Saturday, August 11, 2007

Win the War Now

Rand Report : The United States should focus its political, security and economic efforts in Iraq toward the single goal of reducing sectarian strife and other violence, but should also start planning now for the possibility that these efforts will not succeed, according to a RAND Corporation study released this week.

The report recommends the United States reassess its efforts in Iraq, concluding that the single biggest issue in Iraq is the daily violence faced by the nation's population. That violence is now caused primarily by sectarian fighting, rather than from insurgents or criminal violence, according to researchers.

PDF version. Rand, the "original think tank" lists 5 solutions in this report U.S. Policy Options for Iraq.

1. Use overwhelming force to pacify the country and prevent further fighting.
2. Pick and support one or more “winners” of the civil war and help them gain control of Iraq, thus ending the conflict.
3. Help to partition Iraq into three separate states.
4. Leave Iraq and wait for one or more victors to emerge.
5. Maintain current efforts by seeking to broker a deal to reduce violence while Coalition troops focus on combating the insurgency and supporting the central government.

In February 2003 my sons were sitting, had been for months, on the Iraq border, waiting for UN approval to wage war. I knew with or without UN blessing the US was going to war. My daughter, granddaughter, and I froze our buns in rain and sleet holding signs. There was maybe 20 other protestors every week. I knew we would see a Vietnam repeat of break it, profitmonger it, leave it, let the peons pay for it.

Americans in 2002/2003 were not looking at the long-term effect of waging war and today they're not looking at the long-term effect of quitting war.

But lets look at options the think tank above offers. Number 5, current effort, is obviously not working. I don't believe the US mis-planned this war. Mr. and Ms. Average American may be dense, easily distracted, stupid - but the ruling class planners are not. If the US loses in Iraq - that was the plan – and suggests the design all along was to economically break the bank, similar to the collapse of the "evil" Soviet empire. Who benefits with the fall of American empire?

Leave and wait for "victors" to emerge (#4) could be a serious problem as the "victors" are going to be overtly or covertly armed and supported by other players on the chess board. China, Russia, Saudi, Iran, US, Latin America; everyone with a fork ready for a piece of the pie. You must consider the consequences of an Iraq government backed by other non-friendly global players. If you think those players will be more benign in Iraq than the US - then you need to think again. Or maybe you believe pseudobenevolent leaders like Hugo Chavez will rush to aid Iraq, nevermind that $50-72 per barrel war profit makes Hugo what he is today.

Number 3, partition into 3 separate states. Divide and conquer. According to Rand researchers the majority of Iraqi want a unified country. The US could wage a smaller war/occupation for decades or "generational war" as Condi put it, until Iraq, and/or perhaps more of the Middle East is carved into weaker, manageable units, a horrendous price for the people but long-term dividends for the profiteers.

Number 2, "pick and support one or more “winners” of the civil war and help them gain control of Iraq, thus ending the conflict" … This solution is #4 made simple, and with the guarantee that the US wins control of Iraq without other players stepping in to support their choice of "victor." It also would require "support" by means of massive armament and/or air strikes. Basically it's pick and support one side from a comfortable distance and let them kill off the opposition (method used often by US). But again, other players will pick and support a side. Just another war by proxy.

The current anti-war movement isn't looking at the long-term. The "peace movement" says end the war now but give no details on the aftermath of this strategy. Face it people, the long-term effect of winning or losing, or abandoning this war is not going to be simple, easy, or pretty. Most, if not all, of the same peace folks are okay with US trooping around in Africa, even beg Washington for intervention in Africa - that war is presented as humanitarian righteous aid and on the surface appears to be of smaller scale, or by proxy.

The majority of America is not "anti-war" – it's the packaging. Americans won't play if their team can't kickass quick and hold up a trophy. Americans need their war in a drive-through window. A Big Mac, a Whopper. It will still smell like a crotchburger but with the right wrapper Americans will swear it's delicious.

The majority of America's anti-war movement is not about saving lives – it's a platform for phonies like Markos and Huffington, a collection plate for blowhard bloggers, another book deal for pandering liberal and conservative writers. The movement does nothing more than maneuver potential progressive phonies into future position. The '60s gave us John "Toss Medals" Kerry, Daniel "Leaking All the Way to the Bank" Ellsberg, Tom "Progressive Democrats of America" Hayden, Jane "Staying Fit & Still Against War" Fonda, etc.

One of 3 things happen to radicals: They die young. They voluntarily fade away. They serve the established system while pretending not to.

Today there are no radicals, there are popularity contests. The movement's leader thinks a hunger strike is 3 days, no Cindy, that's fasting. Peace movement leader says she will camp out until Bush meets with her, then travels the world, puts a for sale sign on Camp Casey, quits the movement, returns to the movement, announces she wants to hold office in the same corrupt system she's been bull-horning. That's not leadership – that's PTSD.

My choice of the 5 Rand options would have to be number 1 - overwhelming force to pacify and stop the fighting. Stop the war profiteering (tax it) and corruption (hard prison time) at home. Rebuild Iraq and return it to Iraqis. Overwhelming force would likely require at least 600,000 troops patrolling Iraq, but it would have the capacity to disarm all sects and combatants in Iraq and keep the peace until Iraqis eventually form a unified government. Such a force would likely require a military draft at home.

