12 posts tagged with iraq by russilwvong.
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The Iraq War: the path to war

The Iraq War: was there even a decision? "Perhaps most revealing ... is what is missing--any indication whatsoever from the declassified record to date that top Bush administration officials seriously considered an alternative to war. In contrast there is an extensive record of efforts to energize military planning, revise existing contingency plans, and create a new, streamlined war plan." The National Security Archive at George Washington University has released a set of documents from the US and British archives related to the Iraq war: Part I, Part II, Part III. Political scientist Russell Burgos (who served in Iraq):
... there is indeed a kind of inevitability about the confrontation, but it was an inevitability created by domestic politics rather than 9/11. In my estimation, the origins of the "path to war" are found in the Republican Revolution of 1994; I will suggest that from 1996 to 2000, Iraq policy was not about Iraq - it was about an increasingly strident partisan attack on President Bill Clinton in which "Iraq" was not a subject of deliberate policy but was a synecdoche for "Clinton's failure."
Historian Robert Jervis also comments. Via H-DIPLO.
posted by russilwvong on Oct 19, 2010 - 42 comments

 

PCs in Iraq

As Close as Any Brother - Ali Hameed, an Iraqi NYT employee, writes about PCs in daily life in Iraq. Once a mortar fell near to our house. Everyone stopped what they were doing, I mean if it was eating, watching TV, sleeping — except Rana. She kept on typing and typing. I yelled at her: "Rana leave the PC and come here, you are sitting near the glass!" She told me, "Just a minute, I want to talk to my friend, she is online and it has been a long time since I connected with her." From NYT's Baghdad Bureau blog.
posted by russilwvong on May 29, 2008 - 4 comments

Bush vs. Congress: the Iraq spending bill

Elizabeth Drew analyzes the current confrontation between the White House and Congress over continued funding for the Iraq war. Under Nancy Pelosi's leadership, Congress has reached an agreement to pass a bill which approves $124 billion in funding for the war, but sets a timetable for withdrawal. Following the passage of the Senate bill in March, Bush gave a more-than-normally petulant speech against the Democratic proposals—prompting Pelosi, like a mother scolding a teenager, to urge Bush to "calm down with the threats" and to "take a deep breath." This was the first public suggestion by a prominent elected figure that the President lacks maturity—a widely held view in Washington.
posted by russilwvong on Apr 24, 2007 - 54 comments

Reactions to the Iraq Study Group report

Getting out of Iraq: the Iraq Study Group report recommended talking to Iran and Syria, and making continued US military and economic support conditional on progress by the Iraqi government. "U.S. foreign policy is doomed to failure—as is any course of action in Iraq—if it is not supported by a broad, sustained consensus. The aim of our report is to move our country toward such a consensus." Reaction from Democrats has been generally positive; reaction from Republicans has been divided between moderates and hawks (the New York Post called Baker and Hamilton "surrender monkeys"). Bush quickly rejected talks with Iran and Syria. The White House has been arguing about how to proceed. Previously.
posted by russilwvong on Dec 15, 2006 - 50 comments

Bill Moyers speech at West Point

Bill Moyers speech at West Point on "The Meaning of Freedom." I repeat: These are not palatable topics for soldiers about to go to war; I would like to speak of sweeter things. But freedom means we must face reality: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Free enough, surely, to think for yourselves about these breaches of contract that crudely undercut the traditions of an army of free men and women who have bound themselves voluntarily to serve the nation even unto death. Previously on MetaFilter: after 9/11, inequality, religion and democracy, the environment, right-wing media, public broadcasting. Wikipedia.
posted by russilwvong on Dec 1, 2006 - 36 comments

Out of Iraq

A detailed plan for withdrawing from Iraq, by George McGovern and William Polk. Chip Pitts provides a similar suggestion in the National Interest. And William Lind describes a nightmare scenario in case of war with Iran: encirclement. Previously.
posted by russilwvong on Nov 8, 2006 - 42 comments

Where's the exit?

