Thursday, March 08, 2007
Petraeus Agrees With Us?
Military force alone is "not sufficient" to end the violence in Iraq and political talks must eventually include some militant groups now opposing the U.S.-backed government, the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said Thursday.
"This is critical," U.S. Gen. David Petraeus said in his first news conference since taking over command last month. He noted that such political negotiations "will determine in the long run the success of this effort."
In other words, the use of military force can only go so far and that ultimately we need a political solution. Sounds similar to themes Alexis Debat, a senior fellow at The Nixon Center, and I articulated in an essay in the International Herald Tribune last November.
The current American strategy of treating the violence in Iraq as if it is occurring outside of the political process gives no incentives to the Shiites to negotiate (since the U.S. military is trying to eliminate the Sunni resistance) while Sunnis see no reason to give up their only significant card to play: violence. … Elections have failed to produce a government that can solve these questions. What is taking place in the streets is the second round, as militias and insurgents use the gun to claim what the ballot box could not deliver.
We had recommended a U.S. policy that would channel “the violence toward a political solution, rather than fighting on for ‘ultimate victory.’” Is this the direction General Petraeus is moving in as well?
(This will be up on National Interest online.
The sad factbasedreality of this truth which Patraeous articulates here, is that unless, and unil the fascist in the Bush government recognize that Iraq cannot not advance realist political solutions - America's horrorshow and noendinsight costly bloody nightmare in Iraq will continue to waste American blood, treasure, and credibility, - and FAIL to resolve any of the core issue's, empower Iran, and turn both Iraqi's and the entire world against American imperialism, predation, and wanton profiteering.
There are no good options in Iraq. Iran won this horrorshow. Americans must muster the courage to admit, that the entire Iraq debacle is a cataclysmic FAILURE, a betrayal of every principle and law upon which America is founded, benefiting the fascist warmongers and profiteers in the Bush governmen singularly and exclusively - and an unjust, unnecessary, and illegal CRIME scene, that America must end and remedy.
Solving the crisis and costly, bloody, noendinsight horrorshow in Iraq will require new directions, and most importantly new leadership.
Staying the course, or escalating this horrorshow to benefit or defray the accountibility of the fascists in the Bush government is a recipe for disaster American can neither afford, or in good conscience countenance.
"Deliver us from evil!"
On a different note to TonyForesta:
I just wanted to point out how odd it is that you continually use the term "factbasedreality." It seems solipsistic to assume that the external world is somehow contingent upon the meanings of our facts about it. After all, shouldn't it be our facts that are based in reality. Assuming that reality is based on our facts is an absurdity which has no meaning. Perhaps you could simply reverse the term and add spaces so it doesn't look like a compound German noun to "reality based fact." But even then, use of the term assumes that somehow you have cognitive powers that allow you to directly perceive and know the external world which the rest of us do not have. Perhaps the best route would be simply to demonstrate why your arguments are better than those of others, instead of baldly asserting "factbasedrealities."
Terms used by the Bush government such as "democracy" and "freedom", "privatization", "liberation" even and "America" have absolutely nothing to do with academic definition formally applied to and accepted as the universal understanding of these words. In fact these words and countless others, not too mention the principles that formally defined America have been ruthlessly shapeshifted into some new Bush government conjuring and perversion of what these words, and those principles once meant.
For example, invading, occupying, and the prosecuting war against a soveriegn nation based on a festering litany of deceptions, hype, exaggerations, and unvetted, uncorroborated, singlesourced OSP/OSI/WHIG cabals and Chalabi concocted fictions, myths, and patent LIES, - and then slaughtering thousands of that nations innocent civilians, destroying that nations infrastructure, imposing a selected puppet government upon that nation, marauding that nations resources, and profiteering wantonly in and from the process in IMPERIALISM, not demorcracy, and TYRANY, not liberation.
I have begged socalle realists hear to define the term democracy, so that we can all agree on some shared understanding of what that word means, and there has never once been a single reply.
Yet, everything I read about democracy and the origin, philology and previous understanding of democracy - does not anywhere at anytime, for any reason afford the government unfettered authority to dismantle the Constitution, to operate repeatedly and insistantly above, beyond, and outside the rule of law, to disregard due process, or habeas corpus principles, to conduct disinformation warfare campaigns on the people, to spy on the people without a court order or just cause, to sanction torture and rendition as government policy, and most poignantly- to cloak these nefarious FASCIST machinations under the deceptive and ghoulish mask of unknown unknown national security threats.
The Bush government invents their own language, and I am only responding in kind.
Please define democracy, liberation, fascisism, profiteer. and tyranny, and you will understand my dismay, indignation, and dread concern over the Bush government policies, designs, and machinations.
"Deliver us from evil!"
As thoughtful intellectuals concerned with the state of our political system, we should focus instead on clarifying the meanings of important concepts like democracy, instead of further bastardizing the English language. That kind of reactionary attitude resonates only with fanatics constrained by popular dogmatisms.
You asked for definitions of a host of terms. Start with democracy. For a thoughtful analysis of democracy read Fareed Zakaria's The Future of Freedom. It will familiarize you with the concept of illiberal democracy, which I think is very important for understanding why democracy is not a priori correct.
We have more in common than you may care to admit.
I know exactly the frustration you feel, when words no longer hold any value or meaning, and the message is nothing but spin, gibberish, bastardized language, and/or disinformation.
It is precisely the "clarifying of important concepts like democracy, instead of bastardizing the english language" that I have been hoping to shine a hot light upon, and force to the foreground of these discussions and critical debates.
Whatever the definition may be, - at least after sharing this information, we can agree on some basic concepts, and apply those concepts to our present situations and use of the word or concepts in ways that we can all agree acurately describe someting like democracy.
Sure, General Petraeus understands this. More importantly, he's willing to use his status as media darling to pressure the White House. I expect the effort to be futile. Unfortunately, you can't force the executive branch to execute good policy in good faith, only in bad faith.
The Bush Administration, as usual, seems to be more interested in vindicating its methods than actually producing a good outcome. Even when you politically force them to fake negotiating, they deliberately botch it, just so they can argue, "hey, just like we said, political solutions aren't worth a dime!"
Then again, maybe I'm wrong. Efforts are clearly underway to break the current Shiite alliance in Congress and replace it with, surprise, Mr. Allawi again. Who knows, maybe the Admin thinks the new leaders will be able to negotiate with the Sunnis more willingly. I'm not so sure.