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Disorderly or Not, America Should Withdraw

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Posted on Jul 9, 2008
AP photo / Petros Giannakouris

By William Pfaff

Foreign policy is normally formulated in terms of interests and threats. Since the dramatization of the terrorist threat by the al-Qaida attacks on the United States in 2001, the order has been reversed and analyses emphasize threats over interest. Yet threats are many, and interests—vital interests that concern the security of a nation—are by nature limited. When the two are confused, it is easy to fail to discriminate among necessity, prudence and advantage in making policy—and beyond that, to risk losing your grasp on what is feasible.

The New York Times published an editorial last week demanding that the American presidential candidates debate what they intend to do about “a swift and orderly withdrawal from Iraq.” Such a withdrawal surely is desirable, and is what Barack Obama has promised, but is it feasible?

What about a disorderly withdrawal? What if that is the only available withdrawal? In that case, is it the larger American interest to stay indefinitely in Iraq, fighting on for the sake of staying, or to leave in disorder?

What if the Iraq government tells the United States to leave, as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has threatened in his negotiations with Washington on what terms the United States would be allowed to stay beyond the U.N. mandate that ends Dec. 31. He has refused the U.S. demands originally made—for total extraterritoriality and sovereign freedom of action, together with authority to seize and imprison Iraqi individuals.

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The Defense Department and this administration are ferociously committed to staying in Iraq, in order to hold onto the huge military bases constructed there, and for Iraq’s oil. They will pay a lot for that, but if Maliki should stick to his demand for Iraqi sovereignty over the U.S. military, they would look for an alternative. Perhaps a new Iraqi government? Maliki himself might gamble on a new government—a new one in Washington.

But actually how important are the U.S. bases? Edward Luttwak, an astute and unsentimental commentator, recently wrote in Britain’s Prospect magazine that the Middle East is no longer important enough to fight over. He said the Arab-Israel conflict has been largely irrelevant strategically since the Cold War ended, and “global dependence on Middle Eastern oil is declining”—which despite the speculation-driven run-up in the oil price is still true.

In any case, oil’s availability does not, and never has, depended on military domination of the region. Oil sells on an international market to those who can buy it, and no significant producer can afford to boycott the biggest purchasers, the U.S., Japan and Western Europe. As Charles Glass (a former prisoner of Hezbollah in Lebanon) comments, Luttwak’s conclusion logically should be that the U.S. stop giving $5.5 billion in aid annually to Israel and selling billions of dollars worth of jet aircraft, heavy armor and other weapons to Saudi Arabia, a country that has never fought a war.

It should also get out of Iraq, whether in orderly or disorderly fashion, since what happens afterward is surely the business of the Iraqis, who in the past—before the 2003 invasion—have always managed in one way or another to settle their own affairs. What happens to Iraq now can pose no serious threat to the United States.

“It could become a terrorist training ground” is the witless objection usually heard regarding a departure in disorder. But surely the terrorists have no need of even more “training grounds” than they already have. An isolated farm or ranch in Utah could serve just as well as a training ground, and the training comes without cost via the Internet.

A very senior figure in the Washington policy community, Simon Safarty of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, recently listed what are “increasingly agreed” to be the “non-traditional” threats Europeans and Americans should worry about, in addition to the threat of “terrorist groups of global reach and potential access to weapons of mass destruction.” These other threats are: “WMD diversification and proliferation, failed states, organized crime, access to energy, climate change, pandemics, and more.”

Well, yes. But suppose this is a list of life’s problems that neither the Americans nor the Europeans are likely to solve, even using the “complex mixture of military and civilian capabilities along with a combination of institutional tools, both national and multilateral,” that he recommends. Maybe we have to live with them. Or maybe, like Luttwak’s Middle East, some of them are just not very important.

The New York Times editorial congratulated Obama on his intention to have the U.S. “withdraw from Iraq so it can finish the fight in Afghanistan,” where the Allies’ situation is deteriorating and more U.S soldiers are being killed than in Iraq. But just how will President Obama (or President McCain) “finish off” the Taliban?

