My second (and, hopefully, last?) war posting

Think the war in Iraq is over? Think again. Courtesy of my acquaintances Justin and Gavin:

Stratfor has a good analysis of the Iraq situation: it appears the
US is fighting a guerilla war in Iraq now, and that Saddam’s game
plan was probably always to fight a guerilla war. His whereabouts
are now critical, as the question is whether it’s being directed by
the Baath party and what form of command/control they may still
retain. Other questions like whether the guerillas may have retained
the fabled chem/bio weapons are interesting as well.

It explains why the Iraqi army crumbled so quickly: they never
really intended to fight, they intended only to cover while the
Baath party went underground to set up a guerilla network.

And, by scrupulously hiding all evidence of their chemical
weapon misdeeds, perhaps they were plotting a little “regime
change” of their own.

At any rate that remains an unknown, but what is not an unknown is
that there are well-timed geographically disparate attacks that look
a lot like a guerilla campaign, presumably organized in advance of the war.

Read more about the ongoing “bear trap” that may finally prove to the US they aren’t quite as good as they previously thought:

I’m still completely embarrassed to admit I’m an American.

33 thoughts on “My second (and, hopefully, last?) war posting

  1. It’s not your fault… you were born that way…American. Feel no shame.

    That’s an interesting little fact. If you’re interested in left politics and anti-spin media, there’s a great radio show every Sunday morning from 8:30-10:30 on Ryerson Community radio C.K.L.N. 88.1 FM. It’s called the International Connection. Sometimes it’s very Canadian in nature but while in Rome…Anyay, I really like it.

    See ya, man.

  2. quite an interesting theory….

    one i’ve heard a little more recently (and that I personally subscribe to based on my readings of the history of that area) is that the Baath party did simply collapse, but that since the US had absolutely no game plan, and the Iraqis were left in a state of chaos/treated like criminals by some US officials/had exile groups hoisted on them/the myriad of ethnic groups free to act as they did before saddam the us built up no loyalty from *any* of the groups and was most likely played by a few and this brought down a lot of resentment from the Iraqi people. Combine that with W’s dad leaving them out to dry in the 91 coup attempt and … well you get what we have now. Sporadic and really not a concerted attack, but many smaller splinter groups vying for power and letting loose their anger. This, in my mind, is a lot worse. You have many little enemies all striking you.

    I’m picturing Lebanon in the 70s and 80s as the perfect analogous situation. And the US got their ass handed to them there and we are sadly going to get it handed to us again.

    Though lets not forget that one of Saddam’s sons took out 1 billion+ from the bank and that can buy a lot of insurgency…

  3. God I hope they’re wrong. We fucked ourselves up enough over VN, we don’t need another one.

    I really wish there was some way to force the leaders who start wars to serve on the front lines…


  4. I remember making all kinds of predictions about this before the war started. I was labeled an unpatriotic liberal democrat who didn’t understand war and was blinded by idealism. When I pointed out that I was basing my assessments on what many generals had openly stated, I was promptly ignored.

    I find it sad and ironic that only the military “gets it”. I have been always very critical of the Pentagon’s weapons procurement policies. Despite this fact that there is always a group of progressive generals who are actually concerned with national security, not national INsecurity.

    The logic by these forward thinking generals (backed by more than a handful of academics, I might add) goes, the more sophisticated an army we build, the more invincible we become in “conventional” warfare. Our “enemies” not being stupid, will not try and field a conventional army. That is inane thinking. Instead, they will fight “asymmetrically”, ie oppose tanks and bombers with guerrillas and terrorism.

    The current military advantage that the US has over 90% of the world’s militaries gives it a “kill ratio” of one US death to a thousand “enemies”.

    The logic is pretty simple. If you are fighting an army where each individual soldier has the firepower of one of your platoons, you don’t fight them at all. You wait until they are policing the streets on foot, or shopping at stores or eating at a restaurant. Then all it takes is the few cents that a bullet costs, and a solider dedicated to the cause.

    Now you are talking about a “kill ratio” of 1 US death to 1 “enemy”, or even 3 to 1.

    Not very hard to figure out what any smart “enemy” general is going to choose.

    A large number of US generals opposed the war. I think in July or August of last year they went public. Many were sacked in the months that followed. The top military brass was replaced by a retired general.

    This whole conflict uses terrorism and 9/11 as a justification to pursue a war that was begun by another administration.

    Al Quaieda didn’t like the secular state of Saddam Hussein. In fact, before the first gulf war, Iraq was THE secular Islamic state. Hussein turned to religion in order to bolster his regime during the subsequent economic sanctions. The Al Quaieda brand of terrorism decries secularism. The facts are there, I just hope the American public and history will remember these actions and judge accordingly.

