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    « Enjoy the Tryptophan | Main | Everything is Going According to Plan »

    November 25, 2005



    Galbraith has been pushing the breakup idea all along; I would expect his reporting to reflect his preferences.

    With respect to ethnic loyalties, I think we need to remember two factors that make these much harder to keep from dominating the new Iraqi armed forces. One is the legacy of the former government. The other is the insurgency.

    But for these, ethnic loyalties might be manageable. But if it were not for these there wouldn't be a need for a new Iraqi army and police force in the first place. It's easy enough for Americans to say Saddam is gone and bygones should be bygones while he awaits trial -- which, following American practice, may or may not happen before he dies of natural causes. Asking Kurds or Shiites whose relatives and clan members were victims of Saddam's mostly Sunni Arab henchmen to abandon all their cultural conditioning and not seek revenge is asking a lot.

    It would be asking a lot, I should say, even if the mostly Sunni Arab insurgency were not going out of its way to kill Shiites (especially) and Kurds in large number and on a daily basis. I don't doubt that there are plenty of bad guys in the ethnic militias, especially the Badr group -- this is an Arab country we are dealing with, after all. But it's naive to think that the militias are pulling the wool over our eyes, cynically using American training and resources to pursue their clan or ethnic interests. While there may be some of that going on, it is the Sunni Arabs who created this situation and continue to drive it forward. Take away IEDs and suicide bombs, and ethnic influence in the new army becomes more manageable. Continue the insurgency, and we will see much worse from many of the people we have trained than we have so far.


    Looks like the Salvador Option that Rumsfeld was talking about in Jan 2005 is starting to come to light.


    There's no question that the Sunni insurgency makes just about everything in Iraq worse, but I think that saying that an end to the insurgency would put an end to sectarian divisions in the Iraqi army assumes facts not in evidence.

    Stacy Rosenbaum

    The idea that we can make Iraq one big happy pro-U.S. country is unrealistically optimistic.


    It looks like the sometimes-irreverent Homer Simpson is getting a little reverence from?The Vatican?! "Few people know it, and he does everything to hide it, but it is true:

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