I no longer see any reasonable or acceptable way out of this...
BAGHDAD, Nov. 25 — The insurgency in Iraq is now self-sustaining financially, raising tens of millions of dollars a year from oil smuggling, kidnapping, counterfeiting, connivance by corrupt Islamic charities and other crimes that the Iraqi government and its American patrons have been largely unable to prevent, a classified United States government report has concluded.
The report, obtained by The New York Times, estimates that groups responsible for many insurgent and terrorist attacks are raising $70 million to $200 million a year from illegal activities. It says $25 million to $100 million of that comes from oil smuggling and other criminal activity involving the state-owned oil industry, aided by “corrupt and complicit” Iraqi officials.
As much as $36 million a year comes from ransoms paid for hundreds of kidnap victims, the report says. It estimates that unnamed foreign governments — previously identified by American officials as including France and Italy — paid $30 million in ransom last year.
Here's the current situation in Iraq as it stands right now: Shiites and Sunni Muslims are killing each other at an astonishing rate -- a civil war by any standard. Iran and Syria are financing the flooding of Iraq with crazed jihadists who're willing and able to blow themselves up to kill other jihadists and Americans. The Iraqi army and civilian malitia are infested with crazed jihadists who use the authority of their uniforms to kill other Muslims who are not Sunni or Shiite, whichever they are. Al Maliki is not strong enough to lead a country at war with itself. Joe Biden's idea of partitioning the country is a fine idea but in practice how do you do that? Sunni and Shiite have been waring for generations and we cannot stop it. Saddam Hussein was an evil, piece of garbage and it's good that he's gone but can we judge that the power vacuum he leaves behind has lead to something better? And finally, 3000, give or take, dead Americans, not to mention the American tax-payer funded treasure expended to accomplish what exactly?
Look, if we had gone in there with overwhelming force and a plan to deal with this inevitable insurgency, rather than with the touchy-feely, kinder gentler warplan that we waged, we probably could have accomplished something definable as winning. With the whining liberals in America constantly harping about civilian casualties at every turn, I honestly don't see how we can wage ANY war ANY WHERE, successfully. If you are going to attack a country, you have to accept beforehand, huge numbers of civilian casualties, especially when the enemy cowardly disguises itself as civilian.
Seriously, what is the answer here? Where do we go now? Continue like we are today for the next ten years or more -- a few hundered Iraqi civilian and insurgent deaths alonside a half dozen Americans dead each week? That scenario is totally unacceptable! The elected Iraqi government is incompetent, corrupt, and weak. The American people will only tolerate so much useless American deaths without a plan for victory...this probably explains the mid-term election results as much as anything. As much as I loathe the sniveling, liberals in this country, we may end up putting up with some sort of embarassing scheduled pull-out like they suggest, that is if we're not going back in full force and obliterate the insurgency, with the understanding and acceptance of millions of civilian casualties. Sadly, America just doesn't have the guts for that kind of warfare any more.
I'm afraid there's no palatable way out of Iraq now. Given that, what's the plan?
One friend suggested that we take all the leftover Katrina dingleberries still demanding tax-payer support, and give them Baghdad to rebuild...at least they won't have to worry about flooding. Hey, it's as good a suggestion as any I've heard from Washington.