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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 1-Jul-2009
Brookings Institution does a full reversal on Iraq war

Web Log - July, 2009

Brookings Institution does a full reversal on Iraq war

As Americans withdraw from cities, Brookings admits there's no civil war.

In December 2006, I quoted Brookings Institution analyst Ken Pollack as saying, "Iraq is in a dangerous state, and it's headed for a Bosnia or Lebanon state of all-out civil war."

I commented on this quote as follows:

"Now this is exactly what Generational Dynamics tells is impossible. Iraq is in a generational Awakening era, just one generation past the genocidal Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s. Now, you can call anything a civil war if you want, and if you want to call terrorist acts by non-Iraqis a civil war, then you can do it. But it is ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE for Iraq to spiral into a state of all-out civil war like Bosnia in the 1990s or Lebanon in the 1980s. It has never happened in history, during a generational Awakening era, and cannot happen now.

This is why journalists, pundits and politicians keep getting their predictions wrong. You'd think that Ken Pollack was some sort of expert, but he has NO IDEA what's going on. He simply made that "fact" up, because he and all these other journalists and pundits make ideological predictions, and they have as much chance of getting them right as if they flipped a coin. As I wrote a few days ago, Thomas Friedman and other pundits have gotten one prediction wrong after another. Generational Dynamics is the only methodology which has produced correct predictions, and this is the only web site in the world that tells you what's going on in the world, and what's going to happen."

Now, 2 years later, US soldiers are withdrawing from Iraqi cities, and security duties are being taken over by Iraqi forces. It's still my expectation that US forces will be in Iraq for years to come, but there will not be a civil war in Iraq's generational Awakening era.

Now, Brookings appears finally to agree. Michael E. O'Hanlon of Brookings writes the following:

"Violence is not increasing in a strategically significant way. There have been several spikes this year but, in retrospect, all wound up being isolated incidents. Violence levels remain 90 percent reduced relative to pre-surge levels. The country is still quite troubled, but it is no longer in the grips of civil war and is unlikely to return to that sad state. There probably have been extra efforts by extremists to use violence in these recent, momentous days, with the goal of creating a snowball effect by making Iraqi citizens worry that the change in the U.S. role is leading to a security vacuum. But this will probably wind up being seen as nothing but a tragic yet containable set of ruthless bombings, and, in fact, there is no security vacuum. There does not appear to be any ripple effect of attack followed by revenge attack followed by counterrevenge attack, so I believe the extremists are failing."

This is a grudging admission by O'Hanlon, who attempts to hedge by saying that there is "no longer" a civil war, as if there ever was.

Number of civilian casualties in Iraq, May 2003 to present <font size=-2>(Source:</font>
Number of civilian casualties in Iraq, May 2003 to present (Source:

Related Articles

Iraqi 'Civil War'
Brookings Institution does a full reversal on Iraq war: As Americans withdraw from cities, Brookings admits there's no civil war.... (1-Jul-2009)
On "60 Minutes," Bob Woodward makes ridiculous claims about Iraq.: He says the surge succeeded because of some magic new military technique.... (7-Sep-2008)
Iraq's Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr turns from arms to "culture": This follows several Sunni "Tribal Awakenings" to expel al-Qaeda.... (10-Aug-2008)
Obama continues to damage his candidacy with his Iraq policy.: Obama is hurting himself by bobbing and weaving on the success of the "surge."... (27-Jul-2008)
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Iraqi Sunnis are turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq : This is exactly the kind of thing that generational theory predicts. (1-Apr-2007)
Robert Gates on "civil war" in Iraq.: Following the release of the Iraq National Intelligence Estimate on Friday,... (2-Feb-07)
News as theatre: NBC announces it will call Iraq war a "civil war": On Monday morning on the "Today Show,"... (29-Nov-06)
Debate over civil war in Iraq rages over semantics: An actual crisis civil war in Iraq is impossible, but it's now embroiled in the November elections,... (23-Aug-06)
Washington becomes hysterical again over an Iraqi 'civil war' : A civil war in Iraq is impossible, as I've said many times, because only one generation has passed since the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s. Here's some additional historical information. (7-Aug-2006)
Bombing of 1200 year old Shi'ite mosque inflames Iraq to the verge of massive civil war rhetoric: Shi'ites conducted over 90 revenge attacks on Sunni shrines on Wednesday,... (23-Feb-06)
Iraqi Sunni and Shi'ite clerics call for restraint: Analysts, pundits and journalists are still predicting civil war, and they're still getting it wrong.... (23-May-05)
Brent Scowcroft predicts an "incipient civil war" for Iraq: Pundits are returning to wishful thinking as the January 30 election approaches... (09-Jan-05)
Al-Sadr's Shi'ite militia fighters turn in their weapons: The war in Iraq took a significant turn this week when the Shi'ite militias agreed to disarm,... (13-Oct-04)
The press is talking about another "uprising" in Iraq. Yawn.: Nothing shows more how clueless the press is about what's going on in Iraq than this constant talk about civil war and uprisings.... (7-Aug-04)
Iraq Today vs 1960s America (Revised): They have much in common: Bombings, assassinations, student demonstrations, violent riots, calls for insurrection and civil war and harsh rhetoric. That's much more than a coincidence. (8-May-2004)
What Iraqi Civil War?: Early in 2003, I predicted that there would be no popular uprising against the Americans, and that there would be no civil war. After the overthrow of Saddam, I said that an Iraqi civil war was impossible. Despite the constant near-hysteria of the politicians, journalists and high-priced analysts, I've been right so far. Here's why. (09-Apr-04)
Terrorist suicide bombings in Iraq may backfire against terrorists: During an awakening period, terrorist acts cause masses of people to shrink from more violence. (19-Aug-03)

