Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Iraq War: The cakewalk

"I think we are winning.  Okay?  I think we're definitely winning.  I think we've been winning for some time." - Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on the Iraq War 04/26/05

"I just wonder if they will ever tell us the truth." - Harold Casey, Louisville, KY, October 2004.

From Envoy to Iraq Predicts U.S. May Need to Stay in Region for Years:  Zalmay Khalilzad urges Americans to dig in for the long haul by Borzou Daragahi Los Angeles Times 04/25/06:

The U.S. ambassador here [in Baghdad] on Monday urged war-weary Americans to dig in for the long haul: a years-long effort to transform Iraq and the surrounding region, now one of the world's major trouble spots.

"We must perhaps reluctantly accept that we have to help this region become a normal region, the way we helped Europe and Asia in another era," Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. "Now it's this area from Pakistan to Morocco that we should focus on."  ...

The 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, originally justified as a search for weapons of mass destruction, is now described by some American officials as an attempt to bring democracy to the Middle East. But the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime unleashed a Sunni Arab insurgency that has evolved into a sectarian war between the country's Shiite majority and Sunni minority. ...

U.S. and Iranian officials are expected to hold talks on the Iraqi situation once a new government has been formed here. An Iranian news agency reported Monday that the Iranian charge d'affaires in Baghdad had been promoted to the rank of ambassador, in possible preparation for a meeting with Khalilzad.  (my emphasis)

From a briefing paper from officials in the British Overseas and Defense Secretariat Cabinete Office, distributed 03/08/02 to prepare Tony Blair for an upcoming meeting with George W. Bush:

The greater the investment of Western forces, the greater our control over Iraq's future, but the greater the cost and the longer we would need to stay The only certain means to remove Saddam and his elite is to invade and impose a new government. But this could involve nation building over many years. Even a representative government could seek to acquire WMD and build up its conventional forces, so long as Iran and Israel retain their WMD and conventional armouries and there was no acceptable solution to Palestinian grievances.  (Text appears in Mark Danner, The Secret Way to War [2006]).

From Cakewalk in Iraq by Kenneth Adelman Washington Post 02/13/02.

I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they've become much weaker; (3) we've become much stronger; and (4) now we're playing for keeps. ...

Measured by any cost-benefit analysis, such an operation would constitute the greatest victory in America's war on terrorism(my emphasis)

"Wars are easy to get into, but hard as hell to get out of." - George McGovern and Jim McGovern 06/06/05

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