March 06, 2006
Poll: Oh My Iraq, Civil War (ho hum)
In the news today is the stunning, shocking news, that, ahem, Iraq is sliding towards outright civil war (according the sharply sensitive and informed American people) I simply thought this should be an opportunity to say, well, no kidding:
Some past thoughts of mine, including my long ago prediction of no way out of the Lebanese logic:
September 10, 2004 - No Exit: Lebanon on the Euphrates [Edit to add citation to new report]
February 02, 2005 - Iraq, The Model. (Irony) Elections Are Not Democracy
April 26, 2005 - Oh perhaps fashionable now. Iraq. Civil War.
June 15, 2005 - Iraq: The Lebanon Scenario bis
Sadly, as usual, The Lounsbury read on the actual drivers and results of a situation is largely fully spot on.
Nevermind, I call in early 2003 the endless bodybags.
Yet still somewhat managed to work up the operational optimism to try to site a steel factory in Suleymaniye.
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This Barry Posen article (via belgravia dispatch) is interesting & basically hits all the reasons I think American troops probably need to leave, although I also think he's a little too sanguine about the likelihood of civil war reaching a quick, relatively stable stalemate, as opposed to turning into a genocidal meatgrinder that goes on for a decade.
Posted by: Tom Scudder at March 7, 2006 07:19 AM
Lounsbury, you're using a poll of American public opinion to support your "I told you so"? Come on.
Barry Posen's article is a good read. He suggests a withdrawal after 18 months, with large withdrawals starting after a year. That's a far more reasonable scenario than the rash calls by purely self-interested US politicians to pull out immediately. Interestingly, the majority of Americans, while obviously wanting to withdraw eventually, definitely don't support immediate and sudden withdrawal in the next few months. This is according to an interesting worldwide BBC poll last month, which states only 19% would support withdrawal within a few months, and your own cite, Lounsbury, which reports 1 in 6 or 17% for immediate withdrawal.
Posen nicely outlines the trade-offs associated with American presence. Such trade-offs will likely get worse for the case for American presence as time wears on, the question of course being the timing of when the benefits run out. I'm a little more optimistic about the current progress of Iraqi Sunni politics than he is; I though the second election was a big improvement over the first, for example. There's a long way to go still, of course, and plenty of opportunity for the whole thing to stall, as happens often.
Posted by: zurn at March 7, 2006 01:58 PM
I'm not drawing on a US poll to support my position at all you git. I'm stating that finally the unwashed are coming round to the realisation, tardily as usual, that Iraq is fucked into a cocked hat, and drawing attention to my prior analyses of why the Lebanon Logic is inescapable.
I hardly need some semi-literate ignoramuses for confirmation of my own analyses of any given MENA situation.
As for withdrawal, as you know, I don't particularly have a position on that. I'm not a military man and tried to avoid commenting on such things.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at March 7, 2006 03:57 PM
I guess you've just missed my point, "you git". It's not American public opinion that decides whether what's happening in Iraq constitutes a civil war. Maybe if you quoted a more reputable and informed source it would be more convincing.
Posted by: zurn at March 7, 2006 11:25 PM
uhoh! zum wants to fight L!
FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT!
this quote seems more relevant today than ever
"We have placed them in a quagmire from which they can never emerge except dead" - Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, former Iraqi Information Minister
My dear Zurn, I did not miss your point, it is merely irrelevant to what I said. In no way was I using American public opinion to "confirm" a civil war, I was using American public opinion to draw attention to my analysis as Johnny come Lately fools finaly realising something.
Quoting more reputable and informed sources escapes me at the moment. I am my own source, the analysis is yours truly and I frankly don't give a fuck what other analysts say right now, Iraq is in a civil war by very reasonable comparision with Algerian and Lebanon. That's me personal standard. Don't like it, tough.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at March 9, 2006 01:40 PM
People have warned about civil war for a long time. Other people have ignored the warnings.
Posted by: Eddie at March 9, 2006 09:50 PM
There already is a civil war, you stupid git.
Posted by: The Lounsbury at March 9, 2006 10:17 PM