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Sunday, January 09, 2005

How many things are wrong with this? Let us count the ways. But first, the offending paragraphs:

'Mr. Scowcroft said the situation in Iraq raised the fundamental question of "whether we get out now." He urged Mr. Bush to tell the Europeans on a trip to Europe next month: "I can't keep the American people doing this alone. And what do you think would happen if we pulled American troops out right now?"'

'In short, he was suggesting that Mr. Bush raise the specter that Iraq could collapse without a major foreign presence - exactly the rationale the administration has used for its current policy.'

1.) This is the height of American haughtiness. If we look at the larger picture, here's what we get -- The U.S. starts a war against the wishes of a large majority of the world's nations (don't forget Poland!), and especially most of the major European powers. Not only that, but in the process it snubs these nations, saying that they're unimportant, that the larger world body of which they're a member failed at its task (when it didn't), and that the U.S. can do it alone anyway. The war doesn't go according to plan, resulting instead in a rising body count and the withdrawl of many of those nations which supported the U.S. in the first place. Now, the U.S. is considering fomenting a civil war by training small strike groups as a counter-insurgency force. This move will certainly deepen the conflict and (as Robert Fisk has noted in the past) create a civil war in a nation with no history of such. And now, after all of that, the U.S. wants to pull out of this mess and wants the rest of the world to step in and essentially take its place. Somehow, that doesn't appear to be very appealing.

2.) Veiled threats are not a good way to make friends in the world. The jist of Scowcroft's argument is that if the rest of the world doesn't help the U.S., then the U.S. is simply going to leave and the world gets what it deserves. That's so blatantly wrong that I'll refrain from further comment.

3.) Note the argument put forth by Scowcroft -- America can't stay in Iraq much longer because the American people won't continue to support the president. A couple of posts down I said " me the war in Iraq and the Administration's running of the war are more reactions to and tools for American politics." Iraq has served its political usefulness for Bush, and is now ripe to be discarded. This is a consistent trend in the administration, namely, that ideas and programs serve only to produce positive political outcomes. Once those goals are served, they are tossed aside or completely forgotten or never funded. I have no reason to believe that the war in Iraq is any different.

Andrew 10:02 PM : |


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