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Will Someone Be Our Friend In Iraq?

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Stephen Hadley - the National Security Adviser - asked Congress to keep all options open in Iraq. Now, what options might those be? Everyone seems to complain about the lack of "progress" in Iraq. However, that progress seems to be the lack of the Iraqi government signing the Production Sharing Agreements (PSAs) that turn over much of the profits and development of Iraq's oil to the big oil companies. The Dems seem to want those signed as badly as Bush and the Republicans. So I figure we are in for a lot of mealy mouthed foot dragging. Perhaps that is why General Pace (head of the Joint Chiefs) is talking up another troop build up.

Excuse me? Who pray tell is going to make up yet another surge?

But the search is on for friends in Iraq since the police in Baghdad who we are supposed to be working hand-in-glove with, have decided to attack U.S. troops. Hopefully that little rebellion has been put down, but it does not bode well for the U.S. efforts in Baghdad.

With the U.S. troops-Iraqi police alliance falling apart, I guess we shouldn't be too surprised that the new strategy is to make alliances with "ex"-insurgents. They have even been given a name (as if that will smooth the waters) the LRF or "Legitimate Resistance Force." Let's not beg the question of whom they were legitimately resisting.

Bush has had so much success in the "War on Terror" and whatever they are now calling the devastation in Iraq, that the policy (is there a policy?) is getting a ringing endorsement in the recently released National Intelligence Estimate - The Terrorist Threat to the US Homeland (not).

According to the public version of this document, the threat is high and it is coming out of al Qa'ida in Iraq. Iraq? Al Qa'ida was not in Iraq until Bush decided to engage in preemptive invasion and "regime change," and then couldn't figure out what "regime" to put in place. After all there were other more important things on the table - like privatizing everything in Iraq - particularly the oil. I encourage everyone to read the report. While it is short to start with (7 pages), the first five pages are introduction and definition, and say nothing about the actual threat estimate. That only takes slightly under two pages.

I did read the whole thing, and it made me very nervous. "Homeland" or "HOMELAND" is used 15 times in the seven pages of the document. There is something very unnerving about that. Perhaps they think it has a better ring than "Fatherland" or "Motherland;" which would also make me uneasy. The United States (or U.S.) works for me. Speaking of which they do not use U.S., seeming to prefer US. United States occurs seven times - though not in association with "Homeland." "US" occurs 15 times - five of which are "US Homeland."

Anyway, it seems hard to get a positive spin out of the threat assessment. Internationally, Al Qa'ida, is reportedly as strong to stronger than before the attacks of September 11, 2001. The organization in Iraq has been particularly successful, is growing, and is apparently a significant threat to the HOMELAND (which I presume means the states as differentiated from U.S. territories, embassies and the like).

This not only show the failure of the mission in Iraq, but also in undermining the threat of international terrorism - particularly Al Qa'ida. However, it also makes one wonder about the oft repeated "fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" refrain. Or that "the next smoking gun" might be a "mushroom cloud."

We assess that al-Qa'ida will continue to try to acquire and employ chemical,
biological, radiological, or nuclear material in attacks and would not hesitate to use
them if it develops what it deems is sufficient capability.

Whoops - not going well on any front, but Congress please don't limit the President's options in Iraq - everything they have tried has failed. All Bush needs is more troops, more money, more of a "free" hand to operate without oversight, and the U.S. will "win" - with the (ex)-insurgent Legitimate Resistance Force by our site (they hope).
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Rowan Wolf is an activist and sociologist living in Oregon. She is the founder and principle author of Uncommon Thought Journal, and Editor in Chief of Cyrano's Journal Today.

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