« Allawi lobbying | Main | No APSA this year »

August 28, 2007

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8341c391553ef00e54ee7954e8834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The insurgency's strategy in September:

Comments

bb

The inability of the Sunni resistance leadership to internalise they represent not just a minority of arab Iraq but a small and growing smaller minority is surely impeding their ability/opportunity to create a viable, influential, strong power base in the provinces where the Sunnis do hold a large majority or substantial presence. AlQI recognised this long ago when it declared the ISI. It seems the shiekhs of the Awakening understand it too.

What this essay surely indicates is that Sunni resistance leaders are hopelessly divided/factionalised in their political aims? But on the other hand so are the Shiites, who are now fighting each other for control of southern Iraq in a "post withdrawal" context.

The absence of even a semblance of unity within either side in arab Iraq, let alone together as a common front to force the US out means the prospects of withdrawal are virtually nil? Ditto the fall of the Maliki govt.

Non-Arab Arab

BB: The prospects for the American withdrawal are virtually nil only if you presume that withdrawal requires an Iraqi state functioning to Washington's satisfaction. I would argue that given that is an essentially impossible goal, in the end the only criteria will be when Washington recognizes the utter futility of their presence and comes up with a temporary face-saving formula to cover their rears for the retreat.

bb

But what does "functioning to Washington's satisfaction" mean? In the present situation this would be a government that is not demanding the US withdraw? While the Shiite establishment is facing challenges to its power from the Sadrists - and to a lesser extent the insurgency - the government is not going to be asking the US to leave, surely? I suggest that a "satisfactory" government is one that will accept a significant US presence for the foreseeable future?

On your second point re "temporary face-saving" formulas, this sounds like the Vietnam analogy. However from my observation the situation is markedly different. It's hard to see any circumstances under which US regional and strategic interests would be served by leaving Iraq to become a vassal state of a nuclear armed Iran to threaten the Sunni arab neighbours? South East Asia was not the world's main supplier of oil in 1975.

In terms of US domestic politics, the American public by and large reveres its military and will support as long as it is perceived to be on the offensive and not bogged down in a seemingly fruitless exercise as it was in Vietnam and in Iraq between 03-07 Also there is no draft reaching into every American home.

annie

bb, I think the American public by and large perceives our military to be bogged down in a seemingly fruitless exercise as it was in Vietnam and in Iraq between 03-07. In terms of US domestic politics, as far as our politicians are concerned it really doesn't matter what the public thinks.

Crisol

I leave you a video on non violence. I hop you enjoy.
Big Hug, Roberto
Contact: crisol1950@gmail.com
http://video.google.fr/videoplay?docid=6753184449967918648&hl=fr+

Nur al-Cubicle

But what does "functioning to Washington's satisfaction" mean?

It means impossible: An autocrat at the helm, the militias disarmed, Iran declared a threat, Kurds renouncing their claim to Kirkuk, no place for ethnicity and religion in politics, normal relations with Israel, 5 permanent big US military bases, al-Sadr imprisoned, and a host of other imaginary realities.

BTW, Kurdistan is actually two proto-states: Talabani-controlled Sulaymaniyah and Barzani-controlled Erbil.

JHM

Let's review the bidding, please!

Dr. PolSci diagnoses his patients -- accurately enough, I'd say -- as suffering from certain remarkably gaudy hallucinations and self-serving delusions like

(1) "They begin from a deep belief that they are the ones who defeated the United States (and they do believe that they are winning)"

and

(2) "[T]hey are a majority in Iraq (a few weeks ago I think I wrote about a statement by the head of the Islamic Army of Iraq which claimed that Sunnis made up 60% of Iraq's population)."

After such a diagnosis, what possible therapy? What conceivable "serious insurgency political program"?

These mental patients seem to be in their own way thorough KarlRoveans, they can always just make up their own Imperial Reality to suit themselves as they march ever onwards to Total Triumph.

