Sunday, January 9

Bring out your Death Squads.

Since everything else we have tried has failed miserably in Iraq, lets take a trip in the wayback machine and pull a dirty little play out of the Reagan era foreign policy playbook. And it gets better, our present ambassador to Iraq John Negroponte, was instumental in the formation and the support of the Salvadoran Death Squads.

So it looks like the only way to save our Iraqi bacon is to engage in torture, kidnapping and assasination. Welcome to the Banana Republic formarlly known as the United States. Thanks to Attaturk for the tip.
By Michael Hirsh and John Barry
Updated: 10:22 a.m. ET Jan. 9, 2005

Jan. 8 - What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon’s latest approach is being called "the Salvador option"—and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is. "What everyone agrees is that we can’t just go on as we are," one senior military officer told NEWSWEEK. "We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing." Last November’s operation in Fallujah, most analysts agree, succeeded less in breaking "the back" of the insurgency—as Marine Gen. John Sattler optimistically declared at the time—than in spreading it out.
Really, and I thought that FallujahPallooza WarPorn III was a resounding success, and that we had paved the roads of that city with the splintered spines of the insurgency. seem to remember in the fog of time an Army Chief of staff suggesting that it might take a couple of more troops to keep the peace in Iraq after the destruction of Saddam's Army. Shinseki I think the name was, and for his prescience, he was fired.
Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration’s battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported "nationalist" forces that allegedly included so-called death squads directed to hunt down and kill rebel leaders and sympathizers. Eventually the insurgency was quelled, many U.S. conservatives consider the policy to have been a success—despite the deaths of innocent civilians and the subsequent Iran-Contra arms-for-hostages scandal.and (Among the current administration officials who dealt with Central America back then is John Negroponte, who is today the U.S. ambassador to Iraq. Under Reagan, he was ambassador to Honduras.)
Conservatives are fond of the saying that you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette, in other words the ends justify any means, and morality for all the crowing they do on the subject is Relative. As long as we stuff them in a box like Schroedingers cat, we will mever be certain whether they are dead or not.
Following that model, one Pentagon proposal would send Special Forces teams to advise, support and possibly train Iraqi squads, most likely hand-picked Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Shiite militiamen, to target Sunni insurgents and their sympathizers, even across the border into Syria, according to military insiders familiar with the discussions. It remains unclear, however, whether this would be a policy of assassination or so-called "snatch" operations, in which the targets are sent to secret facilities for interrogation. The current thinking is that while U.S. Special Forces would lead operations in, say, Syria, activities inside Iraq itself would be carried out by Iraqi paramilitaries, officials tell NEWSWEEK.
The use of Peshmeraga, forays into Syria, are you kidding me? Thats fantastic, if you are looking for the recipe of a civil war or an Imperial Army breaking, region wide conflagration. Has anybody considered increasing our troop strength? Silly me, that would require a draft and the sacrifice of a bit of the Asterix President's political capital, and non of that can happen untill he has finished prying open the Social Security Trust fund. But if he can accomplish that, expect the draft to follow apace.
Pentagon civilians and some Special Forces personnel believe CIA civilian managers have traditionally been too conservative in planning and executing the kind of undercover missions that Special Forces soldiers believe they can effectively conduct. CIA traditionalists are believed to be adamantly opposed to ceding any authority to the Pentagon.
In place of pentagon civilians should read Neo-Con hacks, whose soothsaying and conjuring powers have been shown grossly defficient. And whats the prosecution of a little land war in Asia without a little turf war between the agencies charged with its prosecution. I wonder what the old CIA hack Allawi, now presnit of Iraqistan thinks about these "ideas".
The interim government of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is said to be among the most forthright proponents of the Salvador option. Maj. Gen.Muhammad Abdallah al-Shahwani, director of Iraq’s National Intelligence Service, may have been laying the groundwork for the idea with a series of interviews during the past ten days. Shahwani told the London-based Arabic daily Al-Sharq al-Awsat that the insurgent leadership—he named three former senior figures in the Saddam regime, including Saddam Hussein’s half-brother—were essentially safe across the border in a Syrian sanctuary. "We are certain that they are in Syria and move easily between Syrian and Iraqi territories," he said, adding that efforts to extradite them "have not borne fruit so far."
Lots of declarative statements made on the shifting sands of certainties, not much fruit borne. Yes that stream of insurgents that seek safe harbour in Syria are destabilizing the entire region, but do not worry yer pretty little heads, our Special Forces will sort that mess out, and future slant well drilling operations into the oil fields of Saudia Arabia will pay for it all, Just like operation Iraqi Freedom is paying for itself.
Pentagon sources emphasize there has been no decision yet to launch the Salvador option. Last week, Rumsfeld decided to send a retired four-star general, Gary Luck, to Iraq on an open-ended mission to review the entire military strategy there. But with the U.S. Army strained to the breaking point, military strategists note that a dramatic new approach might be needed—perhaps one as potentially explosive as the Salvador option.

Praise god and pass the handgrenades, its only a thought bubble at this time....