[Paleopsych] fate of Iraq

Steve Hovland shovland at mindspring.com
Wed Jan 26 04:48:41 UTC 2005

I think we are on the way to some kind of
disaster in Iraq, but not a replica of Viet Nam.

It's a different set of circumstances, but
disaster is likely because the Administration
made strategic mistakes in intelligence, 
planning, weather, distance, and force.

I think our troops will be under fire when they
withdraw from Baghdad.

Steve Hovland

-----Original Message-----
From:	Paul J. Werbos, Dr. [SMTP:paul.werbos at verizon.net]
Sent:	Tuesday, January 25, 2005 5:07 AM
To:	The new improved paleopsych list
Subject:	[Paleopsych] fate of Iraq

Tho I don't have time this AM to do it justice, I owe SOME elaboration of 
quick comments on Iraq --

Before, I sent.....

Colin Powell has said that we are indeed well on the road to a true 
Vietnam-style disaster in Iraq.
(Though I am tempted to revisit aspects of the Vietnam history that few are 
aware of.)
Rice says no. Whom should we believe? NEITHER. Powell knows traditional 
war-fighting stuff
better, but this is a kind of complex socio-historical thing that no one I 
know really has a right
to predict with confidence. But it's clear that Bush WANTS a credible 
exit... that the plan
is rooted in accepting a new elected government in which the Shia play a 
dominant role..
that Sistani fully understands this, and will be happy to make it pleasant 
for Bush to go...
that Bush will accept this... Bush has stated very clearly that the 
protection of minorities
(like Sunni and Kurds and others) is an important goal of US policy, but if 
Sunnis keep killing
everyone else and trying to revive Saddam Hussein, he will not stay longer 
for the sake of
protecting them more effectively. He would have responded to other 
things... but in any case,
it's a muddle, but not a very changeable muddle, and it is at least 
plausible that the US will
be out of Iraq by the end of the term of this Administration. Who knows? At 
a minimum,
this is Bush's intent and it doesn't seem impossible.


I forwarded this to a friend who would have more of a basis than Powell OR 
Rice to predict what really
will happen... but none of us really know.

There is no real equivalent in war-and-peace of what econometrics offers 
for the economy.
No time to elaborate on why. But some folks really have worked to learn 
what can be learned from
lessons of history and generalization. Free will is more problematic in 
war-and-peace than
in econometrics -- but "character is fate" and a few of us actually have 
learned a bit
about how consciousness operates. (Sorry to be so blunt without details, 
but I have
gives references and URLs here on occasion.)


And now... the latest feedback from the Sunni lands has shown a kind of 
clarification of thought
as the election approaches. Spokesmen  for the pro-violence group
have stated clearly and openly that they are opposed to democracy BECAUSE
they don't want Shia ruling over Sunnis.

This is a very important clarification. It is almost as good as the patient 
in the psychiatrists'
office who learns to articulate his or her real subconscious fears/motivations.

But then comes the question -- what is the alternative?

Are they syaing that an elite cadre of Sunni theologists (really a wahabe 
extremist faction)
has the right to oppress everyone else, rule them by minority oppression of 
(as in Iraq's recent past), but this time truly oppressing everyone BUT 
those Wahabe activists --
oppressing sufis (who hide form the reality of what they are facing), even 
universalists of other kinds,
as well as Shia and all else? Violence by the minority to control the majority?

There is another way -- the effort to guarantee minority rights. 
Ironically, this has been a major
US goal from the start, but the folks assigned the job didn't really know 
how to reconcile their various
goals. They were a bit clumsy, shall we say. And OK, there is such a thing 
as criminal incompetence,
all over the world. But -- it is very hard to guarantee the rights of a 
minority committed to
murdering the majority. They need to relinquish that particular weird 


I had some ideas about federalism before that I think the ideologues 
"Make peace by putting two wolves the same room with one piece of meat."
Thagt's not empirical political scinece, shall we say.

Best of luck to us all... must run..


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