Unconventional thinking about the Middle East.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Other Surge

Nevermind that Iraqis are doing most of the dying and sustaining most of the damage to their economy; the "blame-the-Iraqis" crowd--y'know, the ones who keep saying "the Iraqis should be doing more of this and more of that"--need to keep these numbers in mind (Arabic):

Total number of military personnel: 250,000 (in 14 Divisions)

Total number of police: 450,000

Increase in weekly operations by Iraqi security forces since the Maliki government took over: 1000 percent

Increase in number of patrols: 270 percent

Increase in security spending in the 2008 budget: 26 percent

And everyday, these soldiers and policemen are getting better equipped, better trained and more and more capable of taking on a diminishing security threat. Iraq has 51 billion dollars to burn through for 2008; this is the largest budget in Iraq's history, calculated at 53 dollars a barrel (...it's now at over a 100 dollars a barrel). All the political actors seem to have mellowed out and are seeking political bargains left, right and center across confessional divides. Big oil companies are starting to jump in and be part of the action, investing tens of billions more. Arts are blossoming, the media scene is vibrant, the legal system is working.

All this and yet some folks want you to believe that it could all blow-up at any day now: the Sunnis are re-arming, the Sadrists are fuming, Turkey is going to occupy Kirkuk, a bomb went off in Talafar, etc. They will keep telling you that the sky is about to fall until November, and beyond.

But it won't.

It's not quite up to the standards of Sweden just about yet, but Iraq is heading in that general direction. And there's no turning back.

They can peddle fear, but it won't go far; there isn't much of a market for cowardice when everyone's busy with a victory parade.

Then they'll tell you that you're spending too much maintaining a military in Iraq, neglecting to tell you that a big chunk of that money is what you'd have to pay anyway to maintain a military in the first place. They'll exagerate the numbers of Iraqi dead, neglecting to tell you who did the killing.

Their refrain will be: "Was it worth it?"

They certainly won't tell about the strategic and moral implications of a successful Iraq; a new Iraq saved from Saddam and on its way to becoming the closest approximation of Sweden in its neighborhood; a strong Iraq that may have to do all the dirty work of cleaning up a very messy Middle East so that you can heat your homes and go to cinemas without fearing that some zealot has left a ticking surprise for you; yeah, you can bet your ass it's worth it.

Why will these certain folks do all this? A part of me would like say that it's because they're little creeps who care more about their egos than the lives of others, but honestly, I don't know why they're so allergic to the reality of good news.


Blogger Muhannad said...

Great post, Nibras. I like your optimism!

7:55 AM, February 28, 2008

Blogger Jeffrey said...


All this and yet some folks want you to believe that it could all blow-up at any day now: the Sunnis are re-arming, the Sadrists are fuming, Turkey is going to occupy Kirkuk, a bomb went off in Talafar, etc. They will keep telling you that the sky is about to fall until November, and beyond.

That is Nir Rosen's argument. Have you read his article in Rolling Stone, "The Myth of the Surge"? Over at IBC, I posted my own review of the article. There is no question that there are Sunni and Shiite Iraqis who would like to kill each other. In my opinion, NIr does a good job of letting readers hear their voices. But it's not the whole story by a long shot. Here's the review:

Nir Rosen's "Fistful of Dollars."

Any comments would be appreciated.


12:10 PM, February 28, 2008

Blogger Daddio said...

Amen Nibras. There never will be "good news" about Iraq as long as we have a Republican as President. The Democrats and MSM can never acknowledge that they were wrong, and the administration might have done something right after all

2:00 PM, February 28, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me hear the good news from Iraqis pouring into our media, beating down amateurs like Barack Hussein Obama, telling off our leftist Dems.

What are Iraqis doing to get the word out they appreciate the death, blood and sacrifice? I think Iraq is a worthy cause, to free 25 million is great.

But I suggest that more of them get involved in getting the word out here in America just how much freedom means to them today. Otherwise, our nation will never know it, because leftist media wants to blame despair and death on America instead of on Saddam Hussein, Sadr, Al Qaeda.

We need Iraqis to help more openly and to get some well known Iraqis in America to stand by McCain. Otherwise, this is all handwaving.

