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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Grizzly Assessment of the Initial Benchmark Assessment Report

Please click the title to read the entire report. It's certainly not all bad news. In fact, I think identifying success and failure - with an eye to correcting the failure - is a valid exercise. It's what America does best. Let's take a quick look.

Current U.S. strategy -- the New Way Forward -- recognizes that the fulfillment of commitments by both the U.S. and Iraqi Governments will be necessary to achieving our common goal: a democratic Iraq that can govern, defend, and sustain itself, and be an ally in the War on Terror. The building of a strong strategic partnership with the Iraqi Government will be an important part of the effort to achieve this end state, which remains a long-term goal, and requires the application of all elements of national power, including especially diplomatic, economic, and political power.

I'm with 'em on this. Totally, emphatically with 'em. Now for the Congressional Benchmarks with a very important piece of the whole that we cannot, EVER, forget:

The Iraqi leaders face a challenging situation, and they and their families run great risks on a daily basis.

The Iraqi leaders are risking their very lives and fortunes to make Iraq a strong and free nation. (Sound familiar? "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.") The Iraqi are no slouches when it comes to courage.

Onward and upward.

1. Forming a Constitutional Review Committee and then completing the constitutional review.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward forming a Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) and then completing the constitutional review.

2. Enacting and implementing legislation on de-Ba’athification reform.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq has not made satisfactory progress toward enacting and implementing legislation on de-Ba’athification reform.

3. Enacting and implementing legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources to the people of Iraq without regard to the sect or ethnicity of recipients, and enacting and implementing legislation to ensure that the energy resources of Iraq benefit Sunni Arabs, Shi’a Arabs, Kurds, and other Iraqi citizens in an equitable manner.

Assessment: The current status is unsatisfactory, but it is too early to tell whether the Government of Iraq will enact and implement legislation to ensure the equitable distribution of hydrocarbon resources to all Iraqis.

4. Enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semi-autonomous regions.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward enacting and implementing legislation on procedures to form semi-autonomous regions.

5. Enacting and implementing legislation establishing an Independent High Electoral Commission, provincial elections law, provincial council authorities, and a date for provincial elections.

Assessment: There are multiple components to this benchmark, each deserving its own assessment:

Establishing the IHEC Commission: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward establishing an IHEC Commission. The Commission has been established.
Elections Law: The Government of Iraq has not made satisfactory progress toward establishing a provincial elections law. Drafting of the law has just begun.
Provincial Council Authorities: The Government of Iraq has not made satisfactory progress toward establishing provincial council authorities. The COR is working on legislation, which has had its second reading; however, the COR committee continues to work on revisions to the draft law, and it remains unclear when the legislation will come to a third and final vote by the full COR.
Provincial Elections Date: The Government of Iraq has not made satisfactory progress toward establishing a date for provincial elections. Legislation required for setting the date has not been enacted.

6. Enacting and implementing legislation addressing amnesty.

Assessment: The prerequisites for a successful general amnesty are not present; however, in the current security environment, it is not clear that such action should be a near-term Iraqi goal.

7. Enacting and implementing legislation establishing a strong militia disarmament program to ensure that such security forces are accountable only to the central government and loyal to the constitution of Iraq.

Assessment: The prerequisites for a successful militia disarmament program are not present. In fact, international experts, including the U.N., have expressed reservations to advancing this proposal at the present time. The U.N. DDR Advisory Mission to Baghdad Report (April 25 - May 2, 2007) stated, “The Iraq environment makes it most unlikely that traditional DDR can take place, and planning should take this into account.” AND: The current plan and strategy calls for the passage of such legislation when the necessary conditions are present

8. Establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward establishing supporting political, media, economic, and services committees in support of the Baghdad Security Plan.

9. Providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward providing three trained and ready Iraqi brigades to support Baghdad operations.

10. Providing Iraqi commanders with all authorities to execute this plan and to make tactical and operational decisions in consultation with U.S. Commanders without political intervention to include the authority to pursue all extremists including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq has not made satisfactory progress toward providing Iraqi commanders with all authorities to execute this plan and to make tactical and operational decisions in consultation with U.S. Commanders without political intervention to include the authority to pursue all extremists including Sunni insurgents and Shiite militias.

11. Ensuring that Iraqi Security Forces are providing even-handed enforcement of the law.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq has not at this time made satisfactory progress in ensuring that Iraqi Security Forces are providing even-handed enforcement of the law; however, there has been significant progress in achieving increased even-handedness through the use of coalition partnering and embedded-transition teams with Iraqi Security Force units.

12. Ensuring that, as Prime Minister Maliki was quoted by President Bush as saying, “the Baghdad Security Plan will not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of [their] sectarian or political affiliation.”

Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress in ensuring the Baghdad Security Plan does not provide a safe haven for any outlaws, regardless of their sectarian or political affiliations.

