March 18, 2007

At Last - a Real Iraqi Civil War!

Hatched by Dafydd

A funny thing happened on the way to the civil war...

Since about three hours after the invasion of Iraq began on March 20th, 2003 (yes, the fourth anniversary is this Tuesday), the anti-war peaceniks have insisted that Iraq is in a "full-blown civil war." If that's true, then for consistency, we would have to say the same about Los Angeles during the 1970s gang violence between Crips and Bloods.

But the Left has been disappointed time and again by its arms-length allies, who consistently fail to field opposing armies, capture territory, enunciate a national front, set up a shadow government, or any of the other requirements of a civil war. It's getting increasingly hard for even the elite media to keep a straight face when they report that Iraq in 2007 is in the same boat as Spain in the 1930s, America in the 1860s, or England in the mid-17th century... or even Haiti in the 1990s. Hoi polloi insist upon going about their normal lives; don't they know there's an American election looming in a scant twenty months?

But recently, a bona-fide civil war has erupted in Iraq... in fact, two of them. And the Democrats would be applauding -- except that, just like all the WMD we've found, "it's the wrong kind" of civil war!

First, we read about Sunni tribal leaders throwing in their lot with the American and Iraqi forces, joining the battle against al-Qaeda. In response, the terrorists have begun to direct their car-bombs and "martyrdom operations," not against the Americans or even the Shia, but against their own people, Sunni Iraq:

Al Qaeda's activities in Diyala are stirring up local resistance to the terror group. Al Sabaah reports Local sheikhs in Diyala are organizing against al-Qaeda and its Islamic State in Iraq, "which [is] spreading corruption in the province districts." The Iraqi government [is] beginning to plan military operations in Diyala as well. The Diyala sheikhs are beginning to organize, and are said to be forming a anti al Qaeda group akin to the Anbar Salvation Front, a grouping of former insurgents and tribes that oppose and fight al Qaeda's presence in western Iraq.

As a sign al Qaeda is concerned about this development, the terror campaign against hostile tribes is now underway. The homes of Sunni and Shia tribesmen who oppose al Qaeda are being burned to the ground on the city of Muqdadiya. Unconfirmed reports indicate 30 to 100 homes have been torched in the city. Two days ago, a police station in Hibhib in Diyala province was overrun. One policeman was killed, 3 wounded and 10 have been reported missing.

And Thursday, we learned the same sort of "red on red" violence had begun among the Shia:

Gunmen opened fire on the convoy carrying [Muqtada Sadr loyalist] Rahim al-Darraji Thursday in eastern Baghdad, seriously wounding him and killing two of his bodyguards on Thursday, police and a local official said.

Al-Darraji was the principal negotiator in talks with U.S. officials that led to an agreement to pull fighters off the streets in Sadr City, a stronghold of the feared Mahdi Army, and a local commander said suspicion fell on a group of disaffected militiamen who are angry about the deal....

He said the attack has created tension within the ranks of the militia and renewed a debate on the merits of allowing the Americans to operate in Sadr City without resistance during a security sweep aimed at ending the sectarian violence that has raged since a Feb. 22, 2006, bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra.

In January, when we first heard about Muqtada Sadr's plan to "stand down" his Mahdi Militia during the US and Iraqi forces' new security operation, then "return to power" when the coast is clear, it was plain Sadr had not really thought this through: the Mahdi Militia and their rivals, the Badr Organization (ne Badr Brigades) are not regular armies; they have no military dicipline and no patience to wait quietly for very long.

Rather, they're gang-bangers with AK-47s and explosively formed projectiles (EFPs) supplied by Iran's Qods Force. In addition, Sadr is hiding in Iran, and his orders from so far away cannot carry much weight, in contrast to the direct orders of "commanders" on the ground in Iraq.

Sadr ordered his men not to resist even if they were arrested; but we also know Sadr sold out some of his less-than-loyal followers, fingering them to the Americans and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's forces (Sadr is using us to punish his rivals). So imagine you're one of Sadr's men who is in imminent danger of being arrested during this security crackdown; what would you conclude?

Is Sadr going to rescue you, as he promised? Or is he going to sell you to the highest bidder between the U.S. Marines and the Iraqi Army?

If you think the latter (for which you have good justification), it would make more sense for you to rebel against Sadr now, rather than wait until he returns to power -- and until you get a change of address to the Sadr-City Sing-Sing.

