Originally Posted by Shane
Where do you get the facts from to draw your concrete conclusions? You seem very well informed but you also seem pessimistic. We are not the first nor the worst the Arabs have dealt with. We are not entirely the fault, nor are the British.
What do you think computer programmers who work for pipeline companies, do Shane? We work probabilities based on available information. We have our own intelligence bureaus. We gather lots of information on oil reserves, on the local culture, the political situation, the trends, and work the probabilities. There is really some pretty simple things involved here deductively speaking.
Number one is the troop count. The ratio of troops to population in Iraq, which is ridiculous to say the least and a direct result of the philosophy of that idiot Rumsfled, leads to two inescapable conclusions: 1) in order to maintain order we must depend on Iraqi troops 2) Iraqi troops are in effect traitors to their religion to one faction and traitors to their country to the other, so therefore 3) #1 is not possible.
If #1 is not possible, and it is not as far as we have seen in a period of four years, we must maintain order by relying on heavy weapons like aerial bombardment, shelling, tanks and machine gunning of crowds simply because there is no other choice. The conclusion is simple, that given the current military footprint in Iraq, we will simply never be able to maintain order because the way we would be forced to maintain order leads to nothing but disorder.
There is only one conclusion one can draw from these salient facts, and I ask anyone to disagree or point to some possible other: if the US wants to achieve its goals in Iraq, it must be willing to base something along the line of a minimum of 450,000 troops there for years, troops who will be more police officers than troops. It currently costs us 150 billion dollars a year to maintain 150,000 troops, a cost that has been rising instead of falling. It also costs us approximately 1,000 lives a year as well. The alternatives are two: we either raises taxes, institute a draft, triple military spending in the US in order to achieve our goals, or we change the goals. Bush has been unwilling to do so, resulting in the status quo of Apocalypse Forever in Iraq.
Number two is the culture of the Islam in the oil producing countries, which are the most conservative in the Islamic world. Islam is a very strict religion, an extremely male-dominated and extremely, extremely rules-based culture that is for all intents and purposes a closed society with little doorway openings for those who wish to follow the rules. If one looks at the history of the region, cultures that interact with Islamic cultures that work hard at honoring those rules do quite well there. The British fumbled a lot of it, but for the most part, they were much better at it than us, because America is quite honestly an arrogant culture. Our inability to understand this, and our even greater inability to work with the forces of change in the Islamic world that want to change this has been an utter disaster for us.
The French, the Russians, all have had better relationships in the Islamic World because they are aware of the fact that one must observe as much as possible the rules for foreigners for interacting with an Islamic society. America does not work the cultural angle, we project and acquire power in the Islamic World by our relationship with Saudi Arabia and other despotic regimes, and by killing people or by paying the Israelis to do it for us.
The end result of the war and of this culture insensitivity is this: to the average muslim person, we represent a culture that is viewed by them much the same as we viewed the Nazis. We wish to invade and assimulate them, to kill them, rape their women and corrupt Islam itself. Bin Laden is essentially a reaction to this, he feeds on it, and all Bush has done is given him more and more of what he needs to succeed. His idealogy has become the dominant idealogy of the young men of the Middle East in a culture where they are the dominant force in religious society.
We do not really see the Islamic street culture. We only see the governments of the depotic regimes, not them. We have antagonized the people of the region for decades because of it, building night clubs in Western zones that serve alcohol, sending women over there that act like whores when viewed by the local culture, and by basing military assets in the area, not to even mention the massive problems now created by Bush's one sided support of Israel. What is the most probable outcome of that? An unending supply of unconventional fighters. An unending unstable political situation, in all the unstable countries. Is it any wonder the most stable oil producing state is Iran? It is the one we are least involved with.
So what are the conclusions on the best course? First, I would suggest you read Tom Rick's Fiasco
, the best book on the subject, which explains directly from Pentagon records, how all of what I have stated above was well known by the war planners who preceded Bush, men who were forced out by Rumsfled. They had a war plan for Iraq that depended not on the Defense Department as the central actor, but on the State Department's cultural attache divisions. Their plan was for an initial invasion of 450,000 troops and the maintenance of the Baath Party and the Iraqi Army as institutions of order that would require reform, and the withdrawal of American forces as soon as possible, with the face of the invasion being diplomats and Arab specialists instead of shithead generals whose main goal in life was suck Bush cock.
Instead, Bushco did the exact opposite. Of course, as Ricks says, the biggest mistake was the first mistake, invading Iraq in the first place. The main tenet of the Zinni plan was that if we were not willing to do this, the only sane alternative was to not invade at all. They were right. We are now left with really one choice: stop antagonizing these societies with our presence, which does nothing but increase the power of Al Queda as a political force, and get the fuck out. Start supporting elements in these societies that wish to reform Islam. Learn how to interact with Muslim cultures some other way than by murdering their children. Or start developing some kind of massive military machine that will bankrupt us and them.