Veteran blogger (and much wiser man than I), Bill C. of thoughts on the eve, points me to an interesting web site, Project on Defense Alternatives (PDA), and an article there entitled "400 days and out: A strategy for resolving the Iraq impasse". Coupla clips:
The key to enabling total US troop withdrawal from Iraq within 400 days is achieving a political accord with Sunni leaders at all levels and with Iraq's neighbors - especially Syria and Iran. The proximal aim would be to immediately lower the level of conflict inside Iraq by constricting both active and passive support for the insurgency, inside and outside the country. This would allow the United States to shift resources to the training mission and to adopt other de-escalatory measures - most importantly: a withdrawal time line. The strategic price of this diplomatic initiative would be a return to self-governance in Sunni areas, a guaranteed level of representation for these areas in the national assembly, an end to broad-brush measures of de-Baathification, an amnesty for most indigenous insurgents and for most former Baathists, and a de-escalation of the US confrontation with Syria and Iran regarding a range of issues . . .I encourage you to read the piece; it's pretty reasonable and clearly written. I do think "American success at the tactical level, which is undeniable . . ." is a laughable statement, however.
None of the coalition's successes in killing or capturing foreign terrorist leaders or former regime members have dented the insurgency. Those neutralized without apparent effect include Saddam Hussein, his sons, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan (purported to be a key financier of the insurgency), dozens of other former leading Baathists, and several high-ranking associates of terrorist leader Abu Musab Zarqawi. During the past two years, thousands of insurgents have been reported killed and many thousands more Iraqis have been imprisoned and interrogated. And yet the insurgency has not only persisted, but grown. In other words: American success at the tactical level, which is undeniable, has not led to progress at the campaign or strategic levels. Indeed, military operations seem to be having a negative effect, on balance. This tends to disconfirm the Bush administration and Pentagon view that the insurgency is narrowly based . . .
I have some serious problems with what I think are the author's main arguments for staying there for awhile - the notions that (1) the Iraqi security resources are presently insufficient and (2) the occupation forces are capable of and necessary to the rebuilding of those resources. Frankly, I think the Iraqis can take care of themselves just fine. The occupation hasn't shown that it's capable of much of anything except getting blown up by car bombs and feeding the armed resistance.
I'm just fucking weary to death of any attempts to be "intellectually reasonable" in the face of wholesale psychosis. Let me make myself crystal clear:
1. The US-led invasion of Iraq was from its inception several years before "9/11" an evil deed perpetrated by evil people for evil reasons;
2. The evil is geometrically compounded by the lies of those evil people;
3. No righteous people have anything to gain by continued occupation;
4. There is not one iota of evidence that continued occupation will make anything better.
Just think what might happen if the US government and military immediately did the following: (1) started packing; (2) apologized to the Iraqis and the rest of the world (didn't the Japanese do that after WWII?) and promised not to do this kind of thing again; (3) donated enough food, medicine, building supplies and equipment, and whatever else the Iraqis need for the next three years; (4) left the country.
American intellectual hubris and narcissism continues to sicken me.
(Thanks to Reuters/Mohammed Khodor and Muslim Wake Up! for the photo.)