Thursday, October 19, 2006

F**k if they do, f**k if they don’t

When I started blogging over at BolehTalk I discussed how Iraq would be another ‘Vietnam’ for the Americans, I was laughed at, with some ‘experts’ explaining why there couldn’t be any parallel.

Well, bibs, none other than George W Bush, President of the USA, has just admitted on American TV channel ABC that Iraq could be compared to Vietnam.

Another defeat for the world's most powerful nation with its tail behind its hind legs as it scurried back to mainland USA?

In the meanwhile, one of the most respected and distinguished Australian diplomat, a retired foreign affairs chief who had served seven Australian PMs, Richard Woolcott, described Australian involvement in the war in Iraq as a ‘catastrophic blunder’ that has substantially increased the terrorist threat to Australia.

He lambasted Prime Minister John Howard as a man who seemed unable to admit the obvious. He said: "The Iraq war has been a disaster and has substantially increased the terrorist threat Mr Howard said it would reduce. The aim of foreign and defence policy is to make Australia secure - ironically some of our policies have placed Australians at greater risk."

Mr Woolcott also said the Australian government - like the Yank's and the Pommie's, altogether the original Coalition of the Killing - has been caught in a no-win situation with no viable exit strategy.

He said: "The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, having made such a catastrophic foreign and security policy blunder, are now trapped in a dilemma of their own making."

He warned a precipitious withdrawal from Iraq could cause more chaos, while staying the course would only continue the bloodshed, energise the terrorist and Jihadists, including those in Australia’s own region.

A case of f**k if they do, and f**k if they don’t - yes, the Coalition of the F**k-ed

Woolcott's criticism of the war followed recent comments from Australia's former defence chief General Peter Cosgrove that it had boosted global terrorism and Britain's top soldier Sir Richard Dannatt, who called for the recall of his troops from Iraq.


  1. I think it is also a case where Bushie Jr should take a lesson from the Brits. The current Middle East jigsaw of states were carved first, by the Sykes-Picot (sic?) agreement during WW I, followed by the Teheran Conference during the closing stages of WW II. Most of the States (Iraq, Syria, UAE, Saudi Arabia) were actually artificial constructs to fit a tribal-based politics that was the norm then. An excellent reference material on Arab tribal-based politics would be the book 'The Seven Pillars of Wisdom' by T.E. Lawrence i.e. Lawrence of Arabia. The overall summation of Colonel Lawrence's thesis was that a monolithic Arabic confederation, much less a viable state, was impossible, sans a charimastic leader like Prophet Muhammad (p.b.u.h.), of which the Arab world has failed to produce so far.

    So, if Bushie Jr truly wants to get his tail out of the Iraqi morass, first, he would do well to arm to the teeth the Kurds up north of Iraq. This might piss off Turkey and Syria, so the type and level of armaments would only ensure that the Kurds can deter the Arabs from Central Iraq from trying anything not kosher. Secondly, he should ease down considerably tangible pressure off the Iranians. Of course, Bushie Jr would keep up the rhetoric, but it would be empty cannons anyway, just like the way Nixon dealt with Communist China back in the 70s. This would ensure that the Shia Muslims would cooperate in easing the withdrawal of the F***ed Up Coalition, as you called them. It would also help if the F***ed Up Coalition ignore weapons shipment flowing into Shia territory.

    Like it or not, Bushie Jr has to utilise ethnic and religious divide to his advantage. Using his flawed morality to justify the continuing presence of the F***ed Up Coalition forces would still result in the warring parties blowing away each other AND the F***ed Up Coalition forces as well. The blood that flowed at Karbala 1400+ years ago has not yet been staunched and the Kurds are a very strong-willed people, so Bushie Jr, I don't believe that you can remedy both. Leave Iraq while you can.

  2. Its true that Iraq is turning out to look like the Vietnam war with one exception - failure is NOT an option. At the very least the US must ensure that Iraq will be sustainable pro-Western nation state otherwise it might as well close up its borders and nuke all its enemies.

    The key to success in Iraq is not military but the oil wealth. The US need to put in a mechanism to ensure that oil wealth is distributed to the people of Iraq and that will ensure that this war is eventually winnable. Corruption and mismangement by Iraqis are the biggest threat not the insurgents and bombs

  3. The war in Vietnam and in Iraq are totally different. There are differences. The communists had organised and operated a countryside resistance with branches in almost every village, just like our Min Yuen here in Malaysia, they were more successfull in Vietnam.

    The North Vietnamese People's Army was a conventional army. It conscripted recruits throughout the country, trained, organised and equipped them.

    The Iraqi insurgency, by contrast, is an informal undertaking by a coalition of religious and ex-Ba'athist groups. It has no high command or bureaucracy resembling the disciplined Marxist structures of North Vietnam.

    It has some support from like-minded groups in neighbouring countries,therefore cannot be compared with the North Vietnamese. The war was supported by China and the Soviet Union and imported arms and munitions from both those countries on a large scale.

    North Vietnam was, moreover, a sovereign state, supported explicitly by all other communist countries.

    The Iraqi insurgency has sympathisers, but they enjoy no organised system of support and are actively opposed by many of their neighbours and Muslim co-religionists.There is also the Shitte and Sunni divide.

    The recent upsurge of violence in Iraq in no way resembles the Tet offensive. At Tet, the Vietnamese new year, the North Vietnamese People's Army simultaneously attacked 40 cities and towns in South Vietnam, using 84,000 troops. Of those, the communists lost 45,000 killed.

    No such losses have been recorded in Iraq at any place or any time. The Tet offensive proved to be a military disaster for the Vietnamese communists.

    Some of the above are extracts from the web. When I was doing a course in the Army after Iraq took over Kuwait, we had to prepare a paper by syndicates on how the war would be conducted to liberate Kuwait. All the other syndicates mentioned the psychological impact of the Vietnam war on the Americans. That they would end up in a quagmire. Well, then at that time my syndicate said that they will select and maintain their aim. Which they did with the minimum of casualties.They liberated Kuwait.

  4. Ranger, see my response in my new psoting