Prague Twin

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Iraqi Parliment Sworn In

Yesterday, the first post Saddam Hussein Iraqi Parliament was sworn in. Today, Coalition Forces launced the most extensive air strikes since 2003. Since Sunday, at least 160 bodies have been found in the latest wave of sectarian violence. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rice said that it could take "a couple of years" for Iraq to achieve stability. Protesters called her a war criminal to which she replied she was "..glad to see democracy was alive and well.." at the university, proving once again the limits of Democracy.

Although US military deaths are down this month, we've seen these lulls before. Indeed Feburary and March have been unusually casualty free in both 2004 and 2005, and the trend continues. As I wrote in January, while those on the right continue to say thing are getting better, those on the left contend things are getting worse. I am sticking with my opinion that things are equally as bad now as they were last year. In some regards progress is being made, and in some respects things are getting worse.

Unfortunately I didn't have a blog at the begining of this war, so my opinions at the onset are not on record. In any case, my main argument against the war going in was that we would certainly be there 10 years, and more likely 20. I contended that there would be utter chaos for at least five, but likely for at least ten years. The only qualification I put on this prediction was in the case of the rise of a totalitarian regime that would maintain order with an iron fist. At the time I was branded a pessimist. Three years later Rice is coming around on my "five years of chaos" theory. This official line is a far cry from Rumsfeld's "six days, six months, I doubt six years" comment, or Cheney's last throes comment.

I know it is cheap to talk about your predictions in retrospect, but I'll admit I expected 10,000 US deaths at a minimum. As wrong as I was on that, if things continue on this pace, I'll be proven right in about another 12 years.

This is one time in my life, that I really don't want to be right.

The upside? Apparently, I'm a better analyst than the Secretary of Defense AND the Vice-President.

I'm going to hang on to my day job for now.


  • I like your analysis a lot. There is a yin yang sort of thing going in Iraq. The number of attacks are stable, and more are at Iraqis lately than at us, but one was at the "golden Mosque" in Samarra. I'm trying to be charitable to Cheney. Certainly the insurgency was ineffective against us militarily--we were not leaving merely because of it, and it seemed to be counterproductive to winning the hearts and minds of the Iraqis to be blowing them up nearly at random so that the 'insurgency' would rapidly become untenable. But, again in the yin yang thing, it has morphed into what we're lumping together as sectarian violence or a low grade civil war, which, you have to admit, is different from an insurgency--certainly not a good thing, but different from an insurgency. I still like Rumsfeld, but there are plenty of people out there who don't. Rice is great. Good post.

    By Blogger Roger Fraley, at 1:47 PM  

  • The insurgency was somewhat ineffective against us. Clearly they could not win battles in any kind of conventional sense, but it seems to me that just maintaining a low level, general chaos is enough to render any peace-keeping ineffective. Look at it this way: the home team just needs a draw to win it. If they can keep the country in a state of disorder until we leave, they can claim victory.

    Yin-Yang is a good way to describe it. I think the insurgency is still strong, but not as strong as it was. To the extent that the insurgency is weakening, the civil-war is strengthening. Progress, yes. Good or bad, well, that depends on if you are American or Iraqi. Clearly we would rather they kill each other than kill our servicemen, but this transfer of effort on the part of the beligerents brings us no closer to the goal of bringing "peace and stability" to Iraq. We may even be moving away from it.

    Cheney is the Prince of Darness. Can't stand Rumsfeld. Rice is gaining points in my book if by nothing else than her ability to stay cool under fire. The closest she ever got to getting ruffled was when Boxer was pretty much calling her a liar. She is cool as a cucumber.

    Thanks for reading and commenting. I like your analysis too (most of the time).

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 5:48 PM  

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