"Sadr is weak," you would argue; "he's not fit to rule. He fled when he was needed the most, and he's cooperating with the infidel invaders!" He cannot sit on everybody's head at once; somebody is going make a move... and now, somebody has

So let's review the betting. Since the 2006 elections, which "crippled" President Bush, turning him into "the lamest of lame ducks," we have see the following:

  • Bush's enemies among al-Qaeda and the Sunni rejectionists have begun to battle each other, wasting time and ammunition that could have been used against us;
  • Bush's enemies among the Shia death squads have fallen upon each other hammer and tooth, initiating a war to choose a successor to Muqtada Sadr -- who is shocked, as he was unaware he was in such urgent need of succession;
  • And Bush's enemies on Capitol Hill are locked in internecine warfare over how quickly to surrender in Iraq.

Thus, all the president's nemeses are busy locking horns with each other, leaving him free to jet around South America and look presidential. Not a badly played hand for the man that the dean of American political thought, Donald Trump, has called "the worst president in the history of the United States."

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, March 18, 2007, at the time of 5:39 AM

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Tracked on June 3, 2007 1:11 AM


The following hissed in response by: harrison

Not just Ted Turner, but it seems Donald Trump himself.

"Civil war" no longer holds any connotations or definitions established in the past for the Left. It seeks to dictate its own limitations and warped criteria for civil war in order to invoke Vietnam Redux and anti-military bias. The first step towards war or defeat is to acknowledge the inevitability of it from the beginning - the Democrats have certainly used "civil war" extensively in this callous, reckless and utterly feckless manner with absolutely no respect for the repercussions on the Iraqis. But of course they know exactly the effects on the domestic population at home.

The Congress we have today is the worst Congress in the history of the United States, and it's not a sweeping statement by any length.

The above hissed in response by: harrison [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2007 8:37 AM

The following hissed in response by: MTF

Dafydd, with your interest in polling you may find the Iraqi's views on the purported "civil war" interesting: link.

The above hissed in response by: MTF [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2007 8:46 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Thanks; I think I'll blog on it...


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2007 9:16 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Whoops, must have been a brain seizure: Trump, not Turner... thanks for the correction!


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2007 9:36 AM

The following hissed in response by: Fritz

I’m left wondering why it is that the left seems so unwilling to speak accurately about most anything. They have consistently mischaracterized what is happening in Iraq from the beginning, and only when people are willing to speak honestly can solutions be found.

In a true civil war one or perhaps several groups are trying to overthrow the government, whereas in Iraq, it is a sectarian conflict as they don’t concentrate on overthrowing the government, but instead go around killing each other. The reason that understanding the difference is important is because the end solutions for stopping it are different. While to the unobservant it may be hard to see the difference, it is only by understanding the differences and acting accordingly that a resolution is possible.

Anyhow, I wonder what the news media, which has decided to call it a civil war, is going to call the examples you furnish. They are already using the term “civil war” and will now be forced to come up with some equally silly characterization to describe such incidents.
On the bright side, as you so correctly point out the leadership of both the Iraqi and U.S. opponents of the Iraq conflict are so busy infighting with each other that they haven’t had time to notice what is happening and come up with a strategy against it. And I must admit that watching the Dem’s battles in congress, as they try to figure out what to do that might get them a vote, have been amusing, as has the great leadership evinced by such people as Muqtada al-Sadr. If they continue their internal battles long enough that weakened Bush might manage to solve the problem. There is much to be said for keeping your eye on the ball. At least you know what it is you are trying to do.
Actually I shouldn’t accuse the Dem’s of not knowing what they want to do. I suspect they know very well what it is they want to do, but are unwilling to say it and can’t figure out a way to make it happen without the citizens figuring out what they did. And I find it reprehensible that either party would put getting elected ahead of the interests of the country, something that the Dem’s have done with regards to Iraq. And the sad part is that I started out as a Democrat and voted for such people as LBJ and Carter, although I couldn’t bring myself to vote for McGovern. I am left saddened that the party of Truman, my favorite president, and FDR has fallen so far. And in all fairness, the current Repub’s are only slightly better than the Dem’s, but that is another topic.

The above hissed in response by: Fritz [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2007 10:04 AM

The following hissed in response by: charlotte

Received this in a friend's email the other day. He wasn't sure about attribution, and I haven't time to check, but it's too good not to pass on:

"It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers! In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these journalists/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late. Accordingly , I'm readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I'll, in turn, do my best for the cause by writing editorials - after the fact."

- Robert E. Lee in 1863.

