Wednesday, April 11, 2007

End The War Or Start The Draft?

Two headlines popped out at me this afternoon.

The first : Gates announces longer tours in Iraq
The second : Divide and rule - America's plan for Baghdad

The first headline details that US troops tour of duty will be extended, the second headline claims the United States plans to break several parts of Baghdad up into isolated communities.

Imagine you are the US soldier, tired and weary of combat who is told "Effective immediately, your prison sentence has been extended an additional three months, you will now serve 15 month tours."

Oh, you think, what a bummer - you were really hoping to see your daughter and wife in another sixty days when your tour ended, but suddenly it will be nearly half a year before you see them again. Nice.

So let me be the 800 pound guerilla in the room and ask : how can over-stressing the military be beneficial to the United States or Iraq? Obviously the troops are being asked to stay for longer tours because there is a shortage of manpower.

Furthermore, one only needs to look to the neglect of Walter Reed to understand that not only is our manpower limited, so is the ability to take care of those who have been injured in war.

There is but one "solution" to the problem, end the war or start the draft.

I am an opponent of the draft, everything about a draft indicates that you no longer live in a free society.

But I am also opposed to a mere handful of men and woman taking all the punishment for the President's bad decisions.

If Jane and John Doe can wear a uniform then so can Jenna and Barbara Bush.

I am quite certain there is only one way to establish control over Iraq, and that is to have a military draft, and I really don't think that's going to happen without civil unrest and molotov cocktails in the United States.

If the draft is not an option then scaling back or ending the war has to be an option or we will accomplish nothing but exhausting ourselves and our supplies.

With that said, does anyone think dividing up Baghdad will accomplish anything?

The Independents Robert Fisk writes

' 'The campaign of "gated communities" - whose genesis was in the Vietnam War - will involve up to 30 of the city's 89 official districts and will be the most ambitious counter-insurgency programme yet mounted by the US in Iraq."

"The system of "gating" areas under foreign occupation failed during the French war against FLN insurgents in Algeria and again during the American war in Vietnam. Israel has employed similar practices during its occupation of Palestinian territory - again, with little success. ' '

OK, but my questions are : What about the other 59 districts in Baghdad that will not be "gated"? What's to prevent insurgents from setting up base in non-gated communities?

Furthermore what is to prevent insurgents from launching more attacks in Ramadi, Fallujah, Mosul, Basra, Najef, Karbala, Samarra and Kirkuk?

And why, why, why are we taking advice from the Israeli's? The Israeli's have not been entirely successful in quelling the Palestinian uprising, which even in it's zenith is nowhere near as violent and dangerous as the insurgency in Iraq.

Have we already forgotten that Israeli's strong arm completely failed against Hezbollah in Lebanon last summer?

Israel has been unable to coexist with their Arab neighbors for decades, so what on earth qualifies them to be giving us advice on Iraq?

The only qualification Israel has in my eyes to be giving us advice on Iraq is their exceptional ability to not solve the problems brewing with their Arab neighbors ... And that's not much of a qualification at all when you think about it.


Hey, I got an idea! Let's turn Baghdad into a new West Bank since life is soooo good in the West Bank for the Palestinians...

We can put a wall up and everything. Then we can say it's for the "security" of the Iraqi's even though it's just a cage to lock them up in just like the Wall in the West Bank bank does. That will solve all our problems!

Sounds like a good idea, if your a proud neocon unaware of the realities of such a scenario.


Attempting to turn Baghdad into a divided police state will not solve the major political and religious divides among the Iraqi people and therefore will not aid in eradicating the violence amongst them.

In the long run the practice of dividing communities may only serve to aggravate sectarian feuds further so may in fact be detrimental to stopping violence.

I know the idea sounds tempting for a problem that has been so complex. But the truth is and always will be that only the Iraqi's can take control of their country, we cannot shape, manipulate or carve their destiny forever.

It may sound harsh, especially from a Liberal, but sometimes countries need a revolution, sometimes there has to be a civil war.

Sometimes the good guys come out on top, sometimes it's the bad. Covertly aiding the Iraqi's who have been deemed as the favorable choice is always an option in trying to ensure a better future for Iraq.

But to deny a civil war when perhaps one needs to be waged is almost like denying fate, the time bomb will explode eventually so you might as well quit stalling and take cover.

The President was foolishly optimistic in his thinking that toppling Saddam would somehow trigger a wave of freedom and liberty throughout the Middle East.

The Bush Administration has illustrated how incompetent they are in dealing with issues in the Middle East with their utter lack of knowledge about Muslims before the occupation began. That ignorance leads directly to the failure you see here today.

If the Bush Administration had understood the complex political and religious differences among the people of Iraq then none would have believed such a fairy-tale scenario was possible.

If the Bush Administration itself didn't also have a complex political and religious ideology themselves then such a fairy-tale scenario in Iraq would have never been dreamt up in the first place.

The two articles -
The first : Gates announces longer tours in Iraq
The second : Divide and rule - America's plan for Baghdad

These articles paint a lovely picture when combined together.

The first article suggests that the military is stretched thin.

The second article indicates that the US military believes it can complete a massive security operation that would realistically requite much more troop strength than we currently have.

So the question of the day is : End the war or start the draft?