Progress in Iraq?

  • News
  • Thread starter drankin
  • Start date
  • #1
drankin

Main Question or Discussion Point

I heard an interesting interview with Gen Petraeus on Hannity the other day. That and a few news articles I've read suggest things are turning around over there. Most of the Iraqi people are rejecting Al Queada now as opposed to being indifferent or supporting them. Their new government is gaining a foothold. The media in general has been pretty quiet about it all anymore. Will history show this to be a turning point for civilization in Iraq? Will Bush actually have some positive notes in the books 50 yrs down the road? Or is at all right-wing propaganda and Iraq will crumble to being what it used to be?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
seycyrus
I think we need to avoid making any quick decisions that will hurt us either way. That's why I think a quick pullout needs to be avoided, unless the place is really stable. I don't want to see footage of mass carnage as we pull out as we had in Vietnam.
 
  • #3
18,184
7,777
As much as I enjoy watching FoxNews for it's entertainment value, they definately have an agenda no matter how many sprinkles of balance they throw in to seem credible. When was the last time FoxNews talked about how Afghanistan is back to being a disaster.
 
  • #4
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
... When was the last time FoxNews talked about how Afghanistan is back to being a disaster.
Its not a disaster in any meaningful comparison to the Taliban or Soviet days.
 
  • #5
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
1,887
616
  • #6
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
45
The relative lull in violence in Iraq is due in large part because formerly integrated neighborhoods and towns have been purged of many of their minority inhabitants either by militia killings or evacuations. (There are millions of Iraqis displaced in Iraq, and millions more displaced to neighboring countries.) Fewer enemies to kill = fewer killings. Add to that the fact that Muqtada al-Sadr ordered the Mahdi army to stand down for 6 months starting last August, taking another group of militants out of the conflict, at least in part. Still, suicide bombings and car bombings seem to be a daily occurrence and Gates and Petreaus are both talking about interrupting a planned draw-down despite objections from Army and Marine brass who are concerned about the degradation of their fighting forces.
 
  • #7
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,774
12
hat's why I think a quick pullout needs to be avoided, unless the place is really stable..
We won a decisive military victory in 1690 over a place with a population with the same religion divided into two rival sects - we still have troops there now.

When you a reporting a slow down in the increasing rate of bombings as a sucess - it's time to think of a way out.
 
Last edited:
  • #8
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
The relative lull in violence in Iraq is due in large part because formerly integrated neighborhoods and towns have been purged of many of their minority inhabitants either by militia killings or evacuations.
Source?
(There are millions of Iraqis displaced in Iraq, and millions more displaced to neighboring countries.) Fewer enemies to kill = fewer killings. Add to that the fact that Muqtada al-Sadr ordered the Mahdi army to stand down for 6 months starting last August, taking another group of militants out of the conflict, at least in part.
Why do you believe al-Sadr did so after all this time?
Still, suicide bombings and car bombings seem to be a daily occurrence
Compared to when and what previous levels of occurence?
and Gates and Petreaus are both talking about interrupting a planned draw-down despite objections from Army and Marine brass who are concerned about the degradation of their fighting forces.
Source?
 
  • #9
I think that the only two honorable courses of action in Iraq are to either escalate U.S. troop levels until they can really stabilize the country like McCain proposes, or if we pull out we need to explicitly hand the country over to Iran or Syria so that they can put it in shape. Yeah, that would be a political loss for us but that's the ride we bought a ticket for. Other options would completely screw over the Iraqi people and we've screwed them over enough.

Unfortunately the guy who got us into this mess, who is the one who should be taking responsibility for going down one of those two roads and should be spending his own political capital and risking his own political legacy to do it, is languishing in the White House waiting for a limo to come and take him home.
⚛
 
  • #10
mgb_phys
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
7,774
12
There are the two standard British techniques (we have a lot more experience with getting into little native wars than you chaps)
1, Rename the place and hope everyone forgets about it.
2, Split it into two states along religous/trible grounds and let them fight it out among themselves for the next couple of centuries.
 
