Sunday, August 14, 2005

Penalty for Early Withdrawal

From Atrios: The problem is that the jingosphere who are well represented in the administration believes that as long as the insurgents want us to "get out" then we can't get out because that would be doing what they want.

So we are already back to this point, huh? Really, in the scope of history, the United States is like that best friend who’s really talented but has some serious addiction problems. They go straight for a while and it’s all good, then it’s back to the spike and all your friends watch you go through the same depraved steps all over again.

This step? The Declare-Victory-And-Go-Home phase. About two weeks ago, the AP’s military writer Bonny Robert Burns broke this story:
“The Pentagon is laying the groundwork for beginning a withdrawal from Iraq, even as it is weighing the risk of moving so quickly that Iraqi security forces collapse without U.S. support.

The benefits of a U.S. drawdown are pretty clear. Fewer troops would likely mean fewer casualties and less strain on the Army and Marine Corps, which already are stretched thin. And it would lessen the degree to which the presence of foreign forces fuels an anti-U.S. insurgency.”

This also comes at a time of new poll numbers that show most Americans believe that a half-trained rhesus monkey, or perhaps a small ball of drier lint could do a better job of handling the Iraq and national security than Maximum Leader.

Beware the Ides of March, W. Right now, your clout on the hill is getting a little thin, I’m thinking. Hence a run up to a hasty retreat from Mesopotamia? And that’s what this would be, nothing more; the U.S. military, due to lack of decent civilian political leadership is going to get run out of Iraq by a handful of Iraqi thrillbillies and a few guest stars.

Oh, sure, we’ll have the big victory homecoming parade, with yellow ribbons, marching bands, heroic music and “Mission Accomplished” banners everywhere. We’ll talk about the stunning performance of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines in breaking the back of Saddam Huessein’s military, capturing the Butcher of Baghdad, killing his two murderous sons and so on…

And what will we leave behind? Several million righteously mad and terrified Iraqis Sunnis, Shi’a and Kurds, a legacy of our own torture chambers and rape rooms to replace Saddam Hussein’s, a bloody civil war, that will almost certainly end with the creation of another Islamo-facist fundamentalist state, much like Iran, except for a semi-autonomous Kurdistan, which itself will destabilize due to the Turkish government’s inability to cope with the needs of their own Kurdish minority, along with water and oil money they will potentially be losing if a real independent Kurdistan movement gets going.

According to the Burns piece, the draw down of troops would start right after the elections for the new government in Iraq. Of course, that would be predicated on the actual existence of a new government in Iraq. Given that they don’t look like they are anywhere near being able to complete a new Iraqi constitution by the August 15 deadline, there is some legitimate questions about whether there will be a new government for anyone to vote for come the fall.

And of course, that would also be assuming that the Iraqi military was certified as combat ready and the that the current insurgency/proto civil war doesn’t get any worse, especially with the prodding of Iran, Syria or Wahabist-backed groups from the Saudi Peninsula or Pakistan.

Even now the signs of retreat advance, even though Sec Def. Rummy has yet to proclaim the victory, there are omens and portends that we are preparing to tuck tail and run from what even the administration insiders are now probably admitting to themselves was one of the worst geo-political blunders since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan… oh, hey that’s right, we’re playing that game there, too. So wemay have two of them back to back…sweet!

You might have noticed lately that the rhetoric has changed somewhat from “destroy all monsters” to “the Iraqi army needs to destroy all monsters.” Rummy has been publicly saying of late that the Iraq insurgency is an Iraqi problem and his commanders on the ground have been telling him this for a couple of years now.

Some other portends brought up by Burns:

One; after setting up shop and hanging out the “Open for Business” shingle, U.S. Ambassador to the new Caliphate of Baghdad, Zalmav Khalilzad announced the creation of a new joint task force to deal with security issues, primarily in a way that transfers the responsibility from the U.S. forces to the Iraqi forces, allowing for a “phased pullout” in the ambassadors own words.

Next, there was the hand over of a complete area in the Divala Province northeast of Baghdad to Iraqi police and a brigade of the 5th Iraqi Army Division. A spokesman for Gen. George Casey said the transition was an example of how the Iraqi units were learning to fight without U.S. help. In spite of the fact that desertion is still rampant and that many units are reporting that they are rife with insurgent sympathizers and moles.

Finally, last Monday, Mowaffak Rubaie, the Iraqi Naitonal Security Advisor said that several more stable cities in the north and south have been identified and are ready for pull backs of U.S. and British forces, predominantly in places like Karbala and Najaf as well as the more predominantly Kurdish north.

But there is still a larger picture to see here. Why, after all the talk does W suddenly need to get the hell out of Iraq as quickly as possible? Is he really worried that the poll numbers indicate that people just don’t like him that much? Hey, politicians have this weird fetish to be liked by people, so that could be a strong psychological motivator.

But there is an even bigger reason. Namely 535 reasons, collectively called the U.S. Congress, especially the House of Representatives. These people have to start gearing up for reelection here within the next few weeks. Labor day is right around the corner, and those who don’t have a complete machine in place by Thanksgiving can pretty much just start sending out resumes. And the last thing they need as they head into a contentious election season is for this lemon of a foreign policy blunder to be hung around their necks.

Sure, they will stand shoulder to shoulder with the President for the photo op, (and even those are getting scarce) but in private, it is said, they are complaining bitterly about the lack of a clear victory in the war and the public’s perception of the war, or more to the point, the complete incompetence of the Bush Administration in handling the public perception of the war, much less its actual prosecution.

And moreover, a lot of these guys are worried about decorated Blue Staters getting home from the war and deciding they can run things better in Congress than their Chickenhawk incumbents. Already the GOP attack machine is running 110 percent on the reactors to try to deal with this situation.

And now you have mouth-breathing scumbags like Rush Limbaugh viciously attacking Democrats in uniform, like Marine Corps officer and Iraqi War vet Paul Hackett who nearly upset a highly favored Republican candidate in a special Congressional election in Ohio earlier this month. Limbaugh accused Hackett of being just another liberal democrat hiding in uniform.

Hey Rush, I’d rather be a liberal “hiding” in uniform, than being a dirtbag coward trying to hide my Oxycontin-stoned, 12-double-burgers-a-day eatin', lard-encrusted corpulence, all stuffed under my bed crying like a sissy when the call came to serve my country you low-life social retard!

But beyond the mid-term elections, there would only be one reason for the Bush administration to give up on its dreams of a pan-Arab WalMart extending from the Port of Haifa in Israel to all the way to Islamabad in Pakistan. And that’s to make sure that Jeb won’t have to run against his brother’s idiotic failures on the ground in prosecuting a needless and costly war.

But that sort of move would have to come fairly soon. Say, with a full retreat in process by the midterm elections, so that we could start having the victory parades and ginning up the necessary revisions to recent history, so that by 2008, the entire mythology will be complete and Jeb won’t have to worry about being asked about how he’s going to win the war in Iraq that his brother couldn’t.

Of course, Iraq will have completely gone to hell in a handbasket by then, but that will all be the U.N’s fault for letting Iran and Syria sabotage the country once we left with Al Qaeda terrorist cells imported fresh from France. There will be no questioning of the official story, to do so will be an act of treasonous disrespect for our valiant fighting men who defeated the forces of Eurasia in service to the greater good of Oceania, and secure in that knowledge, we will all rest easier knowing that yet another Bush has his hands on the helm.

Of course, the 2008 election will be a mere formality, those results were negotiated years ago…

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