All the best in your efforts.

11:55 PM, February 28, 2008

Blogger Don Cox said...

The question is when will the Iraqi forces be strong enough to survive on their own without US support. Logistics and experience seem to be the main problems now. The bare numbers are probably enough. But Iran will not relax its pressure to allow the Iraqis time to train and practice.

5:04 AM, February 29, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Good question. From what I've read, not for a long time. Logistics, Recon, Training, NCOs, and Leader trainin will take some time. 2009 for combat/protection in large numbers, though, most provinces should be turned over by end of 08.

The drawdown has already started from the surge. There is great progress on the whole. And the Iraqis have stepped up once they trusted who the victor would be and the new government started internal policing and removing corrupt leaders.

It does not matter what people like Obama state. He's either lying or incompetent about a quick drawdown. We'll be there for quite sometime due to air, recon and delivery, plus mutual reasons of training and our own interest to secure a free flow of oil, as well as Iraqis now that they have ownership for the first time.

We're still in the Balkans today. If we do not desert a Eastern Euro state, why should we desert the IRaqis.

6:51 AM, February 29, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you have any pull at all, there is a way to get thru and around our left leaning media and Democrat Propaganda.

Have leaders of Iraq put together an entourage of the best of Iraqi people, musicians, artist, business, etc., and have them come here by early fall, do a 10-20 city tour, have them visit our college campuses as well, put on a show, invite people to invest, invite people to care and help their new country in freedom. Remind them that even the United States needed help from the French to stand against the English in our War of Indpendence. Then finally, have them thank publically as much as possible the soldiers, their families and Americas investment in Iraqi future. Millions of Americans have given far above taxes. Millions have given their blood, their sons and daughters and their own money, gifts of all kinds to Iraqi's and their children.

It is a terrible war for anyone to lose life. But now, for the first time, Iraq has a real chance to move forward into the world as an equal opportunity state, that seeks liberty for all.

Yes, tell your story about Iraqis sacrificing their own lives. Here, you are preaching to the choir. We know this. But a good Iraqi tour across our major cities and into some college campuses, can make a large difference if they hear your new songs of freedom.

Again, all the best. I hope our countries will be great friends for the future.

6:58 AM, February 29, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awesome post- too bad all the liberals in the Western world aren't forced at gunpoint to read it! :)

11:25 AM, February 29, 2008

Blogger section9 said...

Well, Nibras, in your next post, you need to deal with the veto of the provincial elections, because everyone is hanging their hat on that veto.

3:08 PM, February 29, 2008

Blogger BrianFH said...

You praise Rosen's reporting of observed detail. I'd like to call BullShit.

Compare his view of Dora to this:

Al Doura reborn.

Who ya gonna believe? An anti-American propagandist, or a two-deployment US Capt. ?

3:25 PM, February 29, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't know why they're so allergic to the reality of good news."
I have been lied to so many times.
I would like to believe that what you are saying is true. I really would.
But I have been lied to so many times.
"Is it worth it?"
The cost is already much higher than we were told it would be before the invasion. The effects on the American economy are beginning to be felt. The cost of helping the wounded soldiers is going to be very high. This may turn out to be a pyrric(sp) victory. Another such victory and we are ruined.
Badmouthing "liberal media" and the democratic party will not help me to trust you.

3:36 PM, February 29, 2008

Anonymous Kafir said...


I'm with you, except I don't want to see Iraq become the Sweden of the Middle East, I want to see them become the America of the Middle East. All those European countries are mired in their socialism and humanism. I want Iraq to be a capitalist, job-producing machine. I want them to be proud of their religion(s) and proud of their heritage as the cradle of civilization. I want to see them show the rest of the ME that Sunni and Shia, Arab, Kurd, Christian, and Jew can live together and contribute to the common good. I want to see them export that to other countries around them, not through military intervention, but through exceptionalism that cannot be denied.

Also, for those wondering what the Iraqis can do in our election, how about a series of ads showing Iraqis expressing their gratitude to America and asking us not to leave until the job is done. Then show images of the Democrat candidate promising to withdraw troops from Iraq followed by the Republican nominee promising to stay.

9:59 PM, February 29, 2008

Blogger Don Cox said...