Early in the election campaign, Obama suggested doing it by invading Pakistan, an American ally, where al-Qaida and the Taliban take refuge. Then the United States could simultaneously fight the Pakistan army, the Taliban, al-Qaida and the tribal warriors of Waziristan. Where’s the vital American interest in that?

Visit William Pfaff’s Web site at www.williampfaff.com.

© 2008 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


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By Carl Street, October 10, 2008 at 8:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Imagine the reaction if after overrunning Europe in 1940 Hitler had said that the ONLY reason he was not withdrawing Nazi troops was that he was afraid that it would result in disorder.

Yeah Right!

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By dihey, July 15, 2008 at 6:55 am Link to this comment

In an article of this morning’s newspaper Senator Obama states that he wants to “redeploy” our troops now in Iraq. From his earliest plans to end the war in Iraq he has always suggested “redeployment”, at one time even to the Kurdish region of Iraq! This college graduate apparently does not really know the meaning of “deploy” or else is trying to fool me. The definition is: “to spread out (troops) so as to form an extended front or line.” In Obama’s speech “redeploy” sounds friendly and tame but it is really a call for more war.
However, in a real sense that is what Obama plans to do when he becomes President, namely to re-spread the troops into Afghanistan hence moving the big killing “front” from Iraq to Afghanistan.
For more than one year I have warned that Senator Obama is a dangerous imperialist who might get us into new or expanded wars when elected President. Today the cat is out of the bag and his faux anti-war mask is off. Obama wants to remove from Iraq not only “combat units” but eventually all military to use, in part, as feedstock for an “Obama-surge” in Afghanistan.
As a first installation he demands that President Bush send 7000 soldiers now. Eventually he wants to increase the number to 65,000 or more. This is a reckless gamble on a grand scale.
Take a close look at a map of the world. For Iraq you will find one good, albeit somewhat unsafe port at Basra but also several safe ports in nearby and still “friendly” countries. Now go to Afghanistan. The country does not even border on the Indian Ocean! Has nobody told Obama? How is this obviously misguided commander-in-chief Obama going to get the Humvees, the tanks, the soldiers, the guns, the ammunition, and the food to the troops? Through Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tadjikistan, or Karachi in Pakistan? Or all by planes with the new tankers that are not yet built? The monetary and political costs will be staggering.
The “Obama-surge” will increase the number of American and Afghani casualties and chances are slim to nil that more foreign military will ever stabilize the country which has not even a real “national Afghan army” that can take over soon. There are mainly Afghan warlords with their squads and the various groups of Taliban. It is very unlikely that there will be a real national army soon because the warlords will always consider that to be the private army of the “warlord-president” in Kabul hence they will refuse to disarm. This “Obama-surge” is the summit of idiocy because, unlike Iraq, there is not even the barest, if any strategy for final withdrawal. If we do not leave voluntarily or are kicked out we will be in Afghanistan a very long time as the Soviet experience tells me. When more reports of accidental bombings of marriage revelers happen our “willing allies” will become “quitting allies” for sure and leave us and Karzai to hold the bag. The frightening aspect is that most Democrats and practically all Republicans in Congress will support the “Obama-surge” and it is likely that a President McCain will also want to “surge” in Afghanistan. They all seem to want to have their own personal “surges”: Bush, Obama, and McCain. “We the people” will be the victims morally, politically, and economically.
All Obama-supporters be forewarned: there will be NO end to war and US occupation in the Middle-and Far East under an Obama administration and chances are that his policies will ultimately lead to conflicts with China and Russia. I know that am right now but I will not run for the Senate.

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By rage, July 13, 2008 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Early in the election campaign, Obama suggested doing it by invading Pakistan, an American ally, where al-Qaida and the Taliban take refuge. Then the United States could simultaneously fight the Pakistan army, the Taliban, al-Qaida and the tribal warriors of Waziristan. Where’s the vital American interest in that?”

