phenomenon. nissan pathfinders in iraq have wide rear ends. the nickname is monica, monica lansky. you had this monica phenomenon. driving around town with guys with ak-47 spinning out of them. two weeks later he would find a corpse in a dumpster with holes from power drills and the body. they had been tortured and killed. everybody knew that these were minister interior issued vehicles, but they were being used by militiamen or police acting in conjunction with militiamen. so i don't want to minimize suffering. certainly innocent civilians suffered much more in terms of numeric representation. the city population began to feel threatened intolerable. in the first two years resistance groups are very confident in their ability to
get rid of the americans. their attitude was very contemptuous. they had never ruled iraq. there are persons. they are uneducated. they didn't really believe that the order was going to stay. .. we handed iraq over to the iranians. why the iranians? in the eyes of many, portia are not arabs. they're turning it -- persians. the they are iraqi nationals.
many have a strong shi'ite identity as well as the iranians. they sympathize with them. . they didn't lose the american surge. they love black and decker. what do i mean by that? he had his head cut on. if you find a corpse in iraq marking power drills, a signature of portia militia. then you have a strong cooperation with iraqi police. they pounded and punished cenis neighborhoods to the point where sunnis began to depopulate baghdad. in 2007 it was totally empty. thousands of homes.
the kitchen full of potts. they were in syria and jordan. this was important to stress six months before the surge when they realized they had lost. increasing rhetoric from d.c. about america's pullout. debates between republicans and democrats. it was a lost cause. and the violence of occupation suddenly panicking that the american leads would be slaughtered. and signals from saudi arabia saying americans leave, they will come in to protect you. one more example.
in summer of 2006, in western baghdad, the majority shia with a large sunni minority. other tribes north of baghdad. in summer of 2006, in collaboration with the iraqi army, it was like bosnia. thousands of people in a convoy leaving the neighborhood while americans were watching. in western baghdad the iraqi army used to going to people's homes especially sunni homes and arrest the husband that ran them and force women to have sex with them to release their husbands. i don't want to make it sound like only shiites are brutal. others were shattering at a higher rate. they had the american military and the iraqi army and the body army.
they had numbers to defeat the sunnis. in 2006 or even earlier the americans came to the realization three years too late that the occupation was the problem. the american commander began to describe the american occupation as a problem and our presence is creating antibodies. that was certainly true when the main struggle in iraq, we had resistance groups fighting the americans. by 2006 or even 2005 it wasn't just anti-american but the main circle was a civil war. the americans were always a couple years too late in their realization what was going on. in 2006 they began to pull out. you wouldn't see them anymore. it was occupied but not by any particular security force but what i talked about, people in weird uniforms. melissas at checkpoints and sunni muslims in city
neighborhoods or she at neighborhood and warlords. it felt like somalia. americans are pulling out and their motto, the police and the army, we will stand down. the problem was the iraqi police and iraqi army were participants in the civil war on one side. americans pulled back and the iraqi army going into the city neighborhoods opening fire at random on houses and realized they were going to come in. this civil war could lead to a regional conflict. president bush, two years from the end of his reign was worried about his legacy. he realized the one thing worse than staying was leaving because you had a regional conflict, jordan and saudi arabia and surely iran. it would be much worse.
