Iraq news more important than Obama V.P. pick

The most important news this week is headlined in the New York Times, “Iraq Takes Aim at Leaders of U.S.-Tied Sunni Groups”, an account of how the war-torn country is on the brink of a major escalation in violence and proof that our intervention in a civil war may have been doomed to failure from the onset.

McCain was wrong when he claimed that the Surge set the stage for the Anbar awakening. As we know now The Awakening began the year before The Surge (see “Uneasy Alliance Is Taming One Insurgent Bastion”).

According to the New York Times:

The (Shiite dominated Iraq) government’s rising hostility toward the Awakening Councils amounts to a bet that its military, feeling increasingly strong, can provide security in former guerrilla strongholds without the support of these former Sunni fighters who once waged devastating attacks on United States and Iraqi targets. It also is occurring as Awakening members are eager to translate their influence and organization on the ground into political power.

The United States has been hedging their bets by training the 95% Shiite Iraqi army and paying the Sunni guerrillas to fight Al Qaeda and former Saddam supporters.

Now an Awakening leader, quoted in the New York Times, says “Some people from the government encouraged us to fight against Al Qaeda, but it seems that now that Al Qaeda is finished they don’t want us anymore. So how can you say I am not betrayed?”

If the following isn’t a recipe for an endless civil war, I don’t know what is:

    The Shiite controlled Iraqi government thinks it can squash the Sunni Awakening forces.

    Knowing full well how to wage a guerrilla war against a much larger army, feels with justification that it has been disenfranchised and betrayed.

    The Sunnis could easily ally themselves with Al Qaeda, Iran, or both.

    The United States has agreed to honor its commitment to do what the Shiite Iraqi government wants and withdraw its forces by 2011.

There is a good chance that the level of violence will increase over the coming months. If this happens it will not be due to Al Qaeda, but to the escalation of a civil war. This is why the United States should set a firm non-contingent timetable for withdrawal.


  1. pollchecker

    Hal, the only reason Al Sadr hasn’t up the ante militarily is because he is waiting to see what the results of the elections are.

    If McCain gets elected, no doubt, there will be a lot of violence since McCain has categorically stated that he will stay in Iraq indefinitely.

    If Obama gets elected, then Al Sadr will most likely wait to see how fast he withdraws American troops before playing his political cards.

    The Sunni’s won’t get away with anything for very long one way or the other after our election.

    Besides, this withdrawal talk is just a smoke screen.

    The Republicans have categorically shown us that they will lie and say anything it takes to RETAIN POWER! Bush or McCain…it really doesn’t matter. They are birds of a feather when it comes to war and the Military Industrial Complex is fueling this stuff by plying them with lots and lots of money to keep it that way.

    I don’t know why the Iraqi’s would believe Bush anymore than the American people should.

    2011? That’s 3 more years ar $4566 PER SECOND!

    Do the math ….that equals 94,608,000 seconds or $431,980,128,000….$432 BILLON MORE DOLLARS we will spend in Iraq that we don’t have.

  2. pondering_it_all

    The Sunni militia groups could well start to cooperate with Al Queda, but a Sunni-Iran alliance is quite unlikely. Shiite Iran is much more likely to maintain its close ties with the current Shiite-led government of Iraq.

    Bush succeeded in bringing Democracy to Iraq, which led directly to the current Shiite government, which naturally allies with Iran. Anybody who knew anything about the different factions in Iraq could have seen this coming a mile away.

  3. RichardKanePA-2


    Thanks Hal and Pollchecker, finally at least some Americans are talking about what is happening on the ground in Iraq, I’ve been unfortunately talking to myself these many months.

    I hope I don’t rune a good blog discussion by trying to dig a little deeper. Of course Al Sadr, a very astute and sober man, would much rather wait a year to have American’s out than a lot more Iraqi’s dead by trying to make it even sooner, and he will try not to make stupid errors Hamas did which was praising the Obama nomination leading to Obama suggesting that negotiating with Hamas wasn’t a good idea after all.

    Whatever al Sadr does or doesn’t do will be spun by those making windfall profits to continue making them a little longer with a McCain Presidency.


    Computer crashed and Internet Explorer on my new laptop won’t allow over 15 letter pass codes nor can I get to the mailbox I set up with CapitolHillBlue.

  4. Hal Brown

    Iraq and Biden

    The choice of Biden bodes well for the Democratic campaign focusing on Iraq, what with his foreign policy experience. Not only that, his son is about to be deployed there before the election. He is Attorney General in Delaware and a JAG Captain in the Delaware National Guard.

    McCain’s message about how The Surge was so successful will come apart like a piñata if violence increases significantly. It won’t be candy for the kids strewn about. It might very well be his chances at the presidency.

    Richard -\
    Tech idea: Try using Firefox, and even its email, Thunderbird.