Well, since Dumya claimed this was about getting bin Laden, Obama was just calling the little Shrub’s bluff. However, as fate has it, bin Laden is dead, and has probably been dead since October of 2001. And, if that ain’t the devil’s purse, there is no oil ready to barreled up in time for speculators to drive the price up to $500 a barrel to be sucked out of Pakistan. So, really, what’s the point?

The BFEE and their oil minions in the ISI and the CIA have spent a fortune on contractors moving al Qaiada, the Talaban, and all the rest of these trust funded terrorist cells from Pakistan to Iraq where Hallibruton Cheney has built permanent bases and an embassy. 

See, this war on terror is about controlling the oil. We know there’s oil in Iraq and Kuwait. We even know there is oil in Iran, which is why we’re picking a fight there. But, there is no such wealth in Pakistan, or we’d've carpetbombed them by now. Besides, Pakistan has been our biggest partner in this particular crime. Without the ISI, there would be no al Qaiada! So, we kind of need them to sustain this farce we’re calling the war on terror, where we warmongers terrorize everyone we know has some oil.

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By dihey, July 12, 2008 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

The demands by Al Maliki, his national security adviser, and Al Sistani that President Bush must set a timetable for the complete withdrawal of all foreign troops from Irak totally demolishes McCain’s fantasy of an indefinite and “cordial” encampment of US military in Iraq a la South Korea, Japan, or Germany. Hey Mack, the governments of South Korea, Japan, and Germany have never demanded that we take our entire military out or don’t you know that? It does not matter whether President Bush accepts their demands or not, your crazy plan is toast. It is kaput as they would say in Germany.

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By dihey, July 12, 2008 at 9:24 am Link to this comment

If you believe that the “non-combat” soldiers and Blackwater goons which Senator Obama wants to leave behind in Iraq, indefinitely at this writing, are armed with bows and arrows you should call your shrink immediately for an appointment. At this time Senator Obama plans a continued military occupation of Iraq and has yet to tell us whether that will be for 4, 8 or 100 years. During the past debates Obama volunteered that he thought that there will be US troops in Iraq at in November of 2012. Smells of McCain!
Perhaps Al Maliki and Al Sistani who now demand a timetable for the speedy and simultaneous withdrawal of ALL foreign troops, are lightyears ahead of this timid reed called Obama. If you expect real leadership from a President Obama on matters of war and peace you must call your shrink immediately for an appointment.

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By cyrena, July 12, 2008 at 12:54 am Link to this comment

•  “Like for starters, we could pull the plug on al-Qaida by simply accepting that phenomenon is largely fictitious.”

Amen, Amen, I say to thee Louise. (Of course I say that to the entire comment as usual). Al-Qaeda of course being a product of the rabbit hole, to be whipped out every time the ‘war OF terror’ needs an updated resume, and we all have to be reminded to be so very afraid. Not that I need a whole lot of reminding. I stay plenty scared. Just not of al-Qaeda. I’m also perfectly aware of the dangers of terrorism, since we’ve been terrorized for at least 8 years now. (depending on what portion of the country one resides in). It’s just that Terror Headquarters are of course located in the US Capitol, Washington, DC, with the original founding branch right there in Houston. (which is why I say that some of us experienced the terror even before the terrorists were installed in the Big House. and I didn’t even live in Houston…still too close for comfort). 

And of course it’s all intentional; the chaos and the instability that creates the terror. This is such an old trick that I don’t know why so many have a problem recognizing it. Maybe because it’s that effective. I don’t know exactly where this fits in Naomi Wolfe’s list of ‘steps to fascism’ but it should be the 2nd step after the coup. Do a coup, (how many US puppets have been installed in a variety of countries after a CIA led coup) then do like a first major ‘terrorist attack’ (9/11) to bring out the “national security’ apparatus excuse, and after that, it’s just a matter of the invisible government working behind the scenes to terrorize via propaganda, a destruction of the rule of law, or what is collectively referred to as a “State of Exception”. Throw in the secret/private police/militias (blackwater et al) and lots of prisons/camps. That’s part of it.