you had this in the realization that they lost an attempt in the past by sunni militia men to fight al qaeda who came in to iraq. it was very affective against the americans because of the suicide bombers and a self-defense militias because it was so brutal but it was also brittle against the sunni population. in the and bar province it was disrupting smuggling routes and forcing tribal leaders to hand their women over as wives. was imposing these tough rules. elsewhere al qaeda began to be a very oppressive phenomenon even for sunnis who were dependent on it for self defense. past attempts by melissa men to fight al qaeda particularly in 2005 in the and bar province but the sunni tribe men who rose up against them were slaughtered because americans stood by and
watch. in 2006. six months before general david petraeus arrived, the awakened and phenomena in. americans were a little more subtle in the way they viewed iraq. maybe two or three times now be personal no longer see things as black and white good guys and bad guys. they began to cut deals with local power brokers. then you had the awakening phenomenon. americans found third re tribal leader and acts highway robber. they announced he was a tribal leader and empowered him and protected him and used his men as in former's and began to fight al qaeda indy and our problems and this phenomenon spread through the rest of iraq very quickly just as in the past sunni resistance troops learned from each other and one group --
blew up the americans and use of that happening all over the place. they were oppressed by the shiites, americans and al qaeda. they began to be the least of all evils and sometimes even a savior for iraqis. general david petraeus arrived in january of 2007 initiating the surge. it was ostensibly to increase troops by 30,000. in the implementation of a new tactic called counterinsurgency. the mantra was we are not going to focus on killing the enemy but protecting the population and tempting them with incentives to separate themselves from the insurgents and work with us. the reality during the surge is three times this many civilians
killed by americans as before so that did not see a population center direct population. there were killed with increased air strikes. q fire artillery sometimes in populated areas but the iraqis were so desperate to end the civil war that we were able to absorb these. the key factor initially was the sunni cease-fire in 2006 continuing into 2007. they put down their weapons but were not just neighborhood guards, not really doing much and informing americans about al qaeda. the surge will focus on baghdad. it is in the hands of the army. the mahdi army was a self-defense militia with an ideology with a creed and discipline and became more powerful.
control over their own men acting like mafia dons in the population. once we got rid of different neighborhoods they began to turn on their own people. the army controlled baghdad more or less by the time the surge began and the movement -- they were going to be the target of the americans focusing on baghdad so they decided to raise cease-fire as well and colin refreeze. so the surge will come and go. the leader of the army was concerned because the more criminal activity of his men were giving him a bad name. he began to have this phenomenon, the iceman, bowlen group, a unit within the body army which is going around sucking people. that was the slaying for
assassination. retaken out so the rogue commanders sometimes actually in cooperation with the americans. but the body of army cease-fire occurred in 2007, seven months into the surge where we saw a really huge drop in violence that remains to this day. wasn't the american surge. it was the bloody army cease-fire. it declined in summer of 2007. i was in iraq five weeks ago. the province was the site of the worst atrocities of the civil war. rwanda and bosnia had trouble. quarter of the population was displaced. hundreds of the. s destroyed, totally blown up. sheep and livestock were destroyed. this was continuing into summer of 2007. i visited several villages a few weeks ago that were totally destroyed seven months after the surge began.
until the cease-fire, you had a successful separation of citys and shi'ites. no longer a mixed areas. the social fabric was destroyed possibly forever. a few iraqis were displaced within the country. hundred of thousands of refugees outside of iraq, the iraqis were dying. the militia succeeded and she has had won and beginning to realize they have won. crucially the third factor in the violence was the rise of prime minister malady who came to power and seemed to be an american puppet. he had to flex his muscles and take his role more seriously. he realized al qaeda was taken care of by americans but i have this competition for power. they were unruly or clashing with my own security forces.
and he turned on them. in march of 2008 he declared -- readily he targeted shia neighborhood in baghdad and elsewhere. they're actually losing. americans who had 24 hours notice came to his rescue with helicopter gunships and save the iraqi army because hundreds of soldiers and police were standing down and didn't want to fight their brethren. the americans were the ones who ended up crushing the army. it was seen as a victory and the first time when citys in iraq who loved him grudgingly accepted he had reduced violence. he was a real shift in the way even sunnis and viewed him not to mention middle-class iraqis. he was perceived as a purely sectarian actor and a national
figure because he is devastated the army and the army had recovered from that. the devastation was brutal. american snipers and helicopters were killing women and children but they were also destroyed and for that the iraqis remain grateful for a couple years. then you had an iraqi surge. americans and iraqis purging security forces of their worst elements. the guys who were killing innocent people just for being sued day. this was the main factor in the decline of violence but you take that situation and add the american ingredients. an increase in density of troops in iraq in baghdad. and the concrete walls. these concrete walls, 15 feet tall surrounding neighborhoods reminded people of palestine. it was impressive and destroyed the social fabric. if your kid lived in one neighborhood he couldn't cross
the street because the walls were surrounding him. it actually worked. there's only one entry point and one exit point and melissa men were working with the americans were police or army or american soldiers controlling the entry and exit so they conduct a census in different neighborhoods and figure out who lives where. they can prevent most of them from coming your arms being smuggled in an equally important they can prevent iraqi police from going to city neighborhoods and opening fire on neighborhoods because the wall is not blocked. so the americans froze the game of those of war as they were. and the sunni militia phenomenon was a terrible idea but here you have a civil war and you will add more to the equation. not only that but these melissas, less than a lot of time awakening guys and they say we have two occupations.
