Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Real Foreign Invaders of Iraq

Ron Paul likes to reference our presence in Iraq as being that of "invaders" and "occupiers". Nevermind that, we are routinely asked to stay (and no...not by Zawahiri) by the government and those who are being terrorized by violent jihadists and insurgents. We remain at their request.

But who are the real invaders here, hmm?
Seventy percent of foreign insurgents arrested in Iraq come from Gulf countries via Syria where they were provided with forged passports, an Iraqi intelligence officer alleged in a published report Wednesday.

"They, according to their own confessions, gather in mosques in the said (Gulf) states to travel to Syria using their passports, taking with them phone numbers of individuals waiting for them there," Brig. Gen. Rashid Fleih, the assistant undersecretary for intelligence of Iraq's Interior Ministry, told Kuwait's Al-Qabas daily in an interview.
Arguably the most important man in Iraq and leader of the Anbar Salvation Front understands who the enemy of the Iraqi people are, and has helped to convince a coalition of Sunni tribes to work together in expelling the true invaders of their country:
Sheikh Abdul Sattar is instrumental in fighting and defeating al Qaeda; the incredibly influential Ramadi man sees al Qaeda as terrorists who seek to destroy his country and who are exploiting and murdering his people, Sunni and Shia alike.
Can someone please inform the Republican Kucinich that al-Qaeda has no business citing America's foreign policy as the casus bellum, when Iraq does not belong to them. It belongs to the people of Iraq.

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8 Comments:

Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

I think we both posted that video of the Iraqi guy from the peaceful part of Iraq correcting the MSM guy who kept calling us occupiers. The Iraqi guy kept saying we were liberators, not occupiers. It sounds like Paul needs to talk to that guy also and have his thinking straightened out. I'm just so glad that Paul is a kook and an outcast in the Republican party and not one who speaks for us.

Thursday, May 24, 2007 4:11:00 PM  
Blogger Elmo said...

"that guy" little miss rottenbox, is making money from us being there. The majority want us out.

Friday, May 25, 2007 8:58:00 AM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

What an idiot!

Friday, May 25, 2007 9:50:00 PM  
Blogger BB-Idaho said...

"We remain at their request"..sure, and Mike's a liberal. Please check:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/26/AR2006092601721_pf.html
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2006-10-22-surveying-iraq_x.htm
http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2006-09/2006-09-27-voa73.cfm?CFID=79999673&CFTOKEN=46123074
http://thinkprogress.org/2006/09/27/iraqis-poll/ etc. ad infinitum

Saturday, May 26, 2007 6:18:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Oh gee....I've never seen those polls before. I'm just shocked, I tells ya!

Actually, I can't see them at all. Your links are all broken. But I'm pretty sure I can guess as to what polls they are.

Ok, nevermind. I checked by email, and see your links.

First link to the Washington Post is already outdated. Ok, first off:

Overall 94 percent have an unfavorable view of al Qaeda, with 82 percent expressing a very unfavorable view. Of all organizations and individuals assessed in this poll, it received the most negative ratings. The Shias and Kurds show similarly intense levels of opposition, with 95 percent and 93 percent respectively saying they have very unfavorable views. The Sunnis are also quite negative, but with less intensity. Seventy-seven percent express an unfavorable view, but only 38 percent are very unfavorable. Twenty-three percent express a favorable view (5% very).

Views of Osama bin Laden are only slightly less negative. Overall 93 percent have an unfavorable view, with 77 percent very unfavorable. Very unfavorable views are expressed by 87 percent of Kurds and 94 percent of Shias. Here again, the Sunnis are negative, but less unequivocally�71 percent have an unfavorable view (23% very), and 29 percent a favorable view (3% very).


Fairly interesting, wouldn't you say? At the time, Iraqis seem to have felt growing confidence in the ability of the Iraqi police and security forces to take over the jobs that Americans want to hand over. This is a good thing.

Of course, when only 32 to 37% of Iraqis are Sunni Arabs, I find this suspect:

The poll was fielded by KA Research Limited/D3 Systems, Inc. Polling was conducted September 1-4 with a nationwide sample of 1,150, which included an oversample of Arab Sunnis.


The USA Today poll is a month less old than the the other poll. This part is interesting:

finds that Iraqi leaders may face particular difficulty recruiting young Sunni Arabs to join the stumbling security forces. Strong majorities of 15- to 29-year-olds in two Arab Sunni areas — Mosul and Tikrit-Baquba — would oppose joining the Iraqi army or police.

Since that's where we were 8 months ago. And now, al-Sattar has the Anbar Salvation Front rooting out al-Qaeda, with many Sunni youths- we're talking large numbers of them- are joining the Iraqi army and police force. A quick find (hey, if you can cite ThinkProgress, I can cite National Review):

Since the dramatic shift on the local level in Anbar province — thanks chiefly, though not solely, to the efforts of Sheikh Abdul Sattar and those who have joined him — the number of police recruits in Ramadi has risen to more than 800 per month since at least December. Maj. Gen. Richard C. Zilmer, commander of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force Forward and commander of Multinational Force - West in Iraq, said recently, “Last March [the number of recruits] was zero.” And the successful police recruiting in Ramadi continues. This, too, is counterterrorism.



