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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It’s not the disagreement it’s that Winston is wrong

A lot of fuss this morning over he said, she said bullshit between Winston and Helen over the war in Iraq. Winston, while sucking up to the Australians, said that Iraq would slide into chaos if America and its dwindling ‘alliance of the killing’ left Iraq. Now the story here isn’t that Helen and Winston disagree, it’s that Winston is simply wrong – IT IS THE AMERICAN PRESENCE IN IRAQ THAT IS CREATING CHAOS, not that it will slide into chaos once America leaves, it is chaos right now and will only continue to be chaos until they leave.

Peters says what Clark can't on Iraq
Foreign Minister Winston Peters yesterday said Iraq would slide into total chaos if the United States withdrew at present - a conclusion that Prime Minister Helen Clark has carefully avoided making publicly. New Zealand opposed the United States' invasion of Iraq and though Helen Clark might privately agree that it would be disastrous for the United States to withdraw now, to say so would imply a support of the United States being there at all. And that is a step too far for her. Mr Peters made his comment at a press conference with Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer after six-monthly talks in Wellington. They were warmly received by Mr Downer, whose Government is standing firm in its military support of the United States in Iraq.


At 27/2/07 10:19 am, Anonymous jr said...

Bomber do you really think the chaos in Iraq will be sorted out if the US just ups and leaves? A de-Baathified army isn't exactly in a position to keep control (granetd the US isn't doing too brilliant a job of that) They created the mess, they're going to have to try and sort it out. I personally don't think leaving post haste is the best way to go about it. Given that the US forces based there aren't having a great time of it, if they could draw down in the belief the situation wouldn't deteriorate I think they'd be drawing up plans sooner rather than later.

At 27/2/07 2:43 pm, Anonymous Brewerstroupe said...


Here's a guy who might not agree:


Whilst I think he might be optimistic in his time frame, I agree that the withdrawal of the U.S. will settle things down quite rapidly.

The primary factor fueling the insurgency is U.S. predation of the country's resources.

What is so difficult to understand?
If the U.S. came over here and set Brian Tamaki up as Prime Minister on condition he gave them the lion's share of our resources do you think we'd all roll over and say "thank you please"?
And do you think that, just maybe, the resistance might be a bit factionalised?
And do you think the American press might just bill the conflict as a sectarian one?

Isn't it about time that serious people took their eyes off TV, stopped reading the Herald and started listening to what the Iraqis are saying?

This is not a sectarian conflict.

At 27/2/07 2:46 pm, Anonymous sdm said...

Well the issues associated with withdrawal are complex. JR talks about the US creating this mess, and strictly speaking thats true; they invaded. However we must remember what was there before: a regime based on acquiesence that dealt to any uprising with force. However we are left with a lose-lose for the United States.

The United States can not pacify Iraq. The troop levels, even with the surge, are inadequate to do so. Again, blame Rumsfeld. But they cant just up and leave, as it would leave Iran as the dominant player, something they do not believe is in there interests. So in other words, they cant go but they cant stay.

Therefore, there can be no military solution to the problem. When Field Marshall von Rundstedt, then the commander of the German troops on the western front late in WW2, was asked what should be done when the military outcome was dire, he responded famously "Make peace you fools, what else can you do?" He said this, not because of a moral predisposition torwards peace, but becuase the military options had been exhausted.

Thus the only solution left for the US is political - make a settlement, pay the price.

At 27/2/07 7:13 pm, Anonymous Brewerstroupe said...

The Strategy of Disintegration:


At 27/2/07 7:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iraq’s Justice Minister says Saddam innocent of Halabja


At 27/2/07 7:40 pm, Anonymous Brewerstroupe said...

Media bias 'threat' to Iraq

Al-Hashimi said: "The false allegations promoted by Western media have resulted in an [inappropriate] political process, and everyone is paying the price for its wrong foundations."

Where the figures came from to back up assertions of a large Shia majority are unclear: no Iraqi census in modern history has ever included sect.

Sources such as Encyclopaedia Britannica put the Shia population in Iraq at 52 per cent of the total in 2001.

"Actually, sect was never an issue in Iraq. I am a Shia and I have been a senior Baath official ... No Baath party official - no Iraqi official - ever asked me about my sect.

"When the US army occupied Iraq they issued a list of 55 wanted top Iraqi officials, starting with President Saddam Hussein; half of those senior officials were Shia.

"The Committee of Debaathification issued a list of 100,000 senior Iraqi Baathists who would not be allowed to enjoy governmental posts, 66,000 of them were Shia - so how is the Baath party a Sunni party?


At 28/2/07 4:00 pm, Anonymous jr said...

I hear what you say Brewer but I find it hard to take that the violence is not sectarian when many bombs are planted to target members of certain religious groups, and not Americans. Factionalised conflict against the Americans I could understand, but to suggest that there isn't a sectarian inter-Iraqi conflict also going on is stretching it imho. His time frame is asserted with a lot of confidence and I find it farcical to be honest.

At 28/2/07 9:13 pm, Anonymous Brewerstroupe said...

Don't you think, in the scenario given above, we would be having a go at Tamaki's faction and each other?

At 1/3/07 10:19 pm, Anonymous jr said...

Sure I can see anti-Brian factions developing, Brian would be the puppet of the imperialist...but how does that translate into the Iraqi situation. Exactly who is Brian's mob , and who is targeting them (and the Americans) and is the purpose entirely anti-Brian (USA) or is it in some way tied to future control of Iraq. I find it amazing that you would simplify the issue so much, and yet so much weight on the opinion of someone who is palpably stating bs regarding the time taken for a peaceful post US Iraq to develop.

In answer to your 3 original questions:

f the U.S. came over here and set Brian Tamaki up as Prime Minister on condition he gave them the lion's share of our resources do you think we'd all roll over and say "thank you please"?

Of course we wouldn't accept it, whether or not our resistance against the imperialist would entail blowing each other up is another question - I guess we forget the whole your enemy's enemy
argument. What is more important to occupied Iraq, fighting off the evil (Brianesque) imperialists or settling old scores...because if it was purely the former they are doing far too much of the latter to be effective.

And do you think that, just maybe, the resistance might be a bit factionalised?

Sure, see above. There factionalised resistance, but if Brian was in charge would I be blowing up NZ First supporters who had a different anti-Brian view to me...probably not.

And do you think the American press might just bill the conflict as a sectarian one?

Yes they would, whether or not they'd promote it as entirely sectarian is another question, whether or not I'd believe them is entirely another.

At 2/3/07 12:08 pm, Anonymous Brewerstroupe said...

Just so long as we're thinking and not swallowing the Kool-Aid.

What I am trying to illustrate is that in any society with a history of tribalism, introduce a destabilising force and the resulting factionalism is a certain result. There is little likelihood of things settling down until the foreign invader has gone.

People talk as if the violence is caused by religious differences that have always been there bubbling beneath the surface.
I maintain that it is a direct result of the U.S. invasion and cite the fact that prior to the invasion, 20% of marriages were between Sunni and Shiite.

I also cite the Shiite participation in the Baathist Government (60%) as evidence a much more inclusive political process than we have been lead to believe.


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