Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Forcast for Iraq

Juan Cole paints a dire picture of Iraq:

The US military cannot defeat the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement any time soon for so many reasons that they cannot all be listed.

The guerrillas have widespread popular support in the Sunni Arab areas of Iraq, an area with some 4 million persons. [...]

The guerrillas are mainly Iraqi Sunnis with an intelligence or military background, who know where secret weapons depots are containing some 250,000 tons of missing munitions, and who know how to use military strategy and tactics to good effect. They are well-funded and can easily get further funding from Gulf millionnaires any time they like.

The Iraqi guerrillas are given tactical support by foreign jihadi fighters. [...]

There are simply too few US troops to fight the guerrillas. [...]

The guerillas have enormous advantages, of knowing the local clans and terrain and urban quarters, of knowing Arabic, and of being local Muslims who are sympathetic figures for other Muslims. American audiences often forget that the US troops in Iraq are mostly clueless about what is going on around them, and do not have the knowledge base or skills to conduct effective counter-insurgency.

What is amazing is that anyone with any knowledge of the Mideast should have known this would be the outcome. Israel could not hold, or settle, Lebanon after fifteen years. This was a much smaller area and population. Israel had much more motivation to succeed, and far better intelligence than the US will ever have in Iraq.

There is no way Iraq will settle anytime soon. Meanwhile, we spend money and lives.

Juan Cole has shown that a number of predictions from neocons such as Paul Wolfowitz have been completely off the mark. At some point I will blog on them as well. The key point to understand, however, is that while the neocons understand how to work the back rooms of Washington, they are in way over their heads when it comes to implementing sucessful (from a US perspective) policies in the Middle East.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is going on in Iraq is classic guerilla warfare.
It is unwinnable.
Sun Tzu, 2500 years ago, wrote convincingly of the
characteristics and consequences of what has become known as guerilla warfare. None of that has changed.
Presumably, our military study "The Art of War" at West Point.
Too bad the politicians who give the orders don't.

5/26/2005 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger Brian said...

We certainly can't win with the troop levels we currently have.

5/26/2005 10:04:00 AM  
Blogger truthseeker said...

See the 'Israeli Origins of Bush II's Iraq War' which is linked at the following URL:


5/26/2005 06:16:00 PM  
Blogger truthseeker said...

Bush Acted Illegally in Push for Iraq war

5/27/2005 01:15:00 AM  
Blogger truthseeker said...

Israeli Origins of Bush II's Iraq War

5/27/2005 04:20:00 AM  
Anonymous r said...

There are several things that could be done or at least announced as plans for the Iraqis that would speed up stability in the country and give the average Iraqui a reason to get their government in order licky split.

Here is one that has been suggested:


A proposal by Colin Powell and others some time back to give all the Iraqis a share of the oil proceeds, like they do in Alaska.

That these ideas are not considered just reinforce for me the belief that for Isr/Merica empire purposes the US must have an excuse to maintain control there.
Same with Palestine, if given back their water supply and transportation routes for commerce and ingress so they could improve their lot and began to establish some normalacy, the conflict and any support for "terrorist" by the populace would slow down considerably, giving Isr less weight in stalling on the peace and permnment boarder question.

5/28/2005 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous r said...

If you are talking to someone ignorant of the benefits of the Iraq war to Israel this old piece is good to have...and it doesn't hurt either to point out to them the old 1974 US/Isr Agreement that quarentees Israel all the oil the they need in the event they can't get any on their own. Indeed there are many mutual interest bewteen Isr and USA. They aren't the scarey WMD's, they revolve more around oil and $$$$$ and the unbelievable promises of our politicans to Israel at the expense of the US people.

No siree bob, there isn't going to be any peace for Iraq till that oil goes where it is suppose to go according to Isrmerica.

the April 23, 2003 edition

An old Israel-Iraq oil line ... reopening?

By John K. Cooley

ATHENS – Nothing could be better designed to undermine the coalition's promise that Iraq's oil should benefit its own people than Israel's proclaimed wish to "reopen" a long-unused pipeline from Iraq's Kirkuk oil fields to Israel's Mediterranean port of Haifa.
Israel's National Infrastructure Minister Joseph Paritzky was quoted in a March 31 Ha'aretz article saying that Israeli and Jordanian officials would soon meet to discuss reviving the line. Built by the British in the 1940s, the line crossed west from Iraq through Jordan to British-ruled Palestine (today's Israel). Upon the 1948 birth of Israel and the immediate eruption of war with Iraq, Jordan and other Arab neighbors forced its shutdown and the diversion of Iraqi oil through a branch line to Syria.

Arabs reacted with predictable fury to Mr. Paritzky's suggestion that the oil of a post- Hussein Iraq could flow to the Jewish state, to be consumed or marketed from there. Jordan's information minister instantly declared the story about Israel-Jordan meetings "devoid of truth," because Jordan's "relations with Israel are now very cold."

Despite the wishful thinking among President Bush's neoconservative and pro-Israel advisers, a post-Hussein Iraq is unlikely voluntarily to warm to Mr. Sharon's government. Since 1948, Israel and Iraq have been implacable foes. Unlike Egypt, Jordan, or Syria, Iraq has never been willing even to discuss an armistice with Israel, let alone a peace accord like those Israel signed with Egypt and Jordan - this despite some wishful mediation attempts by US and other Western business interests during Saddam Hussein's presidency.

Technically, Baghdad has been in a continuous state of war with Israel since 1948. It sent armies to fight Israel in 1948 and 1967, and to back up Syria's defense of Damascus in the October 1973 war. It has supported several Palestinian guerrilla and terrorist organizations, and during the current Palestinian intifada, Hussein subsidized families of Palestinian suicide bombers and other activists. Israeli officials have been rejoicing over the US-led war coalition's elimination of Iraq as a principal strategic foe of the Jewish state.

Nevertheless, the authoritative Cyprus oil journal Middle East Economic Survey (MEES) reports that the Washington hawks may insist that the next Iraqi government rebuild the Kirkuk-Haifa oil line, probably with major US firms. Walid Khaddouri, the MEES editor, explains that the idea actually involves building a whole new pipeline because the old one has been "cannibalized" and dismantled over the years, leaving no more than its old route traced on maps. This would add at least a billion dollars more to postwar financial burdens.

The idea is economically tempting for Israel and some of its friends, especially those whose firms might profit from such a project. Oil-poor Israel, MEES reports, wants high-quality Kirkuk crude oil for its Haifa refinery. Israeli refineries currently use Russian, West African, Egyptian, and other crude oils.

Politically, the scheme is a potential bomb. Its implementation could ignite a new explosion in the chain of reactions to the US invasion and occupation of Iraq, now beginning to reverberate throughout the troubled Middle East.

• John K. Cooley is an American author and former Monitor correspondent who has covered the Middle East and North Africa for more than 40 years.

5/28/2005 07:01:00 PM  

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