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Iraq Report, 18 Dec/06

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Welcome! Our goal at Winds of Change.NET is to give you one power-packed briefing of insights, news and trends from Iraq that leaves you stimulated, informed, and occasionally amused every Monday. This briefing is brought to you by Joel Gaines of No Pundit Intended and Andrew Olmsted of Andrew Olmsted dot com.

TOP TOPICS

  • Bill Roggio, who is on his third(?) trip to theater, is embedded again, this time with a unit from the Iraqi Army. He reports on a patrol in Fallujah and the hunt for 'Ali Baba'.
  • Iraqpundit takes a look at the man who may be Iraq's next prime minister, and intimates that the current prime minister may have been behind an assassination attempt last Friday.

Other Topics Today Include: insurgents broadcasting from Syria; Sunnis urged to war on Shiites; Kirkuk makes deals with Iranian companies; Carnival of the Liberated; Reid and Biden disagree on troop increases; Blair vows support for Iraq; Jordan and Iran talk security; Iraq reopens Syrian embassy; Germany looks to train Iraqi troops; Turkey displeased with Kirkuk situation.

REPORTS FROM THE FIELD

RECONSTRUCTION & THE ECONOMY

  • The Egyptian government is currently studying the sale of the debt owed to the Egyptian companies exporting to Iraq.
  • Iraq's government expects the dinar to strengthen by 13 percent against the dollar by early 2007 after raising interest rates to limit the use of dollars in the economy.
  • Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce in the Iraqi city of Kirkuk, said that Iraqi traders concluded commercial and economic agreements with a number of Iranian merchants.

IRAQI POLITICS

  • Mohammed at Iraq the Model takes a look at another possible evolution of the current Iraqi government and how it may play out.

THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE

  • Jordanian and Iraqi interior ministers and their security officials met Wednesday to coordinate plans and share intelligence on terrorist groups.
  • Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev discussed with his Iraqi counterpart Nuri al-Maliki the horizons for cooperation between the two countries.
  • Iraq reopened its embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Monday after a quarter century's rupture with its neighbor.
  • Germany may step up efforts to help train Iraqi troops outside the country, Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested.
  • Turkey renewed its frustration on Sunday with the Kurdish bid for domination of Iraq's oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk.

ETCETERA

  • Do you have your GI Bracelet? Many military families fall into financial hardship when the breadwinner is injured or killed. The entire purchase price of the GI Bracelet is donated to support our troops and their families! Please join us to give back to these brave people in their time of need.
  • The troops are still there. So is the Winds of Change.NET consolidated directory of ways you can support the troops: American, Australian, British, Canadian & Polish. Anyone out there with more information, contact us!
  • Many American troops have taken it upon themselves to reconstruct schools and gather learning tools for the children of Iraq. Their efforts have been met with immense gratitude from the local Iraqis and their children. You can help too! Visit Operation Iraqi Children and get involved.

Thanks for reading! If you found something here you want to blog about yourself (and we hope you do), all we ask is that you do as we do and offer a Hat Tip hyperlink to today's "Winds of War". If you think we missed something important, use the Comments section to let us know. And if you have a tip for a future Iraq Report, email us at MondayIraqReport(at)windsofchange.net.

1 Comment

WHAT’S ALL THIS BALONEY ABOUT “LOSING?”
To succeed in Iraq, it is critical to clearly define our goals. Not everything is a reprise of Vietnam – even Vietnam was not Vietnam! During that war, the MSM controlled almost all information -- no internet, no blogs, no email. Vietnam was part of the cold war policy of the containment of communism. The war succeeded in slowing the communist takeover of Vietnam, stopped the takeover of most neighboring countries, worked to impoverish the Soviets, destabilized Chinas’ regional hegemony, and exacerbated the acrimony and competition between the Soviets and China. Vietnam was definitely a setback in the cold war, but the biggest problem is slavishly interpreting the complex outcome as defeat, and projecting this interpretation onto all other wars. The MSM seriously promulgates the idea that tiny North Vietnam single-handedly defeated 175,000,000 Americans in combat, and “won” by becoming a full Stalinist state. Without China and the Soviets, winning in North Vietnam would have been easy - invade, occupy, and democratize. In reality, invasion might have caused war with the Soviets (probably no) or China (probably yes). Instead, the US stuck by the strategy of communist containment, ceded South Vietnam, prosecuted WWIII elsewhere, and eventually won by blocking and completely impoverishing the Soviets. Vietnam was painful for the participants and for onlookers to watch, but most hope for the day that Vietnam will become a democracy. The US and its allies have hastened that arrival, by defeating the Soviets, encouraging China to democratize, and showing goodwill to the current Vietnam government.

The current "terrorist" war is really a war with various Muslim fascists, which started with Iraq in 1991. It now resembles the cold war, with containment as the main objective – isolating Iran, Syria, South Lebanon, Palestine, other hot spots, and fighting wars only when necessary, limiting goals, and limiting duration. Concurrently, we promote democratization, and political solutions, again slowly and painfully, but it is the best way to do it. The Iraq war has had 6 phases so far: 1991 Iraq invasion of Kuwait (ultimately unsuccessful for Iraq), 1991 allied counterattack on Kuwait (successful), 91-03 containment of Iraq (mainly successful, but unsustainable), 03 invasion (successful), 03-06 peacemaking, defeating insurgents attacking US and allies (successful), 06-07 peacekeeping, attenuating effects of civil war (so far at least partly successful). The next stage will be gradual withdrawal leading to full Iraqi self-sufficiency (dates unspecified, but about 08-11). This will be successful if Iraq does not harbor terrorists which attack western allies. Containment (or re-invasion) may be necessary. Remember, the US is STILL in Japan, South Korea, and Japan (why, by the way?). You may declare Iraq as defeat, or victory, if you like, but marshal evidence to prove your point. It is not enough to shout from some headline, “WE LOST!” It makes no sense.

Wars are magnificent punctuation marks of history, with lots of social upheaval, hate, death, genocide, and geopolitical change, all concentrated into a definite time period. Peacekeeping bores the MSM, because it’s mainly about minimizing social upheaval, hate, death, genocide, and geopolitical change, while spreading the whole process over long, ill-defined time periods until an insufferably bored populace give up their hate and desire for conflict. Peacekeepers cannot replace the will of a populace – they can only attenuate atrocities, while politicians, diplomats, and NGO’s work to rekindle the desire for peace and stability.

So far the allies are winning the war with Muslim fascism -- no attacks on US soil since 9/11, only small ones elsewhere, Taliban on the run, Iran increasingly pushed against the wall -- we just have to stick with it. There may be no single clear “win”, when walls fall, and borders collapse, but “success” occurs when human suffering declines.

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