The above hissed in response by: charlotte [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2007 3:10 PM

The following hissed in response by: charlotte

(Too many to's in that second line, but y'all smart enuf to git it, I'm sure. With no delete icons, Dafydd must expect us to actually read our previews. He's too optimistic about human nature, and that's why he'll never be a NY Times editor.)

[We have dark and sorcerous powers. - the Mgt.]

The above hissed in response by: charlotte [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2007 3:17 PM

The following hissed in response by: charlotte

Many thanks, O Magical, Mysterious Management!

The above hissed in response by: charlotte [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 18, 2007 9:38 PM

The following hissed in response by: Freedom Fighter

Hello, Dafydd and friends ( and BTW, a hundred thousand welcomes to the Council)

As you may know if you've stopped by my place, I have a somewhat different take on this.

While it's true that the Badr Force and the Mahdi Army could be said to be rivals, they essentially have the same goal - a Shiite dominated Iraq that is closely tied to Iran, where the Sunnis are marginalized, concentrated and even ethnically cleansed to some degree ( over 3.5 million Iraqis, mostly Sunni, have already left the country).

I also think it's important to remember that al-Maliki operates solely on sufferance of Moqtada al-Sadr (and thus, Iran)because of al-Sadr's parliamentary bloc.

Or, to put it another way, al-Sadr could bring down the government in a heartbeat anytime he chose to.

While the Shiites may be settling a few intercine scores, they are not,for the most part, attacking US troops or al-Maliki's troops. When they are being `detained' they are going quietly, and they are allowing US troops to move freely into Sadr City - which has been facilitated by the US allowing them to keep their weapons `for home defense' and pledging not to confiscate them.

On the other hand, the Sunni insurgents have been involved in active hostilities with US and Iraqi troops.

It seems obvious to me that a deal has been made with al-Sadr and al-Maliki for the US to ignore the ethnic cleansing and marginalization of the Sunnis, and to continue a certain amount of baksheesh and aid to the Iraqi Shiite government in exchange for a reasonably graceful exit.

The recent deal the Kurds signed to allow `redistribution' of their oil wealth to the Shiite government, something they swore they'd never do, is another sign of this - the Kurds know we're leaving and realize they needed to cut a deal to be left in relative peace.

Also noteworthy is the little noticed but historic meeting of Iran's Ahmadinejad and Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh..... an obvious summit and rapprochement to work out spheres of influence and a common stance on issues the Saudis and Iran have in common - like the `Zionist entity'.

The Bush Administration also appears to have adopted most of the Iraq Study Group's recommendations, including haggling with Iran and Syria on Iraq and warming up to the Palestinian Hamas/Fatah government in an effort to pressure a weak Israli government into a `comprehensive Middle East settlement' - and remember, the chair of the Iraq Study Group was the Saudis' own man in Washington, James Baker and the Report almost entirely reflects the Saudi position.

In other words, the fix is in....

The above hissed in response by: Freedom Fighter [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 19, 2007 11:00 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Freedom Fighter:

Your "take" on the recent maneuverings in Iraq hinges on an assumption that I believe fundamentally flawed: You assume that President Bush doesn't really mean what he says, when he says he intends to see a free and independent Iraq... that he's really just looking for a "graceful exit," and is perfectly willing to allow Iraq to ethnically cleanse the Sunnis out and merge Iraq with Iran.

As this would be horrific for America's power in the Middle East, you must also posit that Bush is willing to immolate the United States in order to improve his own poll numbers... despite six years of complete indifference on Bush's part to those same poll numbers.

If one does not make that assumption, instead viewing Iraq through the prism that Bush actually means what he says -- that we're not favoring the Shia, that we're not willing to allow the Sunni to be ethnically cleansed, that we're not just trying to find the way out -- then suddenly, Iraq looks very different. Instead then, we see:

  • A country that has a constitution and held a democratic election;
  • That has a democratically elected government;
  • That has respect for minorities within its borders;
  • That has a strong secular element;
  • That does not have the sort of animus against Israel or America that we see in its next-door neighbors Iran and Syria;
  • And an America that is honorably fighting to win, not an America that is pathetically searching for an exit strategy that isn't entirely dishonorable... or can at least be spun that way.

I believe this way of looking at Iraq does a better job of explaining a number of questions than does your take... for example, why we seem to be arresting a rather extraordinary number of Shiite terrorists, especially including many, many top people at the Mahdi Militia; why Sadr felt the need to flee the country to Iran; why we pushed the Maliki government to ram through the oil sharing agreement; and especially, why we pushed Maliki to boot at least five of the six Mahti Militia members out of the cabinet -- which is a direct attack on Muqtada Sadr's power in the government.

