January 16, 2006
Talking Sunnis Down From the Ledge
You wouldn't know it from reading the American mainstream news, but for the last year or so, the U.S. military has quietly been negotiating with various militant Sunni tribes in Iraq to give up their arms and participate in the political process.
We've known for some time that a rift is growing between the Sunni rejectionists and the foreign al-Qaeda terrorists. Our military has exploited this rift to isolate the jihadis.
Our rationale is that the more militant Sunnis give up fighting and join the democratic Iraqi community, the fewer enemies we ultimately have to face in the final confrontations. At a bare minimum, the Sunni won't interfere while we exterminate those al-Qaeda, Zarqawi and his cohorts, who make a last stand -- which we all know must come eventually. If we could convince some of the militant Sunni that it is to their tribe's benefit to cooperate with us, they may give us valuable intelligence on their erstwhile allies... or even fight alongside us, as their brother Iraqis who accept democracy are doing today.
The strategy is paying greater dividends than we imagined. The Belmont Club has compiled a list of recent conflicts between al-Qaeda and Sunni rejectionists; the fault line between them has widened so much that some formerly militant Sunnis are actually helping the U.S. and Iraqi armies conduct military operations.
The Albu Mahal tribe is now an ally of the Iraqi government, and provides the majority of the troops for the Desert Protection Force, which is a organization of the local tribal fighters that provide for local security and act as scouts for Iraqi Army and U.S. Marines operating in the area.
Unsurprisingly, the international media considers this successful strategy of ours to be a betrayal of President Bush's “stay the course” policy. Through an absurdly literal reading of the metaphor, in which "the course" must always be a straight line, and any deviation left or right is tantamount to a complete repudiation, the Asian and European press agencies crow that America has surrendered -- when in fact, we stand on the threshold of historic victory.
For example, Gereth Porter opines in Asian Times that if the world "understood" our current strategy of persuading former Sunni rejectionists to throw down their guns and support democracy in Iraq, it would cause us "serious political problems":
The Republican Party has just unveiled a new television ad attacking Democratic Party chair Howard Dean for suggesting that the war in Iraq cannot be won.
Renouncing victory over the Sunni insurgents therefore undercuts the president's political strategy of portraying his policy as one of "staying the course" and attacking the Democrats for "cutting and running"…
The new soft line toward the Sunni insurgents is a belated administration response to the conclusion of the US military commanders in Iraq last summer that the Sunni insurgents could not be "defeated" and that there must be a political settlement with them.
Of course, what the commanders actually concluded was that they could not be defeated by military means alone, that there had to be a political component to the push; not only is Bush not "belatedly" accepting this idea, it has been the administration's plan from Day One of the invasion: we always planned to democratize Iraq as the long-term goal for rendering it no longer a threat to America.
In a stunning speech delivered on November 6th, 2003 to the National Endowment for Democracy, Bush made explicit the Bush Doctrine, which calls for democratizing the hellholes of the world -- in particular, the Middle East -- as a way of securing America and liberating the captive peoples across the globe.
In Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority and the Iraqi Governing Council are also working together to build a democracy -- and after three decades of tyranny, this work is not easy.... And we're working closely with Iraqi citizens as they prepare a constitution, as they move toward free elections and take increasing responsibility for their own affairs....
This is a massive and difficult undertaking -- it is worth our effort, it is worth our sacrifice, because we know the stakes. The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the American people, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region. Iraqi democracy will succeed -- and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Teheran -- that freedom can be the future of every nation. The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.
We do not come late to the table of Middle-East democracy.
Contrary to Porter's overwrought accusation, negotiating the terms of your enemy’s surrender is not a sign of defeat. It is a sign of victory. We are not the ones giving up fighting in favor of peaceful participation in the political process. We are not the ones outing our former allies' hideouts and attack plans.
To see who is winning and who is losing, let's apply the simple test of asking "cui bono?" Who benefits? Clearly it is the American policy of democratizing Iraq, not the jihadi cause of returning Iraq to tyranny, that benefits from rejectionists giving up the fight and running for office.