Still, it was asked for some program to be suggested, so how about they first convince everybody else in the former Iraq (1) that they REALLY ARE sixty percent and not the beggarly twenty percent they have been widely reported to look more like, and (2) that they REALLY HAVE repelled the militant GOP invasion machine, and repelled it single-handed?

If the mental patients in question can pull that much off, taking over the asylum altogether ought to be a cinch.

But if not, not.

dammit

i don't care about all of the internal / external ramifications / nuances - i just wanna see the Oil Stealing Occupation casualty count go back up !!! has been declining for 4 months now !! what is up with the Iraqis ?? why aren't they blowing up / gunning down the Oil Stealing Occupiers ???

NEWSDESK HELSINKI FINLAND

Our eds feel they're able to tell what's gonna take place in September very soon so if interested in the issue, do check our site next weekend and look for an ANALYSIS article by us in the address:

http://theunitedstatesofmonsters.blogspot.com

(It will take a day or couple to finish the piece, do the final checkings and ask for authorization to post it, but it should be there in some days...)

NEWSDESK HELSINKI FINLAND

Patrick

Marc~

Your coverage of these things is the best, but I have a question to ask: is there a danger of becoming so focused on the trees that we lose sight of the forest?

So far, you've shown that you are capable of keeping sight of the fact that this is a failed occupation and a disaster for all parties. But by focusing so intently on the factional fighting of various Sunni and Shi'a players, aren't you just giving legs to the belief that there is a non-violent solution to the present conflict? Again, I don't want to accuse you of such a belief, but your research and analysis will enable (I know I know) many who want to stay the course by giving them something to latch onto.

I hope I'm not sounding too anti-intellectual, I'm admittedly playing something of the devil's advocate. But your analysis can't but help remind me of stories I heard about Pentagon officials during the Vietnam War. They became so engrossed in the nuances of South Vietnamese politics, they lost sight of the fact that they were fighting for a lost cause. Also, most of them didn't know a word of Vietnamese; they relied on area experts to provide more raw data, and manipulated said data to their own ends.

ummabdulla

"a few weeks ago I think I wrote about a statement by the head of the Islamic Army of Iraq which claimed that Sunnis made up 60% of Iraq's population"

But that's not new, is it? Haven't Iraqi Sunnis (and Sunnis in neighboring countries) been saying that all along?

Question

Prof. Lynch,

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but can you run down your qualifications as to why you consider yourself an authority on Iraq? How many academic papers have you written about Iraq? How many books? How many times have you travelled to Iraq? Do you claim to have original sources in the Iraqi government? In the Iraqi insurgency? What specific periods of Iraqi history have you taught during your academic career?

You give a very subjective (at times, stinging) opinion on Iraq that clearly reflects your politics, and I appreciate your input even though I don't agree with all your positions, but I have a right to wonder how substantiated these opinions are.

NEWSDESK HELSINKI FINLAND

@ Question:

If unhappy to Prof Lynch's coverage, why don't you check out our "September report" linked above?

We quote only Iraqi Resistance sources, before that defining the resistance quite clearly.

Furthermore, we claim indirect contact to the resistance in the sense that they do check our posting above and should there be any mistakes done by us, we'll correct them with public condemnation of our possible errors.

Question

Newsdesk Helsinki Finland,

You have an interesting take on things but clearly you are in the far fringe. I am personally disgusted but you do have a right to your opinions. But I wonder if you can answer this question: What percentage of Iraqis would agree with your qualification of these insurgents as "resistance"? 80%? 60%? 40%? 20%? 5%? 2%? 0.5%?

Does the opinion of Iraqis even matter to you, all the way up in Finland? Or are you only interested in hating what you call the "United States of Monsters"-America?

Question

Newsdesk Helsinki Finland,

You have an interesting take on things but clearly you are in the far fringe. I am personally disgusted but you do have a right to your opinions. But I wonder if you can answer this question: What percentage of Iraqis would agree with your qualification of these insurgents as "resistance"? 80%? 60%? 40%? 20%? 5%? 2%? 0.5%?