"I don't want to see Iraq become the Sweden of the Middle East, I want to see them become the America of the Middle East. "_____I think it would be better to be Sweden. I would rather own a Hasselblad and a Volvo than the US equivalents. Considering the US has around 50 times the population, the industrial success of Sweden is impressive. See here, for instance. And they have a functioning health service too.

6:34 AM, March 01, 2008

Blogger Don Cox said...

And Sweden has a much higher literacy rate than the US, and the Swedes have a longer average life span than Americans. So I think for Iraq to aim at being like Sweden would be to aim very high. And why not?

6:39 AM, March 01, 2008

Blogger Robert said...

nir rosen's least favorite photograph


12:42 AM, March 02, 2008

Anonymous Kafir said...

How about a compromise? Sweden, but without the socialism.

10:36 AM, March 02, 2008

Blogger CMAR II said...

Considering the US has around 50 times the population, the industrial success of Sweden is impressive.

I'm not against the Swedes, but Sweden's GDP is smaller than that of of North Carolina which has a slightly smaller population.

1:12 PM, March 04, 2008

Blogger Jaguar b. p. said...

It's not quite up to the standards of Sweden just about yet, but Iraq is heading in that general direction.

There was a survey a couple of years ago that said Geneva was the best city in the world to live in,
and Baghdad was the worst.

So yes, you feature quite prominently in these rankings

We're still in the Balkans today.

That's because you are not getting shot at in Kosovo. In Iraq the situation is different

3:46 AM, March 07, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are a real fucking asshole J.B.P.

11:24 AM, March 07, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is a piece of khera.

12:56 PM, March 07, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Liberal media is most certainly the problem. The truth is not "badmouthing" simply the truth.

But Iraqis can bypass them, even cause a media sensation if they will go direct to the American people on TV shows and colleges.

My idea to get top Iraqis, scientist, artist, musicians, business, medical and do a tour is sound advice should Iraqi people truly want to remain free and not go back into a war zone or under the thumbs of Tyrants. There has to be a cultural exchange and it has to be done on places like MTV, VH1, and talk shows like Leno on the Tonight show so that vast audiences can truly see we are making a difference and Iraqis are standing up for themselves. Americans are feeling, caring people once they see and hear the truth from Iraqis. Right now, Hollywood, most of Liberal Media, NYT are deceiving many of their readers. What truly matters is if the Iraqis desire freedom that needs to be heard loud and clear from the Iraqis themselves. Otherwise, our Liberal media will do nothing to help.

Because most of liberal media reports only one side and favor the defeatist losers of Hillary and Obama. They make stupid arguments like the post above regarding cost in a war. The war cost are lowest in percentages of GDP in comparison to WWII, Vietnam.

I always thought Liberals were caring people for the world. But they're not at all. Instead, they'll let people rot in hell while they buy something "green" and visit a dog psychologist so Fufu can feel loved before they'd dare lift a hand to help others. They live in fear what others think of them. Except of course when its about their cat, dog, whales, homosexual partners or medical marijuana. Hypocrites to the max. They say do no evil, but they'll do business with evil around the world in a minute. They're worried what other countries thinka bout them. As if we should care what a majority of tyrants think and the fearful and weak EU think.

Here is their chance to do something right and all they do is whine, complain and say Iraqis are not worth it - as in lives, human people are not worth it.

Nibras is correct. Iraqis are fighting daily, dying daily. And some moron complains about his gas price while going to another Hollywod piece of crap movie for $20. Maybe get informed, turn off the liberal TV, stop going to dumbed down movies. Save some money and join the fight for freedom in the world for others, except your own lazy, whiney existence.

In a liberals mind, it is OK if millions more Iraqis die in the future. They can't think long enough past their next Starbucks caffein high. As long as they can blame it on Republicans thru political attacks, life is OK. They live in a TV world, where Oprah, The View and Jack Nicholson are gods that tell them what to think and how to live. Liberals are clueless idiots, afraid of life, led by corrupt politicians who tell them how they should live.

Truthfully, the Liberal political leaders are heartless wimps that would again in history throw down another whole country of innocent people. Sending millions to their death for their own political powre gain and their blind sheep believe them.

