Evrviglnt has kindly provided the following comment to my post "Back In 2006: The Bush "Strategy" for 2008" published on September 13, 2007:
"Think about it for a moment: not to the zero violence (and we supposedly have liberated the Iraqis from a brutal dictator) and not even to the pre-war violence, but to the levels of the brutal, violent, bloody 2006."
Is there any country in the world, in human history that has had zero violence? And you don’t believe that getting rid of Saddam and his Sunni dominated spoils systems with its rape rooms and mass graves hasn’t "liberated" Iraqis? Enough with the moral equivalience – the standards you hold are too high even for God to satisfy.
And Again – with this ‘there’s no progress until there’s political progress’ line – I know when I hear that platitude that the person hasn’t thought very hard about what has been going on historically in Iraq and the Middle East. The reason why there is reduced violence in Iraq right now is because the Sunnis and the Shittes find it safer to work with the Americans than to work with Al Qaeda – a terrorist outfit that appeals to the Islamic nationalism of everyone in the MIddle East – Arabs or Persians. Political progress only comes after security progress – when those putting their lives on the line can take the positions necessary for political reconciliation without themselves being murdered and their families tortured.
And it isn’t American soldiers that are hunting down those who are interested in peace – it is those that see profit in pitting one sect against another. Every time someone in the West demands the cart before the horse – the terrorists in Iraq win. It’s hard to assume many understand this yet insist on the impossible because for them the enemy isn’t Al Qaeda, or even Islamic extremism, but America’s confronting of it.
And to think I was cruising Russian sites to find someone to interview about the political moves happening in Russia! You’re killing me with this thoughtlessness!"
Thank you very much for your comment. I feel that you went a little bit overboard with your assumptions and accusations. There is no real reason to suspect me in Al Qaeda support for writing something you happen to disagree with.
Emotions aside, let’s get back to the core of my arguments. In 2006, we had about 130,000 troops in Iraq, and the violence was flaring up. Today, we have 160,000 troops on the ground, and the violence is down to the 2006 levels. In 2008, there are going to be 130,000 troops again (perhaps, less, but for now, this is only Gates’ wishful thinking) — and neither Petraeus nor Crocker has said anything of substance on what Iraq will look like then.
In summary, in 2008, we’ll be exactly where we were in 2006.
In the meantime, about 1,500 American soldiers will be killed (on the assumption of 60-90 per month) and $210-220 billion will be spent (on the assumption of $9B per month).
My question for you: what is/was the purpose of the "surge" and which political/military objective does it serve? Your explanation that the "surge" has disrupted Sunnis’ and Shiites’ cooperation with Al Qaeda in Iraq has no bearing in reality. First, Sunnis in the Anbar province have parted ways with Al Qaeda before the "surge" has even begun. Second, FYI, Shiites did not cooperate with Al Qaeda in the first place because they belong to a different sectarian group (Al Qaeda members happen to be Sunnis and consider Shiites their worst enemies).
I’d appreciate your further comments on the subject.
My Best Personal Regards,