the american occupation and iranian occupation. the americans are going to leave but the iranians are going to stay. so we have a cease-fire with them and focus on the shiites so they were openly saying -- i thought they were a very dangerous phenomena in. as soon as the americans begin to transition the iraqi authorities, the iraqi state began to arrest them and decimate them. al qaeda was also starting their revenge. this powerful sunni movement was mostly white out and sunni guerrillas are only powerful when they were under ground. their names were not known. they were swimming among the masses but the sunni population was reduced significantly. in some cases ghost towns and the americans and iraqis have all the data and names and addresses so they could never go underground again.
they're being targeted and arrested and went from being tough guys to being on the run. most of the awakening guys are either in jail or in exile or dead or trying to come to the u.s.. body army declared the cease-fire destroyed by the prime minister with american help. two main militia groups were wiped out an iraqi security forces were pledged from the worst elements and able to build up the security back -- vacuum. we have seen they have more or less been able to control the situation in europe and prime minister maliki with legitimacy has not popularity because he was credited even if it wasn't totally true with being the guy who reduced violence to the terrible levels we have today better than 2006 or 2007. it will be something like mexico or pakistan.
very strong regime. nobody can overthrow it. no one is trying to. there is no ideology contesting the assistance. everyone just want a piece of the pot. better service. we have a strong regime that is a little bit representative, increasingly authoritarian and terrible violence in the streets. it just friends of the law of normal civilians. it is the new normal. in new york for six weeks until several weeks ago. every day i was in baghdad, there were pistols and assassinations with sticky bombs. these were slow magnetic ids. then someone looks at your car and you blow up and nobody knows why. it is happening everywhere. it could be some of its al qaeda inspired trying to undermine government. it could be political parties
fighting each other. it could be secretary general of a hospital and the deputy once your job so he tries to take you out. that is a true story. the violence doesn't threaten the system. it is terrible and people have to adjust. if you are in normal civilian improbably isn't a threat to you because you won't be targeted just for being sunni or portia. the iraqi security forces won't kill you just for being sunni. but they will torture you. if you get arrested it is pretty routine. they will wrap a wet blanket around you and electrocute you and they might demand money from your family. you will confess, go to court, the judge will accept the confession he will go to jail. if you pay enough money you are out of jail. that is the optimistic take on
iraq. none of these factors helped boost violence in iraq from the terrible levels of 2006 and 2007 to the really bad levels of 2010 today. a totally different situation where they're trying to implement the same tactics because americans believe it was a surge and general david petraeus writing a new counterinsurgency doctrine that won the war in iraq. you call that a victory at the price of millions of people displacing their homes. this is the kind of victory in afghanistan. you want more iraqi civilians dying today than afghan civilians so it is no kind of model. the afghans would shutter if they knew what the americans were trying to bring them. iraq at least is better today than it was.
