November 29, 2005

Rebutting Odom VIII

Finally got a link to Gen. Odom's recent column on Iraq. Gen. Odom is a serious man and deserves to have his views addressed seriously. I completely disagree with them.

Here are some of the arguments against pulling out:

7) Shiite-Sunni clashes would worsen.

7) On Shiite-Sunni conflict. The US presence is not preventing Shiite-Sunni conflict; it merely delays it. Iran is preventing it today, and it will probably encourage it once the Shiites dominate the new government, an outcome US policy virtually ensures.

Unless Gen. Odom thinks that Sistani is Iran's agent, this is a curiously flat analysis of what's going on. Sistani, by all I've read, has had a major influence in holding back the Shia. Pegging Sistani as Iran's agent is rather odd as Sistani has written that Iran is ruled by heretics. Sistani's rejection of Khomeinism is the key missing piece to most defeatist analyses of Iraq that I've seen. An Iraq in civil war is an Iraq that is in danger of falling to the heretical Khomeinism Sistani fears.

It's much better to make peace with the Sunni in a pluralistic government and get about the religiously vital business of cleaning up the mess of mullah run Iran. Najaf's scholars do not want Tehran's domination and thus will resist sectarian fighting. The US presence aids that fight and our service will be fondly remembered. The US presence need not be permanent. It only has to last long enough for a peace to be worked out despite Iranian and Syrian meddling.

Posted by TMLutas at November 29, 2005 04:06 PM