Have you considered the possibility that the Iraq policy is not a conspiracy, that the players really do mean what they say? I consider that the "null hypothesis"... and there is no point seeking an occult explanation for a series of events until you first show that the null hypothesis -- that there is nothing to explain -- won't work fine.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 19, 2007 3:46 PM

The following hissed in response by: exDemo

You can have a civil war when there is a significant percentage of the population which wishes to rebel. You cannot have a civil war when 90% doesn't, and the 90% that doesn't, also have all the guns. That is the situation in Iraq.

Only where the small minority dwells is there violence. There was as little possibility of civil war in the USA when the black Ghettos were rioting in the 60s & 70s, than there is of a civil war in Iraq. Blacks constitute 12% of the US population; Sunni Arabs only 10 % or so of Iraq.

When you have a insignificant minority of mass killers unarmed, and opposing the vast majority you have the tinder for not a civil war but a genocide.

IMO, if the US leaves, if not with peace restored, the Sunni will discover the intolerance that the Tutsis and Watusi practiced to wards each other in Rwanda.

Practically, the only people protecting the terrorist killers are the American Army. The moment they leave and the left wing media with them, concern for the "rights" of "civilian bombers" will vanish. They will be lucky to be just shot or hanged.

Unlike others, I am sanguine we are winning. Bush has bought the extra six months he needed to complete the creation of the Iraqi National Police and the Iraqi Army has reached its projected size and its training levels are still improving.

In 16 out of 18 provinces the war is over. Al Queda has been annihilated, the Baathists Nazi have been discredited. Only the Iranian sponsored Shia terrorists have some life. But Muqta Sadr has gone into exile. The Iranians are grievously overextended and sanctions, however ineffective are biting.

It is expecting an awful lot for one underdeveloped country to support Hamas, Hezb'Allah and the Syrians, Lebanon, and the Mahdi Army in Iraq. All while launching a expensive "Manhattan Project" to build the Bomb. Doing it on dwindling oil exports and rising domestic civil unrest and an ineffectual but still biting economic sanction regime.

Lincoln was certain he would lose the War and election when he had his armies besieging Atlanta nd Richmond and war weariness effecting the entire country. It is always darkest before the dawn. Bush still has two years and Lincoln had but a few months ot arrive at the similar situation.

The above hissed in response by: exDemo [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 19, 2007 5:49 PM

The following hissed in response by: Freedom Fighter

Hello Dafydd,
I can appreciate your points. In the interest of clarification, let's start at square one and remember why we supposedly went to Iraq in the first place.

We went there NOT with the idea of liberating people(although that would certainly count as a very pleasant side benefit) but as part of the War on Jihad, to eliminate a threat to our security and a haven for terrorism. At least that was the rationale.

In fact, while Saddam was a threat, he was by no means either an immediately imminent threat or even the greatest threat to the US...but given his ramp up of his military and the fact that much of the knowledge and infrastructure for a WMD program existed in Iraq, he WAS an imminent threat to Bush's pals the Saudis..they applied the usual leverage and that's why we went in.

After the president muddled around for 19 months with the UN before invading, I was pretty sure that we weren't going to find any WMDs, but the logic of taking out Saddam as a sponsor of Islamic terrorism and creating a base that tightened the ring around Iran and Syria made strategic sense.

In fact, there was no other reason to concentrate on Iraq first, unless as a starting point to take out the rest of the jihadis.

While the president may in fact have fantasized about a free and independent Iraq as a showplace for the vaunted `Arab democracy', the fact remains that the occupation was mismanaged and that the Iraqis were pushed into an election far too soon with no democratic traditions whatsoever and that tribalism and Islam were what they voted for...especially as the President allowed politicians heavily linked with our enemy Iran to freely run in the elections, and essentially sat by and allowed the Shiite militias to be armed and trained by Iran as the `muscle' for this takeover.

I would submit to you that an Islamic republic dominated by Shiites close to Iran and with sharia law as the basis for its constitution is not going going to be a free democratic society as we know it.

As far as respect for minorities goes,you are perhaps not aware of the Shiite campaigns against homosexuals
, Christians, Turkmen, Chaldeans, and even Sunni Palestinians, or the Mahdi Army's military campaign to drive the Kurds out of Kirkuk, a city from which they were ethnically cleansed.