  • #11
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
45
How much reduction in violence is due to the success of ethnic cleansing? There have been MANY articles written about this, but they don't often hit the mainstream press or the right-leaning outlets that want to treat any reduction in ethnic killings as a direct result of the troop surge. Remember these are the same people that accept with a straight face that if the victim was shot in the heart, it's just murder, but if he or she was shot in the back of the head, the killing was then considered a killing due to sectarian violence. Dead is dead, and the perpetrators rarely hang around to explain their motives. How to show that sectarian violence is slowing? Apart from the perfectly understandable reduction in ethnic violence as regions are purged of minority groups, the military has chosen to "reduce" incidents of sectarian violence further by only counting people shot execution-style.
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-ed-iraq12nov12,0,5276194.story?coll=la-opinion-leftrail [Broken]
Analysts will continue to debate how much of the progress is because of the "surge" of 30,000 U.S. troops last spring, how much is the result of Iraqi Sunnis in Anbar province and elsewhere making common cause with the United States against Al Qaeda terrorists, and how much is because ethnic cleansing of some neighborhoods is complete and the "enemies" within have fled or been killed. All of these factors undoubtedly played a role. And the daily carnage, though lessened, remains horrific. The high casualty rate earlier this year made 2007 the deadliest for U.S. troops in this tragic misadventure.
Return of internally-displaced Iraqis could result in an upsurge in ethnic violence.
http://www.globaldashboard.org/conflict-and-security/iraqi-refugee-return-return-to-violence/

Displaced Iraqis
http://www.refugeesinternational.org/content/article/detail/9679 [Broken]

If you want to know if car bombings and suicide bombings are still a daily occurrence, just pop up Yahoo! News on any given day. If you want a very incomplete but still chilling summary, look here.
http://www.icasualties.org/oif/IraqiDeaths.aspx [Broken]

On suspension of draw-down - it's all over the news outlets today.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080211/ts_nm/iraq_dc;_ylt=AlaFufl6Ua28WzJ1MkCm6ZCs0NUE [Broken]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/11/gates-pause-in-troop-cut_n_85970.html [Broken]
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #12
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
How much reduction in violence is due to the success of ethnic cleansing? There have been MANY articles written about this, but they don't often hit the mainstream press or the right-leaning outlets
Of course not.
Turbo1 said:
If you want to know if car bombings and suicide bombings are still a daily occurrence, just pop up Yahoo! News on any given day. If you want a very incomplete but still chilling summary, look here.
Yes this is terrible but it's not what I asked. I asked about what's changing, as thats how I care to judge a plan for going forward. I note from that http://www.icasualties.org/oif/IraqiDeathsByYear.aspx" [Broken] that January Iraqi deaths are less than 1/3 from Jan '07, and have declined every month except one since Petraeus and Crocker took the wheel. They are going in the right direction.
Turbo1 said:
On suspension of draw-down - it's all over the news outlets today.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080211/ts_nm/iraq_dc;_ylt=AlaFufl6Ua28WzJ1MkCm6ZCs0NUE [Broken]
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/11/gates-pause-in-troop-cut_n_85970.html [Broken]
suspend in July? Thats always been the plan.
Turbo1.. said:
interrupting a planned draw-down
This is simply incorrect, there was no plan to draw-down past pre-surge levels, and though the surge levels certainly strained the US military, there's no objection extant to this summer's coming pause from the 'brass'. This has been the plan since last September when Petraeus was before Congress: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3580220&page=1".
http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/iraq/2007/09/iraq-070910-afps03.htm" [Broken]
Petraeus said:
I do not believe it is reasonable to have an adequate appreciation for the pace of further reductions and mission adjustments beyond the summer of 2008 ...
or see http://www.sofmag.com/news/permalink/2008/1/28/101941.html" [Broken]