the worst is over. in iraq sunnis were crushed. they were told their new place and were forced to accept it. you now have a new order. especially impossible to reverse it. resistance was dominated by the minority 20% of the population. afghanistan the taliban are dominated -- 40% of the population, largest of the book and spreading into other areas. the taliban don't feel they are losing. they have momentum to control 80% of the country and spreading more and more. no reason for them to feel the seated. you could in theory crush the pest in population or you would be genocidal. with the israelis do that kind of thing. and americans aren't that approval. the only successful
counterinsurgency in modern times is a model of americans -- what they did was take the chinese who were the source of the rebels and move them into concentration camps so that works. then you move them into concentration camps or bomb them but you have to be genocidal to do that and americans are not that brutal. there is no way to crush this population. iraq was relatively easy from an american point of view. it was modern. you have roads. this city of baghdad with most of the population center is grid like. you can control the population. this isn't about protecting people. it is about controlling them so they obey you. in afghanistan the russians had cobble and kandahar and other cities but never the countryside. today the americans have the
cities but the taliban are in the villages. you have thousands and thousands. it was described as a key strategic taliban city and in reality it is a tiny village of 2,000 people. it was like the storming of normandy. many months afterwards we find the taliban is still popular. we have 15,000 others and they are going-there are no roads. individual victories and successes. and to occupy the entire southeast. you can't unite your single individual victories in to one.
that is a key element in the counterinsurgency theory and build the national government to take over for you. in iraq you have maliki huge gained legitimacy to build the security force and restore the militia and civil war. sold ruled that it actually made them look like a better alternative. in afghanistan last thing you want to do is build a government because it is predatory. that is why people are joining the taliban. it is not a beast you want to feed. the americans are foolishly ally in themselves with police forces that will rob people into stores and pay for them. the key element, illegitimate government taking over for you.
we see today the taliban has succeeded in sending emissaries in to the north and spreading into other areas. americans in afghanistan are brutal. anyone who spends time with american troops in afghanistan will hear stories about american soldiers, to make them dance. you saw in iraq if you are an occupying force, the best contention, you could be a girl scout or denmark. you're very presence, you are constantly pointing guns and people because of the humiliation and indignity americans can't understand the people living in palestine and afghanistan can understand. everywhere you go there are foreigners screaming at you in a
language you don't understand, anywhere you go, guns pointing and you. private security contractors. they are arresting your men. they have very poor intelligence. have a time they are arresting your own guys. we spend billions of dollars on the afghan army. the afghan army didn't fight. they chose not to fight in the first surge in 2009. likewise in canada are the americans aren't using the afghan army. there are using the afghan border police. basically a war lord. in 2006 the canadians realized he was so brutal that he turned much of the population to joined the taliban.
using the same war lord today, where is the afghan army we paid for? it didn't show up to the most important operation ever in afghanistan. the americans are blowing up houses. totally destroying the fabric of life. if we are in afghanistan, to be dismantled, with you say al qaeda and did that in 2002 and won the war. and an indigenous movement that might be fundamentalist or might not like the way we did that. historically going back the nineteenth century, it has been the religious students who rise up and fight the occupier. there are poems about taliban fighting the british occupation
a century ago. in the 1980s, these are local students. it reminded me of what i saw. local people fighting for local reasons against a foreign occupier. they are not fighting against the christians or the jews until judgment day. they are fighting for local reasons. fighting for islam, fighting because police are aggressive or one of their young men was going to high school and americans shot him because they thought he was a terrorist. for the most part poor local people, to fight a foreign occupation. why are we spending billions of dollars to fight guys on pickup trucks? how is that a threat? how is it a bigger threat -- what we are doing is pakistan. a much more fragile country and
much more important from a national security point of view. before the americans invaded afghanistan, the pakistani taliban phenomena in. we proceed taliban into pakistan. thanks to that border area we pushed taliban and al qaeda deeper into pakistan and we pushed drug networks in to pakistan which has 100 huge chinese and a permanent home in india so we took a al qaeda which is somehow an army at one point in afghanistan and destroyed it. when we went in there in 2001, al qaeda had a couple thousand guys. you can see them now. pakistan is a better place to hide. infrastructure has cities and you can't go in as americans. why do we have this movement in
afghanistan where al qaeda isn't, i am not say we should not invade but by our own logic it makes no sense to be in afghanistan. more importantly, al qaeda is not that big a threat. they got lucky december 11th. since then, you can't point to any -- they have become an inspiration to people. they are not planning attacks. if we persist with this war on terror to push these policies under obama we are spreading the war into yemen, somaliland elsewhere. the yemeni government is the worst regime in america and we are tying ourselves. bonds and villages fighting shi'ah rebels displacing
hundreds of thousands. weapons and money from the u.s. to use against domestic opposition. no. -- we tie ourselves to them and get deeper and deeper into things with nothing to do with national security. time will take questions. [applause] >> you can recognize questions. please identify yourself when you ask question. [inaudible] >> foreign policy regarding iraq
and afghanistan. >> only 40,000. there will be a long time presence in iraq training the iraqi military air force, that kind of thing. you can't call iraq and occupied country any more. in afghanistan, afghanistan is a political problem. at some point you have to recognize negotiating with the taliban dissolution. little taliban commanders might seem like a good thing but these taliban commanders of the ones who are much more moderate, able to be pressured by the community and tribal elders and also probably have more ties with the
taliban commander in pakistan. you are replacing them with more radical guys who don't have these ties. it will be much harder to ago she with them and you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy that they will be tied to al qaeda. the taliban in afghanistan are different from the taliban in pakistan. the taliban in afghanistan are afghan controlled. pakistani taliban a little bit different. in some cases more links to al qaeda. you only had in history one afghan who tried to attack the u.s.. he was tied to the pakistani taliban and lived his life in the u.s.. obviously to people in afghanistan. you have to recognize negotiating with them is the only solution.
