17 December 2006

Send In The Clowns

The Wise Men of Washington call for more troops.

[McCain] said conditions in some areas of Iraq
have improved since his last visit in March, but
"I believe there is still a compelling reason to
have an increase in troops here in Baghdad and
in Anbar province in order to bring the sectarian
violence under control" and to "allow the
political process to proceed."

Two other senators in the delegation, Joseph
Lieberman, D-Conn., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,
said they agreed.

"We need more, not less, U.S. troops here,"
Lieberman said.

After nearly four years and 3,000 dead American soldiers,
President Bush is ready to hear suggestions about how to
deal with Iraq.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said
Thursday that Bush will seek more information
from a variety of sources, including members of
the Iraqi government, Pentagon and the National
Security Council, which is coordinating the
administration's review of its war policy.

The result could make or break the United States'
push for democracy in Iraq, according to those
who have participated in the review.

"We've basically got about one more chance to
get this right," said Stephen Biddle, a senior
fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations who
attended a White House meeting with Bush on

Said Snow: "The endpoint of what's going on
right now is not a speech, it's policy. It is a way
forward where the president will be instructing
those involved to do things differently than they
are doing now."

Keep in mind, this is all happening after firing “the finest
Secretary of Defense this nation has ever had.”

Meanwhile, the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group Report
spells out quite clearly that the only hope for any sort of
success in the region rests upon diplomacy, not military
strength. Joe Conason offered a helpful reminder in his
latest column.

What deserved far greater attention, however,
was the most important of the Baker-Hamilton
committee's conclusions: namely, that there is
no military solution to the American dilemma in
Iraq, and that the only way out is negotiation. In
the study group's report, most references to this
reality appear under the euphemistic category
known as "national reconciliation."

The section of recommendations for security and
military forces, for example, begins with a clear
admonition: "There is no action the American
military can take that, by itself, can bring about
success in Iraq." Which is obvious enough,
except to a few politicians and commentators
urging an impossible escalation of tens of
thousands of additional troops. Then the same
section goes on to urge the Iraqi government --
as the report repeatedly does throughout its 100
pages -- to "accelerate the urgently needed
national reconciliation program to which it has
already committed." In other words, any
changes in military policy are ancillary to
negotiations among the warring factions (and
their foreign sponsors). Actually, the report is
quite explicit in demanding that the authorities in
Baghdad and Washington sit down with their
armed opponents to talk about every relevant
issue -- including the date for the withdrawal of
American troops.

But that’s not going to happen. And most Americans, like
Atrios, understand why.

I know I'm just a dirty fucking hippie with the
stupidest blog on the internets, but I've known
for a long time that Iraq is not going to magically
get better and that George Bush isn't going to
leave because he equates leaving with losing.
One of the biggest disappointments with our
broader political class is due to the failure of
them to understand this rather obvious point.
George Bush is stubborn and incompetent,
wishes are not ponies, and hope is not a plan.