The first called to serve should be family members of politicians, congress and the corporatocracy. All while instituting some immediate serious changes at home: term limits, campaign finance reform, US policy toward Israel, stop corporate global "destitution by design" - by any means necessary.

But – America ain't gonna do it that way.

9 comments:

Lewis Walsh said...

Kate:

The only plan that has the possiblility of returning the government to the people is the citizen imposed Term Limits - Six Years and Out movement.

Unfortunately, history teaches that incumbency almost guarantees reelection.. A sad truth is that tenure in congressional office almost invariably corrupts. So what can a citizen do?

The notion that we should continue to reelect a “good politician” should be discarded since the essence of democracy is participation in public office by as many citizens as possible. Anyone who has made observations of our political process since 10th grade civics understands that governmental power no longer emanates from the people. I contend that the concentration of wealth in the US results in the concentration of political power. This power is used in various ways to achieve the goals of a super wealthy minority. Actual democracy can only come about when a society has seriously committed to economic fairness.

So then, how do we get control of the present minority controlled undemocratic system; how do we develop a strategy so simple that every one can use while the strategy itself remains immune to constraints by powerful interests?

The abilities that are required to be a competent legislator are not rare. There is no dearth of talented people who are willing to serve one term in public office and then return to their professions. It is well known that it is the staffs of congressman and senators who actually do the work. The elected officials are needed basically to set policy. It is unimaginable that one-term members of congress can be any more destructive to the democratic process and to our treasury then the career politicians have proven to be.

Legislators are unlikely to approve legislation that would limit terms of office. And, if such a law were to pass, the Supreme Court is likely to strike it down. Remember that this is the court that has determined that money is speech, thereby ceding political control of the country to the super wealthy.

Despite the enormous resources leveraged against the public by special interests, there is a remedy for the corruption represented by the duopoly Democrat/Republican party. If one believes in participatory democracy, it follows that one must also believe that as many citizens as possible should have the opportunity to serve in public office. The Six Years and Out movement requires no time or resources. There are no financial contributions to be made no
meetings to attend no speeches to endure. A citizen need only make the following pledge to himself then herald what he has done to others. If you are fed up with pay-to-play government and duopoly party rule, you can take the pledge.

Six Years and Out, The Pledge:

With the recognition that there are huge numbers of intelligent, talented and qualified citizens who are prepared to limit their public service. I hereby pledge that I will not vote a second term for any United States Senator and no more three terms for any United States Congressman.

Kate-A said...

Exactly!! I've supported 6 years and out thinking for years, including presidential term.

Of course pols could and would be bought w/o other restrictions and safeguards but those can be determined, i.e. not working or sitting on boards of a corporation a pol's legislation benefited, perhaps public financed campaigns without any corporate or think tanks or billionaire club funding.

There are thousands if not millions of citizens perfectly capable who would be content to perform civil service for 6 years and return to everyday life without expectation of "favors returned" for passing special interest legislation.

Do you have a website or organization supporting term limits?

Kate-A said...

Lewis,
Also, and unfortunately, I do not think the American people will succeed with any significant useful changes in the political system without a fight.

And typically voters believe "fight" means to continue playing the game as is ... electing a favorite personality ...

...marching, boycotting, general strikes, taxation protest, etc. are too scary and inconvenient for most folks.

Lewis Walsh said...

Kate:

I am more of a policy theorist than a technological person, but I do have a website. I am having difficulty linking with others of like mind and in getting my message out.

http://www.thewalshwire.blogspot.com/

Kate-A said...

Thanks Lewis. I'll link to you, not that I get a ton of traffic ....

Keep at it.

Kathy said...

I agree with you and Mr. Walsh (whose website I shall visit) on the national strategies.

Iraq is the new Palestine and the chances of reversing this fate are nil to none. We broke it and don't have the money to fix it. We do have the weaponry to blow it smitherines which is what we'll probably do instead of drafting infantry.

Kathy F.

Kate-A said...

Kathy,
I believe the US would have the money to fix it if we stopped funneling billions into private contractors, defense pockets, etc.

Once the treasury is truly empty - the profiteers will "end" the war. And US citizens will pay more than they can imagine for "peace."

The public responds juvenile when it should be pragmatic. The PTB count on that.

Kathy said...

Kate:

I see your point, but I think the treasury is mortgaged out and is useful now only as a money-laundering facility for the globe-conquering elite. However, our credit is still good and if we gouged the funneling, yes, we could rebuild Iraq.

One of the biggest obstacles we face in transforming government is in finding the means – before, during, and after a transformation - to protect and maintain our national defense organization and capabilities.

Kathy

Kate-A said...

Kathy -
I don't think people realize how grand the scale of corruption really is in government.

I believe just cutting the fraud and waste from the Pentagon/DOD would provide the funds to protect and maintain our defense.

I truly believe if folks would but stand up to their governments - the global elite would back down. We out number them and their hired guns.

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