Sunday, September 03, 2006

Warnings on Iraq

George Will has an interesting column in the Washington Post today. It should be read in its entirety, but here is an excerpt:
For three reasons, Eisenhower's challenge in ending the Korean War was simpler than Bush's problem would be in extracting U.S. forces from Iraq: Eisenhower had a static military front. The U.S. objective of pushing the invaders from South Korea had been accomplished. And Eisenhower had a coercive threat.

In "The Cold War: A New History," John Lewis Gaddis of Yale, who calls Eisenhower "at once the most subtle and brutal strategist of the nuclear age," says that Eisenhower early in his presidency believed -- he later changed his mind -- that when nuclear weapons "can be used on strictly military targets and for strictly military purposes," they should be used "exactly as you would use a bullet or anything else." And Eisenhower allowed America's adversaries to know that his military advisers were seeking ways to use such weapons to end the Korean fighting.

Warner believes that most congressional Democrats understand that there is an unpopular way to oppose an unpopular war -- by voting for abandonment of all the objectives for which blood has been shed. Warner defines the U.S. objective in Iraq not in terms of a glittering achievement, democracy, but as avoiding something appalling -- the Iraqi oil fields in jihadists' hands. Regarding Iraq, there will not soon be an Eisenhower moment.
The not so static front that confronts Bush and America in Iraq...

Al Jazeera:
Gunmen have killed a representative of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a revered Shia cleric, in the southern Iraqi city of Imara.

Police said that Sheikh Hassan Mohammed Mahdi al-Jawadi, 56, was gunned down in front of his office by gunmen in a car on Sunday.

A police officer from Imara in Misan province said gunmen had also killed al-Jawadi's son, who was a policeman, two weeks ago in a similar attack.

Al-Jawadi's killing comes a day after Sistani warned Nuri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, of the dangers Iraq faced from militias if his fledgling government failed to curb the raging sectarian violence.

Maliki met Sistani in the holy city of Najaf following massive killings of Shia last week in and around Baghdad.
Stars and Stripes:
The attacks, which occurred on Aug. 21, are typical of the tactics used by insurgents to intimidate Iraqis and sabotage hopes of a new democracy. While similar assaults have triggered the collapse of entire Iraqi police and Iraqi army units, U.S. military commanders and advisers here say they were shocked by the response of Iraqi police in Jazirah.

Instead of fleeing, officers refused to budge. They even declined to take refuge at Camp Blue Diamond. Within hours of the attack, police officers raised a new Iraqi flag on their station’s scorched flagstaff and set about repairing the outpost.

“I was shocked and proud at the same time,” said U.S. Army Sgt. Eric Baker, a police transition team leader who was himself injured in the noontime attack.
The Washington Post:
BAGHDAD, Sept. 2 -- A coalition of 300 Iraqi tribal leaders on Saturday demanded the release of Saddam Hussein so he could reclaim the presidency and also called for armed resistance against U.S.-led forces.

The clan chieftains, most of them Sunni Arabs, included the head of the 1.5 million-member al-Obeidi tribe, said they planned to hold rallies in Sunni cities throughout the country to insist that Hussein be freed and that the charges against him and his co-defendants be dropped.


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