Instead, Iraq’s politicians — and their American backers — have squandered the time and the best efforts of American troops. Mr. Bush’s generals are so frustrated that they’ve begun to complain publicly about the fecklessness of Iraq’s leaders. The ever-feckless White House, rather than looking for ways to compel Iraq’s leaders to perform, is lessening the pressure.I noted here my reactions and the consequences are accelerating, not so much on the ground in Iraq, but politically here.
The news has cheered Americans and dampened Democrats’ enthusiasm for keeping up the pressure on Iraq policy.This isn't about some political gamesmanship for Democrats, it is about what it is that we're trying to do. BushCo has kept the goalposts in nearly constant motion from the run-up to the war. The war right is jumping up and down, 'told ya defeatocrats, it works,' and the Democrats are getting ready to flinch. Try to get this, we are where we were in '05 only ethnic cleansing has progressed. The Sunnis in al-Anbar are not our allies, they have found a piece of common ground in the fabric of the total. Do folks remember "enemy of my enemy"? As long as al-Qaeda is the enemy of the moment things are fine, what happens when their enemy is the Maliki government? They are now better armed than ever before.
There was supposed to be some endpoint purpose to 30,000 troops and the death and suffering, in fact
Perhaps 160,000 American troops could hold down the overall casualty numbers indefinitely, but they cannot wipe away that sort of hatred. That’s the job of Iraq’s leaders. Either way, the American military doesn’t have enough troops for such an occupation without end, and the American Treasury can’t keep spending $10 billion a month to maintain it.
Americans need to ask themselves the questions Mr. Bush is refusing to answer: Is this country signing on to keep the peace in Iraq indefinitely? If so, how many American and Iraqi deaths a month are an acceptable price? If not, what’s the plan for getting out?The NYT take on this is a bit more generous than mine, I don't believe BushCo's agenda actually has anything to do with the moving stated goals. If any of what has been said had anything to do with their intentions, they would have pursued those actual goals. Iraqis passing a budget is not about fixing what ails Iraq, it may have to do with accounting and spending, but in that morass of corruption and waste it is nearly no more than PR. What ails Iraq is that the only solution seen by all parties is force.
Guns and bombs and murders are not politics, they are the failure of politics and in the absence of any politics in Iraq they are the available tools. They are the available tools to the US and and the Iraqis and they are the status quo from late 2003. It really isn't too difficult to look at conditions which 'require' the presence of US troops continually to wonder about the actual goals of BushCo. The Democrats in Congress, and the few 'responsible Republicans,' need to stop and think about what all this means to our soldiers and Treasury. None of that begins to look at the consequences to the Middle East of an enduring US occupation of one of their nations.
Finally, those 30,000 troops have to start coming home or the military will be irretrievably broken and once that influence is removed the other tools of the Iraqis will come back into play. That may presage another surge, one of violence.