The debate over exit strategies for Iraq. Stephen Biddle. The biggest problem with treating Iraq like Vietnam is Iraqization -- the main component of the current U.S. military strategy. In a people's war, handing the fighting off to local forces makes sense because it undermines the nationalist component of insurgent resistance, improves the quality of local intelligence, and boosts troop strength. But in a communal civil war, it throws gasoline on the fire. Iraq's Sunnis perceive the "national" army and police force as a Shiite-Kurdish militia on steroids. Biddle also emphasizes the need for a compromise based on a constitutional deal with ironclad power-sharing arrangements protecting all parties. Roundtable responses from Larry Diamond, James Dobbins, Chaim Kaufmann, and Leslie Gelb. Anthony Cordesman, who anticipated the current situation (PDF), emphasizes the need for ongoing US involvement in the region. Daniel Benjamin is pessimistic, describing the US as being in a no-win situation whether it stays or leaves. A list of proposed exit strategies collected by the Project for Defense Alternatives. The Onion.
posted by russilwvong on Jun 21, 2006 - 93 comments

The Iraqi insurgency

IraqFilter: Who is the US fighting in Iraq? A February 2006 report from the International Crisis Group which provides a detailed look at the evolution of the insurgency, and describes its four main groups: Tandhim al-Qa’ida fi Bilad al-Rafidayn (recently decapitated), Jaysh Ansar al-Sunna, al-Jaysh al-Islami fil-’Iraq, and al-Jabha al-Islamiya lil-Muqawama al-’Iraqiya. In Iraq, the U.S. fights an enemy it hardly knows. Its descriptions have relied on gross approximations and crude categories (Saddamists, Islamo-fascists and the like) that bear only passing resemblance to reality. This report, based on close analysis of the insurgents’ own discourse [particularly their websites], reveals relatively few groups, less divided between nationalists and foreign jihadis than assumed, whose strategy and tactics have evolved (in response to U.S. actions and to maximise acceptance by Sunni Arabs), and whose confidence in defeating the occupation is rising.
posted by russilwvong on Jun 16, 2006 - 49 comments

International Crisis Group

The International Crisis Group is a private agency which attempts to improve the response to international disasters by working out a strategy and providing detailed recommendations to policymakers. Their website is full of reports on crises around the world; here's what they have to say about Darfur, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Islamism. For the rationale behind the ICG, see William Shawcross's tribute to humanitarian aid worker Fred Cuny, who disappeared in Chechnya.
posted by russilwvong on Mar 24, 2006 - 3 comments

Jimmy Massey atrocity stories found to be false

Newsfilter: Iraq atrocity allegations by former Marine sergeant Jimmy Massey investigated, found to be unsubstantiated. Via The Poor Man.
posted by russilwvong on Nov 8, 2005 - 23 comments

Peter W. Galbraith on the new Iraqi constitution

Last Chance for Iraq - Peter W. Galbraith, writing in the New York Review of Books, on the new Iraqi constitution. He compares it to a peace treaty between three warring parties. Previous threads: Bush's Islamic Republic. The Bungled Transition. How to Get Out of Iraq.

Underneath an Islamic veneer, Iraq's new constitution ratifies the division of Iraq into three disparate entities: Kurdistan in the north, an Iranian-influenced Islamic state in the south, and, in the center, a Sunni region that has no clear political identity, but that with luck and concerted diplomacy could be governed by a new generation of Sunni Arab leaders. The constitution provides a basis for resolving Iraq's most contentious issues: oil, territory, and the competition to be the dominant power in Baghdad. If these issues are not addressed, they could set off a widespread civil war. ... The constitution has many flaws, but it provides a peace plan that might work, and it is therefore the most positive political development in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein from power.
posted by russilwvong on Sep 14, 2005 - 16 comments

Eliot Cohen has second thoughts

Eliot A. Cohen has second thoughts on the Iraq war. Cohen is a neoconservative, and a member of the Project for a New American Century; he's the author of Supreme Command; and he has a son going to Iraq as an infantry officer. Via Belgravia Dispatch and Brad DeLong.
posted by russilwvong on Jul 11, 2005 - 50 comments

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