Powerline posts “a pessimistic assessment” on Iraq

Because it comes from a service member in Iraq who knows whereof he speaks, and who moreover comes from Minnesota, the Minneapolis-based Powerline, whose main mission is the defense of the presidency and policies of George W. Bush, had no choice but to post it:

It’s not pretty but it is reality. My job as a Human Intelligence collector provides me with uncommon situational awareness regarding, not Iraq as a whole, but much of southern Iraq. I meet with chiefs of police, I have been to the Provincial Security meetings, I have questioned terrorists of all stripes, I run sources, and collect the information to put bad guys in jail. I also read a lot of classified reporting from all over the country. What I say I don’t say lightly and I say with regret. But as someone who has been separated from my wife, friends, and family for 20 months already (with four months to go thanks to the surge) and as service members continue to lose life and limb I feel that I can no longer hold my tongue….

We want to succeed in Iraq. Because we want to succeed we continually look for ways and opportunities to contribute. This desire to succeed also spawns an eternal optimism that maybe somehow someway things will get better. Wanting to succeed though is no excuse to ignore reality, and the reality in Iraq is ugly.

The Iraqi government and security forces are so thoroughly infiltrated by the Shia militias that you could say that the militias are the government and you would not be far off. Iraqi police in Southern Iraq are not in the fight against the militias at all. Top CF targets walk the streets freely in every city. In most cases police stations are manned by JAM members in police uniforms who actively aid the terrorists. On the rare occasion that a Shia terrorist is actually arrested by an ISF unit, he must be turned over to CF immediately or he will be released by the police or courts.

In addition, politicians from the city council to the CoR, if not Maliki himself, make calls and appearances on behalf of the terrorist, often threatening the job (if not the life) of the offending ISF leader with the audacity to actually do his job. Imagine our Congress, and governorships, and police departments staffed with members of the Crips and Bloods. Imagine being a citizen, a victim of or witness to a crime committed by one of these gangs. What would you do? Where would you turn? Ignoring for the moment the systemic corruption, this is the “government” we hope to turn this country over to.

The situation on the American side is not much better. The careerists in the Army and DoD have leaned that not taking chances and reporting only good news up the chain are the ways to advance their careers. Just look at General Casey. The army is first and foremost a bureaucracy intent on taking its processes, forms, procedures and top down decision making with it wherever it goes. The Army is not flexible enough or well trained enough to win a counterinsurgency.

Then there’s the domestic political situation which I won’t rehash except to say that it’s crippling to the war effort. We’ve been in country over a year and there have been Democratic calls for timetables and withdraws the entire time. Would, should, any rational person bet his life helping CF when you’re expecting them to leave at any time?

We have mismanaged Iraq in ways too numerous to list here for four years. In order to succeed on the ground we would have to scrap everything we have done and start over….

I wonder, does a document like this finally get through to the little cheer-leading hearts of the Powerline guys? Does it make them start to grasp things that for years have been OBVIOUS to anyone not wedded at the hip to G.W. Bush?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 02, 2007 02:10 AM | Send

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