No response on al-Sadr? I have one. He greatly overstepped when his army violently intervened http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Karbala_%282007%29" [Broken] (holy city) and it was broadcast on national TV. Now, the posture of the coalition forces during the Najaf attack is critical. A couple years ago under guys like Gen Sanchez when commanders were running around like cowboys, shooting up the place, mass interning people and then leaving the area, al-Sadr would have gotten a pass by the population as a guy necessary to thwart the coalition. Today Petraeus has these same commanders delivering air conditioners instead, and they stay and hold in the neighborhoods they once abandoned - providing security under which people can live. Under these conditions al-Sadr shooting up Najaf becomes unforgivable to the population. This is text book counter insurgency (Petraeus wrote the book). Al-Sadr had to 'cease-fire.'

Gen. Mccafrey was a harsh critic of the early war; his report delivered in December:
http://www.smallwarsjournal.com/documents/iraqaardec2007.pdf"
The struggle for stability in the Iraqi Civil War has entered a new phase with dramatically reduced levels of civilian sectarian violence, political assassinations, abductions, and small arms/ indirect fire and IED attacks on US and Iraqi Police and Army Forces.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #13
67
165
or see Petraeus: Upcoming Troop Reduction Plans ‘On Track’
This link leads to Soldier of Fortune Magazine?? And it looks to be a bit overly optomistic.

Nothing is on track in Iraq. The latest news is that the late summer troop draw down may not be a sure thing.

FORWARD OPERATING BASE FALCON, Iraq - In a clear sign the draw down of U.S. forces from Iraq will be suspended, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Monday he favors taking time this summer to assess security gains before more troops leave the country, an idea President Bush is expected to support.

It was Gates' first public endorsement of a possible suspension, and it would seem to mark an end to the Pentagon chief's previously stated hope that conditions in Iraq would permit American troops to withdraw in the second half of this year as rapidly as they are leaving now.

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/sns-ap-gates,0,4124324.story

We are not yet in absolute control of anything in Iraq.
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/02/11/africa/ME-GEN-Iraq-Pipeline-Explosion.php

The only realistic plan is that we will have to keep changing plans.
 
Last edited:
  • #14
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
18,821
2,009
It's not working for the women in Iraq - or perhaps some of them.

Violations of 'Islamic teachings' take deadly toll on Iraqi women
  • Crimes against women in Iraq's south have included killings and amputations
  • Police chief: "Two women were killed in front of their kids"
  • Not wearing headscarves, other violations of "Islamic teachings" bring crimes
  • Woman tells CNN "fear is always there," but "we don't know who to be afraid of"

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/02/08/iraq.women/
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The images in the Basra police file are nauseating: Page after page of women killed in brutal fashion -- some strangled to death, their faces disfigured; others beheaded. All bear signs of torture.

The women are killed, police say, because they failed to wear a headscarf or because they ignored other "rules" that secretive fundamentalist groups want to enforce.

"Fear, fear is always there," says 30-year-old Safana, an artist and university professor. "We don't know who to be afraid of. Maybe it's a friend or a student you teach. There is no break, no security. I don't know who to be afraid of."

Her fear is justified. Iraq's second-largest city, Basra, is a stronghold of conservative Shia groups. As many as 133 women were killed in Basra last year -- 79 for violation of "Islamic teachings" and 47 for so-called honor killings, according to IRIN, the news branch of the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

. . . .
Gates is rethinking the drawdown.
 
  • #15
DrClapeyron
There is nothing unusual resulting from this war. It's not as if millions of civilians have been bombed or half the country set on fire.
 
  • #16
Supercritical
Regarding pipelines:

http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/575/infrastructurelx4.png [Broken].
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #17
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
edward said:
Nothing is on track in Iraq. The latest news is that the late summer troop draw down may not be a sure thing.
Implying anything after this summer was ever promised as a 'sure thing' is at the least, uninformed.

