Every time I look at the mess in Iraq, I want to scream, "I told you so." It would be so nice to have been wrong. I'd love to have been wrong. I just reread the posts I put up on this mess last October, and then again in January.
In October I said (along with a whole lot of other people) that this was a civil war, and anybody with half a working brain could see it was a civil war, and we didn't have a the chance of a plastic cat in Hell of stopping it.
In January I predicted (again, along with a lot of other people) that the surge was not going to work. Well, here we are, almost in July, and we have more soldiers in Iraq than we've had since 2005, and the carnage is increasing daily. It isn't just that we can't control it (although we can't); it's that the Iraqis can't control it, even if they wanted to. I see no evidence that they want to. Every faction is jockeying for personal power, and revenge on the other side (with the possible exception of the Kurds who are simply trying to hold their borders).
I wouldn't change a single word of either post if I wrote them again today; so I'll just suggest that you go read them again, and tell me if I wasn't right.
The worst thing about the situation is the comment I heard on NPR, from a senior U.S. military logistics officer, that if we started a pull-out today it'd take 12-15 months to get everybody out, because every single piece of equipment has to be taken apart and cleaned to get the sand and junk out, so it will pass inspection by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. That's right - every Hummer, every rifle, every walkie-talkie, has to be inspected for pests by the U.S.D.A. before we let them back into the country. I'm speechless. This is just insane. And they're going to clean the equipment while people are shooting shaped charges at them, and suicide bombers are blowing themselves up?? And how many U.S.D.A. inspectors will that take, and do we even have that many, given they way Dubya has been cutting funds for everything but the military??
Gen. Petraeus keeps saying the surge will take time to work. Gen. Petraeus knows, I'm quite sure, that the surge will never work. The purpose of the surge is to stabilize the situation so the Iraqis can negotiate an equitable government. The Iraqis don't want an equitable government; every single faction wants to be in control of the oil reserves, and is quite happy to kill everyone else to make that so. I read today that when the British pull out of Basra, they expect fighting to break out among 3 rival Shia groups; there aren't even any Sunnis in Basra, so the Shias fight each other.
We could be in Iraq until the children of today's soldiers are old enough to be inducted and shipped over to fight, and the surge still won't work. We have to get out of there.