Tuesday, December 12, 2006

 

My Turn

Okay, the ISG gave us their plan for fixing Iraq. The neocons hated it, Don Rumsfeld hasn't read it, the progressive blogs think it's a joke or a kabuki or something, and George W. Bush asked zero questions when it was presented to him and hasn't indicated that he'll actually do anything that's recommended in it, even though the only thing that saved the GOP from a complete electoral meltdown last month was the prospect that we were going to change course in Iraq once the ISG report came out.

So now it's my turn.

I have had a few discussions recently with friends and family where I have urged a withdrawal from Iraq, and the comeback has been: how can you run the risk of the pure anarchy (and possible regional war), not to mention the increased possibility of unrestrained terror plotting in an American-less Iraq? And it's true, I think, that as bad as the situation is there (and it's probably among the worst over an extended period of time for civilians that I can think of, but my history isn't as good as it should be; still, it's one three-year-plus-long period of terror) it could conceivably get even bloodier for the Iraqis.

The problem is, it is still a mess over there. And all reason, to me, points to the idea that our presence is actually making things worse there. Notwithstanding all our high-flown rhetoric of freedom and democracy, we are plainly at this point an occupying power (some claim reluctantly so), and as such, we would have to be fools not to follow the age-old truism that in order to rule a foreign land, you must divide. Divide and rule. We would be stupid, in some sense, NOT to encourage discord among the various sects in Iraq, because I'm pretty sure that in a purely peaceful Iraq, none of them would want us to build permanent bases, which we have built. And it wasn't so long ago that the Shiite al Sadr was making overtures toward the Sunni insurgency, and that doesn't seem to be as much of a priority these days. We should consider ourselves lucky that Americans get only 3-4 military deaths a day, while Iraqis get hundreds. Imagine if they aimed all their energies toward killing us (not that our overall casualty figures are that low - 22,000 wounded, not counting illnesses).

All this is to say that it's obvious to me that Bush wouldn't get out even if the gettin' we good. Permanent bases being the key here. Ergo, in order to "fix" Iraq, our number one order of business MUST be at the top. Not waiting 25 more months for 2000 more Americans to die and another hundred thousand Iraqis. As soon as possible. George Bush and Dick Cheney must resign. If they fail to do so, they must be impeached. Anyone who doesn't think it's feasible to convict doesn't have much faith in Americans. I can promise you that the more people realize that Bush isn't shifting directions despite a 21% approval rating of his policy, the more impeachment will seem like a viable option. And once that gets started, it only takes some Democratic political bravery and a whole lot of Republicans fighting for their political lives. I say this should happen by March.

Then President Pelosi must take her Armani suits directly to the Hague for an international conference on Iraq. She should state up front that the Americans will withdraw from Iraq on a quick and specific time table, for that country's and that region's benefit. If there truly is concern that foreign fighters are destabilizing Iraq, she should call for an international force to seal off the borders. Finally, she must insist on the dismantling of the death squads by NATO, the UN, or whoever takes over in Iraq. If countries seem hesitent to do this, she should threaten them with the reinstatement of George W. Bush. Also, we will pay for any associated costs.

She should follow this up by a renewed effort to resolve the Israel/Palestinian question; a reevaluation of our relations with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iran, Syria, and Pakistan; and an international call for Islam to fix Islam - specifically, those forces within Islam that encourage terrorist violence.

She should apologize for the death to civilians and others caused by this unjust war.

She should call for Saddam Hussein's retrial (and certain conviction) at the Hague, to be followed by Rumsfeld's. As for Bush and Cheney, while I can't see any argument against their indictment for war crimes, I still can't seem to get my mind around the idea of them in prison. Perhaps because they have such powerful allies. I am perfectly fine seeing them wither away and be known finally as the two worst leaders in American history.

Then, I believe, we might start seeing things in Iraq improve.

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