"Good Enough"

"Good Enough"

Joined: December 6th, 2003, 5:32 am

January 4th, 2009, 2:35 am #1


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The Last Day of the Iraq War

<span>Until now it was impossible to predict with confidence what the end of the war would look like in Iraq. But a clear picture could be emerging here in Mahmudiyah. The outcome is hardly what the occupation's supporters wanted, but it's too late for anyone to do much about that, under the deadlines set by the new U.S.-Iraqi security agreement. By the middle of this year, American combat forces must complete their official withdrawal from population centers. Security duties will be left to Iraqi forces, although U.S. military trainers and advisers will remain. As of Dec. 31, 2011, three years from now, all U.S. troops are to be out of the country. Meanwhile they still have their hands full in the northern city of Mosul, where insurgents and jihadists have dug in for another showdown, and Iraqis are bracing for more violence in the run-up to elections at the end of this month.

In Mahmudiyah the drawdown began almost a year ago. As hard as the Americans tried to fix the place, it's still nothing to brag about. The economy, although improving, remains crippled. Public services are practically nonexistent. Courts and government offices are open, but schools lack working toilets, and teachers are so bad that parents scrape money together for private tutors. Sewage floods some side streets, and telephone landlines fail as often as not. The big government hospital is chronically short of medical supplies; late last month, a man scoured the town's drugstores for surgical thread because the hospital had none for his wife, who was undergoing a Caesarean delivery. "The military is, in some cases, the only government people see," says Maj. John Baker, who advised Iraqi troops in rural areas near Mahmudiyah until late 2008. By normal standards the town is a messbut it's less dangerous than it was, and at this point that's about the best anyone can expect.

The situation is summed up in a phrase you hear among American combat troops and trainers: "Iraqi good enough." The term expresses their resignationrealism, they'd call itabout the limits of what America can accomplish in Iraq. They say it when an Iraqi Army unit has no choice but to buy fuel for its Humvees on the private market because Iraq's military-supply system is so corrupt and inefficient. Or when the persistent shortage of capable leaders forces Iraqi battalions to function with only half the number of officers they require. Or when Iraqi soldiers fall apart in a senior officer's absence because that's the way it goes in a top-down society. The concept has spread to American Embassy staffers, who invoke it when speaking of the near-impossible task of reforming the decrepit old welfare-state economy. "Good enough" may not live up to Americans' hopes for Iraq, but at this point it describes the place we're likely to leave behind in 2011if things stay on track. "It's a hell of a lot better than I thought we were going to get four years ago fighting in Anbar, or two years ago in a civil war," says counterinsurgency expert John Nagl. "The high side may not be that high, but the costs of failure are severe"...


...Most American officers avoid the V word, preferring not to raise the implicit question of whether the war was worth the lives of 4,100 Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. (Col. Dominic J. ) Caraccilo's book doesn't really define victory except to say it needs to be redefined. But one of the chapters is titled "The Good Enough Solution," and that's pretty much what he made in Mahmudiyah in the course of adapting to a troop reduction that was thrust upon him by redeployments to other parts of Iraq...


...Adel Jumaili, a retired Iraqi Army officer in Mahmudiyah, warns that many of his countrymen aren't likely to be content with "good enough" after so many years of sacrifice and suffering. "Iraq has lost many of its sons and much of its potential, and at the end the only thing we get is 'less violence'?" he complains. "Was that the ultimate hope?" He worries that frustration and disappointment will bring more chaos when the Americans pull out. In the end, it's the Iraqis who decide what's good enough.
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"Truth is the Obligation to Lie according to a Fixed Convention" ~ Nietzsche "Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist" ~ Richard M Nixon "Goverment is the natural enemy of intelligent life" ~ Poul Anderson
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Joined: October 30th, 2005, 12:58 pm

January 4th, 2009, 10:34 am #2

Looks like we've created the next Israeli/Palestinian situation here IMO. Though I don't think the internal actors waiting to slaughter each other in Iraq will take 60 years and counting to solve their problems with each other.
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Joined: December 6th, 2003, 5:32 am

January 4th, 2009, 3:23 pm #3


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The Shia & Sunni have been at odds for more than 600 years, let alone 60.

I can't recall exactly what started the whole business - it's been too long since I poked around looking for the details...  something about one side believing some fellow was directly descended from Mohammed, and the other holding that he was not.

One detail I do recall is that apparently even the mighty Saladin was not immune from the fallout over the rift between sects, as an attempt was made on his life by members of the side opposed to that which he belonged.

Wiser heads might actually prevail there, but I think the place is going to be a shambles for some time to come.

 
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Dennis
Dennis

January 4th, 2009, 3:30 pm #4

Yeah, the schism was over who would be the successor to Mohammed. I suppose you're right given I forgot the timeline on the religious end. I was only looking at the recent political developments.
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celtredleg
celtredleg

January 4th, 2009, 11:19 pm #5

After all, if they dont want to stop killing each other, I dont see how it is my concern to stop them.

