GregD over at Belgravia Dispatch has been thinking about Iraq policy.
It’s grossly negligent (at best) that American kids are dying for strategic incoherence on such an epic scale. If I were a diplomat at the State Department, I’d probably resign in protest rather than continue to serve an Administration bleeding American lives so irresponsibly. Arming Sunni militias (sorry, Concerned Citizens Programmes) rather than the National Army, as nascent and pitable as this last is, will almost certainly lead to more intensified Sunni–Shi’a fighting. Meantime, these bolstered Sunni forces (some of them simply ex-Baathists we supposedly went in to topple) will eventually be fighting for primacy against the very Government we’ve been trying to prop up in Baghdad. I find this mind-boggling in its short-sightedness and lack of overarching strategic direction (unless we’ve truly become Machiavellian, and are plotting to return the Sunnis to power to contain Iran!)
Yon Bradrocket hath a plan:
Next week, I expect to read that we’ve started releasing packs of hungry bears and pumas loose in Baghdad to ensure that neither the Sadrists nor the ex-Baathists get too much of an upper hand.
I think it’s brilliant.
What, you have a better idea?
Krauthammer sure thinks he does:
We should have given up on Nouri al-Maliki long ago and begun to work with other parties in the Iraqi parliament to bring down the government, yielding either a new coalition of less sectarian parties or, as Pollack has suggested, new elections.
The choice is difficult because replacing the Maliki government will take time and because there is no guarantee of ultimate political success. Nonetheless, continuing the surge while finally trying to change the central government is the most rational choice because the only available alternative is defeat — a defeat that is not at all inevitable and that would be both catastrophic and self-inflicted.
What I see here is a Future Republican Talking Point a-borning. “The Surge would have worked if only the Iraqi government had a real leader instead of Nouri al-Maliki.”
So basically, we’re going to either:
a.) Topple the Iraqi government through “other parties” in the country (*COUGH!* Military coup! Go Chalabi! *COUGH!*)
b.) Force the Iraqis to vote until they elect a government we approve of.
That seems to be the plan.
In other words, “Democratize, you stupid bitchez, and that means elect somebody we like, or we’ll water-board your sorry asses ’til you do.”
Me, I like the Bears and Pumas. It makes about as much sense as partitioning the place.
UPDATE: Ooooh! Now it’s a full-on pledge drive.
Together, we can make a difference.