Mr. Porter makes like he does not understand that in war, the wise general has many different plans working in parallel. Many are secret; we certainly don't make a habit of sharing our plans with the world -- unless some CIA or NSA snitch drops a dime to the New York Times! (Defense Secretary Rumsfeld would call that strategy "unhelpful.") But that doesn't mean we have no plans.
Cajoling the enemy into abandoning the fight, even while we engage in battle, is not a contradiction: unless our intention is to kill every last Sunni who has ever opposed us, which is absurd on its face, neutralizing the enemy by negotiation is always in order.
One more reason Mr. Porter considers our policy to be proof of "defeat" is that the militant Sunni keep trying to suggest a timetable for our withdrawal:
The insurgents can also increase the pressure on Bush by making public their offer, reportedly made by insurgent leaders to Arab League officials in Cairo last month, to deliver al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Zarqawi, to the Iraqi authorities as part of a peace agreement involving a US withdrawal timetable.
But the Sunni can offer anything they want; it's up to us to decide whether the offer is good enough for us to accept. If we do, it will be because what we gain is more valuable than what we give up; this is no more a "defeat" than it is when you and some seller come to an agreement on a piece of real estate: neither of you is a loser; you're both getting something more valuable to you than you had going in... it's a win-win situation, just as it is when the Sunni propose various incentives for us to leave, and we weigh each one and decide to accept or reject the offer. The final decision is ours, not theirs.
We still have the winning hand, and the rejectionists know it. Last December, when President Bush had pointedly refused to issue any timetable for Coalition withdrawal, the Sunnis still showed up at the polls in unexpectedly strong numbers (a higher percentage of all Iraqis, Sunni, Shia, and Kurd, than showed up for our own vote a month earlier). The Sunni flatly rejected Zarqawi’s threat to escalate his terrorism if Iraqis voted.
Most Sunni rejectionists now understand that they are not in a position to make demands; the best they can do is cushion their fall somewhat. In the fight against the American military, the rejectionists, both Sunni and Shia, have been defeated. They know we can continue this war for at least the next three years, reducing their tribal lands to rubble if we so choose. Therefore, timetable or not, they will in the end have to meet our terms; they must choose whether to live -- or to die.
By and large, they are choosing to live. And that is the ultimate vindication of our winning strategy in Iraq.
Hatched by Sachi on this day, January 16, 2006, at the time of 1:49 AM
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The following hissed in response by: RBMN
The foreign terrorists in Iraq have all the brains, the conscience, and the temperament of a Claymore mine. Naturally, they wear out their welcome pretty fast.
The following hissed in response by: brotio
"Iraqi democracy will succeed -- and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Teheran -- that freedom can be the future of every nation. The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution."
That's likely to be true - and the Left can't abide that. The Allies MUST lose in Iraq so that the liberals can win in 2008. Victory at the ballot box is far more important to them than victory in the battlefield
The following hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist
Durn!!! i just closed a page?!? This page, of course!?! OK...i saved all up until Iran and their president.
Sachi...nicely done, and that November 6th, 2003 link was just the right touch.
The failure of Iraqi democracy would embolden terrorists around the world, increase dangers to the American people, and extinguish the hopes of millions in the region. Iraqi democracy will succeed -- and that success will send forth the news, from Damascus to Teheran -- that freedom can be the future of every nation. The establishment of a free Iraq at the heart of the Middle East will be a watershed event in the global democratic revolution.
A speech from 2003, and the Dems are still claiming there "was no plan"...there "is no plan".
America is basically fighting this War Against Terrorism, with both hands 'tied-behind-back', and with almost half of America supporting both the Terrorists and the Terrorists' own mostly hidden supporters.
Your post here has caused a 'Thousand Thoughts' to rush my humble mind, so this reply will probably start to ramble at this point...so to speak.
President Bush had a plan for War, and went before the US Congress and the American People soon after the *ATTACKS* of September 11, 2001. On September 11, 2001, the American People heard these Words from President Bush:
I want to reassure the American people that the full resources of the federal government are working to assist local authorities to save lives and to help the victims of these attacks. Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.
