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More Than 1,000 in Iraq’s Forces Quit Basra Fight – Dr. King Could Save the Iraqi People

In George Bush, iraq, Iraq War on April 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm

In a time of financial crisis globally, public perception about the war in Iraq, here is a harsh reality that we should consider carefully. More than 1,000 Iraqi soldiers and policemen either refused to fight or simply abandoned their posts during the inconclusive assault against Shiite militias in Basra last week, a senior Iraqi government official said Thursday. Iraqi military officials said the group included dozens of officers, including at least two senior field commanders in the battle.

My take on this has more to do with basic fear, anxiety and the future security of men who want to be with their families. In many respects, this reminds me of my suburban dad-friends taking up arms to go fight a war we know nothing about, not trained and completely under prepared. As my wife likes to say, the first kids to die in Iraq are the gung-ho suburban kids who tend to romanticize about what they will do in Iraq. Sadly, these suburban kids, typically from conservative backgrounds are the first young people to get killed.

So, does this manic war make YOU feel safer?I was asked this [do you feel safer] in an aggressive, violent tone of someone about a year and half ago? And my answer, I never felt in danger. When these young Iraqi husbands and sons abandoned their posts, I was not impacted in suburbia, the crime rate in the inner-city of Philadelphia did not go down. No! But, this further adds support for the notion of remaining in Iraq for even longer periods of time since the behaviors shown reflect the lack of confidence in obtaining victory–whatever that means?The desertions in the heat of a major battle cast fresh doubt on the effectiveness of the American-trained Iraqi security forces. The White House has conditioned further withdrawals of American troops on the readiness of the Iraqi military and police.

So what’s the White House to do? Will another surge help? The hearts, minds and the “will” of the Iraqi people is what is at stake here. If the collective will is to “run” and “quit” then what can the American troops and allies really do to stabilize the situation long-term? Real diplomacy is the answer in part and the current administration has not been as willing to try this in an earnest way. The Rambo tactics and shoot’em up policies do not reflect what we need here in the US, but rather an imperialist approach to protecting geo-political, economic interests.

On this day of memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, I got to thinking, who in Iraq has captured the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people? Of the more than 1.000 forces quitting it is clear that nobody has crafted a compelling enough message for which people are willing to sacrifice as did the men and women in the 1960s. So, does John Mcain have the answer? The Bush administration? Stay tuned. More Than 1,000 in Iraq’s Forces Quit Basra Fight – New York Times

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