the hamid karzai government, not much better than the taliban. we don't see any of that. in canada are we see not only counterinsurgency, but what reminds you of what the russians -- and massive military power. there's a solution of radicalization of the taliban. this is not the nasty and -- natural constituency. and what should be done. we would have to know lockerbie who we are to see any hope in the middle east which means we have to stop supporting israel and its occupation of palestine with dictatorship in egypt and saudi arabia and pakistan and
elsewhere. is inconceivable in foreign policy. i am a journalist and have a problem finding business. >> one of the things that is more interesting about the transition in iraqi government is the relationship between miley key and looked on all solder. it is interesting this new relationship. you don't really hear that name in this country without being preceded by anti-american cleric in any context. it creates an interesting perspective. i don't see him as anti-american. as most understand this phrase. speak a moment about the perception of mcdonough house honor has anti-american. and what that means for our perspective. >> the competition we had today,
a friend who lives in london flew from london to new york and they ask are you sunni or she'll or solder city? at the airport in jfk u.s. car you shi'ite? my family is. i you from solder city? this is a true story and pretty weird. they were worried about a threat from solder city. yet they had the occupation with a strong dislike for america because of the occupation and support for israel but it is an iraqi nationalist group. because they were marginalized they went for support and it was an existential reason to undermine the american occupation because they train the militia to have a better blow up of american vehicles was a better target.
there are class differences and the constituency is more middle-class. he destroyed the law the army and was brittle and continues to arrest sort of arbitrarily but for a while it was a surprise that -- he allied himself but they hated -- he didn't want to depend on them. they pulled out and no one else depends on them for blackmail against him. even though it was a deal with some sunni parties those parties were being pressured not to compromise. one thing i forgot to mention that is interesting is what we saw in the last election was and
that iran -- saudi arabia and turkey, this was formed with saudi money and turkish organizations which created. there was pressure from different countries in the region who were funding the sunni parties in the list not to compromise or sell out but they were going to sell about eventually. it is better to be in the government that outside of it. lyndon johnson said it. i don't think it is that big a threat. you do want them in the government. this is a group that when they were marginalized there were pushed to violence but they want to be part of the system. it is and a strong ideology. in the 50s and 60s, back to
communists. there were people -- and the establishment, you have the occupation is more or less gone. you are part of the establishment since 2005. anybody -- the movement which doesn't have any strong wind in the sales of the popularity declined because they are associated with the civil war but it is a movement -- credo feel marginalized. the americans really fear them almost irrationally but in iraq this is only a social movement. the only grass-roots movement.
there was a little sympathy for them as a result. sort of saying to the occupation of the attack in that direction. it is a welcome development have long as we don't get the army or some kind of security force which everyone knows is a horrible idea. >> you talk about the modification of the middle east. and the spillover affect of iraq and afghanistan. what about lebanon and arab parts of the middle east? >> iraq would be lebanon -- lebanon is a sectarian system.
