21 November 2006

I have a question:

Let's suppose that, as seems likely, the United States Congress will have a collective failure of nerve in Iraq and we withdraw without adequately providing the support required to maintain the government of Iraq in power. Let's sort through some likely consequences. Please, do call me if you think I'm actually wrong on any of these.

1) Every surviving member of the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police, many other government employees, members of many political parties (pro-US, pro-Western, pro-Democracy, whatever), and all of their families will flee the country. So will everyone who doesn't want to live under strict Sharia. Most of them will wish to resettle in the United States. This is based on our experience the last time we sold a US ally up the river, in 1975.

2) Al-Qaeda will take credit for throwing the United States out, and will be accorded the credit in the Arabic world. This results in huge amounts of new followers and new cash.

3) Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Gulf Emirates, all go under within a year or two. The pro-US faction will be terrified and unwilling to ask for US assistance (which we wouldn't be willing to give them), and the loony factions will be greatly emboldened. They will also have the resources of Iraq to draw upon. Now, instead of the Saudis trying to straddle the fence, we have the Saudis openly and publically sponsoring al-Qaeda. Without a focus on Iraq, al-Qaeda can resume planning and resourcing attacks on American assets worldwide and even in America.

4) Oil triples in price. At least.

5) Emboldened, Syria decides that the US cannot and will not support the Lebanese. Lots of dead Lebanese later, Lebanon is again a Syrian protectorate. Israel decides to conduct services on their nuclear weapons to make sure they are ready to go.

6) Iran does precisely as it pleases, knowing that the US isn't going to do a damn thing.

So on and so forth.

Anyone else seeing what I see?


Blogger Tim Covington said...

My only quibble is on #3. I think Saudi Arabia will just trash the few reforms they've enacted and the royal family will openly do what ever the militants want.
Most likely, less than 5 years after USA pulls out their will be one or more nukes used in the Middle East.

5:20 PM  
Anonymous nerdasaaurus said...

Iran will replace the fUSSR as the source of evil in the world--it has nearly done so already. Retreating from Iraq will just make that state a satellite of Iran, just as Poland was the satellite of fUSSR. Afghanistan will fall shortly thereafter. Iran will be surrounded by slave states. There will be a new Iron Curtain, and it will surround Iran and extend from the Hindu Kush to the River of Egypt.

Israel will be nuked, so too Kuwait and any Gulf State which resists the mullahs of Iran. Those States that aren't nuked will sign treaties, or otherwise just politically roll over.

Iran and China will carve up Asia between them. What they don't conquer, Russia will. India will be a lone holdout..a nuclear armed holdout.

10 years after we withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, expect nuclear fires to glow. DC and/or NYC will be nuked also.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Karl Gallagher said...

Sounds pretty close to me.

The Kurds may be stubborn enough to die in place. I think some of the existing army/police units will simply sign up with winners. The Sauds will have a "tragic accident" and a new king (Nayef, possibly) who supports AQ all-out. Various contenders for the Caliphate will alternate attacks on each other with scoring points by killing westerners.

12:58 AM  
Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

I've linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2006/11/re-i-have-question.html

2:30 AM  
Blogger Zero Ponsdorf said...

Anyone else seeing what I see?

What a question????

I'm no Nostradamus, but it doesn't take one. I've been counting the mile markers to perdition. I'm still puzzled why those who will be the first to fall choose to ignore facts.

The liberal/left elite must be suicidal... that's the only explanation I can grasp.

2:45 AM  
Anonymous qp4 said...

I think you're kinda off the mark on #1. OIF 1 and 2 were different fights than now, and what you're dealing with in Ramadi and area is a way different animal than the battle of/in Baghdad. Now it's true that it's Sunnis/Baathists/terrorists doing the carbombs and fighting us the Americans, but all those bodies turning up left and right...that's courtesy of the Iraqi police and Army. The people fleeing are gonna be the Sunnis and the secularists, because the hardcore Shi'ites, especially with Iran's backing (and we're actually talking about cutting a deal!) are gonna go buckwild on them.

What's your timeline on gasoline prices tripling? Over the course of a staged withdraw or within five years?

3:30 AM  
Anonymous cMAD said...

I don't know ... the situation in Iraq is well managed, in the sense that all solutions that are less disastrous than the one proposed by the current US administration have been made virtually impossible, yet ...

1.-3. is the version that the neocons want to make us believe. I don't know to what extent your Cultural Learnings to benefit the glorious US and A corroborate the conservative wisdom (or lack thereof) that enough Iraqis are religious fundies to end up with strict Sharia. You may actually be able to convince me that all Iraqis are a bunch of Islamist fundies, if you speak the language and have contact with the locals (other than lobbing explosives at each other) - as to what the more or less mainstream US media are trying to make me believe, "I am not convinced".