13. Reducing the level of sectarian violence in Iraq and eliminating militia control of local security.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq ‑‑ with substantial Coalition assistance ‑‑ has made satisfactory progress toward reducing sectarian violence but has shown unsatisfactory progress towards eliminating militia control of local security.

14. Establishing all of the planned joint security stations (JSSs) in neighborhoods across Baghdad.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq -- with substantial Coalition assistance -- has made satisfactory progress toward establishing the planned JSSs in Baghdad.

15. Increasing the number of Iraqi security forces units capable of operating independently.

Assessment: The Iraqi Government has made unsatisfactory progress toward increasing the number of Iraqi Security Forces units capable of operating independently. (However:) ISF performance has generally been adequate, particularly when units are partnered with Coalition Forces.

16. Ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made satisfactory progress toward ensuring that the rights of minority political parties in the Iraqi legislature are protected.

17. Allocating and spending $10 billion in Iraqi revenues for reconstruction projects, including delivery of essential services, on an equitable basis.

Assessment: The Iraqi Government is making satisfactory progress in allocating funds to ministries and provinces, but even if the full $10 billion capital budget is allocated, spending units will not be able to spend all these funds by the end of 2007.

18. Ensuring that Iraq’s political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the ISF.

Assessment: The Government of Iraq has made unsatisfactory progress in ensuring that Iraq’s political authorities are not undermining or making false accusations against members of the ISF.


The special Grizzly Assessment concludes:

Progress is being made in an environment that is fraught with danger due to foreign influences with the motivation of causing deadly failure. Coalition forces, along with increasingly independent Iraqi forces, are hacking their way together through this dangerous jungle filled with snakes armed with suicide bombs. God bless them - they are doing a great job. All of them. I believe that a reassessment, which I thought I heard is slated for September of 2007, will show substantial improvement.

I understand that we need to look closely at the progress in Iraq and also categorize it. However, I am most puzzled by the demands of my Congress - as they are seemingly incapable of hacking their own way through a paper bag. How dare they stand in judgement of the real people who are putting their very real lives on the line dealing with the hellish reality of neighboring moslem dictatorships and their attempts to create chaos. I am offended by my Congress and I will not vote for any of the incumbents for a long time to come. What about our Congress and their complete lack of benchmarks?

Iraq needs more time and our support.

God Bless America. God Bless a free Iraq.

Link

13 Comments:

Blogger tweetey30 said...

They are trying so we cant complain to much right. I have said it before I am not to political but its our childrens future so I am learning slowly here to read what I see. I used to hate politics but like a friend of mine said once its our childrens future and she keeps a real close eye on it. I am glad they are trying over there. Its a slow motion but they are trying at least. We all should be praising them for there effort. Like you said they are coming from a dictatorship so they arent sure of themselves running the country like we do over here with a president and his cabinet. I hope things get better soon for them.

13 July, 2007 11:25  
Blogger MonicaR said...

Tweetey, I came late to the appreciation of politics myself. To me now - it is the greatest spectator sport around. Not only that but we can enter into the fray ourselves.

13 July, 2007 12:17  
Blogger Ann said...

Cubed here.

I cared very little about politics myself until after 9/11, and then I wondered why we couldn't seem to identify the enemy accurately or fight it effectively after the initial occupation of Baghdad.

Methinks we credit Islam with too much in the way of reason and benevolence.

My biggest concerns are 1) the fact that Islam doesn't recognize as valid any laws made by human beings (for example, our Constitution, which it rejects because it is man-made, and not the "word of Allah" as contained in the Koran (which they state must eventually replace the Constitution).

The second worry is that it has taken us around 2400 years to struggle to learn, little by little, the concepts that led to the recognition of such things as "rights" etc.

The Muslims came right out of a profoundly tribal society that had existed from the Stone Age, with no background whatsoever in those ideas that led to things like a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.They just don't acknowledge them as valid ideas.

Islam froze the ancient totalitarian tribal society in a moral context; up to that time, it was a sort of societal convention, but once it had been case in a moral view, then if you reject any part of it, you are a terribly bad person subject to the death penalty.

It's been that way for 1400 years, and personally, I have little hope that the benchmarks will be taken seriously in any Muslim country for a very long time. Once we are out of there, they will slip back into the old ways, I'm afraid.

It's easy for us to see the good in them, but then, we've been working on the basic ideas for 2400 years, while they still reject them.

I would love to be wrong... With any luck, I am.

13 July, 2007 19:58  
Blogger MonicaR said...

That is a sobering thought, Cubed. I hope that you are wrong, too. You could very well be right - -

except for Iraq the Model I would have lost complete hope myself. Except for the Iraqi citizens who ARE standing up against the fanatics, reporting suspicious behavior, catching a guy setting a bomb on the side of the road and beating him down with their shoes until Iraqi Security Forces were able to take custody of him, except for the Iraqi braving the dangers to vote and also to enlist as police and military, the Iraqi government leaders who watch their peers get assassinated yet show up to work the next day with that threat hanging over their head.

