Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

November 19, 2006

Not Possible

In his post So This is the Secret Plan to End the War, my fellow Blue Voice Bruce, quoted this from the Guardian's Simon Tisdall:

"You've got to remember, whatever the Democrats say, it's Bush still calling the shots. He believes it's a matter of political will. That's what [Henry] Kissinger told him. And he's going to stick with it,"... He [Bush] is in a state of denial about Iraq. Nobody else is any more. But he is. But he knows he's got less than a year, maybe six months, to make it work. If it fails, I expect the withdrawal process to begin next fall."
Well, today we have this:

Military victory is no longer possible in Iraq, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said in a television interview broadcast Sunday.

Kissinger presented a bleak vision of Iraq, saying the U.S. government must enter into dialogue with Iraq's regional neighbors -- including Iran -- if progress is to be made in the region.

"If you mean by 'military victory' an Iraqi government that can be established and whose writ runs across the whole country, that gets the civil war under control and sectarian violence under control in a time period that the political processes of the democracies will support, I don't believe that is possible," he told the British Broadcasting Corp.
Now that Kissinger has lost his "political will", will Bush follow suit? I doubt it, after he said this in Vietnam, of all places:

"It's just going to take a long period of time for the ideology that is hopeful _ and that is an ideology of freedom _ to overcome an ideology of hate," Bush said after having lunch at his lakeside hotel with Australian Prime Minister John Howard, one of America's strongest allies in Iraq, Vietnam and other conflicts.

"We'll succeed," Bush added, "unless we quit."
As long as Bush is in office, we will never leave Iraq; he has said so many times. He thinks the mere act of leaving is a sign of defeat, and to an insecure bully like him, a direct affront to his manhood.

The Iraq Study Group is just cover to minimize the political damage of his relentless pursuit of this ill-fated policy. Note that there are no Arabic-speaking, Middle Eastern experts in the bunch. Not one. And if Brian Tisdall's sources are correct, note also that their four-point strategy does not include any discussion of redeployment or gradual withdrawal but actually an addition of 20,000 troops for a "last push".

How sound is this strategy which is also echoed by John McCain? Fareed Zakaria, no liberal thinker himself, lays waste to that theory:

ZAKARIA: Senator McCain who I have a lot of respect and like him has been saying for three years we needed more troops. His policy today will not work. We have enough troops to go after Muqtada al-Sadr, the key Shiite religious leader whose militia is causing us this trouble. We can’t do it because the Iraqi government won’t let us. It is causing enormous political pressure. So right now we have an Iraqi government that does not allow us to search for our own soldier. We had to abandon a search, is in cahoots with a shiite militia that has captured americans. The point is not here that you need a military or political solution. Obviously you need both. The point is we have an iraqi government that cannot, will not make any of the decisions that will supplement this military.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if we had more troops it wouldn’t work?

ZAKARIA: There is no question that if you had more troops and still can’t go after the militias, can’t offer amnesty to the Sunni insurgents, the core political decisions we have to make do not depend on more troops but political compromises that this government, this ruling coalition can’t make. Sending in more troops in that context is just willing more american deaths.

posted at 11:50 AM by Wonky Muse

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"Sapere Aude."
(Dare to Know)
-- Epistularum Liber Primus, Horace

Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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