mr. zilla goes to town

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

the immovable object and the irresistible force

Bubbleboy:

President Bush said Tuesday that U.S. troops will be in Iraq after his presidency ends in 2009. "I'm optimistic we'll succeed" in Iraq," he insisted. "If not, I'd pull our troops out."

Colonel Larry Wilkinson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell:
I'm hearing from lieutenants, captains, majors, generals, many in uniform, many of whom were my students in years passed when I taught at the nation's war colleges. I'm hearing from the civilians who were foreign service officers, civil service and so forth in our embassy in Baghdad and I can tell you that the morale in the uniformed military is being impacted and I can also tell you that our ground forces are stretched to the point where you hear talk about withdrawal from Iraq. Within 24 months, we're going to have to withdraw from Iraq, whether the situation there, politically, economically and so forth, is adequate or not because we've stretched our ground forces to the point of breaking.

You know what pisses me off? That this failure of purpose, failure of coherence, failure of application called Iraq has surely poisoned the well for US (and probably UK) humanitarian intervention for at least a decade. Darfur? DR Congo? Who? Where?

5 Comments:

  • All this intelligent political commentary is fair enough, but when are we going to get a new podcast? I heard that's what the people of Iraq want more than anything right now.

    By Blogger The Capgras Delusion, at 9:09 pm  

  • Champ, there was no well for humanitarian intervention in the first place. Until you start talking about areas which have some kind of stretegic value. NATO only intervened in the Balkans after thousands were massacred and even when they did they were pretty ineffective and that was in their own backyard.

    Iraq was never an exercise in humanitarian intervention. No country has ever gone to war for humanitarian reasons, even the defeat of the "evil" germans in wwii was mostly propaganda until they realised exactly what had been done to the Jews.

    The fact is that Iraq or no Iraq killings in Sudan, Rwanda, DR Congo, Burundi etc etc etc will continue to occur because no one has a strategic interest in doing anything about it.

    By Blogger lunch, at 4:19 am  

  • I agree that Iraq was never a humanitarian intervention, it's very clear that was a post facto rationalization once the WMD failed to appear.

    But I think there's one or two good reasons a (pseudo) humanitarian response would have been possible in Sudan in particular. The Chinese have been massively ratcheting up their engagement with Africa: China-Africa trade in general has risen 50%+ each year in the last few, and they have dibs on about half of Sudan's oil exports at the mo. So there's a US/Euro interest in some degree of contervailing engagement, which they don't have the capability to undertake while in Iraq.

    Also there's also a minor-interest, minor-risk approach. Without Iraq, the US could be providing much more serious logistical support to grow the capabilities of the 7,000 African Union troops currently in Darfur who more or less don't have two helicopters to bang together.

    By Blogger mister z, at 7:51 am  

  • and capgras, the people in iraq have been given two podcasts already this month. From Washington no less! Hang on, maybe that's why they're upset. There'll be a new potcast recorded this weekend.

    By Blogger mister z, at 9:58 am  

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