I don't know. I think that Iraq is as close to a perfect place in the middle east to shape this vision of freedom. I don't think it could happen in any other islamic country.

I could very well be wrong but I do believe that it is worth the risk to see this through. It is most definitely a risk. I believe that the Iraqis deserve a little extra time with this new strategy. I think the coalition forces men and women, not to mention the Iraqis, who have died in this massive effort demand that extra time now.

I have put a lot of hope in the Iraqis because I see a glimmer of courage and strength that matches the best of us. I pray for them all.

Thanks for coming by, Cubed. I appreciate you sharing what's on your mind.

13 July, 2007 22:30  
Blogger Abouna said...

Grizzly Mama; I find myself siding with "Cubed". There are some societies where the people have been brought up generation after generation where they were taught from the cradle to be submissive to all authority to the point of denying their own wishes. They marry whom their parents tell them to marry, they work at what their parents tell them they are to work at, and then they submit totally to their political leaders, be they tribal or religious.

No matter how vicious and totalitarian their leaders are, and no matter how miserable their lives may be, they will never fully embrace freedom. I saw this with many people in Vietnam. They under went the cruelty of emperors, then the cruelty of the French colonialists, and finally the heavy boot of the communists. It was only a minority who fought for freedom the rest didn't care who controlled them as long as their lives were planned out for them.

The Muslims are the same way, they may say they want freedom, but when it comes down to it, being under Sharia law is preferable to them, because they don't have to think for themselves. If we think that we can bring democracy to the Muslims, we are having a pipe dream. If we did succeed in Iraq, I fear it will only be short lived.

One of the biggest problems with Islam, is that it is a religion lacking any spirituality.

13 July, 2007 23:43  
Blogger MonicaR said...

I agree about islam and it's poisonous effect.

I just see a difference in Iraqis. The tribal thing isn't as apparent - Sunni and Shia intermarry frequently - whole families are a mix of each. They are puzzled at our media for wringing their hands about 'civil war' in Iraq. It makes no sense when looking at Iraqis.

Iraqis were for decades under the boot of an evil dictator. His was a secular government though.

They are fighting for their lives in Iraq against the mad mullahs. The Iraqi are standing up to fight. We have to support them in that effort. They are not lying there whining about the US coming to fix things for them. They are grateful for the help and they are fighting.

We cannot abandon Iraq now. They need more time. I don't know if it will work out in the end but we have to give it some more time. There is a possibility of success and good, strong people (coalition forces and Iraqi forces) are dying in the effort to make that success happen. They deserve our support.

14 July, 2007 01:16  
Blogger City Troll said...

Great piece hon, keep up the good work.

14 July, 2007 10:07  
Blogger Karen said...

Your comment about where's our Congress' benchmarks made me laugh out loud! If only....

Off topic, now, but Monica I think you are a rockin' girl blogger!

15 July, 2007 21:52  
Blogger MonicaR said...

The more I think about it, Karen, the more pissed off I get. Who are those ying-yangs to sit in judgement of ANYBODY?! They're a bunch of crooks and liars. Screw Congress - I can't stand them anymore.

Thanks so much for designating me a rockin' girl blogger! I will be sure to pass it on.

16 July, 2007 00:28  
Blogger Mike's America said...

I don't share the pessimism of two of your commenters.

I do believe that freedom is the highest calling that all people aspire to. Even if it is freedom to follow a backward religion, they still want freedom.

And that's what we are talking about in Iraq.

And still, freedom is just a first step to creating a viable government.

How many years did it take us from the end of our own Revolutionary War until we got our Constitution?

Quite a few!

It's funny that Congress has had six months in office and still hasn't passed the stuff that Nancy Pelosi promised they would do in the first one hundred hours.

It's been less than two months since Congress passed the Iraq funding bill which included the benchmarks and about a month since the surge reached full strength.

How anyone in their right mind, especially someone in a do nothing U.S. Congress could start complaining about the Iraqis is beyond me.

Oh well.... maybe not beyond me... I did say anyone in their "right mind" and that clearly excludes the negative defeatist appeasing terrorist enabling do nothings in Congress.

16 July, 2007 00:41  
Blogger MonicaR said...

I totally agree with you, Mike.

17 July, 2007 00:59  
Blogger Mr. Grey Ghost said...

liberals dont want us to know that there's anything good coming out of Iraq because that would mess their whole agenda up.

19 July, 2007 02:19  
Blogger MonicaR said...

I believe that the left, for all its members professing a love of mankind, does not give one piece of crap about innocent people dying. Millions have died in the past because of what the left has wrought. They just do not care.

20 July, 2007 00:50  

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