Many of Iraq's Christians, in fact now live in Kurdistan..they are virtually the only Arabs allowed to reside there.

And the ethnic cleansing and concentration of Sunni Muslims is, unfortunately, a well known fact, to the point where the Saudis actually had to threaten to intervene, as I'm sure you know...which is why the president is having our State Department issue a whole slew of visas to take Sunni Iraqis into the US...just what we need, right?

And as for Israel, did you know thatIraq still rigorously enforces the Arab League's anti-Israel boycott and even sent an official representative to take part in the annual meeting of international liaison officers of the Arab League boycott Office in Damascus last May? And that there has been pressure from the Iraqis on US firms doing business there to break US law to comply with the boycott?

I would also have a different take on the idea that it was the Maliki government we pushed into the oil sharing agreement. In fact the Maliki government wanted this all along, and it was the Kurds who adamantly refused, because that wasn't part of the federal agreement they signed on to - until they realized that we were leaving and they had no choice but to deal.

Same with al-Sadr being in `exile'. He's merely laying low for the present, just as he advised the Mahdi Army to do. I can almost guarantee thathe'll be back. The Shiite militiamen that are being `detained' are going quietly, in contrast to the Sunnis, and the Shiites that aren't are being allowed to keep their weapons by the US troops as long as it's quiet.

No, I don't think President Bush deliberately tried to immolate the United States in order to improve his own poll numbers. It's just that mistakes were made. and the fantasy of `Arab democracy' didn't pan out.

And now he's looking for a graceful exit.

The president's own definition of victory is a stable, democratic Iran that will be an ally of the US in the war on terror.Given whom we allowed to take power, that simply isn't possible unless we also take out Iran - and perhaps not even then.It may be stable, but it won't be democratic or an ally, especially against Iran.

And Maliki has said as much, several times.

Actually, I would much rather you were right than I, but I simply can't ignore the facts on the ground.

All Good Things,


The above hissed in response by: Freedom Fighter [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 20, 2007 6:52 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Freedom Fighter:

I'm sorry, I have so many fundamental disagreements with your assumptions above that I don't think there's room for a fruitful discussion. We shall have to agree to disagree.

As always, you are free to continue making your case on Big Lizards!


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 20, 2007 8:17 PM

The following hissed in response by: Freedom Fighter

Fair enough, Dafydd!

Though, I must repeat, I would love nothing better than for you to be right and me to be wrong on this one. My main focus, as I think you know, is victory in the War on Jihad, and I'm for anything that contributes. And on that matter, I think we do agree, based on what I see here..

Sorry about the lengthy replies - and no hard feelings, OK?

All Best,

The above hissed in response by: Freedom Fighter [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 20, 2007 10:17 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh

Freedom Fighter:

Of course no hard feelings. It just takes too long to respond, because I would want to research everything before posting it... even in a comment.

I can tell you that right off -- because I've already done this research -- that I completely reject the suggestion that Saudi Arabia has any influence at all over the Bush administration, or indeed any American administration: We know they don't dare try to cut off our oil, because unlike the 1970s, there are too many players on the market eager to sell us oil at whatever price they can get.

And the world oil market is completely automated and fungible now: Venezuela would love to cut us off, but it's not possible... all oil flows into a common market, whence it's sold en masse to anyone with money.

Besides, if some parts of OPEC cut us off from oil, the hue and cry would force the Democrats to back away from protecting ANWR and the Gulf of Mexico and the California coastline from drilling... and within a few years -- probably about three, if we made it a crash priority -- we'd have enough domestic oil to fully replace imported oil.

And that would be the death of the Arab Middle East.

Rather, Saudi Arabia is dependent upon us, not only as the world's biggest oil customer but also for their military equipment and to protect them from Iran. We're nice to them because we want them eventually to squash the jihadist element of Wahhabism... not because we need them for anything.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 21, 2007 3:22 AM

The following hissed in response by: exDemo


My post of mid-March has been proven by events to be even more correct than I expected then with an early June perspective.

In mid-March there was little talk of the "Anbar Awakening" and the Sunni local politicians, the ones with their fingers in the wind, deciding to come down against the foreign born Nihilist jihadis.

With fifteen provinces at Peace, Anbar the sixteenth province IS now turning PINK to WHITE as I predicted; leaving only Diyallah and Baghdad City province as areas of much contention. I invite you to read al Zaquawi's opinion of AQI strength there in Baghdad province at his Death.

