And if you've enjoyed talking with me about this, you'd love to discuss this with my brother. He's basically the same as me on his views about the initial strategic importance vs. current strategic importance, but he's far more informed on military history and strategies than I am, and has read everything written on the Iraq war that he could find.
Essentially it would be the same as discussing it with me, but I'd be smarter.
I might be wrong on this, but I though SOL was primarily comprised of the Islamic Dawa Party, which I thought was considered to be non-secular in nature? Although it might be more moderate Islamic instead of outright "Islamist".Iraqi politics: Let us look at the results: http://www.understandingwar.org/file...ults_30MAR.pdf.
Which parties are Islamist?
- Not Iraqiyyah, 91 seats.
- Not State of Law, 89 seats.
- Iraqi National Alliance is, especially Sadr, but it is of the Shiite variety, 70 seats.
- Not the Kurdistan Alliance, 43 seats.
- Not Gorran, 8 seats.
- Tawafuq is, Sunni variety, 6 seats.
- Unity of Iraq, unknown, 3 seats
- KIU is, 4 seats
- KIG is, 3 seats
- Two Rivers List, unknown, 1 seat.
Total Islamist (including unknowns for the hell of it): 87 seats
Total Secular: 231
The battle is between Iraqiyyah and SOL.
If I am correct about them being non-secular, though, it would mean that the numbers are actually:
Like I said, though, I might have it wrong. They do seem like moderates, but they are pretty clearly non-secular.
Both sides have been rumbling about it the past couple of days. I don't know what will come of it, though.Seeing people identify with their religions in the wake of all of these changes is not surprising. Seeing them swing back to secular political parties is a big surprise.
Re: INA and SOL...I will be very surprised if they can form a coalition considering the majority seat holders in INA is Sadr and Sadr and SOL get along like oil and water. Whatever is expedient I suppose.
I also agree with you about the rise of secularism recently being somewhat surprising. I would hope that this trend continues, but I think that if disenfranchisement in the secular government begins to increase, the Islamists will regain the lost ground.
But the secular gains are somewhat lessened by the fact that the sadrists gained some ground in the recent election's as well. This is something that brings uo a degree of concern, especially with the increased iranian influence.
I agree, but this was one of the reasons I was not in favor of the invasion, and one of my biggest worries about the ultimate result. We invaded our enemy's biggest enemy in the region and have essentially given that enemy a friend, or at least potential friend.Not a big surprise since 1) Iraq was the primary opponent of Iran and 2) the Shiites in Iraq became empowered.
If the secularists win in the end, I'll have been wrong, and thus happy. If not, we'll have two Irans.
I've been fascinated about the Iranian developments. That's your best argument that my initial assessments about strategic importance were wrong.I tend to watch for changes in Iran as a result of Iraq, Iraq's elections, Iraq's democracy and Al'SIstani's Quietist Movement effects in Qom. It is interesting that the Green Revolution masked a struggle among the clerics for power, between Rafsanjani and Ayatollah Khamenie.
But again, I'm still concerned about long-term developments, but I must admit the short-term developments have been heartening.
Touche. Perhaps "long-term goals" and reasoned assessment of how doing a specific action can help attain those "goals" would have been a better way for me to put it.Does this
Have anything to do with our strategy?
I'll actually address what I now consider the "strategic importance" of the invasion in the next section. I had a bit of an epiphany about it yesterday.
I was thinking about our discussion a bit last night. I came to a realization about what you've been saying as far as "breaking the stasis" goes.To me something has strategic importance. Period. We separately have a strategy for dealing with it.
The problem in your estimation was not the instability in the region that Libs was talking about, it was about the relative stability in the region.
It was a stable anti-American and anti-democracy region for the most part.
Essentially your belief is that this was and is a threat to the US. (Where I differ is that I think our meddling in the region is potentially more of a threat to the US in the long-term, but I can see the other side as well, and starting from the presumption that I'm wrong -which is something I like to do when faced with a compelling argument I may disagree with to make sure I give it as objective of an analysis as possible- I can actually agree with it).
Essentially, what I've realized is that often the wrong terms are being used by people who are defending the invasion. The goal was not to increase stability, it was already fairly stable. It was to, at first, increase instability to break up the anti-American, Anti-democracy stasis, and then re-stabilize the region as more in favor of America and pro-democracy.
What I'm not convinced about is if this was the best approach to attain those goals. But after this discussion, I'll have to reconsider that stance somewhat.
I'm still pretty strongly inclined towards anti-interventionism, and this is a product of me having an anti-federalist philosophy in general. I'm in favor of extreme variance in political ideology and highly localized governance. Interventionism, by it's nature, seeks the opposite.
It's hard for me to reconcile the two concepts.
This is true, and supports the ideas about the war in Iraq having worked towards destabilizing the region you shared before, and I finally understood above.I do agree that the strategic importance of Iraq has changed from before the invasion to after. We have escalated a problem in the heart of the ME and completely changed the policies of the countries surrounding it. For instance, Saudi Arabia started cracking down HARD on their Islamists.