I've been in regular contact with the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, the national security team and my Cabinet. We have taken all appropriate security precautions to protect the American people. Our military at home and around the world is on high alert status, and we have taken the necessary security precautions to continue the functions of your government.
We have been in touch with the leaders of Congress and with world leaders to assure them that we will do whatever is necessary to protect America and Americans.
I ask the American people to join me in saying a thanks for all the folks who have been fighting hard to rescue our fellow citizens and to join me in saying a prayer for the victims and their families.
The resolve of our great nation is being tested. But make no mistake: We will show the world that we will pass this test. God bless.
The US Congress and the American People were still apparently with President Bush on September 18, 2001 (NOTE: i use the word "still", because such support obliviously becomes rather flaky with time), and President Bush speaks to the Nation once again, mentioning that he...hold on...here are the Words from President Bush:
Today I am signing Senate Joint Resolution 23, the "Authorization for Use of Military Force."
America's Left, and some of its Right, has some serious memory problems, huh. Some claim he had no plan...some want to pick and choose the Battles in this War...some want to just surrender...and, some now claim that he has gone beyond 'Da Law.
Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution of the United States states:
Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:--"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
At what point does a President start tossing American Citizens into jail, or in front of firing squads?!? Never mind, but America's Left should get down on its knees and 'Give Thanks' that humble Low and Ignorant Insane swamp hermit me wasn't President on September 11 of 2001, and/or now.
OK...lets skip some 2001 speeches, and move to the January 29, 2002 State of the Union Address. How is 'Da *WAR* going on January 29 of 2002??? Well, Afghanistan's Taliban lost, and Osama is running and hiding like a rat. America's Left had/has predicted "at least 5,000 Body Bags" will be needed for American Troops in the "first year".
The War was going well, America's Left was *WRONG* about the "5,000 Body Bags", and the Afghanistan Allah's Taliban fell in less than four months.
We last met in an hour of shock and suffering. In four short months, our nation has comforted the victims, begun to rebuild New York and the Pentagon, rallied a great coalition, captured, arrested, and rid the world of thousands of terrorists, destroyed Afghanistan's terrorist training camps, saved a people from starvation, and freed a country from brutal oppression. (Applause.)
By January 29 of 2002, the Muslim World took notice that Saddam and Osama were both wrong about America "never being able to put their troops on foreign soil again". Pakistan decided that it might be wise to stop supporting the Taliban, and to start supporting President Bush. Libya started to think that President Bush was serious, and rolled over soon after.
States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world. By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger. They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.
W was correct, back on January 29 of 2002, for grouping North Korea, Iran, and Iraq into an 'Axis of Evil', and his plan was quite clear. Sure, the World gasped, and he did not reveal his real order for who would be next, even though it should've been clear...so to speak of what was obvious. Iraq's Saddam was clearly next, since he had attacked his neighbors, ignored the UN, and had used WMDs on his own People.
America's Left started predicting again, once they figured out that Iraq was next, and once again predicted another "5,000 Body Bags"...this time, in Iraq, and in the "first year" again. Heck, the American Left's MSM was so sure that they were right this time, that they claimed that "American Troops are Bogged Down" after just three days. That was "Three Strikes" against the American Left, and W was re-Elected in 2004.
How is 'Da *WAR* going??? Well, humans are finally starting to *VOTE* in the Middle East...even Palestinians.
This is my second night to ever watch FOX's "24", and i have missed the first 10-minutes or so.
Iran is losing the back-channel (forget spelling) debates and background talks. They wanted to own Iraq, and the Iraqi Sunni show back up. OK. i didn't lose a lot...
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cries like a baby...screw him. He has lost Iraq, and now wishes to talk about Nuking Israel and or the West, even though he has no Nukes yet. We still have time, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad cries like a baby...
Later...24 is back,
The above hissed in response by: KarmiCommunist at January 16, 2006 5:30 PM
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