Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Meanwhile, In Iraq...

The NY Times reports that "Three months after the start of the Baghdad security plan that has added thousands of American and Iraqi troops to the capital, they control fewer than one-third of the city’s neighborhoods, far short of the initial goal for the operation, according to some commanders and an internal military assessment."

Well, that was... predictable.

But have no fear, says Gen. Petraeus... the real surge hasn't even started yet. Wooooo!

Meanwhile, while our leaders dither, the British government obviously gets it-
...A senior military official told The Sunday Telegraph: "Britain is not physically capable of fighting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at the same time. The question is: which do we give up? The Government and the defence chiefs have decided that we should give up Iraq.

"There is an agreed timetable, a glide path, which will see a complete unilateral withdrawal in 12 months."...

Military pragmatism? Sounds like a bunch of defeatocrats to me.

Hey speaking of 'defeatocrats', blogger Matthew Yglesias takes on the ridiculous beltway logic of people like the Washington Post's editorial board that there's no difference between the Democrats and Republicans on that issue. Says Yglesias, "But there's obviously a huge difference between the Bush/Romney approach of defining the United States as locked in endless combat with an amorphous and endlessly-growing set of frightening Muslims and saying you're going to dedicate serious energy to focusing on and targeting al-Qaeda. These aren't just different things, they're opposing sentiments."

The problem is that people have so fully bought into the Bush administration bumper-sticker view of this matter that they don't understand why those sentiments are opposed to each other. The former is a counterproductive farce created for domestic/jingoistic purposes; the latter is a practical foreign policy strategy.

Finally, the Washington Monthly's Kevin Drum rips into the conventional wisdom that a full withdrawal would be bad and that we should leave small forces behind. That suggestion misses the point, he says. It's "a big enough number to keep the Arab public convinced that we intend a permanent imperial presence in the region, but too small a number to accomplish anything effective... A much better option would be to draw down nearly to zero, keeping troops and air support nearby but not physically within Iraq. Otherwise the pressure to intervene will rear its head constantly and Iraq will remain the festering centerpiece of American foreign policy, preventing us from devoting our attention to more serious issues. We can't afford that, and neither can Iraq."

Think we'll be debating that in September? If 'yes', you give Congress too much credit.

[PS- Now Turkey is getting involved?? Oh, what a lovely war we have.]

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