I have lost all respect for these clueless, heartless and gutless people.

It is the Liberals who are fearmongors. They fear winning. They fear the cost of freedom. They'd rather live in a place like Russia today where Dear Putin controls the media, the next leader and pretends there was an election. Liberals are no longer liberal. They're squeamish, weak, leftist who think our country is the problem in todays world because we actually stand up to mass murderers and tryants. How stupid can one be to blame themselves for fighting against evil?

To placate their feelings, they say hateful lies against our President daily and our military. It is an unrelenting attack of moonbats and their leaders.

They have no real "hope" only false hope and lies. The only thing they care about is themselves. Selfish, wimps. They have the entire world at their feet. Starbuck coffee drinkers, driving BMWs and living in the greatest nation on earth. And all they can do is whine, complain, and leave the Iraqis in the sand to die after we pull out. That is their great liberal plan of defeat.

Pull out, give up, let Iraqis die.

They have no soul, no heart and are the real problem with our nation today. They're milk toast babies, sucking on their thumbs cuz Mama Gov won't feed them their cheerios for free.

What a pathetic life. To want to lose in life. To want to leave people behind fighting for freedom. What a disgrace to our country that people like this now vote without any concern for others in far away places. So much for human rights in Iraq. You cannot have human rights if you're not living.

11:43 PM, March 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...


re: balkins...

Duh, we're in South Korea too, Japan, Germany, Europe. How many did we lose in these places during the war? Got a clue? We didn't pull out after 4000 died, did we? Our country persevered and fought against the enemy untilt they won or had complete stabalization.

As a result. Germany, Japan, South Korea are all top leading countries in the world in GDP and productivity. Iraq can become another great example for liberty and prosperity in this world.

We're winning this war against evil tyrants and their morons that have brainwashed the people for years. The Iraqis are building a new society and new army. They're fighting for a new life, new freedoms. They deserve our continued support.

There is no good argument for us to pull out of Iraq so early that would sacrifice millions to death and destruction. That would be 1) irresponsible to human life, 2) irresponsible to the entire region, 3) irresponsible Americans that volunteered to win in IRaq, 4) and finally irresponsible to economies and prosperity as oil prices would shoot up even higher if we let Iraq fall.

There is NO good reason to pull out of Iraq either humanitarily or economically. To pull out would be a crime to humanity of large a scale as the left did to Vietamese and Cambodians.

The Liberals did nothing to save them. Kerry, cut their funds off. What a despicable human being. Now, Hillary, Obama want to do the same thing. Cut the funds off, leave Iraqis squeezed between evil tyrants from Syria, Iran, Saudia Arabia, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah and just let the whole area explode.

What a bunch of idiots in control of the democrat party today. What a shame. And what a bunch of idiots in control of our "Liberal Left media" today as well.

11:53 PM, March 10, 2008

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And Sweden has a much higher literacy rate than the US, and the Swedes have a longer average life span than Americans. So I think for Iraq to aim at being like Sweden would be to aim very high. And why not?

Just don't call the Swedes if your their neighbor and being invaded. They can't help you. They could not defend themselves either. Any economy would be better if it spent minimal on defense like Sweden. The Dictators of the world would love that scenario. Easy pickins!!

1:48 AM, March 28, 2008

Anonymous DJElliott said...

Where are they getting 14 Divs in the IA?

There are 13 (including the one forming) plus the ISOF which is a reinforced Brigade ATT.

1st Div - Eastern Anbar*
2nd Div - Mosul
3rd Div - Western Ninawa
4th Div - Kirkuk/Sulmaniyah
5th Div - Diyala
6th Div - Western Baghdad
7th Div - Western Anbar
8th Div - Mid-Euphraties
9th Div - Taji*
10th Div - DhiQar/Muthanna/Maysan
11th Div - Eastern Baghdad
12th Div - Forming in Saladin
14th Div - Basrah

* 1st and 9th Divs are tasked as moble reserve.

The reason I ask is their are indications of another division forming. Split off of 6th Div witch is oversized.

Is someone official finally announcing it? MNSTC-I keeps saying no...

7:05 AM, March 30, 2008

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