Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush's "New" Plan

President Bush unveiled his new plan for solving the Iraq problem and the best they could come up with months after the Iraq Study Group issued its report. Adding 21,500 troops to Iraq reeks of a political move not a strategic move.

I am beginning to believe that everyone in the administration except Bush realizes that this war has already been lost and that they are trying to bide time until 2008 when they can pass the problem on to someone else and thus passing the blame for losing on to someone else. This vain attempt to save some shred of a legacy for Bush's 8 years is not going to work. He really has nothing to show for his presidency and is made even more glaring by the fact that until this January his party has controlled all three branches of government.

No plan to win
Adding this small number of troops is not going to do anything to solve the problems that face Iraq. Maybe having 500,000 on the ground when the war began might have done something but that day is long past and any effort from here on out is not going to fix this broken nation (though calling Iraq a nation is a stretch). Many Republicans including Norm Coleman, Chuck Hagel and others have joined the chorus of skepticism over this "new way forward"


No chance for democracy

Bush keeps touting the last Iraqi election as a positive sign that these people wanted democracy - at the the time I saw it as a dangerous precursor to the civil war that they are currently embroiled in. Democracy is about political factions not ethnic/religious factions. I don't think that there was a single Shiite that voted for a Sunni or a Kurd candidate or visa versa. The election was an election for ethnic/religious persecution or revenge. There is not a single individual who ran as an Iraqi nationalist. While it took many years before our democracy to come together we had a group of people dedicated to the prospect. These people do not exist in Iraq.

I do not wish ill on the Iraqi people or George Bush but every single sign out of Iraq points to the biggest foriegn policy disaster in our history and no "new way forward" will turn Iraq from a failed state in a civil war into a working democracy. Doing anything to extend or increase our involvement in will only lead to more American deaths while not making the situation any better. As far as what to do for the Iraqi people, I don't think we can do anything except delay their all-out civil war. Ultimately, I think a three state solution is the only one that will work but there is going to be a lot of bloodshed before that happens. This whole mess should serve as a warning about exporting democracy, toppling governments, preemptive warfare, and unintended consequences.

Posted by Tom Snediker at January 11, 2007 6:58 PM
Comments
Comment #202604
Even the Republican Leaders in the Senate and House are too Femalish to take a stand against any group that are prepared to fight.

Holy crap!! More girly men!! Will it ever stop?

Posted by: womanmarine at January 11, 2007 2:27 PM
Comment #202617

“Ultimately, I think a three state solution is the only one that will work but there is going to be a lot of bloodshed before that happens. This whole mess should serve as a warning about exporting democracy, toppling governments, pre-emptive warfare, and unintended consequences.”

Tom Snediker,

I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 11, 2007 3:09 PM
Comment #202715

I agree with you, Tom - Bush is definitely hoping to pass on the War in Iraq to his successor. I just hope Iraq lasts that long. Admitted or not, the country is already in a civil war - and God willing the people of Iraq will be able to help themselves, as all we’ve managed to do lately (and previously) is to provoke the insurrgents more.

A tri-state nation appears to me to be the best one can hope for.

Posted by: Linda H. at January 11, 2007 10:26 PM
Comment #202726

A civil war is not a surprise or any particular evidence that Iraqis are some how bad characters.If we had 3 years of 50-80% unemployment we would be in a civil war too.


Sad interesting thing about post like jc’s. Historically they are compareable to those that supported and praised the leadership abilities of Hitler even through the fall of Berlin. As more and more Reps smell the coffee and distance themselves from Bush his support will be more and more dominated by the intellectually less gifted and rabid.Even they are less repugnant than the bland apoligist to my thinking. The apoligist are like the civilians living next to Berkanaur that said they did not know what was going on.

Posted by: BillS at January 11, 2007 11:29 PM
Comment #202734

Linda H., a tri-state arrangement may be the best that can be, but, it will be potentially and incredibly destabilizing for the Middle East as the Sunni nations around Iraq align against Shia nations, to protect their sects by popular demand of their home country’s constituents. A situation not dissimilar from that between India and Pakistan with disputed Kashmir in the middle.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 12, 2007 12:07 AM
Comment #202739

I would hope that everyone listened to Chuck Hagel speaking to Charlie Rose on PBS.

I’m sure that since it’s PBS it’ll not only be rerun, but it should soon show up on the net.