Does the opinion of Iraqis even matter to you, all the way up in Finland? Or are you only interested in hating what you call the "United States of Monsters"-America?

aardvark

Dear Question,

I could point to a book and half a dozen articles about Iraq, multiple courses taught in both comparative and IR which have mentioned Iraq, the dozens of Arabic newspapers and forums that I link to and translate every day, various American government and Arab/Iraqi sources, and so on - but why? Presumably you are able to make up your own mind - read the analysis, consider the sources, check them if you can, and make up your own mind.

Steve

http://worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/brmiddleeastnafricara/250.php?nid=&id=&pnt=250&lb=brme

Question

Dear Prof. Lynch,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the book in question concerns Al-Jazeera's coverage of Iraq, not Iraq itself? Is that right?

Furthermore, it seems from what you described as your body of work that you are not an issues-specific expert on Iraq but rather you cover Iraq as part of other fields of expertise that touch upon Iraq.

Did I also get this from your response, that you haven't travelled to Iraq, ever?

Sometimes your judgements on certain Iraq issues seem a bit too harsh and would require plenty of confidence and authority on the subject to carry water. By understanding the depth of your knowledge on Iraq I can better "make up my own mind" as to the accuracy of some of your judgements.

NEWSDESK HELSINKI FINLAND

"What percentage of Iraqis would agree with your qualification of these insurgents as "resistance"? 80%? 60%? 40%? 20%? 5%? 2%? 0.5%?"
- A neat per cent. Haven't seen any poll on this issue. Last year some 90% of Sunnis accepted them. The Sunnis being most targeted we side mostly with them, but also with Kurds and Shias as you can see from our coverage just recently (we were among the first to repost on Cholera epidemy threatening Kurds and just today we posted three pieces concerning the Shias).

"Does the opinion of Iraqis even matter to you, all the way up in Finland?"
- It jolly well does. We work with the Iraqis in issues such as these. We're not kidding with serious matters such as these.

"Or are you only interested in hating what you call the "United States of Monsters"-America?"
- At the time we took the name pissed off about the U.S. nuking people indiscriminately, gathering whoever does such things is a monster. Therefore the name. Rather than hating the Americans we've decided to put up a fight against their current admins, which are quite separate issues.

The DU is of great concern to all sections of Iraqis, not the least to the Shias, as you can see e.g. from following this link to the "fearure" articles page of Voices of Iraq:

http://66.111.34.180/look/english/section.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=4&NrIssue=2&NrSection=4

As it is, nearly every article there has taken some 60 readers, except one, namely this one:

Depleted uranium threatens thousands of lives in Basra, government turns blind eye –researcher

In a less than a week it has had nearly 6,000 reads (some 5,300).

The NDHF policy follows the international law and so sides with the resistance not only because its legal position, but because we've understood that this is the only way to make end of the horrors the Iraqis suffer at the moment: the occupier must go, just as is the opinion of the Iraqi people. We side with that, nothing less, nothing more: What comes to this you may read again the stats from year ago posted by steve above.

Kindly yours,

NDHF eds.

CIS

I wonder how many of those insurgent groups in Anbar who temporarily sided with America out of necessity are now getting sick and tired of being portrayed as America's submissive sidekicks in Bush's propaganda.

DCChatter

Given the discussion above, check out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U623_GTYX-8

It is a trailer for a new documentary on the Insurgency - recently completed by two DC journalists after spending a year in Baghdad.

Brian H

NDF;
you bring strongly to mind an old Scots adage, which you might heed:
"Fools and bairns [children] shud nae see unfinished werk."

NEWSDESK HELSINKI FINLAND

@ DCChatter (Brian H):

Here in Finland we say:

"Kyl yks naine kymmene kättä voitta."

Translation to that:

"One woman wins ten hands anytime."

Why not try that?

The comments to this entry are closed.

google analytics


Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Blog powered by Typepad