Friday, February 23, 2007

Who's Validating AQ's Strategy?

Cheney won't take back Pelosi comment - 23 Feb 2007 at 9:41am - WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dick Cheney refused Friday to take back his charge that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's opposition to President Bush's Iraq war buildup is playing into the hands of the al-Qaida terrorist network.
"You also have to be accountable for the results. What are the consequences of that? What happens if we withdraw from Iraq?," he said. "And the point I made and I'll make it again is that al-Qaida functions on the basis that they think they can break our will. That's their fundamental underlying strategy, that if they can kill enough Americans or cause enough havoc, create enough chaos in Iraq, then we'll quit and go home. And my statement was that if we adopt the Pelosi policy, that then we will validate the strategy of al-Qaida. I said it and I meant it."
"Break our will"? Our will to what: perpetuate a failed strategy? Our will stubbornly to refuse to pursue the diplomatic measures that may be the only chance to bring stability to Iraq?

The U.S. would do well to develop a viable strategy of its own, rather than focusing on trying to thwart whatever it perceives as "al Qaida's strategy" -- otherwise, it will forever be playing al Qaida's game, on al Qaida's turf, on al Qaida's terms.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

We Just Want Weapons That Will Help Us Get the Terrorists

Iraq's PM fights for more weapons for outgunned army - 1 Feb 2007 at 10:23am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is pressing Washington to give his military more weapons, with ordinary soldiers complaining they are often outgunned by heavily armed militants.
The man has a point. From the article:

While Maliki has not spelt out exactly what is on his shopping list, the U.S. military says the weapons in Iraq's armory are "suitable for the current threat it faces".

But the Iraq Study Group suggested otherwise in its December report to President George W. Bush proposing a change of American strategy in Iraq.

"Units lack equipment," the high-level bipartisan panel said. "They cannot carry out their missions without adequate equipment. Congress has been generous in funding requests for U.S. troops but it has resisted fully funding Iraqi forces.

....The Iraqi government says it is not looking for tanks and helicopters, but more "medium weapons" such as heavy machineguns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and armored vehicles.

"We don't want tanks. We don't want weapons to launch a war. We just want weapons that will help us get the terrorists," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told Reuters.
It appears that Iraq's military isn't as well equipped as are American forces now in that country. As has been argued here before, if America's military can't do the job without gunships, tanks, bombers, etc., how can Iraq's military be expected to?

This is another example of the Bush administration's actions belying its claim to be "for success" in Iraq. Do they want stability in Iraq? If so, then where is the hardware? Where is the training?

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