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Ear to the Ground

Petraeus’ Iraq Plan:  Finesse, Not Just Force

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Posted on Mar 8, 2007
ENTER_ALT_TEXT

More American troops are being deployed to hot spots of insurgent activity near Baghdad, Gen. David Petraeus announced Thursday.  Petraeus, just beginning his tenure as U.S. military commander in Iraq, called for future negotiations with anti-government groups as well as those in support of the new Iraqi regime.  “Military action is necessary to help improve security,” he said, “but it is not sufficient. There needs to be a political aspect.”


BBC:

Gen. Petraeus said improving the situation in Iraq required more than armed force.

“There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq, to the insurgency of Iraq,” he said.

“Military action is necessary to help improve security… but it is not sufficient. There needs to be a political aspect.”

He said some groups “who have felt the new Iraq did not have a place for them” would have to be engaged in talks.

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By Morf, March 30, 2007 at 9:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Unlike Americans, Iraqis have an experiential knowledge of history. They have been invaded and occupied dozens, if not hundreds of times, in the past two or three thousand years. Like the Viet-namese, they have no qualms about fighting a hundred year war against any occupier. Our timelines mean nothing to the Iraqis. They are fighting for their homeland and their beliefs. The longer we are there, the more we confirm the beliefs of the Jihadists who see us as just another infidel invader/colonizer. No matter how long we stay, we will always be foreigners. And the longer we stay, the more passionately the Iraqi people will hate us - and there will be more of them. And they won’t just be Iraqis.

There will be no decisive battles in Iraq. There will be no D-day, no Lexington, no V-day. We will just have more piddling wearing down. There will be no clear cut victory - for Iraq or us.

It would be easy to make the argument that the Soviet Union collapsed because of its sustained involvement in Afghanistan. Perhaps the question is “How long will we stay in Iraq?” The answer depends on how foolish and ignorant we are determined to be. Are we willing to bleed our economy and our national morale for, well, I don’t know what. The rhetoric about the “war on terror” sounds emptier and more Orwellian by the day. We are looking more and more like the vacuous imperialists of the not so distant past. Is there anything more unAmerican than that?

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” Douglas Adams

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By Steve Hammons, March 9, 2007 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gen. Petraeus and other officers and troops have a difficult, if not impossible mission.

As has been said many times, the key to this situation is political—and psychological.

People involved in psychological operations, information and influence ops, and similar kinds of activities might have more success if they look deeper, wider and in some unconvetional places for additional insight, assets and resources.

The two articles referenced below look at some of these:

“Modern consciousness research, World War II lessons combine to win hearts and minds, war and peace”

Steve Hammons
American Chronicle
October 12, 2006

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=14783

-  -  -

“Psychology and the human heart are keys in winning the war, the peace”

Steve Hammons
American Chronicle
October 30, 2005

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/viewArticle.asp?articleID=3350

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By James Yell, March 9, 2007 at 7:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If we are willing to kill everyone we can prevail, but we can’t win a war which was started on a lie and deliberately started by an Administration sworn to act for the good of the country.

If a person has been told that a not well liked person had committed a crime against them and the person attacks the other and discovers that it was “all a lie” and yet continues to hurt the other on the grounds “I started to beat him up and by damn I am going to continue to beat him up”. What would any of us have to say about such a person? In a world where the laws were in force it would be the attacker who would be held to account and “asked—he didn’t do it, so why are you continuing to beat him up?” It makes no sense and says more about you than about him.

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By Dale Headley, March 8, 2007 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whether or not anything General Petraeus does or says is worthy of praise;  whether or not Bush attains all of his goals; whether or not Iraq gains any semblance of stability; and whether or not we achieve something cynically called “victory” in Iraq: all are beside the point.  The Bush War was WRONG!  Attacking a country that was no threat to anyone for the sake of greed and glory is WRONG!  Destroying the lives of thousands of American soldiers and their families, as well as those of millions of innocent Iraqi men, women, and children for oil and American hegemony is a war crime.  “Victory” is irrelevant.

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By Quy Tran, March 8, 2007 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Any movement means more young U.S. troops died !

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