interview on Iraq

The Council on Foreign Affairs folks talked to me today about the present inter-communal violence in Iraq.

Pat Lang

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12 Responses to interview on Iraq

  1. ckrantz says:

    It’s interesting that you don’t see Iraq as a nation state. Current public debate always talks about the Iraqi people without making a distinction between groups.

  2. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I never did. pl

  3. ckrantz says:

    Any more thoughts on where the region are heading?
    I am pessimistic abut the future and how to avoid a regional war. Things seems to going backwards steadily since the Pandora’s box was opened.

  4. rmac says:

    The questions I have may not be germane to the subject, but in the context of wondering why the 1st Gulf War was abruptly ended without the seemingly – at that time – logical conclusion of toppling Hussein, I’ve always assumed Saudi Arabia’s desire not to see a likely emergence of a Shiite dominated Iraq as a prime factor in its termination. Why then does a similar coterie of people bring this about? Was it the shame (with its sting and stigma of perceived failure) of a forfeited opportunity? Was it founded on Russia’s emergence as a force in world oil supply and its desire to commerically link with Iraq? The explanation that neocon ideology solely drove policy, against a simple reckoning of the likely elective outcome of Shiite numerical superiority, appears insane.
    Having worked in Africa, Iraq’s nationality is all too familiar – and similarly – all too frail.
    Thanks for your site.

  5. Serving Patriot says:

    You are right. The neocon ideology drove the enterprise — and they truly are insane.
    Of course, they believe the rest of us “children” are the uninformed ones. And, as thier “useful stooge” (and Iranian agent) Chalabi said, they “are heores in error.”
    Sad and oh so true.

  6. W. Patrick Lang says:

    A serving senior officer friend wrote from Iraq to say that he thinks my remarks in this interview are an accurate depiction of the situation. pl

  7. ikonoklast says:

    Thank you, Colonel, for another of your reasoned and accurate analyses. It’s unfortunate – tragic – that they are not as widely disseminated and accepted as the delusional propaganda and spin embodied in the PowerPoint presentation of your earlier post.
    Immediately preceding reading the CFR interview, I was listening to a “pundit” on NPR proclaiming that the mosque bombings were the desperate last throes of the terrorists and insurgents to provoke a civil war. This statement demonstrates once again not only the neocons’ reliance on manipulating image as a primary strategy, but their sad belief in its efficacy. It works to some extent for the domestic audience, but as a substitute for rational actions it’s worse than useless, serving only as a rationale for ignoring the truth on the ground, viz. Ms. Rice’s impotent blackmail threats to the regional powers concerning Hamas and Lebanon.
    As a competing image of the situation of our forces in Iraq over the last week, the movie “Khartoum” keeps flashing to my mind, and I can only hope that my vision is as hallucinatory as that that of the administration’s.

  8. john says:

    Good interview. All I can say is that Mr. Bush wanted to give them democracy, and now we must live with the consequences.

  9. RJJ says:

    Is that “we in the leadership in Iraq …” a taunt – a little something to keep things heated up?
    RICHARD PERLE, FMR. ASST. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Well first of all, I don’t believe we are on the edge of a civil war. I think we need to stay calm, which is what we in the leadership in Iraq are urging, urging Iraqis to do.
    It is from Hardball transcript.

  10. Rider says:

    “reversing the social order in Iraq”
    Thank you for making that point, pl. The Shia are both the majority and (formerly) the underclass, both socio-economically and culturally. We have managed to turn Iraqi society upside-down. There are parallels to the Reconstruction South.

  11. avedis says:

    “Thank you for making that point, pl. The Shia are both the majority…..”
    But the Sunni are the majority in the region. How does that factor in? Would not neighboring Sunnis contribute arms, cash, maybe personnel?
    Is there a point at which neighboring Sunnis step in, overtly, to stem a rising Shia/Iranian tide?
    I suppose a perceived American impotence would come before expanded Sunni involvement, but what is the tilting point (if there is one)?

  12. Glen says:

    Good post. I’m impressed with the Iraqi response to an obviously incredibily provocative attack, but umimpressed with the Iraqi government’s ability to control the situation. This will play out so that the religous leaders gain much more power, and shows that there is a serious lack of true army/police in the country. Assuming they can continue to walk this knife’s edge, an Iranian style government looks like the ultimate shape that Iraq may take.

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