Thursday, December 13, 2007

Robert M. Gates; Al Qaeda Terrorist?

On the surface this may seem completely insane and unworthy of any critical thought, but on his recent visits to Afghanistan and Iraq there were suicide bombers following him everywhere he went; coincidence? Maybe or maybe he is one of those Al Qaeda plants that we have heard so much about. The rise in the level of bombings on demand should give the “surge is working” crowd pause, the surge is working because those who are opposed to our presence there are allowing it to work. No one knows what their overall schemes are, but make no mistake the lull in violence is not under the control of our military or the Iraqi government. The opposition has for some reason decided it is in their best interest to quell the violence.

BAGHDAD, Dec. 5 — Car bombs in Baghdad and three northern Iraqi cities killed at least 23 people and wounded more than 40 others today as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates arrived for an unannounced visit with senior Iraqi officials.

Indeed, the four car bombs — the first of which detonated in the northern city of Mosul shortly before Mr. Gates’s plane arrived there early today, seemed timed to coincide with his visit. None of the bombings, however, occurred anywhere close to the defense secretary or his entourage.

In Baghdad, Mr. Gates was to meet also with President Jalal Talabani as well as with American commanders. Mr. Gates flew to Iraq from Afghanistan, where on Tuesday he heard appeals from senior Afghan leaders for more money and weapons to combat the recent rise in insurgent activity there. There were two suicide bombings in Kabul during his visit. The first, on Tuesday morning, wounded 22 Afghan civilians; the second, early Wednesday, killed 7 Afghan soldiers and 6 civilians, and wounded 17 others.[1]

Anyone who believes that we are driving the level of violence in Iraq and Afghanistan is suffering from a serious case of delusion. The level of violence in Iraq is dependent on the Iraqis and their willingness to buy into the current government and its ability to solve their daily problems, so far that government has been either unable or unwilling to provide solutions. This lull in violence will only be temporary, if the government of Prime Minister al-Maliki does not begin to resolve the issues that are currently dividing the Iraqis. If this government fails to act, I believe that not only will there be a return to pre-surge levels of violence but also an increase in the number of people taking part in the new violence.

As the frustration level of the Iraqi people grows, the violence will begin to target more of the Iraqi government and less American targets. This decrease in violence is a honeymoon period, but if the delivery of needed public services and infrastructure development do not improve this honeymoon will come to an explosive end. Right now the people are just happy for a respite in the violence, but this will not last. There will be growing protests against the occupation and the impotent government.

The fact that the US security company massacres are passing with little or no response from the Iraqis should be reason alone to raise concerns. I hate to burst some bubbles but we are not that good nor are we in Iraq in sufficient numbers to maintain a continued peace. Many believe that it will be the Sunnis who will restart the cycle of violence, I believe it will actually be the Shias and will not be an orchestrated uprising. In my opinion it will be due to the continued frustration of the Iraqi people to the lack of improvements in their daily lives. Contentment with no violence will only last so long, then what? We should not let these lulls in violence convince us that everything in Iraq is honky-dory, because it is not. And despite the Neo-Con pundits and war supporters the surge is not a success. In their desperation for some semblance of good foreign policy news, they have duped a war weary public into believing that their bankrupt policies are working.

We have heard nothing about the internal refugee problems or the lack of basic services. If the best you can come up with after almost 5 years of occupation is a drop in violence, you know the redevelopment efforts are in trouble. The bottom line in Iraq continues to be the daily improvement in the lives of everyday Iraqis, until there is progress made in that area any peace will be transitory and elusive. The surge has worked to the point of exposing why we should have never entered into this quagmire in the first place. It has exposed that even with the most technological military in the history of the world, it will never bring peace or democracy. The best you can hope for by its usage is stability in the face of a bad situation. The surge has exposed that without diplomacy there can be no lasting peace. Of course for many of us it is a lesson we already knew, something about being a student of history.

Is Robert Gates an al Qaeda terrorist? Probably not, but I sure don’t want him coming to my town. The guy appears to be a suicide bomber magnet and I have no desire to be part of the collateral damage which also seems to follow.


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