4. Going to happen, anyway.

5. More likely, Lebanon will end up half occupied by Syria, half by Israel. Assorted European UN troops stuck in the middle. Israel's nuclear weapons are ready to go, anyway.

6. Yes. Going to happen. I'm looking forward to a generations of Iranians pushing for secular reforms, once the Islamist fundies' convenient excuse of the Big Satan has become lame.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

It's not even necessary that the majority of Iraqi are religious "fundamentalists" for the whole country to end up under Sharia, a plurality of armed fundamentalists would be sufficient if there weren't an adequately equipped and organized democratic opposition.

2:02 PM  
Anonymous nerdasaaurus said...

Cmad is believes that the biggest threat to the world are American conservatives rather than Islamic jihadism. I wonder what the parents of those children in Beslan think of the matter?

6:07 PM  
Blogger A Soldier's Girl said...

cmad- Why are you even living here?

You seem to have a contempt for the US and most Americans that borders on hatred. Well, at least conservative Americans, anyway, but I'm still confused. If you dislike the way we run our country, why don't you go back to where it's more to your liking?

7:26 PM  
Anonymous cMAD said...


You're right. Even a well armed and determined minority is sufficient to push a country over if there weren't an adequately legitimized democratic opposition. Such a thing cannot be imposed by an invader, but it must have roots in the country itself. 60 years ago, Germany had some democratic tradition - not a whole lot, but enough to build on. And someone had the genius to keep the Japanese Emperor in place.

Iraq has to deal with two externally imposed identities at the moment:

first, the people of Iraq and their government were held responsible for something they didn't have anything to do with, namely, militant Islamist terrorism,

second, with the endemic USAmerican concept of "freedom".

Given only these two choices, it's a no-brainer (to just about anyone who is not on the winner side of the walls that separate the globalized economy into the haves and the have-nots) which one appears more consistent and realistic (for the people on the wrong side of the wall that is).


How often is the equivalent of Beslan happening in Iraq? Only those who will see it in their nightmares for the rest of their lives will know, and they don't want to be reminded.

In terms of access to weapons of mass destruction, American conservatives are the biggest threat to the world. Capabilities, not intentions.


I'm a cynic. My contempt is neither reserved for Americans nor for conservatives. People tend to be the same everywhere.

In any case, the American Way of Doing Business (which I do detest) is ...ummm... somewhat invasive. So there's really no place to run, if you don't want to waste a perfectly good airplane by flying it into the symbol of World Trade ("world trade" done by rules that give wealthy Americans an unfair advantage). Nothing good comes out of such a thing, anyway.

And people who believe that they're big investors now that they have some very modest deposit in a money market account, and maybe a little piece of land are not the enemy, by any stretch of the imagination.

But if you really want the reason why I came to the US and A ...
I've read too much Tom Clancy. In HfRO he writes about Marko Ramius turning Red October into the attacker, instead of trying to run away. May be fiction, but it's very convincing fiction ;-)

8:44 PM  
Anonymous nerdasaaurus said...

In terms of access to weapons of mass destruction, American conservatives are the biggest threat to the world. Capabilities, not intentions.

This is the most b*llsh*t I have heard in a long, long time. The difference between American Christian conservatives and Islamic Conservatives is the [ahem] fundamental differences in the underlying ideology. In one, its leader and focus of thought died a miserable death, rose again, and in doing so demonstrated authority and dominion over death itself. The leader of the other ideology was a conquering general and one who personally ordered the death of thousands, and killed more than a few himself before appointing himself the head of a massive political empire.

Murder/genocide/democide has been committed in the name of both ideologies. In one, such murders are in direct opposition to the primary teachings of that ideology. In the other, such murders are completely consistent with the teaching of that ideology.

And this is assuming that all American Conservatives are also Christian. This very simply isn't so. Conservativism represent a wide, wide variety of religious thought...from the extremly pious to extremely athiest. Conservativism is INFLUENCED by Christians, but certainly is not CONTROLLED by it. Conservatives believe in the "rule of law", liberals believe in everything/anything else.

11:21 PM  
Blogger tychecat said...

It seems to me that the best we could ever have hoped for in Iraq was that we would be able to deliver Iraq from Saddam and give them the opportunity to select the kind of government they want.
We toppled Saddam, the Iraqis held what was apparently a very popular election and have set up a government. What more are we supposed to do?

5:14 AM  
Blogger A Soldier's Girl said...

cmad- I know that John and I are small potatoes by the lights of the corporate world, but I will say that with this land purchase and the tiny bit of money we'll have in the money market account, at least we've managed something that is part of the American Dream. And I like it.

As for your contempt of the American way of doing business, every home team holds on to its advantages. It would be criminally stupid not to. You don't like it, go do business in a country that doesn't have enough of anything to do business with America. Then, you can pointedly ignore our invasiveness.

12:28 AM  

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