All of this establishes the terror and the insanity, because nothing is at all predictable. None of the citizenry really know who’s ‘in charge’ or what the ‘laws/rules’ are, because it changes everyday and is always arbitrary. They first hunt down (and sometimes ‘disappear’) any perceived or real ‘enemies’ , like academics, journalists, any kind of social activist, and get them out of the way. Then it’s just a matter of continuing to brain wash the masses via the propaganda as well as brutal force. The masses become more and more desperate because of course resources are becoming more and more scare. (now it’s groceries, gas, housing, medical attention, etc) So, the masses scramble and fight among themselves, for scraps of anything, including any ‘perceived’ benefits provided by the state/corps, (jobs, education, etc) and before you know it, they’ve all slaughtered each other or provided obstacles for any of their own to manage to escape the rat trap (class war) to be able to help any of the rest of them. Because of course everybody is paranoid, and won’t trust anybody else.

Meantime, the terrorists are stealing whatever little bit remains, while the classes now turned masses, battle it out. (because of course they aren’t paying any attention…how can they?) And yep…this causes insanity. Terror does that. It’s intended to do that. The shadow government controls all of the mechanisms, and they just keep it going until everything is completely destroyed. We’re pretty close to that now. The economy is jacked up for the next few decades –at least. Both the physical and the social infrastructure is either falling apart or intentionally destroyed, and the list goes on.

Amazingly, the terrorists have been able to accomplish this in Iraq at the SAME time they’ve done the very same thing to us right here in the good ole US of A. Same terrorists, based in Washington, DC.

Yep. It’s been ‘successful’.

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By Louise, July 11, 2008 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment

How does one comment sanely on the utterly insane?

A destabilized Iraq is already a fact of life. Thank you Bush and all the idiots who put this completely insane child at the helm. If we ever want to see any semblance of stabilization in Iraq that can happen only when we leave, Iran steps in to help the Iraqis and Israel goes back to being an uncomfortable little Nation State created by the force of the “Free World” who wanted to solve “The Jewish Problem.”

Since none of these things are likely to happen unless or until sanity is restored in the governance of the United States, we can count on more instability in the region. Chaos and instability is/are after all the goal. Right? The better to steal the oil while nobody is looking. The very notion that Iraq is stable in any way, underlines our national insanity!

Speaking of oil, take a look at this:
http://freewayblogger.blogspot.com/2008/07/gas-pump-blogging.html

And this:
http://www.iraqenergyexpo.com/invetation_letter.php [Go ahead, search the whole site]

Be assured, since we have all walked in the bubble of the schizoid who has ruled us these past eight years, it’s very likely that when he leaves a good half of the population will continue to be as crazy as he is. That’s what happens when we climb into another mans reality. If that man’s nuts and we don’t remove ourselves from his influence, we will become as crazy as he is.

Look at the people around him! People who use to be sane and sound are now all completely nuts! Even the dems who meet with Bush trying to find compromise have fallen into the inevitable vortex of insanity!

Maybe we’ll all be so busy trying to survive, we’ll recover our sanity quickly. Or maybe we’ll be cursed with an equally crazy replacement and wont care. Or maybe we’ll hear some good news tonight and make it to another day ... still believing there is hope for a better tomorrow. Like for starters, we could pull the plug on al-Qaida by simply accepting that phenomenon is largely fictitious. And we could control the spread of the Taliban into America by coming home and leaving them where they would rather be anyway. Fighting each other and their various Tribal War Lords for a jockeying position in the control of the Wild, Wild East.

At the risk of sounding totally unamerican, we don’t need Pakistan and Afghanistan and all the other istans, we really don’t.

Regardless, chaos or order, there is only one way to get out of Iraq, and that’s to leave. Period.

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By rylly, July 11, 2008 at 1:32 pm Link to this comment

Bush could save face by nudging Maliki to ask us to leave.  Done deal.  Otherwise, we are going to leave…who cares orderly/disorderly.  As if anything about this whole debacle could contain “order” as we know it.
If he was half a man, he would admit he made a mistake, but he isn’t and he won’t. Instead he will be shamed and humiliated as the next president cleans up his mess and his guilt is exposed a thousand times over.  That will give more satisfaction to the world than if he could be a man about it and leave now.