This draw down plan as announced by Patraeus to Congress on Sept 10th is very much on track.
Petraeus http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=3580220&page=1":
Patraeus said:
"I believe that we will be able to reduce our forces to the pre-surge level ... by next summer without jeopardizing the security gains we have fought so hard to achieve," Petraeus said.
Petraeus also in the same testimony:
Patraeus said:
I do not believe it is reasonable to have an adequate appreciation for the pace of further reductions and mission adjustments beyond the summer of 2008 until after mid-March of next year
Then four months later on http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0801/27/le.01.html" [Broken] Gen. P confirmed his plan from September:
CNN said:
BLITZER: Let's talk about troop levels, in Iraq, right now. I know you're getting ready, later, in March or April, to come back to Washington to testify with Ambassador Ryan Crocker on what's going on, an update on that.

But there were, at one point -- correct me if I'm wrong -- about 170,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. Right now, I think it's down to closer to 160,000. It's supposed to go down to about 130,000 by July.

Is all of that on schedule? Are things working out the way you want?

PETRAEUS: They are, Wolf. We have, as you noted, already withdrawn, without replacement, a brigade combat team and the Marine expeditionary unit that was in here last year. And we are on track to withdraw four more brigade combat teams and two Marine battalions by the end of July.
And as to what Gates http://voanews.com/english/2008-01-17-voa71.cfm" [Broken] in January:
"That remains my hope, that the pace of the drawdowns in the second half of the year can be what it was in the first half of the year," he said. "But as I have told General Petraeus directly, he is to make his evaluation of that possibility based solely on the conditions on the ground."
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #18
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
Regarding pipelines:

http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/575/infrastructurelx4.png [Broken].
That shows pipeline attacks went to nil in September and have stayed there. Thats amazing.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #19
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
It's not working for the women in Iraq - or perhaps some of them.

Violations of 'Islamic teachings' take deadly toll on Iraqi women
  • Crimes against women in Iraq's south have included killings and amputations
  • Police chief: "Two women were killed in front of their kids"
  • Not wearing headscarves, other violations of "Islamic teachings" bring crimes
  • Woman tells CNN "fear is always there," but "we don't know who to be afraid of"

http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/02/08/iraq.women/
CNN also said:
The attacks on the women of Basra have intensified since British forces withdrew to their base at the airport back in September, police say.
Given that fact, I'd like to hear Sen. Obama explain how he thinks his two brigades/mo plan is the best thing for the Iraq and the US.
 
  • #20
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
45
Instead of drawing new material into this discussion, you have repeatedly engaged in unsubstantiated nay-saying and misdirection. Would you like to discuss the facts (as we can know them) or would your your prefer to continue to flog right-wing talking-points with little or no factual back-up?
 
  • #21
mheslep
Gold Member
311
728
Instead of drawing new material into this discussion, you have repeatedly engaged in unsubstantiated nay-saying and misdirection. Would you like to discuss the facts (as we can know them) or would your your prefer to continue to flog right-wing talking-points with little or no factual back-up?
I've provided numerous direct quotes of the testimony to Congress and interviews of the US Commanding Gen. in Iraq, a link to the graphical data over time from the same site you provided, and McCafrey's December report to support everything I've said here. Make of them what you will.
 
  • #22
phoenixy
I still believe Iraq has WMD.
 
  • #24
turbo
Gold Member
3,077
45
Yep, and that is from the watered-down unclassified version of the Rand report. We can only hope that somebody sick of this senseless war will release the classified version to the press, and that the press has the guts to print it. According to a report I read yesterday, nobody in the WH, DOD, intelligence agencies, or State would appreciate letting the public get a look at that. Lack of planning, communication, coordination, etc are apparently only the tip of the iceberg.
 

Related Threads on Progress in Iraq?

  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Poll
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
6
Replies
148
Views
10K
  • Last Post
4
Replies
77
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
2K
  • Last Post
11
Replies
274
Views
39K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
17
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
13
Views
3K
Top