Thursday, June 14, 2007

Iraq in Vivid Complexivision

Iraq is not as simple as the media wants you to believe. Here are a few of the complexities involved.
The terrorists have changed tactics, and so has the United States, and that says much about where the battle for Iraq is going. There are fewer bombs going off in Baghdad, so the bombers are trying to make each one count more. Thus, in the last week, three truck bombs took out bridges and overpasses, seeking to make life miserable for an many Iraqis as possible. This is because, despite all the dismal news from Iraq, what doesn't get reported is that most of the country is quiet, and there has been 4-5 percent growth in the overall economy for the past four years. Actually, there was a huge jump in economic growth, about 40 percent, in the year after Saddam fell. That has now settled down. Anyone who has been to Iraq, particularly American soldiers, can't help but notice the traffic jams, shops full of goods, and all those Iraqis walking around with their new cell phones. Yes, it's a war zone, but it's also a growing economy.
Source

And then there's this:
Our soldiers are fighting brilliantly, and history will record they are defeating the enemy while suffering historically low casualties. But if the sacrifice of American youth is not tied — daily, hourly — to larger strategic and humanitarian goals by eloquent statesmen who believe in the mission, then cynicism follows and, with it, despair.

The establishment of consensual government in Iraq, with the concomitant defeat of jihadists, will have positive ripples that will undermine Islamism and help to cleanse the miasma in which al Qaeda thrives. But again, unless explained, most Americans will not see a connection between the ideology of the head-drillers and head-loppers we are fighting in Iraq and those who try to do even worse at Fort Dix and the Kennedy airport. The war to remove Saddam was won and is over; the subsequent and very different war in Iraq that followed is for nothing less than the future of the Middle East — and now involves everything from global terrorism and nuclear proliferation to the world’s oil supply and the future of Islam in the modern world.
Source

Then there is the viewpoint of the jarhead (US Marine) on the ground:
After my fifth trip to Iraq to report on Marines, I've concluded that, at least among Marines, morale remains high — high not despite the public's disaffection with the war but possibly because of it. The declining poll numbers and rising political upheaval appear to have driven Marines closer together.

Marines, for instance, continue to exceed their reenlistment goals; a recent study showed that those who have deployed twice to Iraq are more likely to reenlist again than those who have only gone once — and that the Marine least likely to reenlist is one who has not deployed to Iraq.

....As Cpl. Alexander Lengle, 21, of Lancashire, Pa., said of the debate that dominates much of the news: "That's political. It's not our part of the spectrum. We've got a job to do."

At chow halls at the larger bases, there are usually televisions at opposite ends, one set to sports, one to news. The TV showing sports gets the larger audience, particularly among the young enlisted troops. "It's like noise in the background," Lance Cpl. Jacob Holmes, 21, of Tallahassee, Fla., said of the news channels.

When the 2nd Battalion, 5th Regiment needed volunteers to extend their enlistments so they could return to Iraq and mentor younger Marines making their first deployment, the talk was not of foreign policy but of loyalty to each other. Two hundred Marines — 25% of the battalion — volunteered to return to war-torn Ramadi.

"It's not for everybody, but it's definitely for me," said Sgt. Kemp Miller, 25, of Philadelphia, making his third deployment.
Source

While the moronic Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid insist that the US may as well cut and run from Iraq, since the war is lost, the marines who are actually there have a different opinion.

Of course the Bush administration is swimming upstream in an attempt to change the arab mindset in Iraq. The Kurds seem ready to sign on to modernism and democracy, but the arabs are considerably more primitive in outlook. It takes more than a few years to enlighten a stone-age people.

There simply may not be enough time on the US political clock for the transition to occur. Certainly Iran's bloody theocracy is staking its future on preventing Iraq from succeeding.

8 comments:

Joseph Moroco said...

Yep, we're winning. Winning now. Winning next month, Next year, two years fom now. Five years from now. Maybe longer.

Then we shall leave, having acconplished zip.

al fin said...

Thanks for your comment, Joseph.

I am sure you can see far enough beyond the one-dimensional media coverage of Iraq to understand that the terms "winning" and "losing" fail to describe the complexity of the engagement in Iraq.

There are an incredible number of interests being promoted and represented in the Iraqi theatre of operations. Yet the media fails utterly to portray the complexity of the conflict(s) there.

My point of view has little to do with "winning" or "losing" in Iraq. I suspect that arabs cannot be reformed from their bloody-mindedness. Even more ominous, is the demographic theory dealing with the "young male bulge" theory of national and international conflict. I suspect that there is an incredible amount of prognostic potency in that theory.

So, think in "complexivision." There is a lot to learn. I'll try to present sides of the issue that the media studiously ignores.

Joseph Moroco said...

"I am sure you can see far enough beyond the one-dimensional media coverage of Iraq to understand that the terms "winning" and "losing" fail to describe the complexity of the engagement in Iraq."

So what the media are one dimensional. Sooner or later, you've one or lost.

"There are an incredible number of interests being promoted and represented in the Iraqi theatre of operations. Yet the media fails utterly to portray the complexity of the conflict(s) there."

None of the interests are mine or my fellow citizens.

I've got a "complexivision" question for you. Is it more important to keep diddlin'* in Iraq or to secure our nation's borders?

Also, if the amnesty is passed, will there be any point to Iraq?


*Forgive diddlin', but if you have the grand strategic vision that you can express in a word other than complexivision, please go for it.

al fin said...