And then the next part:

The poll has its shortcomings; regional samples are small and the results do not say how many people refused to respond to questions. The private polling firm hired by the State Department also was not able to interview residents of al-Anbar, a Sunni-dominated province and an insurgent stronghold.

Is it still an insurgent stronghold? This is obsolete data. It'd be like me citing the 2003 survey polling Iraqis as wanting us to stay.
Your third link is just more of the same as the first link. Looking at the date of the Think Progress link, I won't even bother as it also looks to be the same citation of repetitiveness.


bb,

What I was referencing when I said "at their request", is the Iraqi leadership, specifically:

Sadrists in the parliament may demand our withdrawal, but the government of Iraq has repeatedly asked us to stay.


I don't know how much stock to put into polling, anymore.

What I can tell you is that it's contradicted by what you might term "hearsay" and anecdotal evidence; but given how off such things as 2004 zogby exit polls were, and how often self-identified Democrats are oversampled, and seeming contradictory results (it's all in how you phrase the question), I remain suspect.

Here's mention of Chris Muir, who traveled to Iraq as an embed:

In the brief time I was there, I attended meetings where everyone was working with each other, I mean sheiks, the Police Chief of the city, US Army, Kurds, Sunnis, Shia, cats and dogs, everyone- together.

People here will tell you they are mostly afraid of one thing-that we will leave soon, like we have since Vietnam, Somalia, etc., and that they will then be at the mercy of the terrorists who seep in from Iran, Syria, Egypt, and Saudia Arabia. A self-fulfilling circle, helped out vastly by our ‘anti-war’ citizens back home, who ironically enable wars as this by forcing constant US retreats through our political process. People here - real people, not ‘Jamil Husseins’ - want us here to give them time to reform their society.There are real divisions here, but also a real determination to weld the place into a more stable society.


In Kagan's article, he references an Iraqi commander:

"Anyone who says the Americans should leave now is not a real Iraqi citizen."


Then there's the experience of Jake, in search of the (at the time) "missing three":

I continued to talk to the family. We learned a lot from them. One thing that she kept repeating was how happy she was that we were there, and how we bring them safety. She kept thanking us for coming to Iraq and asked us not to leave, that is until she could afford to move to the US. The family was Sunni so its generally rare for them to be so pro-American, but you could tell she was sincere.

I know these aren't polling data. But still, it's something that I hear often echoed. You won't believe Richard Miniter, who has been traveling to Iraq, when he says much the same about Iraqis wanting us to stay- and he says so with convinction. But I'm sure you'll dismiss it as his own personal opinion or personal agenda, to say such.

Saturday, May 26, 2007 7:42:00 PM  
Blogger BB-Idaho said...

Wow, what a long explanation; I see why you are called Wordsmith!
True, polls require careful reading and I simply pasted a few of the many on that subject. My
take is that we have been there going on five years-essentially viewed as an occupation force (Abazaid, then Petraeus mention concerns about the very concept)
Basic empathy, or the walk in their shoes excercise, is at least worth a shot: consider your house and neighborhood-every day for years, foreign troops patrol in armored vehicles, sometimes breaking down your door, sometimes accidently shooting your neighbors etc. Of course you want them gone, if you are patriotic and proud of your nation. Our military commanders recognize this, and we as free Americans certainly should. Thanks for your
detailed reply, be assured that I read it with an open mind and consider your opinions with respect.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

My
take is that we have been there going on five years-essentially viewed as an occupation force (Abazaid, then Petraeus mention concerns about the very concept)


That may be.

Everyone is war-weary, from American citizens, to the Iraqi people, to the rest of the world. We're tired of the violence. I do think that for those who are fighting us and instigating the violence, they have a stronger constitution for the blood-letting than we have. I'm not talking about the ones who may feel like they are trying to expell an occupying force (ironic, since the reason we stay has a lot to do with the violence and insecurity going on...the quickest way to end the American occupation? Quit the chaos and sabotaging of rebuilding efforts), but the ones who have a stake in the idea of fomenting chaos and instability. For the foreign jihadists, time is essentially on their side. They do not have to cave to political pressures or the "will of the majority" and "sentiments of the people". Insurgencies take time to win; after 10 years, historically, chances of winning get better.

Here's what USMC Commandant GEN James Conway had to say (who also mentions the difference between a "2 year timeline" on our end, and a "100 year timeline of "the bad guys" on their end):

The difference in the time we in uniform need for success in Iraq and the amount of time our countrymen are prepared to invest is a disconnect that’s troubling.

Now more than ever it’s imperative for the power of the nation to continue to support the people of Iraq economically, politically and militarily.

And here at home we have simply got to do a better job of communicating to the American people the cost of leaving Iraq too soon. There has been much debate over the reasons for going into Iraq for the first place. However, I believe there is much more convergence of thought on the range of possibility should we leave Iraq without achieving success.

