I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Civil War On Hold?

The purpose of the "surge" was booked as an attempt to reduce violence so that the Iraqi government would have a chance to begin a stabilization and national reconciliation process. It would appear that it has indeed reduced the violence bur and reconciliation between the Shiites and the Sunni appears as far away as ever. Thomas Ricks has just returned from Iraq and reports that military commanders see it the same way.
Iraqis Wasting An Opportunity, U.S. Officers Say
CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq -- Senior military commanders here now portray the intransigence of Iraq's Shiite-dominated government as the key threat facing the U.S. effort in Iraq, rather than al-Qaeda terrorists, Sunni insurgents or Iranian-backed militias.

In more than a dozen interviews, U.S. military officials expressed growing concern over the Iraqi government's failure to capitalize on sharp declines in attacks against U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians. A window of opportunity has opened for the government to reach out to its former foes, said Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the commander of day-to-day U.S. military operations in Iraq, but "it's unclear how long that window is going to be open."

The lack of political progress calls into question the core rationale behind the troop buildup President Bush announced in January, which was premised on the notion that improved security would create space for Iraqis to arrive at new power-sharing arrangements. And what if there is no such breakthrough by next summer? "If that doesn't happen," Odierno said, "we're going to have to review our strategy."

Brig. Gen. John F. Campbell, deputy commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division, complained last week that Iraqi politicians appear out of touch with everyday citizens. "The ministers, they don't get out," he said. "They don't know what the hell is going on on the ground." Campbell noted approvingly that Lt. Gen. Aboud Qanbar, the top Iraqi commander in the Baghdad security offensive, lately has begun escorting cabinet officials involved in health, housing, oil and other issues out of the Green Zone to show them, as Campbell put it, "Hey, I got the security, bring in the [expletive] essential services."

Indeed, some U.S. Army officers now talk more sympathetically about former insurgents than they do about their ostensible allies in the Shiite-led central government. "It is painful, very painful," dealing with the obstructionism of Iraqi officials, said Army Lt. Col. Mark Fetter. As for the Sunni fighters who for years bombed and shot U.S. soldiers and now want to join the police, Fetter shrugged. "They have got to eat," he said over lunch in the 1st Cavalry Division's mess hall here. "There are so many we've detained and interrogated, they did what they did for money."
A few days ago I reported that as far as the Shiite government of al-Maliki is concerned the reconciliation is complete and the Shiites won. I have also reported on how the al-Malaki government is brings the Shiite militias into the government but wants no part of the Sunnis that the Americans have been arming and training. A reduction of US forces is beginning now and will continue. Will the civil war that's been on hold reboot with intensified vigor. With no change in the political situation that has to be seen as a probability. The surge was a failure by the administrations own metrics.


  1. I liken the "surge" to Los Angeles, where police had a surge presence in gang crime areas. It reduced violent crime - until the police left. It did nothing to fix the problem.

    In Iraq the administration is making several huge mistakes:

    1: It is impossible for a Muslim state to be democratic. Just look at their new constitution and the final authority is the Koran - their words, not mine. So this supposed "fight for democracy" is a total waste of lives.

    2: It is a civil war between factions of Islam. It has always existed there and always will. It is their fight, not ours. The infidels (as Muslims on both sides see us) need to butt out.

    3: American invasive presence is unconstitutional!

  2. Dog
    You make life difficult for me - your not a troll anymore.


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