Sunday, February 26, 2006

Civil War Sunday

My sixteen-year old, twenty pound Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary says a civil war is "a war between political factions or regions within the same country." So why is there any question among the media pundits and administration spokespersons as to whether or not we have a civil war in Iraq? These folks don't have access to a dictionary? Their interns don't know how to use one?

If George W. Bush is an Evangelical Christian, and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani is a Shiite Muslim, and the Dali Lama is a Buddhist, and the Pope is a Catholic, and bears go potty in the woods, Iraq is in the middle of a civil war, and has been for some time.


The only argument for keeping our troops in Iraq that has had any resonance with me is the one that says we owe something to the Iraqi people. It's Colin Powell's dopey Pottery Barn allegory. We broke it; we own it. That had a certain justifiable logic back when we were being told that hordes of foreign terrorist recruits were flooding into Iraq to block the forming of a new, popularly elected government. Then we learned that foreign fighters made up a small fraction of the insurgency, perhaps as little as two percent. Now we see that the strife in Iraq is almost solely between its two main internal factions, Sunnis and Shiites.

So there's no longer a valid view that says we're conducting a counterinsurgency operation. We're walking the fine line between peacekeeping and peace enforcement.

In practical terms, peace enforcement is the more militarily aggressive type of operation, as it involves "taking a side" and applying combat force to defend one faction from the other. Peacekeeping forces act as a buffer between opposing factions, but typically tend to "pick sides" when it becomes necessary to defend themselves, at which point they're no longer "keeping" peace, they're enforcing it.

But regardless of how we define military peace operations, they seldom go well. Ronald Reagan's Lebanon incursion and Bill Clinton's Somalia experiment are two prime examples of the fallacy of America's ability to establish peace through use of military force.

I've said for many years that when our military's mission grinds down to "drill about smartly and defend yourself," it's time to get the troops the hell out of wherever they are.

It's clear that our offensive sweeps of insurgent strongholds haven't had a lasting impact. We're not protecting Iraqi civilians, we're not creating an effective Iraqi security force, and we're not empowering Iraq's new government.

Aside from providing bad guys with targets, just what are our troops accomplishing in Iraq?

Groundhog Days

I just ran across this Knight Ridder article.
CIA officers in Iraq are warning that the country may be on a path to civil war, current and former U.S. officials said Wednesday, starkly contradicting the upbeat assessment that President Bush gave in his State of the Union address.


Bush, in his State of the Union address on Tuesday, insisted that an insurgency against the U.S. occupation, conducted primarily by minority Sunni Muslims who enjoyed power under Saddam Hussein, "will fail, and the Iraqi people will live in freedom."

"Month by month, Iraqis are assuming more responsibility for their own security and their own future," the president said.

The article was published in January 2004.


On Wolf Blitzer's show this morning, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley denies Iraq is in a civil war. Hadley must not have access to a dictionary either, or two year old newspapers.

Wolf shows him graphics that show there are presently zero combat capable Iraqi units. Hadley says those statistics don't count. He says training Iraqi troops will take "months and years."

Seems like we heard that kind of talk months and years ago.

Will we be hearing it months and years from now?

Get It, Don't Get It, Don't Got It

Later on Wolf, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-California) says the last thing we want to do is to get caught up in the middle of a civil war. When are these people going to realize that we already are?

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas) says we can't allow the civil unrest in Iraq to spread throughout the Middle East. If we can't stop civil unrest from spreading throughout Iraq, how does she imagine we'll stop it from spreading through the Middle East?


And what did I tell you about the neocons abandoning ship? Think Progress covers PNAC founder Bill Kristol on Fox News Sunday this morning blaming everything on Rumsfeld. The War hasn't been a "serious effort," Kristol says.

Kristol is one of many neoconservatives making a serious effort to dodge blame for the foreign policy disaster he played a key role in creating.


TP also covers George Will on ABC's This Week.
George Stephanopoulus: What does a civil war look like?

George Will: This. This is a civil war.

You'd think that if George Will could get it, everybody could.


Wolf asks Iraqi national Security Adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie how long before Iraq's government stands up. Al-Rubaie says he thinks it will take a couple months.

How many elections have they held, and they still don't have a government?


Reuters reports that two more U.S. soldiers were killed by a bomb in Baghdad last night.

How much longer will we have to watch these reruns?


