November 21, 2006

IF IT WORKS, CHANGE IT (via Kevin Whited):

Time for a Heavier Footprint: More American troops are needed to break the cycle of violence in Iraq. (Frederick W. Kagan & William Kristol, 11/27/2006, Weekly Standard)

[A]bizaid and Casey are now captive of their successes. They are rightly impressed by these improvements and hope that continuing the policy that brought them will lead to further successes. They see validation for their conviction that victory lies first, last, and always with the Iraqis. They also have an almost theological devotion to the "light footprint" theory that U.S. troop presence and visibility need to be minimized, and to the "dependency" theory that too many U.S. troops provide an excuse for Iraqis not to step up.

Abizaid and Casey haven't rethought these views even as they've been mugged by the reality that lack of security does more damage than a heavy footprint, and that failure is more of a threat to responsible Iraqi behavior than dependency. But, just as important, they underestimate the changes that have occurred in Iraq since the February bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra--changes that threaten to unravel the successes achieved so far. In response to the clear fact that sectarian violence is unhinging the effort to turn responsibility for security over to the Iraqis, Abizaid simply demands an acceleration of that transition. This is a recipe for disaster.


Sadly, it is the Neocons who have not rethought the reality that the Sunni refuse to be governed by Shi'ites even if outnumbered 8-2. As is the wont of intellectuals, they want to save a vision that exists in their own heads irrespective of experience on the ground.

MORE:
Republic of Dreams: When the Americans arrived in Iraq, many hoped that their dreams of freedom would come true. Instead, the country has become a daily nightmare. Three Iraqi writers and translators tell their harrowing stories. (Omar Ghanim Fathi, Der Spiegel)

The U.S. Army, on the other hand, we know for sure is not an abstract entity; it is a bunch of people, every one of them different from the others. They are under very, very intense pressure. People hate them, people are attacking them, and of course this pressure can lead to many mistakes. They destroyed everything and thought they could rebuild from scratch. Maybe this could have worked if people loved Americans or understood what they were doing. But people already hated America.

America should have removed Saddam and appointed a strong government right away. It would have been another dictatorship, but a different kind. It could have imposed martial law, then done the job that the Americans were not able to do, which was to cut power away from the old system by removing those people who might become terrorists in the future.

After four to eight years, we could have had an election, and the new government could have started working on the basis of the new Constitution. Then Iraqi society could have taken baby steps down the long road to democracy and liberty. As it was, the Iraqi people, who had no experience with civilian government or democratic systems, misused these things.

Now Iraq's problems will not be solved without a long and bloody civil war. The fragments that will emerge should practice democracy by choosing their own leaders, away from the influence of the Americans - even if those leaders are terrorists.


Got to drain the pus before you stitch up the wound.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 21, 2006 11:36 AM
Comments

Hang this around Maverick's neck and be done w/him:

McCain-Soros Toppled GOP Candidates

The Republicans lost because they were too conservative." "No, not conservative enough." "They lost because they disappointed the religious right." "No, because they are too tied to the religious right."

Many of us feel the loss was due to what I call "McCain-Soros."

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=18025

Posted by: Sandy P at November 21, 2006 12:08 PM

Republicans lost because they ran on an unpopular war instead of a good economy. They're stuck in a 9-11 mindset.

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2006 12:13 PM

How can you run on a great economy when 30% of the 'old' media will be unemployed in the next 3 or 4 years?

Should Bush have shot off fireworks from the White House roof each night? Should Henry Paulson punch out Lou Dobbs at 6:05 PM on CNN?

Posted by: ratbert at November 21, 2006 12:25 PM

How can you run on a great economy when 30% of the 'old' media will be unemployed in the next 3 or 4 years?

Should Bush have shot off fireworks from the White House roof each night? Should Henry Paulson punch out Lou Dobbs at 6:05 PM on CNN?

Posted by: ratbert at November 21, 2006 12:27 PM

And President McCain will have these knuckleheads as advisors.

We'd better hope Iraq is done by then, otherwise McCain will be playing LBJ to W's JFK . . . with Hillary as Nixon waiting in the wings?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at November 21, 2006 12:37 PM

Ratbert:

Should Bush have shot off fireworks from the White House roof each night? Should Henry Paulson punch out Lou Dobbs at 6:05 PM on CNN?

I fully support the proposed programs.

Posted by: Mike Earl at November 21, 2006 1:21 PM

Henry who?

Posted by: oj at November 21, 2006 4:06 PM

Mike:

Part Three involves Lawrence Lindsay squatting on Robert Rubin until he cries 'uncle'.

I laughed last week when Rubin announced taxes need to go up as soon as possible. He's a real one-note melody.

Posted by: ratbert at November 21, 2006 10:29 PM
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