Here is another manifestation of the unfortunate fact that the public debate revolves around only the Manichaean choices of quixotic and futile Wilsonianism or surrender and appeasement. The third alternative would be a realistic and carefully planned program to resist the jihad itself, working to hinder Iran’s empire building and any other initiative that strengthened jihadist activity vis-a-vis infidels. But that is on no one’s radar screen.
By Simon Tisdall in The Guardian (thanks to Lame Cherry):
Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.
“Iran is fighting a proxy war in Iraq and it’s a very dangerous course for them to be following. They are already committing daily acts of war against US and British forces,” a senior US official in Baghdad warned. “They [Iran] are behind a lot of high-profile attacks meant to undermine US will and British will, such as the rocket attacks on Basra palace and the Green Zone [in Baghdad]. The attacks are directed by the Revolutionary Guard who are connected right to the top [of the Iranian government].”
The official said US commanders were bracing for a nationwide, Iranian-orchestrated summer offensive, linking al-Qaida and Sunni insurgents to Tehran’s Shia militia allies, that Iran hoped would trigger a political mutiny in Washington and a US retreat. “We expect that al-Qaida and Iran will both attempt to increase the propaganda and increase the violence prior to Petraeus’s report in September [when the US commander General David Petraeus will report to Congress on President George Bush’s controversial, six-month security “surge” of 30,000 troop reinforcements],” the official said….
Re General Petraeus: “Petraeus and PC-policy-making,” by Diana West:
“This fight depends on securing the population, which must understand that we “” not our enemies “” occupy the moral high ground.”
— Gen. David Petraeus, May 10
Oh, they must, must they?
With his single sentence, Gen. David Petraeus reveals what’s wrong with our Iraq policy. Success depends not on our own actions, but on a politically correct expectation of how Iraqis will react to those actions. It seems that victory depends on something over which we have no control “” the point of view and behavior of people in Iraq.
Consider the “surge.” Even if our troops achieve the goal of “securing the population” by securing Baghdad, success still rides on subsequent Iraqi behavior: whether murderously competing Iraqi sects decide to come together and sing “Kumbayah” “” what you might call a big “whether.”
Somehow, I’m practically alone among conservatives in believing this to be a dangerously ill-conceived policy (Surrender-crats aren’t worth discussing here), and I think I know why. The Iraq policy itself is an outgrowth of another dangerously ill-conceived policy of our leaders to avoid any rational assessment of the Islamic culture that informs the point of view and behavior of people across the Fertile Crescent in the first place.
In other words, most people with even an elemental understanding of institutional Islamic antipathies toward non-Muslims and non-Muslim culture would balk at spending blood and treasure for Gen. Petraeus’ “hearts and minds” strategy. Such a criterion, sadly, disqualifies our deeply Islam-challenged elites, all of whom seem to have missed the fact that “moral high ground” in Islam makes room for suicide-bombing terrorists. No wonder our guys are having trouble.
Read it all.
More on hearts and minds futility here.