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By jersey girl, July 11, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Amazing. Someone has the guts and intelligence to question McInsane about PNAC and 9/11 and the “my country right or wrong” crowd boos the questioner instead of the man who helped the coverup with the faux “investigation”.

Right, keep wavin those little flags you dumbass republicans. It’s all you’ve got left of your republic. I can almost guarantee that no one in that audience has even heard of PNAC.

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By Rockytonker, July 11, 2008 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

Withdrawal with honor, or at least without more dishonor, can only be accomplished by an admission the invasion was a mistake.  That means impeachment and turning Bush/Cheney over to the International Criminal Court for war crimes.

Then pack up, bulldoze the barracks and skip out.

Terrorist training ground?  The terrorists are getting lots of training developing low tech weapons to use against our troops.

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By richard vajs, July 11, 2008 at 8:45 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

listening to Bernacke’s comments to Congress yesterday, I gathered that the FED Reserve has printed about 3 T$ in currency in the last six months. An economy the size of ours should have needed about 15% of that. The rest is desperation. The USS America is going bow down very rapidly. All of you macho flag wavers out there are going to be using that flag to patch your ragged butts in a year or so unless we get real wise, real soon. Good bye empire, good luck, Israel.

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By AT, July 11, 2008 at 3:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

when you are a debtor nation like ours, how could the debate be about bringing a political solution when the debt is mounting?

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By shinseiji, July 11, 2008 at 1:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hey, JBlack, you are the totally nutty lunatic fringe minority.  Guess what, the vast majority of thinking humanity (at least a billion) outside the USA don’t agree with you.  What are you going to do, nuke them?

It is your ilk that is obsessed with the USA ‘n Izreal (as in ‘is it real’?), not the global mainstream.

Chump!

-Brad

By JBlack, July 10 at 4:23 am #

All I ever see here are excuses for the actions of others and all blame put on the U.S. and Israel.

The focus you people put on two nations alone blind you completely to world events. And, interestingly, you all do this willingly.

I’ll say it again. THANK GOD you all are the fringe minority. You’re dangerous people.

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By 911truthdotorg, July 10, 2008 at 8:52 pm Link to this comment

John McCain questioned about 9/11 and PNAC!

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/McCain_asked_about_PNAC_and_911_0710.html

The only hope this country has to be saved is for the TRUTH about 9/11 to come out once and for all!!

John McCain and Barack Obama are obstacles to this ever happening. They’re one and the same.

http://www.ae911truth.org
http://www.911truth.org

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By Paolo, July 10, 2008 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

The USA should get out of Iraq, and every other country in the world in which it stations troops. The armed forces of a free country ought to be for self-defense only, not obtaining and keeping a worldwide empire.

So, we should leave in an orderly manner if possible, a disorderly manner if necessary. Oh, and we should add apologies to the people of Iraq for killing several hundred thousand of their fellow citizens, for using torture and sexual humiliation on helpless prisoners. You know—apologize for our administration being composed of war criminals. It would be a nice touch, don’t you think?

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By WriterOnTheStorm, July 10, 2008 at 1:23 pm Link to this comment

From an historical perspective, it is unreasonable to expect Iraq to go from a tribal/warlord system to a fully functioning democracy in the 90 or so years since it’s formation as a nation after WW1.

Most European countries required several centuries of struggle, infighting, border skirmishes, and internal revolution to make the same journey (from feudal kingdoms to democracy in their cases).

This process of democratization has almost always involved generational of strife - why should Iraq be any different?

Further, the bloodshed that accompanies this process may be inevitable as vying factions seek equilibrium.

Like it or not, a disorderly withdrawal is a foregone conclusion. The only question is when…

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By Ed Harges, July 10, 2008 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

Americans have such a lofty opinion of themselves that they won’t stand for anyone telling them that an undignified withdrawal from Iraq might be our best option.