It would be better not to conflate Iraq with illegal immigration.

My preference would be to build a mile-high and mile-deep fence from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean, along the Mexican border. I would patrol the border 24/7 with UAV's armed with hellfire missiles. I would deport all undocumented workers, beginning with those with criminal arrests, then starting with those on public assistance, then moving to those working at unskilled jobs, and finally looking at those with skilled work, and deciding their cases on an individual basis. We may actually want to keep a few of them, with legal status.

Then legal immigration needs to be cleaned up. We need to fire most of the bureaucrats in the INS offices and hire competent workers in their place.

As for Iraq, it is proving very useful for training US marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen for the expanding world jihad. What you see in Gaza and Lebanon (and Iraq) today, you are certain to see in European cities tomorrow.

Of course, if you don't think the jihad is worth worrying about, then there is no need to prepare, and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi may make sense to you. In that case, I cannot be of help to you.

Joseph Moroco said...

"It would be better not to conflate Iraq with illegal immigration"

Inconvenient, but not better.

Priorities my good man.

OBL did not attack the WTC with a carrier fleet and assault divisions. Was it him or did he just take credit? Don't know, but whoever it was they knew the concept of economy of force.

"As for Iraq, it is proving very useful for training US marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen for the expanding world jihad. What you see in Gaza and Lebanon (and Iraq) today, you are certain to see in European cities tomorrow."

Not to mention killing a lot of our guys. The guy who is getting that experience won't want to be fighting ten years from now so you have to retrain another army. The Jihadi can take a lot more casualties and still come out ahead. You want to fight the battle as they define, well the recruiters would love to talk to you. Heck with all the catIVs they are getting now they should be happy to see you.

Me, I like the idea of not fighting people who would be overjoyed to kill each other if we were not in reach.

"Of course, if you don't think the jihad is worth worrying about, then there is no need to prepare, and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi may make sense to you. In that case, I cannot be of help to you."

We can do better than the Reid/Pelosi canard.

al fin said...

You will not find anyone more opposed to illegal immigration than myself. You will not find anyone more concerned about protecting the borders than myself.

The re-up rates for combat soldiers and marines is very high.

BTW, Do you actually know anyone in the military currently? Do you have military training or knowledge? Do you have a lot of firsthand knowledge of violent injuries and death? I would like to flesh out my picture of your background a bit better.

I know that many people are confusing the Vietnam war with the Iraq war, since the media and many congresspersons are doing the same.

We have a volunteer military, with most of the younger members having enlisted since the Iraq conflict began--knowing there was no end in sight. Most military members seem to believe that their mission in Iraq and Afghanistan is important.

I will be posting a lot more on Iraq, Afghanistan, Jihad, and the Muslim demographic.

I am certain that your own views must make a great deal of sense to you, or you would not bother to post comments here. But always remember--the beginning of enlightenment is the embracing of the awareness that you might be wrong.

I do not try to change anyone's mind about anything. So if I do not appear to be engaging your arguments in a point-by-point rebuttal style, it is because I have no interest in arguing.

I always simply post whatever I please, however I please--simply to please myself. I have to warn you that I am extremely perceptive, very sneaky, and prone to delivering subliminal messages in my postings and comments.
;-)

Joseph Moroco said...

"I have to warn you that I am extremely perceptive"

Funny, it is your humility I find charming.

Since you ask, I am a Viet Nam era veteran. That my country did not unleash me on the enemy is something I shall always be grateful for.

"BTW, Do you actually know anyone in the military currently? Do you have military training or knowledge? Do you have a lot of firsthand knowledge of violent injuries and death? I would like to flesh out my picture of your background a bit better."

Your point is and do you. Are you on active service? Have you been in the service?

"We have a volunteer military, with most of the younger members having enlisted since the Iraq conflict began--knowing there was no end in sight. Most military members seem to believe that their mission in Iraq and Afghanistan is important."

Don't forget to mention that we are increasing the CAT14s we are enlisting. For an alternate take see http://buyukliman.blogspot.com/2007/06/dying-way-of-war.html. Does that destroy your thesis. Not necessarily. The point is that I can find, if I had the time, a story saying the war sucks for everyone that says we love it and see victory in sight.

"So if I do not appear to be engaging your arguments in a point-by-point rebuttal style, it is because I have no interest in arguing."

Fair enough. Forgive me if I aver that ultimately, you know the war is a loser and just can't say it.

At the end of the day, the question is what is victory and is it achievable. The rah rah stuff is silly. We have lost because there is no concept of victory. But, wow, some Iraqi's don't like Al Qaeda so gee, let's stay forever.

Actually, I have discussed the concept of victory elsewhere. http://theneutralist.blogspot.com/2006/11/americas-greatest-20th-century-victory.html

al fin said...

Yes, thanks. That clears up a lot of things about your comment style and content.

Since you post a blog of your own, you must understand that it is impossible to understand a person's stance on an issue based upon a single post.

It is not my intention to recapitulate the history of my ideas about the Iraq war in the comments of a single posting.

Your comments are becoming somewhat rambling and unfocused. If you decide you wish to focus upon a particular point in an attempt to clarify positions, that would be fine.

Otherwise, please read all the posts on Iraq here before commenting further on that topic.

People tend to comment on issues about which they hold strong emotional beliefs. Clearly that is the case for you here. But sometimes it is better to think about your comments for a longer period of time, and edit them closely.

Thanks.