  5. Sunday morning.

    8:30 AM.

    What alternate reality do you live in that I’m capable of rising at such early hours on Sunday?


    Speaking of which, I think you’re putting me on with the whole “straight pride” thing. If you were offered a night with a gorgeous female friend of yours, and her lovely girlfriend, I’m pretty sure you’d take them up on it.

    Or would you?

  6. Oh God yes! You should never take those comments seriously. They’re meant to be mildly humourous. I like being straight (lucky me!) but I find my personal feelings about sexuality get a little more slippery as I get older. I have a crush on James Spader.

    I do, however, agree with some of Bruce LaBruce’s writings on the gay pride phenomenon and its uniform blandness and new corporate sponsorship and wondering why gays would want to marry and be as boring as straights and that kind of thing. He’s great. He likes the *wink wink* world of closted gayness and the “secret club” atmosphere that went with it. To each his/her own. I also have a sort of “conspiracy theory” when I think of the media and how they normally play the event in pictures…going for the “outrageous” when most gays I know are fairly normal on a day to day basis…no short short shorts. However, the picture featuring you was actually quite good and captured a real sort of celebratory scene. I liked it.

    I both love and loathe the constant reinforcement of stereotypes of all types.

    I ain’t got nothin’ against nobody. I can’t be bothered…plus I keep finding out that all my faves are gay anyway so I may as well just go with it. Anthony Perkins, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster swang, Raymond Burr.

    Two ladies is twice the fineness although I must admit that I’ve never really had that as a big fantasy for whatever reason. I think it’s got to do with me assuming it would be the person I was seeing plus one and that I’d feel weird doing the things I do to her to someone else in front of her. Does that make sense? What’s wrong with me. We’ve gotten off topic. Anyway, where do I send my application?a

  7. I’m tired of you saying that. If you’re so embarassed to be an American, then don’t be one anymore – it’s quite easy to revoke your citizenship. The fact that the current government (and most of the previous ones) sucks does not make this a terrible country. People make up this country, not politicians and bureaucrats, and every person has a different opinion about how things ought to be done. As an American living in a foreign country, it would be helpful for you to explain that fact to people, rather than telling them how embarassed you are. Or, again, don’t be an American anymore. Then you can feel free to join the rest of the America-bashing crowd with impunity, and you’ll have no need to feel embarassed.

  8. Hmm, if I’m a heterosexual male who doesn’t really find the idea of two women as any more exciting than any other pairing (I mean two people going at it has an inherent amount of sexiness, no matter what the orientation or combination), does that represent an even more extreme form of repressed homophobia? I certainly hope not, on my part. I’m still baffled why so many straight men make such a big deal out of it. Hrm. I suppose that makes me the statistical outlier, doesn’t it? :)

  9. I’m working my hardest to not be one anymore. Unfortunately, you can’t revoke citizenship in one country until you have citizenship in another country. And it’s actually really, really hard to revoke American citizenship. I was reading up on it recently…even walking into a consulate/embassy, tearing up your passport and declaring at the top of your lungs “I, , DO HEREBY REVOKE MY CITIZENSHIP IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA” isn’t enough. Note the precedent according to this resource at the US Dual Citizenship site.

    Also, from the US Dual Citizenship Faq: “Note, incidentally, that former US citizens who are deemed to have renounced their US citizenship in order to avoid paying US taxes are barred from entering the US, under a 1996 act of Congress [Public Law 104-208, § 352; INA § 212(a)(10)(E); 8 USC § 1182(a)(10)(E)].”

    I am highly embarrassed that a country that is so proud of its actions, and makes that clear through the media & culture as well as its governments, continues to act in an unconscionable manner towards whatever group-of-the-month deserves derision and scorn. Yes, there are plenty of Americans who don’t share the governments’ viewpoints.

    I can’t take pride in a country whose ethics and beliefs, over an extended period of time, continue to denigrate many of the values which I strive to make a part of my life. And, because I feel so strongly about this, I’m the only person I know who’s willingly decided to go into self-exile and actually done so.

    So go and bitch about the spoiled middle-class liberal weenies who said they’d leave the country if Bush got elected, but I won’t have any of your criticism. You know full well that I respect independent-thinking Americans. This is a semantic argument that gets neither of us anywhere but frustrated.

  10. It amazes me how quickly people rush to attack “anti-Americanism” and “America bashing.” Love it or leave it, huh? Funny, I always thought America was all about balancing the will of the majority with the rights of the minority. But I guess the real American way is “The will of the majority, protecting the rights of the minority unless the minority is anti-American in which case you should just take a hike.”

    My bad. Now that we have brought simple mob rule and to Iraq we have finally brought democracy to the middle east.