But the above graph from a new report (PDF) on Iraq from Brookings gives the lie to this hedging. The graph shows the number of civilian casualties each month since 2003.

Ken Pollack made his original prediction, that Iraq was headed for a major civil war like the ones in Lebanon and Bosnia, in December 2006, at the height of the casualties. As you can see from the graph, Pollack's prediction was almost a cue to Iraq, as the number of casualties collapsed immediately after his prediction, at the time when President Bush's "surge" took hold. And now, finally, US forces are withdrawing from Iraqi cities.

It must be a bitter pill for Brookings' O'Hanlon now to have to admit that there's no civil war, as politicians, journalists and analysts on the left were predicting.

It was at this time that NBC "news" put on a huge dog-and-pony show, declaring that the Iraq war was a civil war, and that the US would lose.

Organizations like NBC News and the New York Times were swimming in the sewer, allying themselves with the terrorists in Iraq, with the purpose of defeating and humiliating the US in Iraq. Their actions were shameful beyond belief, and were close to treason.

At least the Brookings Institution has been able to bite the bullet and make at least a half-hearted admission that they were wrong. But not NBC News or the New York Times, who are still suffering from what one pundit has called "Bush Derangement Syndrome," where their hatred of President Bush is so great and so vitriolic that they almost can't think of anything else.

The people at the New York Times are certainly still suffering from Bush Derangement Syndrome, if we're to judge from an article on the US withdrawal, containing the following bizarre paragraph:

"Seizing on the desperation of Sunni insurgents, foreign fighters were able to entrench themselves in the neighborhood. Those fighters, who Ahmed said were aligned with Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, a mostly homegrown Sunni insurgent group that American intelligence says is foreign-led, were not only brutal in battling Shiites but also in enforcing control over Sunni residents."

The first bizarre thing is the reference to "Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia." This phrase was uniquely adopted by the NYT to avoid admitting that al-Qaeda was in Iraq. The organization was actually called "Al-Qaeda in Iraq," and it was not homegrown at all. It was led by Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who imported suicide bombers from Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries. I wrote about all this in my April 2007 analysis, "Iraqi Sunnis are turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq," which was a much better analysis that anything that came out of NBC News, the New York Times, or the Brookings Insitution.

It was in August, 2003, that I nervously wrote my first major prediction about Iraq in, "Terrorist suicide bombings in Iraq may backfire against terrorists." The predictions that I posted in that article, and repeated many times since then about Iraq and many other countries, have all turned out to be true, or are trending true. Not a single Generational Dynamics prediction has turned out to be wrong.

Once again, as has happened many times since I set up this web site almost seven years ago, Generational Dynamics has been proven to be correct, while the analysts have been proven wrong. (See "List of major Generational Dynamics predictions," and "Generational Dynamics forecasting methodology.") This is not because I have any psychic capability or political skills (I have none of either), but because the Generational Dynamics methodology works consistently.

One thing that hasn't changed is that, Generational Dynamics is still the only methodology which has produced correct predictions and, after almost seven years, this is still the only web site in the world that tells you what's going on in the world, and what's going to happen. In fact, there is no other web site in the world like this one. (1-Jul-2009) Permanent Link
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