Wednesday, December 6, 2006

So the report is out at last...

... and contrary to the New York Times' pre-release "leak", it's not an endorsement of stay-the-course.

It's boiled down into three points:

(1) Change US military strategy from security to training- make the Iraqi army and police solely responsible for stopping the insurgency / civil war.

PROBLEM #1: A large portion, perhaps the greater portion, of the Iraqi armed forces are also members of the same sectarian militias which seek to establish national dominance through terror and murder.

PROBLEM #2: The Iraqi constitution limits the powers of the central government, making it difficult for the central government to exercise police powers within the various districts at the best of times.

(2) Make it crystal clear to the Iraqi government that, if they do not do what is necessary to pacify the country- rebuild infrastructure, establish law, keep the peace- that the United States will withdraw support for that government.

PROBLEM #3: The Iraqi government, in large part, is composed of the leaders of the militia forces which are the main CAUSE of the violence, and as such have no interest in the government being successful unless said government is under the control of their particular faction.

PROBLEM #4: Saudi Arabia has publicly stated that, should the US pull out of Iraq, it will immediately invade to establish stability itself.

(3) Scrap current diplomatic policies (which are essentially the total lack of diplomacy) and call together Iraq's neighbors and convince them to aid in the stabilization of Iraq.

PROBLEM #5: The two leading players in such a situation here would be Syria and Iran, neither of which want a stable Iraq.

PROBLEM #6: Talking to Syria and Iran would require concessions on the part of the United States. This would essentially involve giving up a democratic Lebanon in favor of a Hezbollah regime and abandoning efforts to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons capability.

PROBLEM #7: The Iraqi government has stated that it will not accept the interference of any of its neighbors in its internal affairs, nor will it support a multi-nation conference on Iraq.

From where I sit, these proposals have no hope whatever.

Not that it matters- Bush will reject or ignore them as much as he can. He won't budge on demarche to Syria and Iran; he won't withdraw troops; and he won't hold the Iraqi government accountable. In fact- and this is a joke- Tony Snow's first post-report press briefing has the White House claiming that it's already doing the things the report calls for.

The facts are very simple. We cannot impose peace on the Iraqis. Most of the Iraqi government we installed wants us gone and will oppose us any way it can. There is nothing more our troops can accomplish in Iraq; it's time for them to come home now.

The Baker Commission has utterly failed to recognize this... in fact, it's utterly failed, period.

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