Saturday, July 22, 2006

Meanwhile, in Iraq:
Baghdad has survived the Iran-Iraq war, the 1991 Gulf War, UN sanctions, more bombing and, finally, a savage guerrilla war. Now the city is finally splitting apart, and - most surprising of all - this disaster scarcely gets a mention on the news as the world watches the destruction of Beirut so many miles away.

Read the rest...

Reuters reports on the failure of US strategy in Iraq:
WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) - Iraqi government security forces have grown by about 100,000 soldiers and police in the past year thanks to U.S. training efforts, but this big expansion has not translated into a drop in violence.
[T]he numerical increase in Iraqi forces, many operating alongside U.S. troops, has not curbed the violence. Iraq faces an unabated insurgent threat, rising sectarian fighting and a mounting civilian death count more than three years after the invasion amid ongoing worry that it may slide into civil war.
"It's increasingly clear that the stand up of the Iraqi security forces is not going to reduce the level of violence, in and of itself. On the other hand, it could still provide the necessary pretext for reducing the American presence," said Lexington Institute defense analyst Loren Thompson.
"It's sad to say that the increase in the size of the Iraqi security forces may in some ways be contributing to the level of violence. For example, in the Basra area the Iraqi security forces are thoroughly penetrated by sectarian interests and local political factions," Thompson said.
I'm in full agreement with Thompson here.

The tragedy is that with loyalties divided among the population, and with sectarian tensions escalating, training and arming so many Iraqis whilst the isolated central government has almost no ability to command them is actually only likely to cause even greater violence.

I've written about this before, not because I'm some sort of prophet but because this same horrible error has been made by Western interventionists many times in the past.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
- George Santayana
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