  1. George Will is a pretty smart guy. I expect that he understands a lot of things that the neocons don't or can't.

  2. Meribeth6:12 AM

    Are they traitors and helping the insurgency? Will there be swift boating of Kristol and Will? What is Rove up to since these guys are speaking against the party line?

    And as far is the civil war issue is concerned...if a retired chemist can see the future includes civil war before the first Shock and the second Awe, why couldn't they? They are incredibly incompetant or criminal. I think it is both.

  3. human book8:15 AM

    List of racial discriminations in Malaysia, practiced by government as well as government agencies. This list is an open secret. Best verified by government itself because it got the statistics.

    This list is not in the order of importance, that means the first one on the list is not the most important and the last one on the list does not mean least important.

    This list is a common knowledge to a lot of Malaysians, especially those non-malays (Chinese, Ibans, Kadazans, Orang Asli, Tamils, etc) who were being racially discriminated.

    Figures in this list are estimates only and please take it as a guide only. Government of Malaysia has the most correct figures. Is government of Malaysia too ashamed to publish their racist acts by publishing racial statistics?

    This list cover a period of about 48 years since independence (1957).

    List of racial discriminations (Malaysia):

    (1) Out of all the 5 major banks, only one bank is multi-racial, the rest are controlled by malays

    (2) 99% of Petronas directors are malays

    (3) 3% of Petronas employees are Chinese

    (4) 99% of 2000 Petronas gasoline stations are owned by malays

    (5) 100% all contractors working under Petronas projects must be bumis status

    (6) 0% of non-malay staffs is legally required in malay companies. But there must be 30% malay staffs in Chinese companies.

    (7) 5% of all new intake for government police, nurses, army, is non-malays.

    (8) 2% is the present Chinese staff in Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), drop from 40% in 1960

    (9) 2% is the percentage of non-malay government servants in Putrajaya. But malays make up 98%

    (10) 7% is the percentage of Chinese government servants in the whole government (in 2004), drop from 30% in 1960

    (11) 95% of government contracts are given to malays

    (12) 100% all business licensees are controlled by malay government e.g. Taxi permits, Approved permits, etc

    (13) 80% of the Chinese rice millers in Kedah had to be sold to malay controlled Bernas in 1980s. Otherwise, life is make difficult for Chinese rice millers

    (14) 100 big companies set up, owned and managed by Chinese Malaysians were taken over by government, and later managed by malays since 1970s e.g. UTC, UMBC, MISC, etc

    (15) At least 10 Chinese owned bus companies (throughout Malaysia, throughout 40 years) had to be sold to MARA or other malay transport companies due to rejection by malay authority to Chinese application for bus routes and rejection for their application for new buses

    (16) 2 Chinese taxi drivers were barred from driving in Johor Larkin bus station. There are about 30 taxi drivers and 3 are Chinese in October 2004. Spoiling taxi club properties was the reason given

    (17) 0 non-malays are allowed to get shop lots in the new Muar bus station (November 2004)

    (18) 8000 billions ringgit is the total amount the government channeled to malay pockets through ASB, ASN, MARA, privatisation of government agencies, Tabung Haji etc, through NEP over 34 years period

    (19) 48 Chinese primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

    (20) 144 Indian primary schools closed down since 1968 - 2000

    (21) 2637 malay primary schools built since 1968 - 2000

    (22) 2.5% is government budget for Chinese primary schools. Indian schools got only 1%, malay schools got 96.5%

    (23) While a Chinese parent with RM1000 salary (monthly) cannot get school-text-book-loan, a malay parent with RM2000 salary is eligible

    (24) 10 all public universities vice chancellors are malays

    (25) 5% - the government universities lecturers of non-malay origins had been reduced from about 70% in 1965 to only 5% in 2004

    (26) Only 5% is given to non-malays for government scholarships over 40 years

    (27) 0 Chinese or Indians were sent to Japan and Korea under "Look East Policy"

    (28) 128 STPM Chinese top students could not get into the course that they aspired i.e. Medicine (in 2004)

    (29) 10% place for non-bumi students for MARA science schools beginning from year 2003, but only 7% are filled. Before that it was 100% malays

    (30) 50 cases whereby Chinese and Indian Malaysians, are beaten up in the National Service program in 2003

    (31) 25% is Malaysian Chinese population in 2004, drop from 45% in 1957

    (32) 7% is the present Malaysian Indians population (2004), a drop from 12% in 1957

    (33) 2 millions Chinese Malaysians had emigrated to overseas since 40 years ago

    (34) 0.5 million Indian Malaysians had emigrated to overseas

    (35) 3 millions Indonesians had migrated into Malaysia and became Malaysian citizens with bumis status.

