Thursday, June 23, 2005

Insurgency in Iraq not weakening

Contradicting a claim by Vice President Dick Cheney that the insurgency in Iraq is in its “last throes,” Gen. John Abizaid’s, the top American commander in the Persian Gulf, told Congress that the Iraqi insurgency has not weakened. Abizaid’s statement came at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

Abizaid told the panel that he believes “there are more foreign fighters coming into Iraq than there were six months ago.”

The Bush administration has consistently tried to paint a positive picture of the situation in Iraq. The statement by Abizaid is an acknowledgement that the hostilities in Iraq will continue for the foreseeable future. I agree with the Bush Administration position that we cannot yet set a tentative timeline for withdrawing from Iraq. We should remain committed for as long as the people of Iraq need assistance and cannot shy away in the face of hostilities.

8 Comments:

At 7:14 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

I’m not sure that this is all so true Alan-- Close maybe…
If I remember right, General Abizaid didn’t answer the question as stated by one of the Senators on the Committee today, Senator Carl Levin (D) of Michigan, who was the one using those words and trying himself to say the VP more or less lied. (The Dems on all committees do this all the time-- nothing new there!) General Abizaid wouldn’t go there with said Senator for nothing either. Yet General Abizaid did say he thought the hostilities in Iraq would continue at today’s level for the foreseeable future and I’m sure that part to be true.

I for one think you can have the insurgency going through its “LAST THROES” as stated by the VP Dick Chaney and still be holding at today’s levels of hostilities in Iraq. All this means to me is at this moment, the insurgency and all the bad guys you can muster up are giving it everything they got. They know time is no longer on their side nor is the Iraqi people. These are desperate people; doing everything they can, with what little time they have left, to disrupt the building of a new and free Iraq. Unfortunately the hostilities will stay at this higher level for sometime but then these bad guys will finally be either killed off, ran off or jailed and then it’s over.
Quick note: To me the words ‘Last Throes” mean the same as “A Last Ditch Effort,” "On their last Leg."

 
At 8:01 PM, Blogger M. Takhallus. said...

Abizaid must haave been drunk. Why else would a general officer start blurting out the truth at this late date?

 
At 10:47 PM, Blogger Joe Weedon said...

I can see the argument that the insurgency is actually weaker today than six months ago but is simply maintaining its level of hostilities by "giving it everything they got," especially if one believes that the presence of "more foreign fighters coming into Iraq" is a sign that the local opposition is weaking and the local opposition is being artifically supported from outside the country.

However, even if this is the case, we cannot expect to see any reduction in violence (and we'll probably see increased violence) in the short-term.

An increase in violence following comments such as Cheney's could undermine public support for US involvement in Iraq (which is already divided at best).

And, if Senator Graham is correct in his assessment of public opinion of the war in South Carolina ("public support in my state is turning.") the Bush administration will soon begin to see an increasingly hostile public.

 
At 11:35 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

Joe, (sorry I called you Alan earlier,) I for one do not think that the Bush Administration will ever have a hostile public on his hands. The events of the day are very fluid so what you see today is not what you will have in the months ahead. I doubt you will see any short-term increase in the violence over there either. Just more of the same I’m afraid.

Now I might not be the smartest guy on the blogs but I for one have started to notice just a hint of 2006 - 2008 starting to get into the political mix of late. That means nothing more than a lot of Dems coming out beating their chest and screaming all the wrong doing of Bush and the Republican Party all over again. (What am I saying-- They never have stopped from the last elections!!!) I really don’t see how we have time to fight with any other country with all the time, energy and money we spend fighting amongst ourselves!!!!! And we’re the greatest country in the World???

 
At 1:08 AM, Blogger Ted Carmichael said...

Alan said: "We should remain committed for as long as the people of Iraq need assistance and cannot shy away in the face of hostilities."

Ahh... but who should judge if they need continued assistance? The Iraqi people? The Iraqi government? Or us? What standard do you think we should use to stay over there, and how much input should we give the Iraqis themselves?

 
At 3:30 AM, Blogger Robert Rouse said...

Aubrey,

I'm a bit confused. During the Clinton administration, it was okay for the Republicnas to come after Bill with everything they "thought" they had. Vince Foster, Paula Jones, Whitewater, of course Monica-gate and everything else up to and including the kitchen sink. But for some reason, since Bush was elected, the Republicans are acting like it's wrong for anyone to say anything bad about their sacred cow.

Are you saying we should just roll over and play dead so other countries won't get the wrong idea? Perhaps we shouldn't put any candidates against Republicans up for reelection in 2006? I'm sorry, but that's not the way ot works.

If your saying there should be no infighting during a war, what about the actions of your own party during World War II? The following is from GI- World War II Commemoration:

In running the war effort Roosevelt encountered almost endless difficulties on the domestic front. Congress dismantled New Deal agencies such as the WPA and blocked such liberal proposals as aid to education and health insurance . . . In 1943, FDR's opponents grumbled that his policy of unconditional surrender for the enemy discouraged the anti-Hitler resistance within Germany. Other critics complained that he relied too heavily on strategic bombing. His own generals were angry because he postponed the "second front against Hitler until June 1944.

It's called politics, Aubrey. Our forefathers bickered before during and after the American Revolution. Lincoln was at odds with both his supporters and detractors during the Civil War.

We're an ever evolving country. That's what keeps us strong, Different ideas from both sides. I, for one, would hate it if either party took total control forever. Then we would all have to follow the rules of one ideology. Debate and resolution is how we have always run this country. I see no reason to stop now.

As for polls, I notice the Republicans and Democrats both tend to wave them like flags when they're in their favor and disavow the poll's validity if it goes against them. Another fact of politics.

 
At 12:04 PM, Blogger Joe Weedon said...

The US presence in Iraq will certainly become a political issue over the next 6-8 months leading up to the mid-term elections. The question is what impact will it have? My belief is virtually none - the true position of most individuals within the parties simply are not that far apart. R's support the president. D's support our troops, even if they don't like how we got there.

However, if as Sen. Graham says the public in SC is starting to shift against the war, things may change. SC has a large number of military bases, an older population, and a lot of retired military -- that's why McCain, Clark and other politicians with military backgrounds target the state in presidential primaries. If those voters are beginning to turn, we're going to see a lot of voters around the country turn. That will lead to opportunistic politicians coming out with plans to end US envolvement. The parallels to Vietnam could begin to emerge (a popular war that drags on and the public begins to turn).

As far as the question about who should decide how long we stay -- I think the answer is a combination of individuals. Obviously, there has to be a will to stay from the American perspective. But, we also need the support of the Iraqi people, their government, and to a lesser extent our international partners (save France).

 
At 1:21 PM, Blogger AubreyJ said...

HATRED, Politics and WAR should never be mixed. NEVER!!! Unfortunately we have too much of all of the above. (Life is simple-- We’re the ones who make it complicated)

 

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