I do believe that there’s a certain amount of time that it takes to overcome an insurgency type of environment. Historically it’s been somewhere between nine and 10 years, with various levels of effort. I think that there is less of an appetite in our country than we the military might think we need to sustain that kind of effort over that period of time.

I think that our servicemen and women would wish for as much time as it takes to do the job, realizing that incremental progress will one day take us over the top.


I truly do believe that "victory" is still possible, once you accept that it is hard work- that it takes time, it gets easier. Because then you've shifted your expectations.

What is needed, is patience and steely resolve; a show of unwavering commitment and determination to outlast our enemies, no matter what they may try. I have no doubt that they find their morale and determination spike when they see ours deteriorate- even if we kill 10 times more of them than they do of us. They are willing to sustain their casualties. Ours is unacceptable to us. They are willing to die for what they believe in- the jihadists demand it of themselves. We're not so sure.

Every hysteria over tragic news invites more car bombings, more violence; because the insurgents see that their violent actions (aimed mostly at the Iraqi people themselves) have an effect on politics back in Washington and overall morale and support back here in the U.S.

Basic empathy, or the walk in their shoes excercise, is at least worth a shot: consider your house and neighborhood-every day for years, foreign troops patrol in armored vehicles, sometimes breaking down your door, sometimes accidently shooting your neighbors etc. Of course you want them gone, if you are patriotic and proud of your nation. Our military commanders recognize this, and we as free Americans certainly should.

It's certainly a worthy point. And yes, our presence is part of the problem, as much as it is a big part of the solution.

I have no doubt that we risk creating more enemies with every collateral damage we incur.

I think we would all like it if the American and Coalition forces didn't have to be in Iraq, one more day. If it actually improved the situation of the Iraqis and if it actually quelled violence and, above all else, if it actually was in the interest of American national security to do so, I'd be all for leaving Iraq, as is.

But I don't believe this to be the case. I look ahead to the potential consequences of our leaving prematurely, and all I see are dark clouds looming overhead.

As a sort of aside, I recently wrote an email to a friend, who argued his support for Ron Paul. One of the things that I picked on, was a comment I heard Ron Paul make regarding what if China had military bases occupying the U.S., how would we like it. I found the logic there extremely flawed, as those nations who allow us to have military bases in their countries, do so because it not only helps our national security, but it helps their countries' national security. Basically, countries like Germany, Japan, and South Korea have been piggybacking on our military spendings, so that they don't have to. We'd love it if our allies, such as Japan and Great Britain, spent much, much more on their own military defense.

Does Japan look at Yokota AFB as an "occupying" presence in their country? I'm sure some Korean nationals aren't happy with our presence in Korea- especially the young students who seem to have many of the same blame-America-first professors there that we have here. But others recognize the sacrifice of blood that our soldiers made on their behalf.

I can put myself in the shoes of Iraqis, and be uncomfortable with the idea of foreign occupiers, controlling and influencing the direction of my country. Especially if I were suspicious of their motives. But just as importantly, I stand in my own pair of shoes, and think that if the Iraqis would also see things from my perspective, they would realize that Americans (both those for and against our presence there) overall have their best interest at heart and want the bloodshed to end.

Who is helping to rebuild the infrastructure? Coalition Forces or the insurgents? Who is helping to build hospitals, schools, mosques, improve water supplies, etc. and who is destroying and sabotaging those infrastructures and blowing up pipelines? (Indigo Red sources a roundup of stats- though a couple of months old, now).

One of the areas we are most hurting in, which I think creates more terrorists than actual U.S. foreign policy, is the propagandizing of U.S. foreign policy. We are taking heavy tolls in the information war and propaganda front. If we are to win hearts and minds, it will take a lot more than just the acts of everyday kindness of our soldiers when they pass out school supplies, soccer balls, and interact with the Iraqi people (although I consider this to be vitally important). Our soldiers aren't always stellar in their behavior. But overall, I'd say the majority do more for being ambassadors of goodwill than most anything else, by how they conduct themselves in interacting with ordinary Iraqi citizens (breaking down doors and abu ghraib type scandals aside).


Thanks for your
detailed reply, be assured that I read it with an open mind and consider your opinions with respect.


I've always respected your opinions and measured tone of disagreements, here and elsewhere. Thank you.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 2:02:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Wordsmith said: because the insurgents see that their violent actions (aimed mostly at the Iraqi people themselves) have an effect on politics back in Washington and overall morale and support back here in the U.S.

As well as having an influence on Iraqi public opinion. If America is ineffectual in providing them with visible signs of help and security, then Americans are just in the way and I wouldn't blame them for seeing us as just part of the problem, and nothing more.

Unfortunately, we're not gods. America can't wave a magic wand, and just make things better overnight.

When we were first greeted as liberators, I believe that was the expectations of many people. That America could do anything and make life better at the snap of a finger. Disappointment came, when they realized otherwise.

Sunday, May 27, 2007 2:09:00 PM  

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