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[casi-analysis] casi-news digest, Vol 1 #176 - 2 msgs

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Today's Topics:

   1. What's our biggest problem? (
   2. 'Democrocy' Pays - Literally (farbuthnot)


Message: 1
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 17:59:46 EST
Subject: What's our biggest problem?

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January 12, 2005
Dear Ken, About That  Cakewalk...
What's Our Biggest Problem...the Insurgency or  Bush?
Three years ago in the Washington Post Ken Adelman, formerly an assistant  to
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, promised us "Cakewalk In Iraq." I wonder
how Mr. Adelman feels about his promise today.
In his article Adelman disparaged Brookings  Institution military analysts
and the redoubtable Edward Luttwak for  "fear-mongering." Adelman dismissed
concerns about US casualties and unilateral  action as misguided worries that
inspire inaction when it was perfectly clear,  to Adleman at least, that Iraq's
Saddam "Hussein constitutes the number one  threat against American security and
As for concerns about going it alone, "President  Bush does not need to amass
rinky-dink nations as 'coalition partners' to  convince the Washington
establishment that we're right."
The Washington establishment must be wondering  today how it was convinced
into making such a fatal mistake. Iraq had no weapons  of mass destruction.
Saddam Hussein had no terrorist links or involvement in the  September 11 terror
attack. US casualties (dead and wounded) now stand at 10  percent of the US
invasion force. A few thousand lightly armed insurgents have  tied down eight US
divisions. Iraq's infrastructure lies in ruins. Fallujah,  once a city of
300,000, has been destroyed. The US has lost control of the  roads, and most of
the US fighting force is confined to protecting supply lines  and its own bases.
The US military is cracking under the strain of prolonged  service in the
field. The cost of the war mounts, putting more pressure on a  collapsing US
dollar. The US occupation has recruited thousands of new  terrorists for Osama bin
Laden and provided a training ground. Torture and  torture memos have
destroyed America's moral reputation. Civil war looms as  neither Sunnis, Shiites,
nor Kurds are willing to support a government they do  not control.
Anti-American feelings throughout the Middle East threaten to  undermine the secular
puppets that the US keeps afloat in Pakistan, Egypt and  Jordan. There is no light
at the end of the tunnel. Generals speak of staying  another 3, 5, 7, and 10
years in order "to get the job done."
If this is a cakewalk, what is a failed invasion  and a lost war?
Where Mr. Adelman, the neoconservatives, the  Pentagon, the White House, the
flag-wavers, and the media went wrong was in  thinking the outcome would be
settled by a set piece battle between massed Iraqi  and US forces. They thought
this because they knew nothing whatsoever about  Iraq.
The Sunni-controlled Iraqi military chose  insurgency as the strategy. Suck
the invader in, and make him unsafe on every  street and in every building.
Blow him up in his own fortified bases.
Their strategy has worked. Ours has  failed.
The question is: are Americans smart enough to  realize this? Our government
is not smart enough. The occupant of the Oval  Office is drowning in hubris
and delusion. The neoconservatives are still in  charge of the Bush
administration, and they are still talking fantasies about  taking out Iran and Syria and
imposing our will on the Middle East. This is  extraordinary delusion when we
have conclusively demonstrated that we cannot  even impose our will on
Fallujah, not even after leveling the city to the  ground. We cannot even impose our
will on the road from Bhagdad to the  airport.
The promised Iraqi election, if held, will settle  nothing. If it is not a
total disaster, it might provide cover for US  withdrawal, not piecemeal but all
at once. If 150,000 US troops are in jeopardy,  piecemeal withdrawal will
place remaining troops in more jeopardy.
Americans must ask themselves where lies our  biggest problem? Is it the
Iraqi insurgency, or is it President Bush who will  not admit a mistake?
How long will we bleed in Iraq? How many war  crimes will we commit in
frustration with an invisible enemy? How intense will  Muslim hatred of Americans
become? At what point will this hatred unseat our  puppets and deliver the
Middle East to Osama bin Laden or his equivalent? Three  more years? Five more
years? We certainly cannot get away with it for seven or  ten more years.
The US invasion of Iraq was a strategic blunder.  It has greatly damaged US
credibility, while greatly enhancing Osama bin Laden's  credibility.
Who will provide the desperately needed leadership  that will rescue America
from this self-inflicted  catastrophe?Paul Craig  Roberts was Assistant
Secretary of the  Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of
the Wall  Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National
Review. He is  coauthor of _The  Tyranny of Good Intentions._


Message: 2
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 20:05:52 +0000
Subject: 'Democrocy' Pays - Literally
From: "farbuthnot" <>

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Printer Friendly Version  E-Mail This Article  =A0
=A0Published on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 by the Financial Times/UK
Allawi Group Slips Cash to Reporters
by Steve Negus in Baghdad
The electoral group headed by Iyad Allawi, the interim Iraqi prime minister=
on Monday handed out cash to journalists to ensure coverage of its press
conferences in a throwback to Ba'athist-era patronage ahead of parliamentar=
elections on January 30.
After a meeting held by Mr Allawi's campaign alliance in west Baghdad,
reporters, most of whom were from the Arabic-language press, were invited
upstairs where each was offered a "gift" of a $100 bill contained in an
Many of the journalists accepted the cash - about equivalent to half the
starting monthly salary for a reporter at an Iraqi newspaper - and one
jokingly recalled how Saddam Hussein's regime had also lavished perks on
favoured reporters.
Giving gifts to journalists is common in many of the Middle East's
authoritarian regimes, although reporters at the conference said the
practice was not yet widespread in postwar Iraq.
The press conference came as Mr Allawi and his allies kicked the electoral
campaign of their Iraqi List into high gear.
Mr Allawi was not at the conference, but Hussein al-Sadr, a Shia cleric
running on the prime minister's list, used it to challenge Islamist
opponents in the United Iraqi Alliance, saying they were falsely claiming
the backing of the country's Shia clerical establishment.
In recent weeks, there have been signs that Mr Allawi's campaign is staging
an unexpectedly strong challenge.
According to the preliminary results of one survey in Shia majority areas,
Mr Allawi's list was favoured by 22 per cent of respondents compared with 2=
per cent who chose the Alliance.
Mr Allawi's list, whose campaign emphasises the rebuilding of the Iraqi
military, is playing on its leader's reputation as a strongman and Iraqi
yearnings for stability.
Like most candidate groups, Mr Allawi's has not announced its complete list
of candidates for security reasons.
However, officials in his party say that his prominent Shia allies include
Mr Sadr and Basra governor Wael Abd al-Latif, while Sunnis include Falah
al-Naquib, the interior minister, and Thamer al-Ghadhban, the minister for
Leonid Kuchma, Ukraine's outgoing president, on Monday ordered an early
withdrawal of the country's 1,600 troops from Iraq over the next six months=
Mr Kuchma's move came in response to the deaths of eight Ukrainian soldiers
in a blast in Iraq at the weekend.
Viktor Yushchenko, the president-elect, said he would make the troop
withdrawal a priority when he took office in the coming days.
Additional reporting by Awadh al-Taee in Baghdad and by Tom Warner in Kiev
=A9 Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2005

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