Prague Twin

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

For the record

This is a very overdue post. When I returned from Moscow, Zarqawi was dead. It is amazing how much happens in a few days sometimes, or so little as the case may be. Anyone who reads this blog probably can guess what Zarqawi's death represents to me: another small, insignificant victory for the US forces. Yes, a bad man was killed. No, this will not have any measurable effect on the situation in Iraq.

Bombs are still going off. Iraqi's and Americans are dying in roughly the same numbers. Nothing has actually changed, and I think pehaps in another 10 or 15 years, maybe certain people will start to realize what Riverbend said about his death......

I've been listening to reactions- mostly from pro-war politicians and the naïveté they reveal is astounding. Maliki (the current Iraqi PM) was almost giddy as he made the news public (he had even gone the extra mile and shaved!). Do they really believe it will end the resistance against occupation? As long as foreign troops are in Iraq, resistance or 'insurgency' will continue- why is that SO difficult to understand? How is that concept a foreign one?

And yet, no one has even heard of Mullah Dadulla Akhund. Not yet anyway.

UPDATE: I forgot to include my favorite quote I heard from my good friend T. who said in reaction to the celebration on the right that Zarqawi's death would mean that "the craziness in Iraq would soon be ending". T. said sarcastically,

"Yea, hatred dies with one man."


  • Of course it's great that Zarqawi was killed, but I don't know how much good it's gonna do. We keep killing or capturing the #2 man in Al Qaeda. They must have hundreds of #2 men and we've gotten them all. Every time we kill or capture another terrorist, it shows we're winning and "the insurgency is on its last legs." And Iraqmire continues.

    It's sort of like the War on Drugs. Every time a major drug kingpin gets captured -- "We've turned a corner in the War on Drugs!" And we all know how well that's going.

    By Blogger Tom Harper, at 12:35 AM  

  • Yea, Riverbend gets into that idea of "a new day for Iraqi's" in her post.

    They don't even call them the "#2" anymore because it starts to sound stupid about the 500th time you hear it. Now they are "top ranking" or "key figures."

    I saw a comic that said "Great, a War on Terror! Now there won't be anymore terrorism! Remember when America declared a War on Drugs, and now you can't get drugs anywhere? Yea, it will be just like that!"

    So far so good.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 1:18 AM  

  • I'm still wondering if al Zarqawi is what he was painted, I'm afraid.
    There has been so much propaganda hardly anything is believable now.
    Glad to see you back with us.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 1:19 AM  

  • I think it is clear that he was a two-bit criminal fanatic with some rich backers. A problem, yes. THE problem, hardly.

    Thanks, it is good to be back, but a little rough going. I'm a little hamstrung for where to start.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 1:26 AM  

  • Great quote!!!

    Killing Zarqawi is tantamount to smashing a cockroach..where there is one..there are hundreds..and in iraq's case perhaps thousands.

    And since we can't find Osama, we sure has hell won't be wiping out the whole colony of terrorists..

    Oh..and the "homegrown" terrorists..did you read about them? Bunch of asshats in Miami..they touted them like it was a major coup also..the guys were idiots..the question wasn't when they would bomb the sears was..can they find their way to Chicago and will they have busfare..god..what a bunch of hooey.

    By Blogger dusty, at 6:28 AM  

  • Of course the insurgents (in a letter to Zarqawi) have a different view of the war in Iraq. Their sentiments on the war can be found here.

    I think it is odd that this letter went completely by the media wayside. So who are we to believe?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 7:51 AM  

  • So they were running into some challenges, and they were looking to change strategy. That is what you do in war.

    My point is just that Zarqawi's death does not mean the end of resistance. Is it that hard to understand?

    Miami is a good point, Dusty. Although these guys were total idiots, let us not forget that the London bombers were home grown. This is a problem that is ignored by the administration because it can not be faught "over there."

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:57 AM  

  • Don't forget to check your news today. 11 insurgent groups are now negotiating a cease fire.

    Maybe things are changing.

    By Blogger Crazy Politico, at 12:07 PM  

  • 11 out of between 30 and 40 and none of the major Shia players. I'm well aware of it. They want an agreement that the US will be out by 2008 which Maliki is in no position to offer.

