Monday, January 08, 2007

Catch 22 of Iraq

From the Chris Nelson report--linked via WashingtonNote for Friday Jan.5th:

In stepping back to survey the situation in Iraq. . .and not just US politics. . .you can see that for whatever set of reasons you chose to credit, the Administration now appears trapped in a classic "Catch 22" situation: in order to reach the political resolution needed to restore military stability, military stability is needed; but it can't get military stability until it has a real political solution in action.

If you watch Sens. Joe Biden (D-DL, incoming Chair Senate Foreign Relations Comm). and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Meet the Press yesterday, you'll see this 22 writ large. Biden says you need a political solution first, then military. Graham you need security before a political solution. Whose right? As Nelson correctly points out--they both are. You need a political solution before you need a military solution and security before a political solution (hence you need a military solution before you need a political solution simultaneous to needing a military solution before a political one).

I'm still very much convinced that Bush wants to pass the buck off to the next prez--possibly the thought being a Dem wins has to pull the withdrawal and then the Dems can forever be burdened with this War's failure (unbelievably but it could easily happen) like Vietnam.

Bush, whether by his fault and/or others, has backed himself and the US occupation into a very isolated corner of which I see no good way out.

In a related story, the Senate Dems have manuevers planned.

1. Congressional Oversight Sens. Biden (Foreign Relations) and Levin (D-MI Armed Services) with the not-so-secret backing of Reps. like Richard Lugar (R-IN) will have a month of hearings. The Administration is going to look badly I think when this comes around--wasted moneys, bad-sleezy contracts (e.g. Halliburton), no Reconstruction, anger within the miiltary ranks (funneled through Retired Generals).

2.And this possibly more serious move: denying funding for surge. Biden on MTP seemed to be against that but House Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Leader Harry Reid have made comments today suggesting this is a possibility. Story here. Don't know how this sits with me. It's too bad the Baker-Hamilton failed in policy recommendations because Bush has gone surge only, no-diplomacy, and Dems are heading towards just leave. The diplomacy track is getting no proper play. What B-H did succeed in was detailing that the post-war stabilization is lost and has been for some time. Even Bush has had to realize this although he thinks a Hail Mary Pass, as Biden called it, can work instead.

With surge or no, the US is leaving at some point within the next 2-3 years. Iran and Syria (and more broadly Russia and China) are still not bought into a larger security structure. Shia-Sunni violence is spreading across the ME and while Sec. Rice is going to make an effort on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, minus Hamas/Hezbollah, forget about it.

With this loss of the middle ground, the Repulicans (like Graham) correctly point out Pelosi/Reid have no thoughts beyond withdrawal. What happens after we leave and the Civil War flares up and the US is responsible for genocide in Iraq? If we leave I would predict death toll would jump over 1 million.

The surge optionists (McCain, Bush, Graham) have no answer to the fact that this surge is not going to work and then what? And then the US leaves in a position even weaker then we would now sending the clear signal to jihadis to fight even harder, that the US is bloodied and US presence/influence in the ME will be reduced to next to nothing for this utopian democractic dream.


Post a Comment

<< Home