sectarianism is not yet -- the resources is to go through the sectarian groups. there is sectarianism and militia which reminded us of lebanon. but the sort of new phenomenon, we can blame the americans for that and a civil war in iraq. i will get to that. lebanon was the most sensitive to place because it was a very big state and had a strong militia. the prime minister who was assassinated, nobody knows by whom in 2005 which really recreated the way they've thought about themselves.
in the whole region a sunni revival, there has been a revival as well. in 2006, hezbollah defeated israel as well. became the most powerful movement in the arab world and a real fresh to the sunni dictatorships because of what it stood for. a challenge to american region and it was a popular movement, a populist movement of social justice. and stagnant regime in saudi arabia and elsewhere that were collaborating with americans and israelis and costing them legitimacy. they couldn't play the arab nationalist part so they sold out but had to undermine hezbollah so they played the shia card. the persians are coming and will take over the world. the saudi control of the production of culture and media in the arab world, they have
been working hard on spreading fear of portia throughout the world and lebanon was successful because you had strong shi'ah military force. they just lost the prime minister, they corrupt -- and the sunni population felt very weak and you had a al qaeda guys from iraq who were basically defeated beginning to come into lebanon and take advantage of the weak state and palestinian camps and lack of law and order and put themselves in lebanon. you had different groups in lebanon sponsored by saudi arabia to take advantage of the al qaeda guys. they were mostly focused on hoping they could fight palestine. what we have seen in lebanon since 2006/2007 are clashes between sunni and shia on the
streets and culminated in 2008 when sunni militias were dispatched and defeated in 24 hours. the education remains. as long as hezbollah is on the side of americans and saudis the one group saying you don't have to compromise, you can defeat or humiliate israel, it will be an embarrassment to saudi arabia which totally sell about in terms of arab nationalism. they will undermine the fear which is not becoming more serious threat in the arab world, you see shea ats being arrested and there's a significant shia minority. in kuwait we see sunni and persius strikes becoming worse than ever but as a result of this aggressive -- third developing more of an aggressive
identity. future comforts in the region will be a result of this tension and iraq may be deeply involved because in iraq you have a strong confident she a state. nobody likes -- the defense will push to the americans to be the only friend but the saudi plates hate maliki and the ruling elite. being so primitive and backwards. they call them camel riders. you can imagine the iraqi military becomes stronger the future clashes happening between the iraqi army and developed arabs and the battle of lebanon, as long as israel exists and has bowlegs this you will have this strong military force on the hezbollah side. sunnis increasingly weary of it are going to turn on them.
there's no history or evidence for them to be concerned about hezbollah turning on them but that is the agitation. the fear of shiites in the region whereas before we saw it mostly in pakistan. >> i was talking to a few people in the green zone and the way they describe it but it sounds like an american compound. they have their own parties and don't go out in this city, the kind of security, besides of the embassy. what exactly comprises what is going on? there is no obligation -- can you clarify? >> it changed over the years. when the americans came in they took over a neighborhood which used to be where the iraqi government was based.
as it deteriorated they build higher walls and based security until it became difficult to be in the iraqi government or working with the americans or foreigners. but over a year ago, and they want to reduce their numbers so there was a point where american soldiers were swimming in pools. that was a weird sight. they used to be -- under said tom's regime as well. and all kinds of companies working on construction but these days it has all been reduced. construction of iraq giving up on that project. the iraqi state controls the green zone. the whole thing is off bar and
large communities of americans living outside the city is sort of over but you have the embassy which is a huge portrait and you can't walk around baghdad so they rely on american military support to take them out. and they rely on american military to stick them around. saw for foreigners living in the green zone iraq is a red zone. journalists working in the red zone, it is just the rest of iraq. to them it is a place where they can see when they go in a tall building and look at the rest of iraq. scary place for them. it is really skewed the way americans see iraq. as scary place where gains are
going to get you. the threat of kidnapping is much lower. it is very active in brussels and at midnight, until then, throughout the city, streets are packed with people shopping which is a good sign that people feel more comfortable about their security. american journalists tend to celebrate when they see muslims are drinking liquor. their civilized. what it means is they are afraid of militias blowing up the liquor shops. you no longer have militia activity of the kind from 2003 to 2008. anybody have a liquor shop throw a grenade and they still have liquor shops. i don't think that is a sign of
progress but people feel more secure. in the green zone these days, it can't get liquor in liquor shops and americans have this embassy and they are removed from the rest of the city and no idea what is going on. they are so traumatized by what happened in 2003 but they don't know what is going on. they are afraid to go out or be attacked again. they were in the iraqis blame them for the sanctions. the whole phenomenon has come to an end because the infrastructure that came with the security culture and of war profiteers have gone down and now you can stay in a normal hotel if you are a businessman. >> what do you think will be the outcome if the u.s. attacks iran in the next year or two?
