Sunday, January 09, 2005


Bring On The Death Squads

MSNBC and Newsweek report that the Pentagon is considering an approach in Iraq similar to that used in Southern American two decades ago. I'm not sure how this worked out for us in the previous instance, but I'm sure Oliver North got erect upon hearing this news. The following tidbit does worry me somewhat:

One Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support
and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga
fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their
sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military
insiders familiar with the discussions.

Two things. First, pitting one ethic group against another seems like a Bad Idea(tm) when the country is already showing some preliminary signs of erupting into a civil war. The second concern here is talk about heading off into Syria. Expanding the conflict into a soverign nation is not what we need to do when we've already got a bigger problem than we can handle.

So, is this Iraqi insurgency a political problem, or a military problem? And is it indeed the result of some significant foreign influence, or is it primarily a domestic problem? It'd be nice to know that the proper amount of thought has been put into both of those questions and the answer pointed towards the use of these small counterinsurgency squads, but if that pattern of problem-solving had been established earlier on, we likely would not be in the same situation today.

There's a path appearing here that would lead to a world-wide conflict in the Middle East, maybe 30-50 years from now.
30-50 years? That seems generous. I give us a, oh, 50% chance of fucking things up to the point where we light something major off in the next decade or less.
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