Learning from Baker

Most of the coverage I have seen of the Iraq Study Group’s report has concentrated on its recommendations. This is a waste of time. The whole point about the present disaster is that there is no solution. Defeat is now inevitable and — short of a meteorite taking out the White House — it will be nastier than anyone (not Iraqi) can presently imagine. What can still be learned from the report is something about the still scarcely credible arrogance and incompetence of the Pentagon. One passage picked up “here”:http://www.belgraviadispatch.com/2006/12/isg_excerpts_vi.html gives an idea of this:

bq. there are fewer than 10 analysts on the job at the Defense Intelligence Agency who have more than two years’ experience in analyzing the insurgency … In addition, there is significant underreporting of the violence in Iraq. The standard for recording attacks acts as a filter to keep events out of reports and databases. A murder of an Iraqi is not necessarily counted as an attack. If we cannot determine the source of a sectarian attack, that assault does not make it into the database. A roadside bomb or a rocket or mortar attack that doesn’t hurt U.S. personnel doesn’t count. For example, on one day in July 2006 there were 93 attacks or significant acts of violence reported. Yet a careful review of the reports for that single day brought to light 1,100 acts of violence. Good policy is difficult to make when information is systematically collected in a way that minimizes its discrepancy with policy goals.

well, duh.

I’m off into London tonight for my agent’s Christmas party. This time last year, I was talking there with a charming man from Aegis, the mercenary company, who was thoroughly optimistic about the war and the forthcoming elections, and Charles Glass, who pointed out that even in Vietnam, all the elections were held on schedule. Charles said that the only good thing to come out of the war might be a _de facto_ independent and secure Kurdistan, but that we’d see the Americans leave as they did Saigon, with people clinging to the helicopters. On the other hand, he thought this would have no impact on American domestic politics: perhaps there he was being pessimistic. I hope that both men are there tonight.

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3 Responses to Learning from Baker

  1. The solution is one they do not talk about. Split the country into three and form three separate governments. Forcing these sects to get along is an act of lunacy. Separation will also bring motivation for each security force. They will have a country of their own which is what most of them want anyway. American forces can be used simply to guard newly formed borders.

  2. H. E. Baber says:

    They do talk about it but the problem is that Turkey would object to an independent Iraqi Kurdistan since it could get their own Kurds going for succession. However I have the fix for that: partition Iraq AND give Turkey an instant fast-track to EU membership on the condition that they recognize Iraqi Kurdistan. In addition, make it a condition on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan that they recognize a “right of return” for all Kurds outside their borders comparable to Jews “right of return” to Israel. If Turkish Kurds prefer to emmigrate, good ridance; if they prefer living in an EU country to living in an independent Kurdistan hacked out of Iraq they have nothing to complain about. If Iraqi Kurds don’t want to let their brothers in, no independence. Everyone gets what they want at a fair price.

    Part II of the deal of course is airlifting out educated, middle class Iraqis, who will be tortured and beheaded as collaborators once we leave, and settling them in the US. Once the civilized people are safely out of the way, the ghetto gangs and tribes can fight it out amongst themselves until they kill one another off. We Americans screwed up by putting civilized Iraqis in harms way and undermining the life of the educated middle class. We did no harm to the tribal barbarians and owe them nothing: if they want to kill one another off, tribe by tribe and clan by clan it’s their business.

  3. An independent Kurdistan would be followed by the Turkish army in Irbil. I suspect it’s a non-starter. What seems plausible is the creation of a federal Iraq. Though that one will face substantial objections from the Sunni.

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