  11. I agree with the inclination on the wink, wink, secret club stuff (it’s fun!) and the corporate sponsorship . . . I only march in the Dyke march because it’s precisely anti-corporate. If it ever becomes like the big Sunday march, forget it, I won’t be there . . .

    Nothing’s wrong with you . . . and yes, two girls does bring up the issue of polyamory / infidelity for sure. Unless it’s a one night thing. :)

  12. I believe that most men want more than one woman because they like to imagine they have incredible sexual prowess — or because they figure that more of a good thing is better.

    You are definitely a statistical outlier, but that doesn’t mean you’re homophobic. Note that what I replied to tint above was only intended to be a rhetorical, polemic comment, more about starting a good discussion rather than actually espousing any statement that 1 guy + 2 girls = heaven.

    Everyone knows the equation is really 3 girls = heaven. ;)

  13. Don’t know…what’s the upper limit on the age? Wonder if my brother could be enlisted.

  14. Good lord, I never said “Love it or leave it.” There’s plenty not to love, but there’s also plenty not to hate. I don’t understand hating a country because you don’t like the actions of the government. I don’t like Ariel Sharon, for example, but I don’t hate Israel. I don’t like George Bush, but I don’t hate America. A nation is so much more than the actions of temporary politicians, who are almost uniformly controlled by a small number of rich people.

    I didn’t tell Joan “love it or leave it”. I said that there’s no reason to be embarassed over being an American, and that if she was, there were ways to fix it. It’s OK to be apologetic for the actions of your government, but saying that she’s ashamed to be one of us casts a negative light on everyone else.

  15. Could get really nasty…especially if any of their allies in the Middle East decide to play with them.

  16. Tis true, but the synchronized attacks make some form of alliance between factions, or perhaps a controlling Baath interest, likely. Either way it’s a nasty problem.

  17. I haven’t reviewed the history as much as you have, but if what you say is true, and the government both knew they couldn’t win it, and installed their own puppet generals who told them they could, that’s pretty darn sad. :/ The admission of “floating on a sea of oil” comment garnered laughs all over the Canadian media when it came out a couple of months ago…

  18. I think 18 is the limit, which is unfortunate for my brother who is 19 and starting college. He allready has a bad taste in his mouth about the military because his father (my step dad) was a retired from the air force from heart problems that he developed
    while in service. Then he was ill they (VA doctors)
    shruged it off as being a stomach alliment, 3 months later he was found to have colon cancer and died 3 months after that.

    I also heard if the son is a first born that they do not have to do the draft, but who knows if that will change or if it is BS.

    Time to look for property in Baja California if they
    do the draft.

  19. The spoiled middle-class whining liberal weenies need to die anyway. :)

    If revoking your citizenship is what you’re trying to do, then I retract my statement. I agree with your feelings on the bad parts of this country, but I see enough good things that make me want to stay here. This is why I became involved in my own little corner of politics – like the LP and the Free State Project – because I am just idealistic enough to think that this country can change and we might someday break the stranglehold the elites have on the government and media.

    Unfortunately the modern-day liberals have fucked us. I went to one of the pre-war protests, and guess what I saw? People turning over newspaper machines and trash cans in the street.. people breaking windows and vandalizing businesses.. people making shrill 2-minute speeches about everything from free trade to Mumia whats-his-name to abortion rights to some endangered type of frog. The anti-war movement, of which I consider myself a part, had an enormous opportunity to get a message out to this country, and they blew it bigtime. I see the same thing repeated in so many other cases.. WTO protests, environmental protests, etc. Once upon a time people had real ability to change things because they stuck to a common purpose and acted in a respectable way (think Martin Luther King) – but not today. Mainstream America ignores these people today because mainstream America can’t understand what they want, and can’t respect their tactics.
    But perhaps this is a rant for a different day.. :)

  20. I imagine this is probably true.. Saddam Hussein is anything but stupid. I wonder how many 18 year old kids have to get blown up or shot before we start electing someone other than a Democrat or Republican to public office…

  21. Hmm, not really that it couldn’t be won…more along the lines of “Iraq does not pose a significant WMD/Terrorism threat.”

    The generals knew it was going to be costly, but the war was sold to the American public as a war of liberation, which tends to end quickly. It scares me that generals keep making reference to the British in Malaysia. This tells me someone in the Pentagon knows what we might be in for.

    The British action against insurgency in Malaysia is supposed to be the textbook model for “the right way to fight Vietnam.” It also took the British many soliders deaths and over 8 years of brutal military action.