I said that eventually Diyallah would be the last target, after Baghdad, but likely pacified first; I never expected the "Anbar Awakening", or a new national anti-AQI Sunni Party, to have arrived in Diyallah before the Surge troops did; but it has.

I consider it significant that Diyallah local Sunni politicians have jumped aboard. They can read their own constituent feelings better than any foreigner or media maven. They did this even before the Army was there to protect them.

As Ben Franklin observed in a trying moment of our own Revolution, "....We hang together or hang seperately..." The Sunni politicians are acting in response to that same urge, as they hear the Democrat bleating for abdication.

Amidiyah is Baghdad city province and a Sunni area; it too is giving up on the AQI. AQI is on the way out as these are the last two or three AQI strongholds in Iraq. AQI never managed to field even a guerrilla company or battalion. You can't topple even the most inept government that way.

Political reconciliation is happening. The ISG and the Democrats have demanded proof of reconciliation. He will have an oil sharing agreement. The Kurds areas were and are peaceful. The Kurds are coming to the table to deal on oil for two reasons. Firstly, Oil and lots of it, has been found in the Anbar, and eventually their payments from Shiite and Sunni oil might be MORE than anything they yield from Kirkuk. Secondly, the Turkish generals are aching to punish the Kurds for the unreported but persistent low level guerrilla war, the Kurds have fought in Turkey and Syria for decades.

As part of Iraq, supported by the USA at last, they are safer than an disintegrated Iraq where they are quasi-"independent" and the easy target of the Turks.

Muqta Sadr is still a low life and not his father's son. Sistani has been careful to husband his political capital, and represents a constant and growing counter to Sadr's aspirations.

His sellout purge of the "Mahdi Army" and supporters has gone too far; engendering loathing, not fear. The Mahdi Army was never an army but a collection of gangs with no military organization or discipline. The Quds mercenaries don't have the time, or money or respect to alter that fact.

The threat of abandoning the government is always worse than the doing; Sadr did it, and the government didn't fall. His places at the table have been redistributed, and he is being discredited.

Iran is still very overextended. The more exaggerated the rhetoric, the more unsure of themselves the Iranian Mullahs appear. Sarkozy's election reinforces Merkels, and it appears sane to let them pursue and obtain stiffer international sanctions on the Iranian regime under the auspices of the UN. Economic bleeding and collapse in Iran, is still the way to beat the Mullahocracy.

When all seemed lost for Lincoln, the Confederacy and Davis replaced prudent General Johnston with a impetuous General Hood; fought (and lost), the battle of Atlanta that the North desired, and Johnston had deftly avoided.

With few friends but dumb and even dumber enemies so inept, could Mr. Lincoln or Mr. Bush been more lucky? Or does most success come by merely stubbornly and repeatedly showing up as they either did or are doing?? I suggest Mr. Truman would agree. He was s my hero as well, whose support fell to 18% approval, still persevered in Korea to the end.

Come this fall, with fifteen pacified provinces, two more sliding into stability & pacification, Baghdad quieter that even the NYT media has had to confirm, Mr. Bush's hands are untied. He will have an oil sharing pact to show political reconciliation. Bush has a perfect opportunity.

Mr. bush can declare victory has arrived, as the Democrats have required him to report in their legislation.

The key defect of fighting a civil unrest rather than an insurgency, the terrorists have never fielded any forces that can compete with either the now at planned strength National Police. Nor even start of compete with Iraqi Army that reached planned manpower levels just last fall.

Unlike Nixon. Mr. Bush can be sure that he can announce plans for a gradual draw down and troop withdrawal and Victory ! and the opponents to the Iraqi democracy cannot prevail nor derail it.

I would not want to be a Democrat politician who harnessed himself too closely to demands for surrender, in 2008. As I recall the Copperheads were done for a generation, and even the ant-0 War Democrats managed to lose strength in 1976 in House and Senate even as they eeked out a barely one term triumph in the presidency. Th last time I voted Democrat was to reelect Carter, with trepidation and ambivalence.

Without an invasion from Iran, as North Vietnam needed to do in 1975, there is no one to oppose the final pacification in Iraq and insure the Bush legacy; especially after the western media depart. That Iranian invasion is not in the offing. All of Arabia would rise against the Persians, never mind the West.

a few months is a lifetime in politics and I would wish I had Mr. Bush's hand to play.

The above hissed in response by: exDemo [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 4, 2007 1:03 PM

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