No one who would tell us such a thing could be elected President.

If we weren’t so arrogant and full of all this self-glorifying crap that we believe in, we just might have a chance of recovering from this disastrous war.

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By dale Headley, July 10, 2008 at 11:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why are we even discussing this?  The U.S. military/industrial complex has no intention of EVER, FOR ANY REASON, giving up what it has violently stolen from Iraq, NO MATTER WHO THE NEXT PRESIDENT IS!

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By txrebel, July 10, 2008 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Pfaff is half “right”.  And we know the New York Times is always “right”.
It’s time to get out of Iraq now, weather by an orderly withdrawal or an disorderly withdrawal, and let those crazy, un-civilized, people kill off each other.  You do remember I hope, their favorite sport is to drag a calf behind a horse until it cannot
keep up, and it falls and continue to drag it until it is dead.  And we must remember,that those people kill most of their daughters at birth.  Those they let live, must marry who the father says or they will kill them, and call it an honor killing.  And of course , with an un-civil war going on between the three factions there, oil would go up to $300
or $400 a barrel.

Why I say Mr. Pfaff is half right is, we should have never sent our troops into Iraq in the first place.  We are still fighting wars like we did in the 1940s and 1950s.  The infantry(soldiers on the ground) in modern warfare is obsolete.  But, Mr. Bush wanted to fight a civilized war against un-civilized people, to pacify the liberals here in the U.S. and the rest of the world.  We should have just dropped a few H-bombs on them and forgot about them.  The price of oil would have still gone up, but it’s going up anyway.

BTW, what does the picture have to do with the artical ? I do not get the connection.

Pardon my rambling, but I did not want to write a long dissertation.

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By SteveL, July 10, 2008 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Every goal Bush (the decider) has been reached in Iraq.  Its long past time for the decider to end his occupation.

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By felicity, July 10, 2008 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

I’m reminded of a question someone asked Kennedy concerning getting out of Vietnam, face intact.  He said, easy, we’ll ask the South Vietnamese government to ask us to leave. 

Our government is definitely on an imperialistic binge.  In ‘02 the SOTU speech named an ‘Axis of Evil’ and introduced us to the infamous WMD’s.

In May, ‘02 Bolton gave his ‘Beyond the Axis of Evil’ speech naming Cuba, Libya and Syria.

In Jan, ‘05 Rice gave her ‘Outposts of Tyranny’ speech where besides the various aforementioned axes, less Lybia, were Cuba (again), Belarus, Zimbabwe and Myanmar.

In Jan, ‘06 the Israeli Defense Minister created an ‘Axis of Terror’ - Iran, Syria and the Hamas-run Palestinian government.  Three months later, Israel added “hate” to the ‘Axis of Terror.’

‘Withdrawal’ denies the basic principles of imperialism.

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By Walldizo, July 10, 2008 at 3:22 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ok, the Iraqi government has finally dared to challange the US to come up with a withdrawal timetable for the US troops’ exit in order to sign the proposed treaty between the US and Iraq.Bush and his cabal are so furious for the ungrateful respose of the Iraqi Government.But since we all know who is the true master in Iraq,chances are that Maleky and his cronies will soon amend their conditions to meet with the master’s needs.Bush however, had repeatedly stated that the duration of the US troops in Iraq is contingent upon Iraqi acceptance to host such foreign presence on Iraqi soil.Now, just for fun lets assume that Iraq, the sovereign state,as frequently referred to by Bush himself,has decided to put an end to this foreign military presence ,and all thats required from the Bush administration is to honor their word and withdraw.The quarter$ question is; does this man, Bush that is, knows what honor means to save America the legacy of, not just a liar and a murderous president, but also an ignorant one.

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By jersey girl, July 10, 2008 at 1:55 am Link to this comment

heavyrunner: I’m with you 100% on the 9/11 investigation.  The only democrat looking into that is Dennis Kucinich. He’s been interviewing the first responders.