I was a life long Nebraskan until 2002 when illness required that I move to Kansas so my oldest son could help care for me. Hagel is the real deal. Yes he’s a Republican, possibly the closest thing we’ve seen to an Eisenhower Republican since I’ve been out of short pants, but he’s a good man and a VietNam Vet.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 12, 2007 12:45 AM
Comment #202742

Yeah I don’t like the tri-state option. Either David and Linda H. but when you have a state with three ethnic groups that hate each other and two (Sunnis and Shiites) that really want to see the other dead rather than submit to their rule and the other (the Kurds) who don’t want to have anything to do with the other two. It’s an ugly mess and there are no good outcomes here. If the Kurds get their own state, Turkey will have problems with the Kurds living on their side of the border. Baghdad is so mixed that a lot of people will get killed deciding who gets control of that city. But despite all this it still might be the best option.

I think that we can all agree that there is not going to be a western style democracy that the neo-cons thought would magically appear in this mess of a country. So we are either faced with a multi-state solution or some sort of nation that is ruled by the Shiites and the Kurds and Sunnis are subordinate to the Shia. I don’t think that the Sunnis are going to stand for Shia rule and are willing to die rather than give in.

It’s likely that this will destablize the Middle East further. W and company were incredibly arrogant and short-sighted to start this war - they really screwed up bad.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at January 12, 2007 12:51 AM
Comment #202747

“Yeah I don’t like the tri-state option.”

That’s not exactly what the Biden-Gelb Plan is.

http://www.planforiraq.com/plan

In many ways the divisions spoken of would be little different than those between Texans and Californians. Very few Californians would accept living under Texas law and vice-versa. But as part of the same nation with a certain amount of “wealth sharing” and yet a large degree of states freedom we all co-exist.

Just imagine the alternative: Texas Rangers administering law in California and CHIPS administering law in rural Texas. I’m thinking this could be a bad thing :(

It appears that the oil wealth sharing is going to happen regardless. It’s just taken too damn long and I have to wonder if Bush’s stubborness didn’t play a part in the delay.

Well, that brings us to part three which is convening an international conference. Bush basically called for the same thing last night only he prefers to leave Syria and Iran out of the conference. OK, it could still work.

#4 is a BOMB. Drawing down troop levels.

#5 is almost identical to Bush’s plan: Increase Reconstruction Assistance and Create a Jobs Program

This plan has been out there for a long time. Bush is just hell-bent on making Sunni & Shia live side by side (like relocating Indian reservations to New York City and LA), and keeping troop levels up indefinitely I guess.

Posted by: KansasDem at January 12, 2007 2:04 AM
Comment #202748

KansasDem said: “In many ways the divisions spoken of would be little different than those between Texans and Californians. Very few Californians would accept living under Texas law and vice-versa. But as part of the same nation with a certain amount of “wealth sharing” and yet a large degree of states freedom we all co-exist.”

I still don’t see this working out without a civil war. The analogy doesn’t work for me since despite their differences, Texans aren’t carrying out suicide attacks on Californians and Californians aren’t car-bombing Texas churches and police stations. How long will the Shia and Kurds share oil revenue with the Sunnis after the US leaves? I like Joe Biden but I don’t see a peaceful end to this situation.

Posted by: Tom Snediker at January 12, 2007 4:10 AM
Comment #202851

tom and David,
I agree that a Tri—state answer is actually not a good solution for the problems in the Middle East - but frankly I can’t seem to come up with any other suggestion.

I suppose I’m still (wishfully thinking)hopeful about the ability of the Iraqi people, as well as those in the rest of the Middle East to figure out how to maintain their own lives and countries. Call me an silly Optimist at Heart, but I still have to believe in the ultimate good in people.

I suppose if I didn’t, I wouldn’t care so passionately about our world.

Posted by: Linda H. at January 12, 2007 3:29 PM
Comment #202853

KansasDem,
I can’t help but wonder how this plan could or would be enforced?

Posted by: Linda H. at January 12, 2007 3:36 PM
Comment #202866

“…Texans aren’t carrying out suicide attacks on Californians and Californians aren’t car-bombing Texas churches and police stations.”

Hmm—without cheap oil, jobs, food, clean water? Who knows? Picture a rugby match—without the ball. And, thanks to the NRA and the myth of rugged individualism, much better armed.

Posted by: Tim Crow at January 12, 2007 4:02 PM
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