More about Flypaper.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader continues to ruminate on the whole “Iraq is flypaper to terrorists” idea.

As you may remember, last week your Maximum Leader responded to a post from the Smallholder. Then Nicole commented on her blog about this topic as well.

First off, let your Maximum Leader state for the record that he continues to maintain that making Iraq the primary front in the war on terror is completely accidental. Nicole, in her peice writes:

I wonder. Was it so unintended? I mean surely, it was not so unpredictable that if we invaded the terrorists would come lend their hand to the fight against the Great Satan. I don’t think it’s so farfetched to assume that maybe the administration knew quite well that this is precisely what would happen and that one of the fringe benefits to the invasion of Iraq would be concentrate most of the terrorists in one place. Now you could argue that we already had that in Afghanistan, but Afghanistan is not such a great place to fight a war. In fact, if history is a judge, it’s one of the worst places to fight a war. Iraq’s a bit better. It’s a little smaller, and the terrain, while not ideal, is not nearly so treacherous as in Afghanistan. It’s also more centrally located within the problem region, perhaps giving more of the jihadi types not specifically allied with a particularly group an opportunity to come lend a hand to the battle.

Your Maximum Leader believes that while Nicole makes some excellent points, many with which your Maximum Leader agrees, one fact belies the truth of the accidental nature of the current Iraq situation. That fact is that the United States is not prosecuting the war - nor apparently planning to prosecute the war - in a way that would eventually assure the “flies” are killed.

Your Maximum Leader believes it is a stretch to come to the conclusion that the Allied “no-go” zones are intentional creations meant to draw in terrorists. They seem to be zones in which the Allied forces have not been able to restore civil authority due to lack of resources and support of the locl population. They are organic growths that, as of yet, have not been dealt with.

The “no-go” zones (like Fallujah) are primarially Sunni muslim areas which stand to suffer the most under a non-Baathist regime. As your Maximum Leader wrote before, the Shia and the Kurds are grinding their axes in anticipation of what is to come. The Sunni’s in these “no-go” zones are acting in their own self-interest by not supporting Allied troops or the new Iraqi interim government. This choice has worked out rather well for them so far. They are self-governing and not under the thumb of anyone but themselves. Terrorists are welcome - we suspect - in these areas because their presence and activities will promote the continuance of a system that the Sunni residents of these areas find preferable to control by the Interim Government or the Allies.

Now, if the “no-go” zones were the intentional creation of the Allies (and the US specifically) then your Maximum Leader has a problem with the situation. The problem is that it is completely unacceptable for US commanders to allow those who seek to kill US (and Allied) ground troops (and Iraqis in general) a safe haven from which to operate. Safe havens for terrorists means more casualties and deaths of our troops. And each solider’s life is too valuable to allow to be wasted towards the goal of gathering as many terrorists as possible in a few specific geographic locations.

Since your Maximum Leader hasn’t been accused of being bloodthirsty in a while he’ll throw this out there. If your Maximum Leader were in charge of our troops, he would go systematically through those areas and exterminate anyone who resisted. He would destroy homes and property that was not immediately surrendered for search. He would relocate inhabitants while their city was razed to assure that no terrorist havens remained. (Then, being good Americans, we would rebuild their city and make it much nicer than the one we just blew up.)

Now, back to your Maximum Leader’s assertion that the war is not being prosecuted in a way that would end with the killing/arrest/detention of terrorists. At what point would the US, our Allies, and the Iraqi’s start to move to assert their control of the “no-go” zones? How much longer will the borders remain pourous and terrorists find safe haven? Apparently a while longer. No credible source has stated that it is in the works to send troops (of any nationality) into these areas.

Eliminating terrorist havens in Iraq will require troops and supplies. If one were planning on soon going after the terrorists in Iraq, one would start moving many more troops over there now. But, there doesn’t appear to be an increase in the number of troops going to Iraq.

This returns your Maximum Leader to his problem. Allowing terrorist safe havens to exist in Iraq is wrong. But, as your Maximum Leader wrote a few lines ago, the US does not appear to have committed the resources to restoring order to these areas. This can be for a number of reasons.

There are many who would say that it is political. The Administration is too willful to admit that they need more troops than they estimated. The Administration has also been accused of keeping the number of troops constant before the election, then building up after the election. This gets back to the previously stated problem, it is wrong to allow soliders to die pending a force buildup.

Your Maximum Leader is inclined to believe that the reasons the troop numbers are not what is needed to root out the terrorists are: 1) the US is overdeployed at the moment; and/or 2) the Iraqi interim government has resquested that we not send additional troops.

As for the overdeployed statement… For this both the Administration and Congress bear responsibility. Neither has made any significant movement towards realigning our existing force, or increasing the size of our forces overall. Both of these steps need to be taken.

As for the Iraqi government requesting that no additional troops be sent to Iraq… It appears as though the IraqiInterim Government is serious about trying to dispell the idea that Iraqi is occupied. An increase in Allied troops in Iraq would certainly seem to Iraqis as more occupiers. The Iraqi government may well be trying to do what it can with the resources available.

Neither of these situations is good. As Secretary Powell has noted, the situation in Iraq is “getting worse.” The US and the Iraqis need to determine, and determine NOW, how long they are going to allow an untenable situation to exist. One hopes it is not much longer.

Carry on.

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