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Juan Cole: 40,000 additional troops won't work

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RedEarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:16 AM
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Juan Cole: 40,000 additional troops won't work
You thought that the American people had spoken? They want the troops out? They want to be extracted from the quagmire? Too bad.

You see, we do not have a democracy, with the Bush administration in power. We have an elective dictatorship. The elections are like lotteries. Many of them don't even reflect the popular vote or the general will. The Rehnquist Coup of 2000 was not intrinsically different from the Rounds Coup (if it happens) of 2006. Nor would the techniques whereby elections are "won" bear much scrutiny. Ask Tom Delay, through the penitentiary window. And the incumbents feel they owe nothing to the electorate, nothing whatsoever. They have the Power. They act as they please. The rest of us are just onlookers.

So Bush's response to the clear public demand for a change of course and a disengagement? It is to run to Henry Kissinger's apron strings. And what does the Butcher of Chile and Indonesia urge? That Bush should put another 40,000 US troops into Iraq!

The problem is that Iraq is a 500,000 troop problem. Another 40,000 are just going to anger locals. And, apparently, they would be sicced on the Shiite Mahdi Army in hopes of permanently crippling the Sadr Movement headed (in part) by Muqtada al-Sadr. And maybe they'd be used in a new offensive against the Sunni Arab guerrillas.

Let me explain why it won't work. It won't work because Iraqis are now politically and socially mobilized. This means that they have the social preconditions for effective political and paramilitary action (they are largely urban, literate, connected by media, etc.) And they are politically savvy and well-connected. They are well armed, gaining in military experience, and well financed through petroleum and antiquities smuggling and through cash infusions from supporters abroad. The Mahdi Army fighters can be defeated by the US military, as happened twice in 2004. But they cannot be made to disappear, as they were not in 2004. That is because they are an organic movement springing from the Shiite poor, and are the paramilitary arm of a large social movement with a national network and ideology.

Attempts to crush popular movements once they have mobilized have most often failed. No attempts at counter-revolution in France in the 1790s were successful. Even powerful empires like Austria were helpless before the mobilized French infantry (who for the first time used large numbers of conscripts).

http://www.juancole.com/2006/12/how-republicans-are-ste...
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Bucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:24 AM
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1. It will accomplish one thing. It'll ramp up the body count.
More troops, more fatigued troops, on the ground means several things. More risks to discipline, more risks to careless security lapses, more personnel to carry out potential aggressive actions (which means both more Iraqi dead and more American dead). More stress to perform miracles placed on the troops coming down from the top, which means more incidents that "cross the line" into shooting the wrong people.

This is a recipe for aggrivating the problem. Even if the troop "surge" isn't a prep for a big spring or late winter offensive, this is going to place more targets in more areas for an insurgency that thrives on our mistakes and seems only inconvenienced by our successes. Bush isn't taking one last stab at "winning" Iraq. He's simply dropping more meat into the grinder.
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 10:31 AM
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2. Its like they never heard of Vietnam
its just bizarre. McCain expecially has turned out to be the big idiot in all this.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-15-06 12:24 PM
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3. No, McCain's turned into the big whore. He wants the White
House and he doesn't care how many have go die to get it. It won't work though.
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