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The Administration has no peer when it comes to using pejorative phrases to settle arguments--as if that were enough. Yet Iraq has come to the point where we see cutting our losses and soon as the wiser course.

There are many uncertainties about the future, but very few about the past. The latter is speaking to the future and is the theme of this page--unless of course we live in a state of denial.

In taking stock, we only have options to minimize the damage. The Neocon goal of an unchallenged US hegemony and ecoomic empire is now exposed as the fantasy it always was. Some hindsight speaking here, but facts are facts; they are the history and history is speaking to us. It is time we listened.

This web-site opposed the war from the start, but we did not fully see the magnitude of damage it would cause. We did not fully realize that an American invasion would in fact multiply terrorism, create conditions in which terrorists thrive, increase jihadi recruiting, give terror a new base of operations where there was none before. What we did believe is that the evidence for war was far too skimpy to justify the risks attending any war.

The past is permanent; it is history. All we, as a nation, can do now is try to learn from the Neocon folly.

Event Result
"Manufactured" intelligence No weapons of mass destruction existed
Surgically perfect invasion Chaos, insecurity, economic ruin, unemployment, terror
Marriage of Iraq with terror No al Qa'ida connections
Counter-productive against terror
Created jihadi recruiting base
Constitution "drafted" Offers no solution to ethnic strife
Free elections Ineffective interim government
Endemic terror Escalated exponentially to civil war and genocide
Elite US military Dispirited at all levels
Over extended--unable to react on the ground to established threats
World public opinion Mr Bush and US now in disrepute

To the above we must add: Too much meddling in the political process combined with extreme unemployment seem calculated to bring about the current conditions. That may not be literally true, it just looks like it to some Iraqis.

Our current path is to limit terror while rebuilding Iraqi security forces and pressuring the interim government to achieve a fair and peaceful end to the sectarian violence. It is much too late to save super-power face. American special interests have so severely damaged us that it may take yeaers if not decades to recover economically and repair our tarnished image. Many options have been suggested. We review a few:

Option 1
Stay the Course

  • Limiting terror has been our goal ever since 9/11. All that has happened is its escalation. It is reasonable to expect continuing current efforts will follow the lead of history. Only the likes of Bush and Cheney can see light in an abyss of darkness, see progress while slipping ever faster down a slippery slope. Maybe their harginger is oil-company-profits.
  • Rebuilding Iraqi security forces. The intention seems good, as it was with the Taliban when we helped them engage the Soviets. If history has a lesson here, it is that those we train and arm today may turn on us tomorrow. We can only hope not. Further, if the Shias, Sunnis, and Kurds cannot trust one another, how can a multiethnic security force exist in the face of long traditions of hatred. We fear the result.
  • Pressuring the interim government also seems like a good idea--until you think about it. Although elected by an enthusiastic electorate, the interim government has not won the hearts of the extremists populating and controlling the three parts of the ethnic triad that is Iraq. Is it reasonable to believe it can? We hope so, but history again is negative.
  • This approach is not working and no signs from Iraq, or from history, show it ever will. Moreover, the trend in bombings in Iraq since March 2003 best fits an exponential with mathematical odds of about one in 150 as being due to chance alone. Inother words, terror is worsening. To persist is absolute folly.

Option 2
Install a Strong Man

  • This one is anti-democratic for sure. Nevertheless, the US has a long history of propping up friendly dictators and others who were useful in some way.
  • It leaves Iraq worse than it was under Hussein. Indeed, it cannot be imposed. At the same time, one will surely arise, and he will be militant.
  • Guarantees neither justice for Iraqis nor peace for the world. It could endanger both.

Option 3
Withdraw but maintain presence.

  • If we are ineffective on the ground now, how could we be effective at a distance?
  • Afghanistan provides a contemporary answer to the previous question. The Taliban are back and Afghani women are suffering again.

Option 4
Partition Iraq

  • Ethnic group differences leave equitable partitioning an impossible dream. Many problems in the Middle East arose from the arbitrary state creations by the WWI winners. Religion compounds this issue. Balkanization history says this too is futile.

Option 5
Hybrid partition

  • Iran an Syria absorb the Shia and Sunni enclaves while the Kurds are given a state of their own. Has the same problems that option 4 has. It would also strengthen a threshold nuclear rogue-regime with unimaginable consequences at a most inopportune time.

Option 6
Loose Federation

  • Has the same problems that option 4 has. It would take statemanship and far-sightedness that seem to be absent all around.

Option 7
Orderly Cut and Run

  • Our departure is inevitable. The historic trend now in progress says the longer we stay, the worse it will get. A civil war with ethnic cleansing is in progress. We must plan it carefully to limit damge, but it must be done in months, not years.

None of these options look promising. Withdrawing now would leave the fisld to the authoritarians to fight over and win or carve up. Once the Shia/Sunni battle is decided, the winner could turn on the Kurds, or at least shut them out of any oil revenues. This may be ineveitable.

