Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The "sky is falling" on the BBC in Iraq

By Paul Reynolds, BBC News Online world affairs correspondent, writing for The BBC has been so traumatized by the "sky falling" in Iraq that he has taken to talking to Humvees.

American and British hopes that a hand over of "sovereignty" to an interim government on 30 June might lead to stability in Iraq are fading fast.

There was never any doubt in anyone's mind that Iraq's sovereignty was going to take a lot more time than 30 June. The coalition forces have said from the outset that they would be in Iraq to provide security for sometime after 30 June.

Setting a deadline and sticking to it makes sure the hand over process does not get bogged down. The Iraqi people will have to come together and step up to the plate. Saddam is gone and the Iraqi peoples moment is at hand.

As far as "hopes fading fast" nothing could be further from the truth. The coalition said, after announcing the date for the hand over of power, that the insurgents would escalate violence dramatically in the run up to 30 June. They have to. Once the hand over is complete on 30 June, despite the presence of large numbers of coalition troops, the insurgence will then be seen to be fighting their own country men. It is symbolic in an area of the world where symbolism is important.


It will not be an elected body to which moderate Iraqis can easily rally. It will last only until elections are held by the end of January 2005.

Which is what? A mere nine months away. For a country that has been ruled by a ruthless dictator for over 35 years I'd say that was pretty damn amazing!

Its power to control security policy will also be in doubt since US, British and other forces will stay on as a multi-national force under an American general.

You would prefer a Spanish one? There is nothing new in this. Maybe Mr. Reynolds needs to brush up on history. France, Germany and Japan seem to have fared pretty well after WWII.

He goes on to list four limitations he has concerns over. None of which I can see are a huge problem. Not everyone is going to be happy about how the transition is handled. Not everyone is happy about how things are run in any country. The bottom line is that it is an interim government that will lead to elections in nine months time.

Besides all of this is still a work in progress.

Foreign Office officials in London said that there would be an annex to the TAL which would "clarify" some of the powers of the Interim Government. The annex, a spokeswoman said, would include the issue of security control. It was still under discussion, she said.

Now, Mr. Reynolds talks to the Humvees.

A telling detail about the actual state of affairs on the ground is that the US army is making a world-wide search for armored Humvees. This is not a war which is getting easier, therefore.

As I pointed out earlier, everyone except the inept BBC, knew the insurgence would dramatically increase the level of violence in the run up to 30 June. The coalition forces made a decision to pull back their tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles in order to look more like peacekeepers than an occupying army. No doubt this was at the urging of the British who advocate a "softly, softly" approach and even stopped wearing their body armor for awhile. The US is paying the price for that policy now.

And then Mr. Reynolds throws in this tid bit.

The actions of soldiers carry more weight than the predictions of politicians.

Well there is one "action of soldiers" you should pay more attention to Mr. Reynolds. That is the reenlistment rate of the US military. It's on the up with all branches exceeding their goals.

From Miami Herald

Posted on Sat, Apr. 24, 2004

U.S. Soldiers Re-Enlist in Strong Numbers


Associated Press

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - Despite the shrapnel wounds Staff Sgt. William Pinkley suffered during his tour in Iraq, the 26-year-old is joining other soldiers who are re-enlisting at rates that exceed the retention goals set by the Pentagon.

As of March 31 - halfway through the Army's fiscal year - 28,406 soldiers had signed on for another tour of duty, topping the six-month goal of 28,377. The Army's goal is to re-enlist 56,100 soldiers by the end of September.


The Marines, which along with the Army have borne the brunt of combat in Iraq, said they have already fulfilled 90 percent of their retention goal for the fiscal year for getting Marines to re-up after their initial commitment. The Air Force and the Navy said they, too, are exceeding goals for getting airmen and sailors to re-enlist.

I fail to see how your article contributes one bit the building of Iraq. I see no "news" here, just a rehash of what is already known to everyone except possibly you.

So, Mr. Reynolds, the "sky is not falling", you need to get some history lessons, stop talking to inanimate objects, and start talking to real people.

You seem like a frightened little boy Mr. Reynolds. Pacing the floor, wringing your hands and muttering "Mustn't do this; too dangerous" "Mustn't do that; too risky" "Yes, yes stay at home; safe at home"

Best place for you and your whining, anti-American BBC buddies.

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