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Iraq mirrors Lebanon.

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The article "From Hopeful To Helpless At a Protest In Lebanon" at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/22/AR2007112200832.html
states "This round of Lebanon's crisis is ostensibly over parliament's choice of a successor to Lahoud. But its roots go far deeper. On one side is a coalition around the American-backed government that claims legitimacy from a series of demonstrations that culminated March 14, 2005, and led to the end of Syria's 29-year military presence in the country. On the other is an alliance between Hezbollah, a Shiite Muslim group supported by Iran and Syria, and Christian followers of Michel Aoun, a former general."

In Lebanon we backed a group, which was the majority within Lebanon, but the interference of the Sunni, favoring Saudi Arabia and the Shiite, favoring Iran and Syria was predictable and ultimately destabilizing. "Unlike Lebanon's civil war, often characterized as a Christian-Muslim conflict, this crisis has mobilized the country's Sunni and Shiite Muslim communities against each other, with Christians divided between the two camps.

At stake are questions fundamental to Lebanon's identity: its stance toward Israel, the influence of foreign patrons here, and the balance of power among the country's communities."

The country becomes a battleground for regional enemies' surrogates to massacre each other until enough are slaughtered for one side to proclaim a temporary victory.

In Iraq we came to get the secular Baathist Hussein out and that temporarily has resulted in an 80% solution in which the 60% Shiites and the 20% Kurds thrive, while another 20% segment, the Sunnis, get slaughtered. Seems Machiavellian to us, and the Iraqis, and regional groups realize it is also.

W is chortling about the surge's progress. The article "Returnees Find a Capital Transformed Security Is Better, But Freedoms Are Tempered by Fear" at
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/22/AR2007112201568.html
states "Those returning make up only a tiny fraction of the 2.2 million Iraqis who have fled Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. But they represent the largest number of returnees since February 2006, when sectarian violence began to rise dramatically, speeding the exodus from Iraq.
Many find a Baghdad they no longer recognize, a city altered by blast walls and sectarian rifts. Under the improved security, Iraqis are gingerly testing how far their new liberties allow them to go. But they are also facing many barriers, geographical and psychological, hardened by violence and mistrust.

A Sunni, Luay Hashimi, is worried that the wall could easily crumble. He recently applied to join the Iraqi police. But he doesn't trust the Shiite-led government to integrate Sunnis into the political system, the police and army. And what if the American troops leave?
"Of course, if the political process is still the same, and when the Americans
withdraw from Dora, in a couple of days everything will collapse again."

Lebanon's parliament failed to elect a successor to President Emile Lahoud just hours before he was set to leave office after it was unable to convene due to an opposition boycott Friday.
The failure puts the country in a potentially explosive political vacuum, into which jihadists will rush.

The irony of Iraq is that the Sunnis really hate the foreign terrorists of their sect-al queda in Iraq whose leadership as far back as al-Zaqwari was warned by bin laden to stop being so vicious against fellow Sunnis, as do the southern Shiites hate the Iranian Shiites. If the foreign powers replacements in Iraq were less vile then the tearing apart of Iraq would probably been already accomplished.

The plan of withdrawing our troops from conflict area and consequentially acting as IED fodder in Iraq to training Iraqi security forces to do this thankless job would never have been considered so rapidly if the Democrats didn't make these proposals and hadn't passed legislation that W vetoed previously.

The article "Plan Increases Role of G.I.'s in Iraq Training" at
click here

states "With violence in Iraq on the decline and a quarter of American combat brigades scheduled to leave by July, commanders plan to give the remaining brigades an expanded role in training and supporting Iraqi forces, according to officials involved in a confidential military review of the next phase of the American troop deployment.

The plan, not yet in final form, is intended to transfer more of the security burden in Iraq to the Iraqis without giving up the gains that the Americans have made in recent months in pacifying the most violent areas and weakening the Sunni insurgency.

The approach is strikingly different from the plans advocated by many United States politicians, including some Democratic presidential contenders, who have called for a rapid withdrawal of American combat brigades from Iraq - the very units that American commanders see as playing a central role in the transition toward Iraqi control.

It is intended to supplement the longstanding American efforts to recruit, equip and advise Iraqi forces by strengthening their ability to deal with a diverse array of threats. The plan also reflects the vision of American commanders of the evolving role of American combat units after President Bush's troop reinforcement plan runs its course next summer."

I guess the 4th estate wants to give big bro 43 all of the credit for a plan that everyone hoped would be coming and every experts in the US military except for Petraeus knew would be inevitable due to the stress our military has been subjected to.

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