Wednesday, November 1, 2006

A Made-to-Order Exit Policy in Iraq

The elected Iraqi government is probably too weak to stand, but additional time in this political impasse won't make it stronger. Malaki, desperate to keep the various factions within his fragile government talking to one another and equally anxious to keep his post as Prime Minister, wants us gone. The Iraqi majority want us gone. The American majority want us gone.

Bushmaliki Wimp-fever has more hold on Iraq policy than a flu pandemic these days. Republicans have soured on their staying of an impossible course and the Democrats can’t come up with anything much beyond shivering in the corner, because there isn’t anything to offer that’s of value. Neither party dares suggest this mightiest military power on earth is whipped.
And now, they no longer need worry about that issue, because Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has come to the rescue like John Wayne galloping in on horseback.
Iraqblockadelift Maliki has demanded American troops stand down from roadblocks and checkpoints, particularly in Sadr City, but generally throughout Baghdad and (presumably) the rest of the country as well. They are doing just that—re-coiling the concertina wire, packing up the traffic cones and removing themselves as easy targets to car-bombers.
No ‘cut and run’ in this, just a recognition of the sovereignty of a duly elected government to cut it’s own throat. I’m not sure if the order applies to entry points to the Green Zone Maliki dares not leave, but the orderly withdrawal of the American and coalition military is on the table if we have the sense to accept it.
The result of our leaving
  • Will finally enable us to call the civil war that engulfs Iraq--a Civil War.
  • Assures the Iraq we hoped to turn into an Arabic democracy will lie in ruins (if a more ruined condition than now exists there is possible).
  • Exacerbates the ‘ethnic cleansing’ (the politically correct word for genocide) of Sunni Muslims whenever and wherever they can be found.
  • Will hurry the Kurds to close off and declare independent their part of the country.
  • Assures that Moqtada al-Sadr will lead his militia, the Mahdi Army, against the various warlord militias of Iraq and the outcome (whichever side wins) will be another Middle Eastern theocracy.
  • Will, for once and for all, showcase the democratically elected parliament in Iraq as being an emperor with no clothes and an enforced political entity that the nation and the Arab world in general is decades from actually attaining.
The result of our staying is the same. All who have any close knowledge of this three-year fiasco know it. The last deniers standing are the shamed ‘decision makers’ who announced “mission accomplished” so woefully short of their misguided and unobtainable goal.
Iraqimaliki We went in (ostensibly) to liberate Iraq and 70% of the Iraqis want us to go home immediately, if not sooner. Maliki has asked us out and we should honor his request, as well as the desire of a majority of Iraqi citizens by leaving.
The Prime Minister's’s National Reconciliation Plan, some five months old now, entailed
  • A timetable for withdrawal of occupation troops from Iraq.
  • Amnesty for all insurgents who attacked U.S. and Iraqi military targets.
  • Release of all security detainees from U.S. and Iraqi prisons.
  • Compensation for victims of coalition military operations.
Much of that was softened at the insistence of Washington and various Iraqi factions within the government, but the principles hold and Maliki announced the release of 2,500 security detainees during June as a gesture to insurgents. Washington has a hard time admitting that the major civil disturbance (if not civil war) in Iraq is carried out, not by terrorists in the terms that we understand terrorism, but by factional death squads within the Iraqi Army and the police.
Carbombbaghdad_1 Both are major sources of terror(ism) for Iraqi citizens. Even so, they want us out. They desperately hope that wothout American troops in their country, things will settle down. That's probably a misguided hope, but it is theirs and they cling to it. Who can blame them in the chaos of beheadings and ritual executions that carry with them the stench of police complicity?
According to a NewsWeek article,
The distinction between insurgents and terrorists is one of the key principles in the document, and is in response to Sunni politicians' demands that the "national resistance" should not be punished for what they see as legitimate self-defense in attacks against a foreign occupying power. Principle No. 19 calls for "Recognizing the legitimacy of the national resistance and differentiating or separating it from terrorism" while "encouraging the national resistance to enroll in the political process and recognizing the necessity of the participation of the national resistance in the national reconciliation dialogue."
The elected Iraqi government is probably too weak to stand, but additional time in this political impasse won't make it stronger. Malaki, desperate to keep the various factions within his fragile government talking to one another and equally anxious to keep his post as Prime Minister, wants us gone. The Iraqi majority want us gone. The American majority want us gone.
Another opportunity to be ‘asked’ to leave may be a long time coming. The result will be the same, stay or leave, except for the continued sacrifice of American troops and Iraqi citizens. The errors of this war were many and might have played out differently had a better understanding of Muslim culture informed our strategic and tactical decisions. They did not.
Time to accept the demand of the legitimately elected Iraqi government, while there still is a government, and get the hell out.
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Media positions on the Malaki demand;