You probably know this, but if you dont....

It isnt just about who is in charge, but also the role of the Koran. The Sunni veiw it much as tha Bible. Largely cast in stone, and not subject to revision. The shea view it more like the US Constitution, subject to ammendment as new profits and teachers come along. That is what the Imans are really, the interpreters and revealers of the Koran.

I dont think they need to kill each other over it, and dont particularly wish to see them do so. But, I also dont see any good way to stop them. We tried, could not make it work, time to get out of the way and let them back to thier ammusements.
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Loki Luv, MD°
Loki Luv, MD°

January 5th, 2009, 2:31 am #6

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I'm thinking somebody should hang for that kinda fuck up.

I mean... couldn't the guy who used to run the joint have been left alone to kill whomever he was going to kill - seeing as how people were and are going to be killed - without us getting involved, especially when we had a pending matter right next door (and next door to that, as it turns out)...?

Of course, I'll grasp at any straw so long as it means I can justify hanging someone in government.


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celtredleg
celtredleg

January 5th, 2009, 4:02 am #7

Whoever comes out on top in the resulting meltdown will take a lot of time to get settled in and centralized enough to replicate sodam is our gain. Balance that against the people we lost. now figure out how mnany we would have lost if every walleyed terrorist had not been flocking into iraq to drive us out.

It is much like the Washington Naval treaty. It did not prevent WWII, but it may well have prevented the Anglo-American war of 1928. Something the liberals never seem to grasp. Yes we know the cost of the road taken, we do not know the cost of the road not taken. And no matter the cost we have paid, it could have been much worse.

So as far as hanging, I think we got the right guy. As for jail time for stupid decisions on the conduct of the war, well I am sure I could happily lock up rumdumie. And because he held on to him for so long perhaps Bush might get a little time. Not sure about cheney.

Now if you want to get rid of them for corruption, well, after we get all the deserving ones locked up, there will be few left. And I am not so sure senaters Loki and Celt would be proff against the temptaions. In fact I am sure that at the least I would try to emulate my hero charlie wilson, and drink lots of good booze, and bang all the hot chicks I could.
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John
John

January 5th, 2009, 5:26 pm #8

Especially this paragraph: "Now if you want to get rid of them for corruption, well, after we get all the deserving ones locked up, there will be few left. And I am not so sure senaters Loki and Celt would be proff against the temptaions. In fact I am sure that at the least I would try to emulate my hero charlie wilson, and drink lots of good booze, and bang all the hot chicks I could."

Sniff! Makes me want to run for public office!

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Joined: December 6th, 2003, 5:32 am

January 6th, 2009, 1:53 am #9

Whoever comes out on top in the resulting meltdown will take a lot of time to get settled in and centralized enough to replicate sodam is our gain. Balance that against the people we lost. now figure out how mnany we would have lost if every walleyed terrorist had not been flocking into iraq to drive us out.

It is much like the Washington Naval treaty. It did not prevent WWII, but it may well have prevented the Anglo-American war of 1928. Something the liberals never seem to grasp. Yes we know the cost of the road taken, we do not know the cost of the road not taken. And no matter the cost we have paid, it could have been much worse.

So as far as hanging, I think we got the right guy. As for jail time for stupid decisions on the conduct of the war, well I am sure I could happily lock up rumdumie. And because he held on to him for so long perhaps Bush might get a little time. Not sure about cheney.

Now if you want to get rid of them for corruption, well, after we get all the deserving ones locked up, there will be few left. And I am not so sure senaters Loki and Celt would be proff against the temptaions. In fact I am sure that at the least I would try to emulate my hero charlie wilson, and drink lots of good booze, and bang all the hot chicks I could.
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I'd spend my entire tenure proposing legislation intended to make corruption investigations easier to start than writing a parking ticket, more thorough than campaign fund raisers sniffing out a buck, and being found guilty equivalent to a charge of treason,  penalized by death by stoning at the hands of a group of citizens chosen by lot, whose trip to the DC "Justice Pit" would be paid for by the convicted felon's pension and/or confiscated personal assets.

I'd call people out right on the senate floor if I had to...

Hell, I might even beat somebody to death with a stick like that guy did in the 1850s !
Cough up them bribe checks, Sucka !!!
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______________________________________________________________________________________________
"Truth is the Obligation to Lie according to a Fixed Convention" ~ Nietzsche "Any change is resisted because bureaucrats have a vested interest in the chaos in which they exist" ~ Richard M Nixon "Goverment is the natural enemy of intelligent life" ~ Poul Anderson
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Dennis
Dennis

January 6th, 2009, 10:38 am #10

Its not tough, if you really love your country, to remain honest in those situations IMO.

I'd take the free stuff though, and immediately, through the wire I'd be wearing, notify the police!
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