Monday, July 24, 2006


This is a bit disturbing, if true: Israel had the war plan with Hezbollah in place for more than a year ago. It called for a three week attack. We're currently in week 2.

Another report on Iraq falling apart. Snip:
It seems unlikely that Baghdad will ever come together again. Sunni are frightened of being caught in a Shia district, and vice versa. Many now carry two sets of identity documents, one Sunni and one Shia. Checkpoints manned by the Mehdi Army know this and sometimes ask people claiming to be Shia questions about Shia theology. One Shia who passed this test was still killed because he was driving a car with number plates from Anbar, a Sunni province.
And yet, another report on the same issue:
"Iraq as a political project is finished," a senior government official was quoted as saying, adding: "The parties have moved to plan B." He said that the Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties were now looking at ways to divide Iraq between them and to decide the future of Baghdad, where there is a mixed population. "There is serious talk of Baghdad being divided into [Shia] east and [Sunni] west," he said.
Such a result was predicted by many people before the war in Iraq started. The Bush administration dismissed such prognostications as wildly incorrect. Now that it is coming to pass, how will the administration spin it? As a decision for the Iraqi people to make? Will we build embassies in all three regions? Will Baghdad become a walled city like Berlin was during the cold war? Will this be the new cold war fighting ground with Iran as our enemy? Will the country become walled apart a la Israel and Palestinean territories? How will Turkey and Iran respond to an autonomous Kurdish zone?


Scott said...

It makes interesting press, but I really wonder how significant it is. An example out of my former career. As we were training for aircraft carrier operations we found we'd be constantly creating battle plans. Partly to avoid idle hands doing too much mischief, and for practice. Lastly, was in case they were actually needed. They were drawn up against everybody. The USSR (that dates me), Japan, North Korea, England, Spain, Syria, etc.

The point being they weren't drawn up with the perception or intention they would all be used. Mo more than learning "e=m(c*c)" means you're planning to drop nukes. Maybe a little more, but you get my drift.

The Nazi's, as is typical of that type of animal, would shoot ten or a hundred people whenever a resister killed one Nazi. It is a shame Israel took that lesson to heart as a model instead of viewing it as an atrocity. Then again, looking at 9/11 and how we've indiscriminately attacked and ravaged a country having nothing to do with it, other than being similar ethnically, we sure don't have any grounds for wagging fingers at Israel.

B.D. said...

Points well taken. Actually, I thought about them drawing up this battle plan as an exercise (which, in reality may be an exercise in futility). However, with the Israelis and their enemies, it's hard to say whether or not it was just an exercise and not a long term plan just requiring the slightest trigger.

The USSR analogy is actually very apt as I think of this battle in part much like the old cold war battles. Two proxy states fighting the battles and incurring casualties and tragedies on their own soil rather than on the ruler's soil. Of course, in this scenario the rulers are the U.S. and Iran. Given that Cheney and Rumsfeld were big supporters of this strategy and were aggressors when applying it in the past, it should not come as a surprise that it's been revived.

The newer version has the wild card of Israel. The Israelis and their enemies are, quite frankly, nuts. They are hard to predict and we do not control them as easily as some of the other states that ally themselves tightly with the U.S. government (Britain, for example). For years, the Israelis have been using the same strategy that they are employing today and it has never brought them lasting peace. Will they stop when Washington wants them to do so this time around? Or will they carry it further? The U.S. seemingly has adopted some of the Israeli strategy when it comes to Afghanistan and Iraq and perhaps we won't pull the reins too tightly.