OBL’s forces before 9/11. Here in the US we rarely mention Sharm el Sheikh because, after all, those dead people were just Arabs).

Bali, Madrid, London, Egypt. Now, Bolo, does basing US foreign policy on that list make sense anymore? Tell me, how does the Occupation of Iraq connects with Bali, Madrid, London, and Egypt.

It doesn’t.

How on earth will our fighting a War on Terror with our military affect the kind of attacks that have occurred since 2003, and capture of Sheik Khalid Mohammed?

Would the existence of Middle East democracies have affected what happened in London? No. Madrid? No. Indonesia? No. Egypt? No. Sorry.

Finally, you know US borders are wide open to illegal immigration, have been for a long time. Anyone, and I mean anyone, who wants to sneak into the country can do so.

Where are the terrorists? There have been no significant terrorist activities in the US since the capture of Sheik Khalid Mohammed in March 2003.

(Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the more common version of the name, and the one used in the Wikipedia article).

Posted by: phx8 at October 26, 2005 11:43 PM
Comment #88254
In time they will re-enter the politicial system⦣x20AC;?at least the vast majority will⦣x20AC;?

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the Sunni Baathists prohibited from re-entering the political system under the new Constitution?

Burt, you’re absolutely right there. That’s why it kills me when otherwise well-informed people like Jack write off the Sunnis as just pissed because they aren’t in charge anymore. That’s just not true.

The Sunnis insurgents are in the position of the KKK in the South of 1870. They are the former rulers who don’t like the former part.

No, it’s nothing like that at all Jack, and you’d know that if your read the Iraqi constitution. It’s more like what I said in the article:

it’s as if some new US Constitution was being ratified today, and every black American rejected it because it codifies outright racism, persecution, and marginalization.

The Sunnis are being denied participation in the government and are being relegated to paupers living on a reservation begging for handouts.

See, this is the crazy thing about President Bush’s Iraq policy:

The Sunnis are the only faction clamoring for a stronger national union, and Bush is backing the guys who want to balkanize the country.

The Sunnis want a less Islamic government — in fact, all the Iraqi expatriates Bush wanted to put in charge were Sunnis — yet Bush is supporting the completely Islamist, pro-Iranian Shiites.

The constitution is crap, the operation is dealing a serious blow to America’s military strength, economy, credibility and prestige — and we are on the wrong side of just about every issue in Iraq.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 27, 2005 1:23 AM
Comment #88255
The situation in Iraq is better today than it was last year

No, it’s really not, Jack. Last year, the Sunnis actually had representation on the governing council, and they weren’t being purged from the bureaucracy or locked out of Iraq’s oil resources while watching the country slowly and violently disintegrate.

There were still chances to shape a stable, free-market, liberal democracy in Iraq last year. Those chances are gone.

Posted by: American Pundit at October 27, 2005 1:35 AM
Comment #88269

I am taking of that sub-set of Sunni former Baath party leadership and intelligence officers who are principally leading the insurrgency…not the rank and file former Baathists.

I view the rank and file as I do former Nazis grunts in the army during WWII…they either had to be enrolled in the Nazi party or be hung on meat hooks.

Bremmer made a mistake when he excluded the rank and file i believe.

Had he kept the rank and file,then supplemented with Kurds and Shia especially in the officer corps,a lot of people would have been been still employed and the anger of unemployment blunted.

Now,the milk is spilled.

It was one on many mistakes made ,and I think having a parrell administration (civilian adminintration under Bremmer and a parrallel military administration) is the root of the problem.

Since then,however more mistakes were made and you gotta put some blame on the military leadership here.

It seemd like one public relations scandal after another came from that country the last year dwarfing all the good that has been done.

For every school and hospital built there,we had a thousand negative stories .

No matter.

Despite the blunders,in 8 weeks a permanent Iraq leadership takes over.

More intelligence will flood in and the insurgency will melt away to acceptable levels.

We learned a lot from this…enough to save our Western culture from future urban conflicts…and thousands of American lives will be saved as a result of the sacrifice of the brave American troops who gave their lives here.

Posted by: sicilian eagle at October 27, 2005 7:50 AM
Comment #88271

Eagle,

You really had me goin’ just then. Some rational insight. Then…

“No matter.”

