I thought the problem presented by Bush last night, that is, if we pull out, Iraq will become a breeding ground for terrorists....was ....well....logical...
Professor Cole doesn't think so....
To listen to Bush's speech on Wednesday, you would imagine that al-Qaeda has occupied large swathes of Iraq with the help of Syria and Iran and is brandishing missiles at the US mainland. That the president of the United States can come out after nearly four years of such lies and try to put this fantasy over on the American people is shameful.
That's just for "openers".....here's more....
And the main problem is not "al-Qaeda," which is small and probably not that important, and anyway is not really Bin Laden's al-Qaeda. They are just Salafi jihadis who appropriated the name. When their leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed, it didn't cause the insurgency to miss a beat. Conclusion: "al-Qaeda" is not central to the struggle. Izzat Ibrahim Duri and the Baath Party are probably the center of gravity of the resistance.
So the Baath Party is (probably) the "center of gravity of the resistance." Not Al Qaeda? Wouldn't that make it a CIVIL WAR?
Yup...sure sounds like that to me.
So just how much do we have to fear from the "failed state" scenario?
If indeed Bush and Cheney are using the surge (ESCALATION) to implement the 80% Solution then we're creating an Iranian Client State while at the same time threatening to attack Iran.
And Prof Cole points out another thing that makes about as much sense....
Bush could not help taking swipes at Iran and Syria. But the geography of his deployments gives the lie to his singling them out as mischief makers. Why send 4,000 extra troops to al-Anbar province? Why ignore Diyala Province near Iran, which is in flames, or Babel Province southwest of Baghdad? Diyala borders Iran, so isn't that the threat? But wait. Where is al-Anbar? Between Jordan and Baghdad. In other words, al-Anbar opens out into the vast Sunni Arab hinterland that supports the guerrilla movement with money and volunteers, coming in from Jordan. If Syria was the big problem, you would put the extra 4,000 troops up north along the border. If Iran was the big problem, you'd occupy Diyala. But little Jordan is an ally of the US, and Bush would not want to insult it by admitting that it is a major infiltration root for jihadis heading to Iraq.
Okay, so it's not Iran and Syria that are the problem....it's the Sunni Arab hinterland. It's the 80% Solution with a false enemy to (actually three false enemies: Syria, Iran and Al Qaueda)
Now I'm pissed.