    (36) 600000 are the Chinese and Indian Malaysians with red IC and were rejected repeatedly when applying for citizenship for 40 years. Perhaps 60% of them had already passed away due to old age. This shows racism of how easily Indonesians got their citizenships compare with the Chinese and Indians

    (37) 5% - 15% discount for a malay to buy a house, regardless whether the malay is rich or poor

    (38) 2% is what Chinese new villages get compare with 98% of what malay villages got for rural development budget

    (39) 50 road names (at least) had been changed from Chinese names to other names

    (40) 1 Dewan Gan Boon Leong (in Malacca) was altered to other name (e.g. Dewan Serbaguna or sort) when it was being officially used for a few days. Government try to shun Chinese names. This racism happened in around year 2000 or sort

    (41) 0 temples/churches were built for each housing estate. But every housing estate got at least one mosque/surau built

    (42) 3000 mosques/surau were built in all housing estates throughout Malaysia since 1970. No temples, no churches are required to be built in housing estates

    (43) 1 Catholic church in Shah Alam took 20 years to apply to be constructed. But told by malay authority that it must look like a factory and not look like a church. Still not yet approved in 2004

    (44) 1 publishing of Bible in Iban language banned (in 2002)

    (45) 0 of the government TV stations (RTM1, RTM2, TV3) are directors of non-malay origins

    (46) 30 government produced TV dramas and films always showed that the bad guys had Chinese face, and the good guys had malay face. You can check it out since 1970s. Recent years, this tendency becomes less

    (47) 10 times, at least, malays (especially Umno) had threatened to massacre the Chinese Malaysians using May 13 since 1969

    (48) 20 constituencies won by DAP would not get funds from the government to develop. Or these Chinese majority constituencies would be the last to be developed

    (49) 100 constituencies (parliaments and states) had been racistly re-delineated so Chinese voters were diluted that Chinese candidates, particularly DAP candidates lost in election since 1970s

    (50) Only 3 out of 12 human rights items are ratified by Malaysia government since 1960

    (51) 0 - elimination of all forms of racial discrimination (UN Human Rights) is not ratified by Malaysia government since 1960s

    (52) 20 reported cases whereby malay ambulance attendances treated Chinese patients inhumanely, and malay government hospital staffs purposely delay attending to Chinese patients in 2003. Unreported cases may be 200

    (53) 50 cases each year whereby Chinese, especially Chinese youths being beaten up by malay youths in public places. We may check at police reports provided the police took the report, otherwise there will be no record

    (54) 20 cases every year whereby Chinese drivers who accidentally knocked down malays were seriously assaulted or killed by malays

    (55) 12% is what ASB/ASN got per annum while banks fixed deposit is only about 3.5% per annum

    There are hundreds more racial discriminations in Malaysia to add to this list of "colossal" racism. It is hope that the victims of racism will write in to expose racism.

    Malaysia government should publish statistics showing how much malays had benefited from the "special rights" of malays and at the same time tell the statistics of how much other minority races are being discriminated.

    Hence, the responsibility lies in the Malaysia government itself to publish unadulterated statistics of racial discrimination.

    If the Malaysia government hides the statistics above, then there must be some evil doings, immoral doings, shameful doings and sinful doings, like the Nazi, going on onto the non-malays of Malaysia.

    Civilized nation, unlike evil Nazi, must publish statistics to show its treatment on its minority races. This is what Malaysia must publish……….

    We are asking for the publication of the statistics showing how "implementation of special rights of malays" had inflicted colossal racial discrimination onto non-malays.

  4. Kristol is a bad man. Later today, I'll be posting on another "recovering neocon," Francis Fukuyama.

  5. Oh, the spin. This sectarian violence looks just the same as civil war to me. Makes one long for the days of foreign fighters and dead-enders, by comparison.

    Once upon a time, a Vietnam vet told me, there was search and destroy, which became search and clear, which became recon in force.

    Kristol trots out a variation on the old "we lost Vietnam because we didn't try hard enough" theme. It's a step away from "Nuke 'em all, let God sort 'em out!"

    Mr. Kristol needs to face some family members and tell them their KIA or maimed-for-life loved one didn't give a "serious effort".