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March 18, 2006



Call me a Bush Cultist but I think this guys assessment is way too pessimistic. Once a government is formed which I expect to be soon the conditions will be set for the defeat of the insurgency which ultimately must fall on the shoulders of the Iraqi army and make take years but why the hell should we pay with our soldiers blood to defeat them.

I can understand why anybody would be pessimistic given the press coverage. A case in point: Operation Swarmer was characterized in the press as a "massive" operation (the subtext being that we are clearly failing if forced to engage in such operations at this point in the war) but the operation involves at most TWO battalions which were inserted via helicopters in order to gain tactical surprise. The press in not only cynical but incompetent as well.


I thought we were doing the wrong thing in '03. I've been persuaded otherwise. Now it truly is up to the Iraqis. I expect three relatively peaceful states there, eventually. I expect Sistani to be elevated to sainthood, and Sadr to grow into his father's shoes. I expect the Kurds to form a greater Kurdistan to the detriment of Turkey and Iran. And I expect the Sunni and the Syrian to rage in the desert and baath in sand.


I'll take Bill Roggio or Wretchard at the Belmont Club any day.


I get the sense from reading Belgravia Dispatch and others in the growing Mea Culpa Brigade that the root of their had Bush just done what they wanted him to do then things in Iraq would be just ducky by now.

It's not, so they've tossed the baby out with the bathwater.

What you're seeing now is the second wave of the Democralypse Now! Movement.


Asked what he thought was the significance of the French Revolution, the Chinese Premier Zhou En-lai is reported to have answered, "Its too soon to tell."

The success or failure of this operation will play out in generations to come. We are too close to events to make any definitive analysis at this point in history. But, who knows? Greg might be another Edmund Burke (see Burke's prescient "Reflections on the Revolution in France" 1790).


Addendum: BTW there have no reported casualties in Operation Swarmer and it appears that the op was exactly what the military described it as: a sweep over 100 square miles looking mostly for weapons caches and whatever AQ/insurgents they happened to find. Rather than a sign of desparation, it signifies that the Army now has the luxury to pursue lower value missions.


Well I have heard too many opinions at this point in time to know what to believe.

All these socalled experts blowing off.

I am reading Truman's biography by McCullough right now and when you compare the kinds of things the world suffered in those two world wars with Iraq today, this seems scarcely a skirmish.

I did not expect a country ruled by a dictator for decades, torn by sectarian strife and with no tradition of republican self government to turn into something akin to the west in two or three years.

This guy is just one more member of the know it all brigage.


Ah, Belgravia Dispatch, sh*tting all over the Iraqi people. Giving up on them so soon.

Seems to me a lot of his type around these days.

Rick Ballard

"Giving up on them so soon."

You find reports of the world as seen through merde colored glasses unappealing? Surely the exhibition of sofisme alone is owrth the price of admission.

richard mcenroe

And of course I place great stock in the opinions of someone who thinks we still have a War Secretary...



I have to agree with you.

As an emergent phenomenon the cost-calculus seems to be comparatively small (see VDH on this point repeatedly) and yes, the time window here needs to be expanded considerably before anyone can tell what-the-hell to make out of war in Iraq.

It may be that not until civil war actually does break-out in Iraq that this theater can actually begin to take some shape.

Or not.

I suspect that the near daily play-by-play calls of this-or-that event being what starts the ever-starting, but never-materializing civil war, are just tiresome retreads of the dreaded "Afghan winter," the refugee crisis that wasn't, or some equally politically motivated attack job against BusHitler.

In all fairness, Mr. Djerejian does not fall into the Michael Moore-Code Pink-Cindy Sheehan camp of hysterical, know-nothings, and pathetic polemicist-narcissist windbags.

But this last essay is a bit "gassy" nonetheless.

Perhaps some bromide for this bromide might help?

Or not, again.

Of course, he could be right.

I doubt it, though.

There remain way too many moving and independent parts to make accurate predictions.

What is certain is that the amount of resources; money, time, man-power, connection, social and cultural structure, being invested in the failure of the US policy in Iraq are staggering--and a formidable and consistent application of similarly enormous amounts of resources will be needed for this President's, or any other's to succeed in winning the war against radical Islam and Arab totalitarianism.

The price of failure may be incalculable.

Imagine a vaporized Israel, or New York, or plague ridden Europe, etc.

Time will tell.

And now is neither time to quit or despair because things are fucked-up.

They are fucked up, and would have been whether or not Mr. Bush went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It's like a patient who bemoans the fact that, "If I hadn't gone to the doctor and had those tests, I wouldn't be having surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy for that tumor they found."


Just sayin'.


I remember before the war I was hearing stories of decrepit infrastructure, destroyed marshes, cities without water, electricity, sewers. There were tales of mass graves, a lack of medicine, sudden and deadly violence used to terrorize the population and I thought...this will not be easy.

Iraq was already divided into the three parts with the US flying the no fly zones over the Kurdish north and the Shia south in an attempt to contain Saddam.

I suppose all these folks thought all these problems were just going to go away. Or perhaps they did not realize that war is messy. I don't know but the only way to get to the other side of this is to keep going.

I think the largest problems facing Iraq are a broken infrastructure, corruption, inadequate security, sectarian tensions, Iran and Syria. Troublemakers like Sadr are an added problem, but often as not they wear out their welcome sooner or later in any event.

The militias {or something like them] are inevitable in a power vacuum where there is a lack of civil or military control..but they can be neutralized to some extent.

We need to remember we had the KKK and our share of vigilianteism. These things are not good, but to a certain extent they are inevitable when any society goes through such changes.

The only other solution would be to put strong-arm men in control of places like Iraq, allow them to fill the mass graves and just pretend not to notice the murder and mayhem. CNN was willing to hide the truth before, I bet that if it would help make Bush look bad they would hide the truth again.



Yes, I noticed that too. Which Civil War is he stuck in anyway? Ours or the one they keep promising in Iraq?

War Secretary is so quaint.

JM Hanes

Soon after Abu Grahib I believe, Djerejian developed a case Rumsfeld-derangement-syndrome. Fortunately, it hasn't seriously damaged his logical faculties, but I do think it has clouded his perspective on DoD related ventures.

Mea Culpa Brigade that the root of their had Bush just done what they wanted him to do then things in Iraq would be just ducky by now.

It's not, so they've tossed the baby out with the bathwater.

Exactly, Bumperstickerist.
True with the anti-war people as well. Had we not gone to war with Iraq at all, things would be just ducky. Somehow.

It must be comforting to be able to plead Mea Culpa and walk away, knowing there is always someone else truly stuck with the responsiblity anyway. Peel away the support you once gave, and point at Bush for having no support for the choice you supported him to make. Say something like the Buck Stops There.

As if somehow now, no longer believing what you once believed makes it HIS fault and his bad decision making.

Grown ups realize that any choice you make brings with it an array of possible results. You take responsibility for all of them, and you deal with what is presented. There's no pretending the choice YOU would have made would have had no adverse consequences.

richard mcenroe

In 1943, these people would have been saying, "OK. we took Morocco and Guadalcanal, but this is getting messy. Time to let the Europeans and Asians work the rest of it out on their own."

Tom Bowler

I had greater faith in this Administration, and they have let us down time and again. But it's too easy to say it would all have been OK but for the dumbies who effed up the show.

There are some people who make themselves out to be very smart by pointing out some perceived incompetence in somebody else. It strikes me Djerejian is one of those. Iraq may be a mess, but compared to what? He can't be comparing to any other wars we've fought. Sorry, but I find his analysis unpersuasive.


Yup, Tom. Even smart people can be wrong. He's not paid enough attention, here.

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