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U.S. troops to return only if Iraqi forces fail

August 22nd, 2010 . by TexasFred

U.S. troops to return only if Iraqi forces fail

WASHINGTON — It would take “a complete failure” of the Iraqi security forces for the U.S. to resume combat operations there, the top American commander in Iraq said as the final U.S. fighting forces prepared to leave the country.

With a major military milestone in sight, Gen. Ray Odierno said in interviews broadcast Sunday that any resumption of combat duties by American forces is unlikely.

“We don’t see that happening,” Odierno said. The Iraqi security forces have been doing “so well for so long now that we really believe we’re beyond that point.”

President Barack Obama plans a major speech on Iraq after his return to Washington, according to a senior administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity Sunday because details were being finalized. The speech will come shortly after Obama returns to the White House on Aug. 29 from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation.

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U.S. troops to return only if Iraqi forces fail

If anyone truly believes that Iraqi security forces can stop homicide bombers, or the insurgent forces that WILL take back control of Iraq once the U.S. is fully OUT of Iraq, I have a bridge I would like to sell you.

Iraq is a civil war in the making. The lid has been held down tight only by the actions and efforts of OUR troops. Once those troops are out of Iraq, it’s GAME ON for Sunni vs Shiite vs Kurd.

Personally, with only 50K U.S. troops still in Iraq, I am not fully convinced that this civil war won’t take place anyway. I don’t think the insurgents, al-Qaida, or whoever else wants to regain control of Iraq will consider that few U.S. troops much of a deterrent to their efforts.

Obama will face a delicate balancing act in his speech between welcoming signs of progress and concluding to the 7-year-old war without prematurely declaring the mission accomplished, as his former President George W. Bush once did.

As my long time readers know, I vehemently disagreed with the Bush idea of going into Iraq. I was convinced that there were NO WMDs, and as it turns out, there were none. I was convinced that Saddam had nothing to do with the attacks of 9-11, and as it turns out, he didn’t. And I saw no way for Iraq to be a threat to our safety in the United States, at least not a direct threat.

I saw Saddam as a chess piece. He held Iran in check and was a valuable pawn. I never saw him as a friend or an ally. I never even remotely envisioned him as a trusted partner, but I did see where he and his Republican Guards could be used as assets in keeping Iran at bay.

U.S. involvement in Iraq beyond the end of 2011, Odierno said, probably would involve assisting the Iraqis secure their airspace and borders.

Weren’t we already doing that? In a roundabout way? Weren’t we already enforcing a no-fly zone and monitoring the Iraqi borders in a fairly diligent manner? Weren’t we taking out Iraqi air defense positions every time one of them lit up OUR planes? Why then, should WE have to continue to assist the Iraqis in securing their airspace and borders?

If we are going to secure ANY airspace and borders, shouldn’t it be OUR own?

While Iraq forces can handle internal security and protect Iraqis, Odierno said he believes military commanders want to have the U.S. involved beyond 2011 to help Iraqis acquire the required equipment, training and technical capabilities.

He said Iraq’s security forces have matured to the point where they will be ready to shoulder enough of the burden to permit the remaining 50,000 soldiers to go home at the end of next year.

The required equipment, training and technical capabilities?

Let me be so bold as to point out to Gen. Ray Odierno, required equipment, training and technical capabilities are exactly what we provided to the Mujahideen in Afghanistan back during the 1980′s.

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At least 7 blasts rip through Baghdad, killing 49

April 6th, 2010 . by TexasFred

At least 7 blasts rip through Baghdad, killing 49

BAGHDAD (AP) – At least seven bombs ripped through apartment buildings across Baghdad Tuesday and another struck a market, killing 49 people and wounding more than 160, authorities said.

The explosions were the latest in a five-day spree of attacks in and around the capital that have killed at least 119 people.

The violence, which has largely targeted families and homes, is reminiscent of the sectarian bloodshed that tore Iraq apart from 2005 to 2007 and prompted the United States to send tens of thousands more troops to the front lines. But even since that time, sectarian violence and attacks on civilians have flared in cycles, especially surrounding important events such as the election.

Iraqi and U.S. officials both blamed the latest spike in attacks on al-Qaida insurgents seizing on gaping security lapses created by the political deadlock that has gripped the country since its March 7 parliamentary election failed to produce a clear winner.

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At least 7 blasts rip through Baghdad, killing 49

al-Qaida starts a new bombing campaign because there were no clear winners in the recent Iraqi elections? I guess that’s as good an excuse as any. I never really thought that al-Qaida needed an excuse though. Kind of like that, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere, lets set off a bomb in Baghdad to celebrate!

“This is blamed on the power vacuum of course, and on how democracy is being raped in Iraq,” former prime minister Ayad Allawi told The Associated Press in an interview. His political coalition, Iraqiya, came out ahead in last month’s vote, narrowly edging Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s bloc by just two seats.

“Because people are sensing there are powers who want to obstruct the path of democracy, terrorists and al-Qaida are on the go,” Allawi said. “I think their operations will increase in Iraq.”

Democracy is being raped in Iraq? Really? Those are the words an elected leader chooses to use to describe the electoral process in Iraq?

Iraqi politics are a joke. Democracy in Iraq is an even bigger joke. As long as elections in Iraq are decided by the power of explosions and the number of dead, no one on earth can take Iraq, or it’s so-called democracy, seriously.

Iraq is a Muslim nation dominated by Sunni and Shiite sects. Sure, there’s some Kurds thrown into the mix too, but they don’t have the muscle that the Shiites and Sunnis do. The problem is, no matter how an election goes in Iraq, one side or the other is NOT going to be happy and that’s when the bombs start going off.

Both Sunni and Shia Muslims share the most fundamental Islamic beliefs and articles of faith. The differences between these two main sub-groups within Islam initially stemmed not from spiritual differences, but political ones. Over the centuries, however, these political differences have spawned a number of varying practices and positions which have come to carry a spiritual significance. SOURCE

To put this into the simplest of terms, these acts of violence and civil unrest in Iraq boil down to differences in ideologies, a difference of opinion between Sunnis and Shiites.

I have used this explanation before, and I still can’t think of a better description, Baptists and Methodists, throw in the Presbyterians for good measure. They all basically believe the same thing, believe in the same God and agree on most tenets of Christianity, but there are a few areas of specific law and ideology they disagree on. That’s why they are three different religious groups, all involved in Christianity.

Now, imagine that they settle THEIR differences with bombs.

Of course that’s not going to happen in the U.S., but in Iraq it’s standard operating procedure, it is the way things are done. And it’s all done over differences in political and religious beliefs.

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