    I find it ironic that the Republicans don’t listen to generals very much…In fact, the argument has been made that because Democrats are more dovish, they rely on generals more than republicans. In any case, the blood has been spilt and the resentment grows. And the lack of a comprehensive spending package in order to rebuild Iraq and diffuse this growing anti-American sentiment is downright criminal. Did the administration really think that Iraqi oil could rebuild the country fast enough not to fuel an insurgency? Its simply madness. the country had debts in the neighborhood of $400B, IIRC. Just rebuilding refining capability lost in the first war would cost a huge amount.

    If Iraq was not a terrorist threat before this war, it sure as heck is now.

  22. Sometimes it needs to be.. the civil rights movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s didn’t seek to eliminate racism or any number of other problems. It sought to eliminate certain specific things, such as segregated schools, discrimination in employment, etc – and it was largely successful. I think the problem today is that people want their entire agenda fulfilled, and they want it now, and anyone who disagrees with them is obviously a fascist. That is just unreasonable. I wasn’t around in the 1960’s, but the historical accounts I’ve seen/read made it look different..

    The media is after ratings, and is going to focus on anything outrageous. Most of America only sees what is going on through the media. If the peaceful folks can’t control the non-peaceful folks, their cause is never going to be taken seriously.

  23. Amen to that.

    Anyway, I had a friend back in college who really deplored the idea, he said it was far too much work.

    I think the typical wet dream of the het teenage male is that both those girls will just ravish him.

    It’s nice to see the few that think realistically and consider their selfishness in such a thought.

  24. Not at all. I am so glad to see intellectual discourse on this. Please continue, I’m enthralled! *blush*

  25. Hi, I was reading ‘s friends LJ, and saw a post by that you replied to. A pilot, eh? So I wandered over to your LJ and found this very interesting debate (plus bi/poly excursions thrown in for good measure, I guess ;-).

    When the US started its attack on Iraq, it caused me great anger and concern. Such actions had a destabilizing effect on the world (essentially crippling the UN and NATO in the process), and just upped the ante for any individual or group that wanted to change the world order. They did not accomplish a single one of the objectives that were publically stated by the US administration and its minions, and IMHO have greatly reduced the short- and mid-term stability of the world and, by inference, US security (I give an outer window of 50 years for it to all fall apart completely, but it’ll be a messy process getting there).

    So I sat down and asked myself, if I was the leadership in Iraq, and I had three or more functioning brain cells (there was/is always the chance that they were insulated enough from reality that they couldn’t strategize in a realistic manner), what would I do about the US attack? The answer that I came up with was, put up a convincing fight using the regular/enlisted forces (cannon fodder), and diffuse the loyal and highly trained forces into the general population. Then, wait until the US has settled in as an occupying force, and then start picking away at them using guerilla warfare techniques. Hmmmm…. surprisibus surprisibus…

    I suspect that the US did a better job of knocking out the infrastructure of the loyalists than the deposed regime expected, but there’s another 9/11 on its way this year (it’s just a “cute” calendar date to plan to cause an emergency… or it could be any other pre-selected date, but it’s likely going to be within a year, probably this year, if it’s going to happen). Only time will tell.

    As for WMDs… one of the scenarious that I came up with that would have been most effective is to have hidden the weapons in the major urban centres in great secrecy (e.g. kill the workers who put them there and only leave one or two who knew the location, or even bury someone in with them). Then, to wait until the US has massed it’s 250,000 troups and bazillions of dollars of equipment in the major urban centres of Iraq. Wait until they developed a sense of complacency (8 months or so?)… before unleashing everything they’ve got on the forces (and the population…). The thought still haunts me. Let’s hope they weren’t that evil and just opted to disband and save their skins (oh, yeah, and take what money they could).

    P.S. <flame state=”on”> Isn’t it interesting that someone would focus their comments on your citizenship quip rather than weighing in on the issue you are trying to engage debate/discussion on? It’s a classic technique of influence by shame and ostracization… “you’re either with us or you’re against us”. Rule by emotion and fear rather than through policy and democratic buy in. In an interview I heard with Ralph Nader recently on CPAC, he said “I never thought that me of all people would be saying this, but I believe that the US is one or two successful terrorist attacks away from being a fascist state”. Then, once you’d called the bluff with your “yes, I am trying to renounce my citenzenship”, that the tone changed to one of concilliation (“I’m sorry we hurt you, we have problems, and we’re working on them, but you know that we’ll always love you”). It’s geopolitical “abusive family” pattern behaviour. It’s one of the very specific things about the ingrained (trained?) American culture that scares the bejeepers out of me :-O Particularly because it’s mostly done in an unconcious and generally well meaning way… it seems an almost ubiquitous attitude (I do stand to be corrected though…) </flame>

  26. Hey there,

    I sent you an e-mail but wasn’t sure if you received it. Anyhoo, I’m going to be in Toronto in a couple of weeks for a conference. I thought maybe we could meet up.



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