The Elecktronick Tyger Roares
05 February 2006
  I am SO not surprised I could just moult, Part 2.
Why am i not surpised to readMichelle Pilecki's article reporting that we're doing something else wrong in Iraq and that the US press isn't properly reporting it?

I mean, we hear all the time (from the Right) how terribly left-wing-dominated the US media are, and they do spend a lot of time carping at the Prez and his men, but a fair amount of substantive stuff out of Iraq and other places gets under-reported, i guess because it isn't "sexy" enough.

So, in a post dated 4 February, blogging at

Michelle Pilecki says
US Media Ignore UN Study on Iraq 'Peace-Building' Methods Backfiring

"The United States is avoiding widely recognised peace-building processes that involve external military powers quickly creating a basic security environment and then allowing domestic peace- and nation-building efforts to succeed," says the Inter Press Service News Agency, reporting on a new book, Security Sector Reform and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding, published by the United Nations University Press.
Pilecki goes on to quote from a press release quoting study co-editor Albrecht Schnabel:
Instead of stabilizing places like Iraq, international efforts to centralize power are creating a more fragile security environment than ever before ... [A]lmost three years after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, Iraq is characterized by chaos, violence and disintegration. The methods used to rebuild Iraq's security sector are simply making matters worse.
[Schnabel is a senior research fellow at Swiss Peace Foundation, and a lecturer at the Institute of Political Science, University of Bern.]

Schnabel continues:
Security sector reform efforts are only successful when external actors are able and willing to stay the course and support an irrevocable process towards security consolidation and security sector reform, and where national and local authorities are committed and able to sustain such progress once external actors retreat.
I.e., don't spend six months training miscellaneous cops and militia men, declare they're now the National Police and go home, leaving them to bnear the brunt.

Didn't work with "Vietnamisation" thirty years ago, won't work now.

And, in Viet Nam, ARVN (Army of the Republic of Viet Nam) merely incompetent, corrupt, poorly trained and afraid to fight, not factionalised an just waiting till Uncle Sam's not looking straight at it to break up into separate militias loyal to three or four different religious or political groups or leaders. Unless we get a lot better handle on things over there, we are actually training and arming the next generation of Iraqi evolutionaries and insurgents under the guise of training security forces to defend their country.

Schnabel's estimate is that "full democracy is at least 20 years in the future."

Lovely, huh?

As i understand it, the current idea is that we will withdraw most of our ground-troops (including my son-in-law, who i believe is due to rotate out of combat soon), handing that role over to Iraqi "security" forces, and continuing to provide support in various ways, including air and artillery support.

Knight Ridder reported, under the heading

US Pilots Stay Busy in Iraq
Some analysts have raised questions about how effective air power can be in a counterinsurgency war. A key fear is that Iraq's mostly Shiite Muslim and Kurdish army will use American and allied bombing missions for revenge attacks on the Sunni Muslim Arab minority, which provides most of the insurgency's fighters.

"If we allow that to happen, then in essence we'll be doing the same thing we accused Saddam Hussein of doing," said Larry Johnson, a former CIA and State Department official"We'll just be substituting one tyranny for another."
The intent appears to be that only US Forward Air/Artillery Controllers (FACs) embedded with Iraqi units will be allowed to call in strikes, but eventually, in the nature of long-term military operations, that policy is going to either be eased or simply ignored.

And in the long run, we will have deposed a secular dictatorship, one Bad Enough by any standards that it would seem Doing Something About It was a Good Thing -- but one whose individual citizens boasted one of the better standards of living for Ordinary People in the region.

And we will have replaced it with another Islamofascist "republic", run by mullahs who will base their rulings on a code almost as strict, repressive and bloodthirsty as that laid down in the Christian Bible in the Book of Leviticus.

Either our actions in Iraq are going to wind up with a net loss of human rights and political-economic in the area, or we will never be able to leave, because we will have to prop up our puppet "democracy" forever.
Let me see if I understand you correctly? We should take advice from the same folks who have made their Peace Mission in the Congo a Hell on Earth for those the portend to help?

Surely you jest.
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No -- i'm saying we should accept the fact that an analysis of what hasn't worked in the past says that that's what we're doing all over again.

The UN may not know what works -- but they've seen a lot of what doesn't.

And, based on my own middle-close-up view of Vietnamisation (i was non-combat, though for all i know i may have encountered John Kerry since i think he was in and out of Cam Ranh Bay about the time i was there), as i said, what we're planning to do in Iraq is a lot like that, except that we're going to be turning it over to people i who i suspect are actively malicious/venial rather than merely feckless/cowardly.

For sure, though -- keep the UN out of Iraq, especially now that the Shrub back-doored his saboteur into it.
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My interests are broadranging -- comics, music, movies and good ol' science fiction mostly dominate. My Five Most Favouritest Films are (this week) Once Upon A Time in the West, Dark Star, O Lucky Man, Day for Night and Whatever I Watched Recently That Was Good. Currently that's Day for Night.

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Name: mike weber
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Latter fifties, married, out of work (had knee surgery and haven't gotten back to work); my (step) son-in-law is back from Iraq, but a lot of boys are still over there. Support our troops -- throw the Republicans out!

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