Perhaps President Obama will make sure DK’s investigation goes forward. LOL

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By jersey girl, July 10, 2008 at 1:51 am Link to this comment

There is never an orderly withdrawal from a war zone.  The time to get out was when ass**** stood under the mission accomplished banner. We already know we shouldn’t have invaded in the first place. 

Get out… get out NOW.

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By brad, July 9, 2008 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

““It could become a terrorist training ground” is the witless objection usually heard regarding a departure in disorder. But surely the terrorists have no need of even more “training grounds” than they already have. An isolated farm or ranch in Utah could serve just as well as a training ground, and the training comes without cost via the Internet.”

While I agree with most of this article, this argument is pretty weak.  You have to admit - there is the possibility that a failed Iraqi state + pissed off Iraqi’s at Americans = radicalization, which leads to terrorism.  While true that terrorists can conduct activites in our backyard or all over the world via the web, you simply can’t dismiss the possibility i mentioned above.

And right on Fadel, Cy.  It’s all summed up by one term - blowback (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blowback_(intelligence))

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By how many times, July 9, 2008 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s about CONTROLLING the oil. 

US wants to constrain China and India. 

Get it through your head, Ed: the USA is evil.

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By heavyrunner, July 9, 2008 at 8:13 pm Link to this comment

We should announce tomorrow that we are abandoning the Iraq and Afghanistan misadventures and are opening a new investigation of 9/11.

Oil prices would drop precipitously.  It won’t happen, but it should.

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By cyrena, July 9, 2008 at 7:40 pm Link to this comment

Re Fadal #168034

Bravo! You hit the nail on the head. It’s ALL terrorism. But in all honesty, I do make a distinction between the originators (of the terrorism) and those who respond to it.

So, I think we should be completely honest about it. The state sponsored terrorists are the in capitals..TERRORISTS. They are the aggressors, and they initiated a war OF (not ‘on’) TERROR.

The response from those targeted, (which is all of us…including those civilians all over the Middle East) is just that. It’s a response to aggression. It’s a response to being targeted, and nothing is more human than that. The response is *to be expected* because it is human nature. It is human nature to respond to attacks, whether it be on the individual or group level. Only those existing in an alternative reality would expect anything different.

This of course does not begin to explain the reason why so many of Hitlers victims allowed themselves to be marched to their deaths in a manner that can only be considered docile. There IS an explanation for that, but it’s obviously too long for a post here.

That said, it is NOT a normal reaction of human beings, to simply allow themselves to be terrorized, without fighting back.

So, we cannot, after more than a Century of continued aggressive and hostile behavior toward so many other peoples of the world, claim the ‘terror’ as anything other than state-sponsored by the US and it’s affiliates like Israel.

It is what it is.

Meantime, a disorderly withdrawal may in fact be perfectly acceptable, because there’s never been another choice. When the action is illegal and therefore disorderly to begin with, I don’t see how an end to it could be any more than the same. The point is that the withdrawal NUST happen. They should try to prevent the type of ‘withdrawal’ that occurred in Vietnam, and that IS possible, since the recent spinal growth, (no matter how small) on the part of Maliki in demanding a withdrawal timetable, will allow the US leadership to save some measure of face, and get our troops out as safely as can be possible.
That is if they take advantage of it. I don’t expect the current thug regime to do that, but…who knows.

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By Fadel Abdallah, July 9, 2008 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

And where is the sense and the meaning in all this analysis and counter-analysis if all those so-called analysts are not capable of grasping one simple fact: That occupation and threats even verbal ones are the most notorious forms of terrorism, besides that state-sponsored terrorism like that of Israel and the U.S. will certainly be met with counter-terrorism measures on the part of the weak and beleaguered who cannot afford the sophisticated weapons of mass destruction that terrorist states, like the U.S. and Israel, have!

And we will continue, indefinitely, calling them terrorist, and they will continue calling us the same, while they continue to call their work martyrdom, and we continue to call ours service to the country, sacrifice and preemptive measures of security when, in fact, all this is “terrorism” either by the state or some radical group, and the ones who must pay the price for all this continued madness are the masses who have to foot the bill in terms of blood and treasure!

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