Thursday, May 31, 2007

Iraq: The End Is In Sight

Flies are buzzing round my head
Vultures circling my bed
Picking up every last crumb
The big fish eat the little ones
Big fish eat the little ones
Not my problem, give me some
--Radiohead

This is the end...my only friend...
Cease-Fire Eyed to Stop Violence in Iraq

May 31 10:19 AM US/Eastern
By PAULINE JELINEK
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. military commanders are talking with Iraqi militants about cease- fires and other arrangements to try to stop the violence, the No. 2 American commander said Thursday.

Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno said he has authorized commanders to reach out to militants, tribes, religious leaders and others in the country that has been gripped by violence from a range of fronts including insurgents, sectarian rivals and common criminals.

"We are talking about cease-fires, and maybe signing some things that say they won't conduct operations against the government of Iraq or against coalition forces.," Odierno told Pentagon reporters in a video conference from Baghdad.

"It's just the beginning, so we have a lot of work to do on this," he said. "But we have restructured ourselves to organize to work this issue."

Interesting. The US is talking to neighbours, enemies, friends and probably the fauna of Iraq. Did Ron Paul suddenly take over the leadership in Iraq?

Anyway, its good to see that the administration is going to extricate itself from the situation in short order. To see how it might unfold, try some remedial reading of the Algierian War of Independence.

De Gaulle was duplicitous in his dealings with the army, as the army saw Algieria as a part of France. Because of this, he had to make the army believe that the case for Algieria was never lost in an effort to keep appearances and the army's support. Later, when the army learned the truth, it led to the complete meltdown of army hierarchy in Algieria, "Barricades Week", and it was one of the key reasons for multiple assasination attempts on de Gaulle's head. It was only his overwhelming personality and candid appeals to the French that kept civil war at bay.

In the US, Bush is still making that case to the public, while the army is clearly on the forefront of the effort to remove itself from the region. Really, at some point the public will need to know the truth, and Bush would probably be in better standing once he comes correct on this. For now, I think probably the only thing holding him back is his base - the people who have stood by him through every borderline retarded thing that he has done. If he gives up Iraq, he will have lost them, but gained respect in other quarters, and probably for the best.

The Republicans are going down, so why bring the country down with them? A true patriot will go beyond his base and see that through the multitude of opportunities that Iraq had, they were all on the front end. There is nothing but half measures, that could have meant something meaningful at the beginning (ie: troop surges, political settlements, negotiation with potential enemies, etc).

Here's Radiohead to bring in The Nameless Dread

You can try the best you can
You can try the best you can
The best you can is good enough

3 comments:

Andrew said...

People who are willing to blow up themselves and each other are saying they might stop doing that if they can sign some pieces of paper. Phew!

And we believe them why? :)

Peace would be great. This is not an area of the world where talking and signing papers has historically led to lasting peace. Perhaps it'll work better this time.

Shamrocks! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shamrocks! said...

You are probably right, and I'm not an optimist that this will work out by any means.

I think the idea is that the army is trying to get itself out of Iraq, and that is a sign that the war is coming to a swift end.