The struggle among states over cruces of nukes, oil and religion all interacting with economic imperialism is a mere half century old. But it is really and merely a replay of classic history with a new face. A second new face has reared its head. With 9/11, it became evident that small independent groups are now able to aquire and apply various means for mass destruction with accompanying mass hysteria. Worse, a mere handfull of people could doom humankind if not the biosphere.

This neocon administration, was and still is caught up in "Manifest-Destiny" styles of thinking. We see it daily in their use of "American Interests" as if it all comes straight from heaven. If that is so, why do a few terrorists now have the potential to to change history to the American disadvantage? To continue and emphasize that logic, did not the new reality of conventional, biological and nuclear terror also come from heaven?

History has it that the most fit contender will win. What is now new is the third player in conflicts, the terrorists who, for the most part, operate without national sanctions, have disparate goals, do not recognize any "ordinary" moral limits. Fitness involves more than size or strength in arms and the arts of war. "Society fitness" includes group motivation arising from:

  • Defending one's homeland
  • Intelligence on the ground
  • Popular support
  • Society comradery

In an earlier heroic time, George Washington wore these shoes in 1776 . Today's Islamic terrorist leaders enjoy not Washington's advantages, but have many Islamic belief systems and rituals in common. With the shoe now on the other foot, how should one read history as a forecast of events to come? Add in the fact a huge majority of Iraqis want all foreign militaries to leave as soon as possible. If this is not an imperitive, we have never seen one.

Mythos (faith in other words) has been preaching peace for over two millennia and has failed to quell violence. Neither have any of the Bush / Neocon prayers been snswered. Mythos has failed miserably. Logos has now provided technology to the point where a few individuals have the power to blackmail the world, or even destroy civilization as we know it. In any event, history has things to say. One reasonable read is that the present course will doom humanity. To believe that it can not or will not denies the basic message of 9/11:

Small groups can now blackmail the world.

Our present course is strengthening
their hands by the day.

We do not know how to be more blunt than that. Do we believe in history or pie in the sky? Logos or mythos? Or do we seek something new, say a merger of the two? According to logos, all issues have solutions. By the same token, morality a presumed attribute of mythos, has so far not been a strong enough part of logos on the politcal level.

It is high time politicians world-wide applied some morality in their practice of the science and technology they have at their disposal.

Back to Iraq. Local governance may or may not have any relationship with the interim government. Consider the following list of local power centers:

  • Al Fudhalaa
  • Al Hassani
  • Al Qa'ida & Majlis Shura
  • Al Mujahideen in Iraq
  • Army splinter militias
  • Assyrian Area
  • Ayatolla Mahmood
  • Fadheela Party and Jamaat
  • Kurdistan Democratic Party
  • Kurdistan workers party
  • Patriotic Union of Kurdistan
  • Sadrist Movement
  • SCIRI and Badr organization
  • Sunni insurgent groups / tribes
  • Turkman areas

If you see a potential for warlordism, you are not alone. After all Mr. Bush allowed just that in Afghanistan--missing the only possible chance for his goal of establishing a stable democracy in the world of Islam. As for Iraq, Matt Sherman, in the International Herald Tribune, captured the essence: "Many little armies, one huge problem."

Each of these groups provide local governance in their own areas. Except for the Kurdish areea, none has the strength or reach to provide security. This has been a chronic problem and the reason why unemployment rates exceed 50% in certain areas under Shia or Sunni control.

Violence has grown exponentially, roughly doubling each year since the toppling of Hussein.

March-to-March Fiscal Year Number of bombings
1 109
2 613
3 1037
4 2004*

*Projected from first six months.

Violence is out of control. Continuing the policies that brought us to this point is pointless. The evidence is now overwhelming that present policy has failed; there can be no win in any conventional sense. Most Iraqis are good people, yet they want Americans to leave.


A civil war is now in progress between the Shias and Sunnis in southern Iraq. And there is much infighting among the Shias for control--sound familiar? In the North, the Kurds have produced a reasonable success story--so far. When, not if, we depart, the fighting will continue on a winner takes all basis. It is not a happy theme to think the world without Hussein could end up worse than it was with him. Nevertheless, this is actual history speaking.

Nevertheless we lean toward cut and run, carefully, while there is still something to salvage. History is all about wars and rumors of wars for good reason. Humanity is by nature violent and extremists tap this potential. It is imperative that we exit Iraq in months, not years, and do so in ways that do not make things worse.

The solution to violence does not lie in violence.
We must look elswhere.

From a species perspective, we really are our own worst enemeies. See the pages on Extremism.

One final thought. The war in Iraq has cost every American now alive some $8,000. Each and every one of us. FOR WHAT? By any measure, terrorism is gaining in both legitimacy and effectiveness.

Stay Tuned.


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