Iraq’s Quiet(A Question and Answer Session)

    The Surge was in place when Iraq became quiet but all would likely agree that just because the Surge preceded Iraq’s quiet does not mean the Surge caused Iraq’s quiet.

    Q. What caused Iraq to loose its quiet in the first place?

    A. The Bush team attacked Iraq in 2003 – removing its sitting government, its army and police force.

    Q. What happened after that?

    A. Iraq sank into chaos. Iraq’s civilians were on their own. They were shot-up and blown-up.Sir Jeremy Greenstock, a senior British diplomat and former ambassador to the United Nations described his observations this way:

    And there was no American general that I could… establish who was given the accountable responsibility to make sure that the first duty of any government – and we were the government – was to keep law and order on the streets. There was a vacuum from the beginning in which the looters, saboteurs, the criminals, the insurgents moved very quickly.

    Q. Was the Surge brought in to bring law and order to the streets of Iraq?

    A. No. It was too soon to bring the Surge into Iraq. The Surge was brought in during Iraq’s “2nd five year plan”. The “1st five year plan” focused on getting a hydrocarbon law on the books. BIG OIL sat at the table during the hydrocarbon law creation.

    The streets of Iraq were deadly during Iraq’s “1st five year plan”. The Iraqi non-combatants were expected to “DUCK” a lot and use other means to stay out of harms way.

    Q. Aren’t areas where there is no law and order considered ideal for nurturing terrorists?

    A. Yes. The Bush team created a power vacuum in Iraq which was filled by Moqtada al-Sadr and his militia. Shooting and bombing continued, making Baghdad a very dangerous place.

    Q. But eventually, the Surge did arrive – right?

    A. Yes – during the “2nd five year plan”

    Q. How did the Surge defeat al-Sadr’s militia?

    A. The Surge did not defeat al-Sadr’s militia.

    Q. Well…ok, then how long did it take the Surge to persuade al-Sadr’s militia to surrender its arms?

    A. The Surge did not persuade al-Sadr’s militia to surrender its arms.

    Q. In order to get peace and quiet in Iraq, wouldn’t al-Sadr’s militia need to stop shooting and bombing?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Did al-Sadr’s militia stop shooting and bombing?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Why?

    A. Moqtada al-Sadr unilaterally declared a six month cease-fire. His militia’s guns and bombs fell quiet. And Iraq became quiet.

    At the end of the first six month cease-fire, another six month cease-fire was declared. Iraq’s quiet continued.

    Q. Doesn’t it sound like Moqtada al-Sadr played a significant role in bringing peace and quiet to Iraq?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Did ANYone give Moqtada al-Sadr ANY credit for his role in Iraq’s quiet?

    A. Yes. Both General Petraeus and the United Nations gave credit to Moqtada al-Sadr for his role in bringing quiet to Iraq.

    Q. And Mr. Bush?

    A. A list, possibly published for American consumption stated that Mr. Bush, General Petraeus and the Surge brought quiet to Iraq. That list made no mention of Moqtada al-Sadr’s name.

    Remember what the White House spokeswoman said:

    Mr. Bush does not chase polls

    He stands on principle

    And delivers results

    Perhaps the “delivers results” part could do with further clarification.