Saturday, January 06, 2007

Iraq:What's At Stake?

President George W. Bush will reportedly address the nation Wednesday night with his new plan for Iraq. Bush will increase the amount of troops in Iraq by approximately 20,000, with the focus being mostly in and around Baghdad.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has told President Bush that he will go after the Shiite militias, after we take care of the Sunni insurgents. This can not be! Al-Maliki has got to show a committment to us, as we have obviosuly committed so much in blood and money. He's got to get control of the Shiite militias and the death squads while we go after the Sunni insurgents.

Last week, during Meet The Press a reporter stationed in Baghdad described the insurgency as being primarily led by al-Qaeda, which is made up mostly of foreign fighters. So this is who our brave men and women are fighting:

The aforementioned al-Qaeda; The Iranian Revolutionary Guards; the Iranian sponsored Shiite death squads, including the Mahdi army headed up by Moqtada al-Sadr; and then lastly those loyal to Saddam, the Baathists.

The al-Qaeda element is made up of foreign fighters from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan, to name but a few.

So let's also think about who is funding the insurgency: definitely the Iranian and Syrian Governments, and parts of the Saudi and Egyptian Governments. But who else? Would anyone be surprised if Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, or China were funding the insurgency with arms and/or cash?

Right now America has a major problem as we all know. If Bush increases the troop level, wouldn't it seem natural that the mujahideen or so-called holy warriors would increase the amount of fighters flowing into the area known as the Green Zone. Also, would it not then seem logical that the folks at the Kremlin and elsewhere would increase the amount of cash and arms going to Baghdad?

Many people will call for Bush to withdraw U.S. Soldiers from Iraq. But let's examine what probably would happen in that war-torn country if the President did withdraw: We pull out, the Iranians increase their influence which would lead to al-Qaeda and the Sunnis increasing their efforts to offset the Shiites. The Saudis and Egyptians would naturally back the Sunnis. However, both of those countries have a minority population of Shiites living in poor areas. Those Shiites would be encouraged to rise up against the very wealthy governments of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and also in Jordan. So how does this play in the United States?

Americans are going to have to be prepared to see more killing on television then we have seen to this point. Again, Iran will try to take over the oil in Iraq and will encourage Shiites to rise up against the Saudi Royal Family and their interests, namely oil. So the world will not only get an unstable Iraq, but if the Shiites start attacking the oil fields inside the Saudi Kingdom, we could also have a shaky government in Saudi Arabia.

That means high oil prices which means we will all have to pay at the pump. Do you want to pay $5 a gallon? How about $10? Skyrocketing oil prices will most surely at the very least lead to a recession. But there is something much bigger here.

If Iran gets control of the oil fields in Iraq, they will definitely be able to obtain a nuke and most likely will be able to get more than one. If the Saudis face an uprising of Shiites, I would not be surprised to see the House of Saud take a heavy handed approach in crushing any sort of rebellion. Thus, the situation would escalate into a regional war and possibly a world war.

The Saudis are going to be desperate to prevent Iran from getting nukes, so they are going to go all out to undermine the mullahcratic regime in Iran. Let's also throw Israel into the mix. According to the Sunday Times of London, Israel has drawn up plans to destroy Iran's uranium enrichment facilities with nuclear weapons.

It basically boils down to this, if we leave, be prepared for at best a regional war that will have international implications which I believe are unfathomable for most people.

Obviously, it is not a pretty picture either way. As I mentioned on here the other day, having an unemployment rate for men at 60% in Iraq needs to be addressed. So in addition to the increase in troop levels, the New York Times is reporting that there will also be a $1 billion jobs program intended to employ Iraqis in projects; including painting schools and cleaning streets.

What has to happen though is that the Iraqis themselves have got to step up to the plate, and take control of their country. If the people of Iraq do not find a way to work together, the results will be catastrophic. Failure in Iraq is not an option. Mr. Bush has a lot riding on this right now, his plan better be the correct one, otherwise, we will all feel the effects of a war gone wrong for many years to come.

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