The New York Times Baghdad Bureau Chief is telling PBS anchor Charlie Rose, that we need to stay in Iraq, or else a REAL civil war will erupt.
But it seems to me incontrovertible that the most likely outcome of an American withdrawal any time soon would be cataclysmic violence. And I find that to be widely agreed amongst Iraqis, including Iraqis who strongly opposed the invasion. And especially amongst Sunnis, a minority who ruled here, whose power was usurped by the invasion and who now find themselves facing Shiite militias and 350,000 man and woman Shiite-led Iraqi security force, that`s to say army and police, which is overwhelmingly Shiite and would be likely, first of all, to disintegrate in the face of a civil war, but with its principal units falling on the Shiite, not the Sunni side of that war.
So in the short run, I think the people who would have the -- the most to move -- to lose, would - would in all likelihood to be the Sunni minority, who would be driven west into the redoubt of Anbar province, which is approximately a third of Iraqi on the western side, bordering Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria. But that wouldn`t be the end of it by any means. Those Sunnis have the support. It`s been - it`s been explicitly stated -- Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states, which have large amounts of money to invest -- in fact, they`re already putting money in here in very large sums in support of the insurgency.
Hmm, a major news voice comes out and says that we MUST stay in Iraq, or else massive violence will erupt, but no one is picking it up outside of the right. John has even written articles in the NY Times, one of which tells of a general who demand the surge stay in place, but still, no shouts of stay in Iraq. But flash back to March when Bill Maher interviewed him; a completely different picture is painted about the war, and his thoughts on it.
...but whether it can prevail, that's very uncertain and I'm sure that at this moment in Washington D.C. they've reach a real crunch point. They've got to decide and they've got to decide within a matter of a couple of weeks, whether or not they're going to start drawing down troops and I think that the military commanders know that although much progress has been made in building up the Iraqi security forces, they are not strong enough and not foreseeably will be strong enough to carry the main brunt of this fight. And if they are not and American troop withdrawal start there will be a destabilization. On the other hand, if the decision is made to delay those withdrawals, it seems to me there's going to be a major political problem in this country. I've been here 24 hours. I haven't met a single person yet who has... I haven't met a single person yet who speaks in favor of this war. There seems to be a wide tidal wave of opinion against it.
Quite a differnce, and you won't see the likes of the Huffington Post, Code Pink, or Think Progress mentioning the interview on PBS demanding that troops stay in Iraq.
I must say though, Hugh Hewitt interviewed John in February of this year and the story was consistent with what he said on PBS.
Well, let me put it to you this way, and I’ve said this before, so…one Iraqi I know well, who lives in an area of Baghdad known as Adamiya, Adamiya was the birthplace of the Baath Party in Iraq. It was the last place that Saddam appeared before he went underground, I recall, on April the 9th, 2003, with American troops already in Baghdad, your listeners may remember. Saddam appeared in Baath Party uniform, his green uniform, standing on top of a vehicle outside a Mosque. That was Adamiya. Adamiya is a Sunni stronghold on the East side of the river in Baghdad. That places it within two miles of the principal Shiite stronghold of Sadr City. My friend who lives in Adamiya said to me a few weeks ago, after a major suicide bombing in Sadr City which killed 225 people and injured three or four hundred, a multiple suicide bombing, that American troops moved in between Adamiya and Sadr City, that’s to say between the Shiite stronghold and the Sunni stronghold, anticipating that Shiite sectarian death squads might come out of Sadr City to avenge the killing of Shiites in this multiple suicide bombing, and attack Adamiya. So there were tanks and other American military units placed between Sadr City and Adamiya. My friend said to me, if the United Nations is correct in saying that 3,700 Iraqi civilians died in October, and that’s a morgue’s count. It may be an underestimate, we don’t know. But he said if it’s correct that 3,700 people died in October across Iraq, think about this. You take the American troops away in this situation, leaving Shiite death squads to move into Adamiya in force without any kind of protection, he said it won’t be 3,700 dead in a month, it’ll be 3,700 dead in the night in Adamiya. Now that may be an exaggeration, but it reflects the kind of fears that are quite widespread, amongst Sunnis in particular, but also to some extent amongst Shiites in Iraq, about the consequences of an American troop withdrawal.
H/T: News Busters