No matter? No matter????

Despite the blunders,in 8 weeks a permanent Iraq leadership takes over. More intelligence will flood in and the insurgency will melt away to acceptable levels.

More intelligence will flood in? What are you talking about? What leads you to believe this?

We learned a lot from this…enough to save our Western culture from future urban conflicts…and thousands of American lives will be saved as a result of the sacrifice of the brave American troops who gave their lives here.

Ah….this was just practice. Thank God it wasn’t the real thing.

Posted by: Burt at October 27, 2005 8:09 AM
Comment #88328

Burt

I always get you going.

“no matter”….means let’s move on and learn from the mistakes.

As far as intelligence gathering,I think that the new government,once installed will beging to built its own intellligence apparatus.

Over time,this new Iraqi intelligence apparatus will begin to yield results as they will begin to get ingrained into the society more and more on a daily basis.

See?

AP

The constitution is not crap…it’s a start…a basic document….an evolving document.

Our constitution had a ,what,1/ 5 representation for slaves in the original,didn’t it?

As things calm down there post election,the constitution will emerge fixed.

Like here,it’s all about power and money in politics.

Even Sunni and Shia know that.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at October 27, 2005 1:02 PM
Comment #88352

Y’know it’s a funny thing. If President Bush had won with 56% of the vote, he’d be claiming what an overwhelming victory that was. But the Iraqi constituton LOSES with 56% in one province and all you right wingers can talk about is what a VICTORY that represents. I think I need some hip waders.

Posted by: ElliottBay at October 27, 2005 2:38 PM
Comment #88357

Elliot Bay

Nice try.

8 out of 10 voters ratified the constitution.

80%.

Please…

Posted by: sicilianeagle at October 27, 2005 2:57 PM
Comment #88410

Eagle,
Did you read the link that AP provided to the Washington Post article? It said:

In Anbar province, 96 percent voted against the referendum, and 81 percent rejected it in Salahuddin. But in the key swing province of Nineveh, 56 percent voted against the constitution
I said
the Iraqi constituton LOSES with 56% in one province
It was a pretty simple declarative sentence and shouldn’t have caused you problems. What part of it did you have trouble understanding? if you explain your difficulty, I’ll be happy to explain it to you.

Posted by: ElliottBay at October 27, 2005 7:36 PM
Comment #88413

Oh, another Bush administration lie coming to light:

Remember the one about Saddam & Al Qaida, and Zarqawi in Baghdad? MSNBC article today on a CIA document questioning the allegations presented by the administration. Turns out Zarqawi might have been in Bagdhad in 2002 for medical treatment, but no indications of any kind whatsoever that Saddam’s government knew he was there.

The Bush administration relied upon documents forged by unreliable sources to put forth the accusation.

Posted by: phx8 at October 27, 2005 7:56 PM
Comment #88483

Hah! phx8, let me guess: The documents came from Chalabi, right?

Posted by: American Pundit at October 28, 2005 12:06 PM
Comment #88579

Al Queda in Iraq is gone didn’t you hear? They caught the no.2 man in iraq weeks ago. Then months ago they caught the number 2 man, then mos. before that they caught the no. 2 man. Everyone they catch is the number two man. I never seen an organization with so many no. 2 men. Maybe they should arrest Dr. evel No. 2 works for him too. It’s a joke how there are still some people who think that bush did the right thing. It’s almost all over fellas, Libby will reveal how cheney and rove lied to go to war, how the president covered it up, and impeachment hearings will begin and i suspect still some hardcore backers still claiming ‘BUT SADDAM WAS A REAL THREAT” these few will never admit they were wrong so don’t try to convince them. Hey i am happy that thier corrupt empire is crumbling, everyone who loves democracy should be glad. They are nothing but a bunch of corrupt, bullying, lying, out for themselves, good for nothings, ask anybody if they can tell you with a straight face that this regime has done nothing but disgrace this nation. anyone who still backs them disgraces this nation. they promised to bring honor to the office of pres. here’s my prediction: cheney, rove and bush will leave office in shame, bet on it

Posted by: phillyfan at October 28, 2005 6:21 PM
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