Adéu a Nihil Obstat | Hola a The Catalan Analyst

Després de 13 anys d'escriure en aquest bloc pràcticament sense interrumpció, avui el dono per clausurat. Això no vol dir que m'hagi jubilat de la xarxa, sinó que he passat el relleu a un altra bloc que segueix la mateixa línia del Nihil Obstat. Es tracta del bloc The Catalan Analyst i del compte de Twitter del mateix nom: @CatalanAnalyst Us recomano que els seguiu.

Moltes gràcies a tots per haver-me seguit amb tanta fidelitat durant tots aquests anys.

dilluns, 10 de desembre de 2007

Els temps estan canviant

L'Iraq està fent que els temps estiguin canviant acceleradament. Però no precisament en la direcció que la internacional mediàtica i la progressia autista desitjaria.

En només quinze dies, dues de les vaques sagrades del front antiguerra els han llançat un gerro d'aigua freda. El congresista John Murtha, el més radical dels demòcrates antiguerra, va tornar de l'Iraq la setmana passada reconeixent que l'operació de seguretat funcionava; mentre que el general John Batiste, que havia tornat de l'Iraq per sumar-se al moviment antiguerra i havia criticat durament l'exsecretari de Defensa, Donald Rumsfeld, acaba d'escriure un article al Washington Post amb Pete Hegseth, director de l'organització favorable a la intervenció militar Vets for Freedom, assegurant que l'estratègia de Petraeus funcionava i que no és el moment de retirar-se de l'Iraq o d'aturar el finançament de la guerra.

First, the United States must be successful in the fight against worldwide Islamic extremism. We have seen this ruthless enemy firsthand, and its global ambitions are undeniable. This struggle, the Long War, will probably take decades to prosecute. Failure is not an option.

Second, whether or not we like it, Iraq is central to that fight. We cannot walk away from our strategic interests in the region. Iraq cannot become a staging ground for Islamic extremism or be dominated by other powers in the region, such as Iran and Syria. A premature or precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, without the requisite stability and security, is likely to cause the violence there -- which has decreased substantially but is still present -- to cascade into an even larger humanitarian crisis.

Third, the counterinsurgency campaign led by Gen. David Petraeus is the correct approach in Iraq. It is showing promise of success and, if continued, will provide the Iraqi government the opportunities it desperately needs to stabilize its country. Ultimately, however, these military gains must be cemented with regional and global diplomacy, political reconciliation, and economic recovery -- tools yet sufficiently utilized. Today's tactical gains in Iraq -- while a necessary pre-condition for political reconciliation -- will crumble without a deliberate and comprehensive strategy.

Fourth, our strategy in fighting the Long War must address Iran. Much has been made this week of the intelligence judgments that Iran has stopped its weapons program. No matter what, Iran must not be permitted to become a nuclear power. All options should be exhausted before we use military force, but force, nonetheless, should never be off the table. Diplomatic efforts -- from a position of strength, both regionally and globally -- must be used to engage our friends and coerce our enemies to apply pressure on the Iranian regime.

Fifth, our military capabilities need to match our national strategy. Our military is stretched thin and will be hard-pressed to maintain its current cycle of deployments. At this critical juncture, we cannot afford to be weak. Numbers and capacity matter.

Però, fixeu-vos com han d'anar de bé les coses a l'Iraq, que el primer ministre britànic, Gordon Brown, de visita nadalenca als soldats britànics, no ha pogut estar-se'n de comunicar-los la bona nova: "LA GUERRA S'HA ACABAT!".

GORDON Brown yesterday delivered a stirring festive message to Our Boys in Iraq: “Happy Christmas – war is over.” The PM was cheered as he praised UK troops and revealed combat operations in Basra will end “within two weeks”. Iraqi forces will take over as the 4,500-strong British force switches from front-line duties to a training role. By early next year, our contingent in Southern Iraq will be cut to 2,500 – and may be withdrawn completely in March. The PM broke the good news in a flying visit to Iraq. He landed at the Army’ s base at Basra airport in darkness in an RAF Hercules transporter plane.

Minutes later he spoke to Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki. He then gave a rousing speech to 300 squaddies after shaking hands with them all. To warm applause, he told them the region – the last under British control in Iraq – would be handed back to the Iraqis in a fortnight.He said: “The Prime Minister of Iraq has asked me to pass on his thanks to you for helping to rebuild the democracy of Iraq. “This is because of the operations over the last month that you have been involved in. “The security situation has not only improved, but he is able to tell me he will now be recommending a move to a provisional Iraqi control within two weeks.

Mentre tant, continua el retorn de refugiats i exiliats. A la província d'Al Anbar, que havia sigut una de les més violentes i insegures de l'Iraq, EL 30% DELS DESPLAÇATS JA HI HAN TORNAT:

Residents shop for clothes and shoes in Baghdad's Karrada commercial district December 8, 2007
Nearly 30% of the displaced families in the Sunni Anbar province returned home over the past two months, a spokesman for Anbar's tribal awakening council said on Saturday.

"Many displaced families returned to their homes in the cities of Ramadi, Falluja, Hit, Haditha, and Aana over the past two months because of the improvements in the security situation," Sheikh Falih Abu Risha told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq (VOI).

"Efforts are underway to provide all returnees with their needs and ensure a normal life for them," Abu Risha indicated, calling on those still displaced to return to their cities of origin in the province.The awakening councils are anti-Qaeda fighters working in coordination with the Multi-National Force (MNF) and the Iraqi government.

Fins i tot, i senyal inequívoc del canvi dels temps, el cardenal de Bagdad, Emmanuel III Delly, ha celebrat ja la primera missa dominical a l'Iraq, un país musulmà.

(Via Barcepundit, GatewayPundit i Extrême-centre)

ADDENDA.- 150 joves iraquians participen en la primera cursa ciclista a Faluja, una ciutat que havia estat una base d'Al Qaeda a l'Iraq.