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December 09, 2006

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ajacksonian

Actually, this isn't all that bad... while the Central Bank in Iraq has stood up, it is still working on getting its basis for large scale distribution of funds going, so it remains a highly localized affair from cities. What this does is deflect the graft and corruption issue to the Provinces, where the localized tribes will then have a splendid time bickering over who gets what... do that on a per-capita basis and then give out to each province based on population then the 'fair share' Sunnis get their part of the argument, but they are a minority so they do not get more than their fair share. Plus the Central Government can get rid of this headache and hand it over to those people who love to squabble, in-fight and cause grief to each other already: the tribes in the Provinces. The tribes then gain a stake by taking part in localized Provincial elections and they will vote according to tribal support not National Party...

The more squabbling that takes place outside of Central Government, the better. Suddenly, throwing lots of tribesmen into a religious based insurgency loses you votes to help divvy up the money pie. Have to think on that, but the pluses seem to outweigh the minuses there. Normal grief and hard feelings are encouraged, but uprisings and such are discouraged.

Religion is one thing, but money is something else again to folks used to bargaining for *hours* over minor purchases. The National Parties might be weakened and need to realign themselves a bit more to the Provinces, which is no bad thing... and those using religion as their basis... well... that does cut across tribes, but tribes adhere better than religion does in that neck of the woods, especially on the money front. And those religious parties just hate to be seen as grabbing money for themselves *above* the tribes. Coming soon: political realignment.

Specter

Of course this is the "non-progress" and "complete failure" we keep hearing about, right?

TCO

You all are so naive and clueless. There is no rational OR realpolitic reason to appease the Sunni bad behavior with oil buyoffs. In addition, they are the minority and don't have the oil in their territory. They are ass out and we should leave them that way.

Cecil Turner

There is no rational OR realpolitic reason to appease the Sunni bad behavior with oil buyoffs.

It makes little sense to me as well. Further, paying them off for instransigence is tantamount to putting a price on our own soldiers' heads. (And the Iraq Study Group seems to have a fascination with appeasing our enemies.)

TCO

The only way to pacify and control that area is with some brutality. We are not willing to do that. We need to get out and let the Shia take care of business. Protect the Kurds fine. And if somehow the worm turns and the Sunnis start getting control, we can help out (at a distance) to help the Shia.

But first things first. Get some spine in the Shias. They need to have better militias, do a better job at murdering Sunnis and ethnic cleansing them, etc.

clarice

Chalabi's Alaska Plan was to give each Piraqi a per capita share. Among his reasons for that distribution was that all this oil revenue could only lead to trouble in the hands of a central govt. Perhaps giving it to regional authorities ameliorates the worry. Perhaps.

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

Adult literacy in Iraq is 40.4% (apparently the NEA started there). Mr. Chalabi would have to be very good at drawing pictures of a "per capita distribution" in order to gain solid widespread support.

The literacy rate is something to keep in mind when thinking of the difficulties that must be overcome in training security forces. It's not a minor factor.

clarice

And consider that the "elite" (literate) were mostly Sunni.

You know, if you ever had any questions about Powell or the Dos the fact that they persuaded Rice to scotch the DoD post-invasion plan of turning over civil administration to the Iraqis and instead to install our lame-brained pro-consul who believed he could resolve every jot and tittle before turning over authority should resolve those questions.

Syl

(1)Not ALL sunni are involved in the insurgency.
(2)I see no problem with rewarding the majority of sunni tribes who are pro-government.
(3)I DO see a problem with the distribution in the hands of the provinces. Bremer installed many baathists as governors and officials and the Iraqis know that.

TCO

clarice, your plan is fine in the abstract, but has little to do with any realistic options. Given that there is no rule of law, how much will your Randian (and I am too) plan deliver? How would the money actually get distributed, how would the fields get worked, etc.? Especially given how these people behave?

Let's think about the real situation and examine real options for actions and then find the least bad.

M. Simon

Rick,

Literacy is not required. All that is needed is the ability to speak.

Why?

Well there are some recent inventions that might help. Perhaps you have heard of them.

Radio and television.

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