Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush and Iraq

I was really hoping to see President Bush present a plan for Iraq in his State of the Union Address. And he did, in a way… In a way that really disappointed me.

The new political situation in Iraq opens a new phase of our work in that country. At the recommendation of our commanders on the ground, and in consultation with the Iraqi government, we will increasingly focus our efforts on helping prepare more capable Iraqi security forces -- forces with skilled officers, and an effective command structure. As those forces become more self-reliant and take on greater security responsibilities, America and its coalition partners will increasingly be in a supporting role. In the end, Iraqis must be able to defend their own country -- and we will help that proud, new nation secure its liberty.

In short, we're going to replace US troops with Iraqi troops, man-for-man. Iraqi-ization. Then we're going to leave. Where have I seen that plan before? And then what happened a couple years after we pulled out? Iraqi-ization. Then we leave.

To be fair, there was a little more to it,

We are in Iraq to achieve a result: A country that is democratic, representative of all its people, at peace with its neighbors, and able to defend itself. And when that result is achieved, our men and women serving in Iraq will return home with the honor they have earned.

Let's see, A country that is democratic - They voted. Check.

representative of all its people - Ayaaah... What does that mean, really? The Sunnis aren't really represented, but the Shiite leaders seem willing to extend a hand... And heck, we already declared the election a success. Check.

at peace with its neighbors - Check.

and able to defend itself. - That's the open issue. Let's get those guys trained and replacing our troopers in the trenches, and then we're outta there. :/

Really, I was hoping for something better. It still makes a lot of sense to substantially increase US troop strength (the window for international forces doing any good in there is gone now, I think) and really secure the Sunni provinces. The Sunni complaint has always been that there isn't enough security in their areas to protect voters and candidates from revenge killings by insurgents. You can't expect support from people you can't protect.

I'd also like to see more UN and other NGO involvement in creating democratic institutions, an uncorrupt judiciary, and a transparent financial system. And some help making sure the country isn't solely reliant on oil income - develop some trading or manufacturing capabilities, or something. The last thing we need is another Middle Eastern government completely reliant on oil revenue, thus rendering its population superfluous.

And a quicker pace for reconstruction, restoring power, and getting water treatment plants online is a necessity. All those things are dependent on securing the country.

Those are the big Iraq issues I hoped President Bush would address. Sure President Bush presented a plan, but it's not a great plan, or even a good one. America can do better than that.

Posted by American Pundit at February 4, 2005 7:34 AM