>> i don't think the u.s. is going to attack iran. the republicans won that kind of a war. but obama is just trying to figure out how to get out of afghanistan. the attack on iran, depending on how severe, if the regime itself is threatened, the regime has nothing to lose, against saudi arabia, if it is is really is flying over saudi arabia to attack iran, are they relying on them? those really suffer as a result of that but americans are soft targets in iraq and obviously in afghanistan many americans, iran could hit we could disrupt oil in the region, halt shipping and
activate shi'ah groups in kuwait. what you see is preemptive israeli strike on hezbollah and beat the past tunes up a bit more. sunni regimes in the gulf, saudi arabia, crackdown on their population more than they already have. that will only increase anger and you can see tremendous increase in violence in the region. iraq would be very comfortable because the iraqi regime might not be pure iranian but they have a good relationship with iran. iran can undermine things in iraq if they want to. it would be a catastrophe. the iranian military is not the iraqi military. it would not stand down.
they don't hate the regime. millions of people in iran hoping the government is destroyed by the americans the way you did in much of iraq. you would see a regional conflict developing. but it is very unlikely. the americans are so over tax right now. the military is exhausted. we have this national debt which is limiting what we can do. the americans hoped to have -- they call it enduring baseds then what they have. they were hoping to have one, they closed it down because they can't afford to keep it there. they are limited in part by the national debt and economic crisis. a nation which has no appetite for this kind of war. >> power has this conflict and violence in iraq and afghanistan
affected the conflict in israel and palestine or has it? >> that is a good question. are don't quite know. i think you certainly here is really rhetoric when they are criticized for porche during palestinians, occupation for bombing lebanese civilians, or saying look at what the americans are doing in afghanistan. look at abu ghraib for torturin
it has been the other way around. one of the motivating factors to invade iraq was defense of israel. the road to peace and israel goes to baghdad. if we defeat this regime we will be able to put in a puppet and who will be pro is real and enough pipeline from iraq, so i think it wasn't the main reason the u.s. went to war with iraq. everyone has a reason. 9/11 provided the pretext. the defense of israel's position in the region is one of america's main motives for what it does in the middle east. certainly that was the factor in the water on iraq but it was hard for me to think about how iraq is affected by the conflict with israel. do you have any ideas? there must be something.
[inaudible] >> it is so separate. the american occupation, how incompetent it was but they had american officers visiting israel in 2004 and lessons learned to see how the israelis occupy and control a populated area but even have the west bank, it is awesome in an evil sense when you see the level of population control, just defeated and crushed spirit of the palestinians in the west bank. every town surrounded by walls, much bigger than the walls i saw in iraq. it is impenetrable. if you if you're head it will get crushed by the israelis and palestinian authority. the first national movement that collaborates with the occupier trying to liberate itself from. we have seen signs of al qaeda
inspired groups trying to develop in gaza. but hamas has crushed them because the last thing they want. one reason we have not seen much spillover in iraq and afghanistan is in the short term unfortunately israel has won. they proved that in gaza. they will get crushed brutally. everything will be destroyed. people in the west bank watching this, in the short term they learned that lesson. if you resist you will be destroyed. it is an untenable situation in the long term. what we do see is a continuation of the trend that goes back a few decades. there is no more leftist resistance. this course of the only language of resistance whether it is