    More talk while nothing on the ground changes, but thanks for noticing.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 6:35 PM  

  • These people can, and do change allegiances for reasons we, and those in control, can never really understand.
    We can't presume to understand their agendas, and growing evidence points to the fact that the powers in Washington simply have no clue.
    Winning the invasion was inevitable, winning the hearts and minds of the majority of Iraqi's an impossibility; if only because the planners do not understand their aspirations.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 7:34 PM  

  • Thanks for summing it up so well Cartledge. The lack of understanding from those who seek change is the major problem we face.

    I will always remember arguing with my righ-wing uncle in the lead up to the invation about what democracy would mean for Iraq. I mentioned that it would almost certainly mean a Shia regime since Iraq was 60% Shia. Normally quite well informed, in this case my uncle was completely unaware of the ethnic composition of the country and yet thought that democracy would work there.

    I'm not saying that a Shia regime is a bad thing, but it seems odd that the US would desire such a thing.

    Even odder is that people who don't even know what a Shia is could support nation building in Iraq (and by this I mean most of the people who supported the war going in. Hopefully, most of them have at least a basic understanding of what a Shia is, but maybe I'm being over optimistic).

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 7:57 PM  

  • Why everyone is willing to pretend that the majority of the hearts and minds have not been won due to the activities of a small minority are beyond me. The Kurdish region is doing quite well, and we all know about three successful elections and a constitution that was ratified by the people. Surely if we had not won the hearts and minds of MOST Iraqis then there would have been a "no show" at the polls.

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 10:06 PM  

  • arch
    Your Richard Millhouse Nixon once famously said: When you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.
    From my observation, and Dick was talking about Americans, the conservatives have succeeded domestically.
    However they have been somewhat delinquent in the prerequisite ball clutching department so far as Iraq is concerned.
    I'm not sure about the pejorative use of pretence, but the facts of Iraq are fairly clear, the US is not in control.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 12:10 AM  

  • Cartledge

    Indeed, we are not in control. That’s the beauty of our involvement in Iraq and what separates it from some of our previous military forays. At this time, we are in fact there by the invitation of a democratically elected government.

    Now you could conclude that were the Iraqi people – via their government - to tell America to but-out, that the American reply would be something along the lines of "Bleep off". However it is important to remember that at this point the government of Iraq would like us to stay.

    At some point I would like to see the debate over Iraq move more towards how to best serve the people of Iraq with less focus on how and why we went to war. The how and why is moot at this point and having the debate revolve around that instead of best how to proceed is selfish. What future actions in Iraq do YOU think would best serve the Iraqis?

    By Anonymous Arch Stanton, at 5:33 AM  

  • Arch, your black and white approach is a little late now.
    If this 'war' had been predicated, in any sense, on helping Iraqis, we would be in a far different situation.
    As it stands, greed in the form of trade has led to a series of consequent blunders.
    If the ‘coalition’ had been honest about their motives, perhaps the execution of the action might have been more properly considered.
    As it stands, the Iraqis are the only ones who can really help the Iraqis in the sense of stabilising the country.
    Our only useful role is giving material aid for the people.
    Having said that, the US and allies jumped into the shit pit for their own greedy ends. Funnily enough, most of the allies can walk away, but the US is pretty much stuck there, until it reaches a Saigon stage.
    I can, I might add, justify claims of a trade motivated war. That is a matter of reportage, not opinion. Though I doubt it is reportage which sees the light of day in the US.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 9:46 PM  

  • Cartledge,

    You must have read my comment over at blognonymous. Yes, it seems that the trade aspect to this war has been well documented. I am still trying to hunt down the definative study, but the point has been made by several sources including Harpers. When I get back on my game, I will post on it.


    At some point I would like to see the debate over Iraq move more towards how to best serve the people of Iraq

    Shouldn't that debate begin with a clear policy statement brought forward by the Iraqi government? I supppose Maliki's recent failed attempt to disarm the militias was just that. In fact, when he announced the plan, it jumped out at me as the first bold step with a clear goal I have heard come out of Iraq in several years.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 8:47 AM  

  • PT, I probably did see your comment, but there is so much happening...
    What I am getting pissed off about is the easy confusion between opinion and reportage.
    I understand the US media do not report many issues, but the internet provides a wide coverage.
    I don't mind being slammed for my opinions, but I won't accept beingf slammed on verifiable fact.
    Having said that, I'm almost ready to do a rip van winkle till the whole thing blows over.

    By Blogger Cartledge, at 6:35 PM  

  • Damn good point.

    People should inform themselves before they snark.

    Hang in there man, we need you.

    By Blogger Praguetwin, at 12:18 AM  

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