Blogs » Politcs Plus » Iraq: Six years later

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Today is the 6th anniversary of the preemptive invasion of Iraq…A special salute to the 4,259 American troops that have fallen, and the 31,000 or more that have been injured. We must not forget that an estimated 1.3 million Iraqis have died in this period of time.

The media is hardly covering this war anymore; they mention an occasional car bombing here and there. The lack of coverage sends a false illusion, many are led to believe we have won that war.Sure, the violence is down but we still have 138,000 combat troops there, and although the “surge” quelled the violence, the political reconciliation has not really begun. The oil revenues have not been equally distributed, The Shia is now the unrepresented minority, and the Kurds are not in any hurry to become part of a central government.

The Iraqi government did pass a “Status of Forces Agreement” requiring that all of our troops leave Iraq by August 31, 2010. I can see the possibility of that agreement being restructured, since President Obama intends to leave anywhere from 35,000-50,000 non-combat troops for the unforeseeable future or 2011..:). Besides don’t we have ExxonMobile, BP, and Chevron to protect?

The United States started this fiasco with the so-called “Coalition for the Immediate Disarmament of Iraq “along with 31 willing countries. Today that coalition is down to  4: The United States, United Kingdom (leaving soon), Australia (out for the most part), and Romania.

Things are looking up in Iraq, thanks to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ,who is more at ease to make the necessarily calls for an orderly withdraw, without pressure from the White House.Mr. Gates took steps to improve troop moral by phasing out “stop-loss”, eliminating the “War on terror” slogan and reversing the 18 year ban on news coverage of the return of the dead at Dover Air Force base. He is leaving that decision to the families involved, where it rightfully belongs.

Domestically, Iraq is starting to bounce back from pre-invasion days, for the better in some ways, but I do not ever endorse the “ends justify the means “outcome.

I found these few examples:

1. Pre-war 12.9 million had potable water; today 21.2 million have potable nationally.

2. Pre-war Sewage:  6.2 million were served, today 11.3 million are served

3. Pre-war landlines: 833,000 had landlines, today 14.7 million have landlines

4. Pre-war cell phones: 80,000 had cell phone service; today 14.7 million have cell phone service.

5. Pre-war electricity: they produced 3958 megawatts or 4-8 hours’ worth a day, today it is 5410 megawatts up to 15 hours a day

This is the new counterinsurgency message from General Petraeus: Protect the civilians, keep the utilities going, pick up the sewage, and the civilians will come forward to form a new government. It’s all about winning the hearts and minds…..We cannot democratize the world with the United States Armed Forces.