Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Threefer from Kevin Drum

Last one first: Three separate Iraqi polls show that no less than 56% of Iraqis, and as much as 80%, want the Americans to leave, immediately. The only major exception is the Kurds, for obvious and understandable reasons - approx. 6% of Kurds want the US gone now, while 60% say either wait until the violence stops, or wait until the government asks them to leave. Unsaid is which government the Kurds are referring to - Iraq, or Kurdistan. Especially weird, however, is that 34% of Kurds have no answer. That just puzzles me.

It seems the groundwork could be laid for an American withdrawal north to Kurdistan, except that the only thing Iraqi Sunni and Shia agree on at this point is that there can be no independent Kurdistan. Hell, Iran, Turkey, and Syria all agree too, so any attempt to keep a permanent American force in the region is doomed.

Fortunately, the US Congress looks to be passing a law banning permanent bases in Iraq. Given Bush's long record of respect for the statutes passed by the Congress of the United States, I'm sure this will solve everything.

What should Democrats do at this point to win in Iraq? The Drumstir sez:
First, that perhaps we should have kept our focus on Afghanistan and stayed out of Iraq altogether. Then, once we were there, liberal thinkers suggested more troops, dialogue with Iran, a multilateral council to accelerate regional investment in Iraq's progress, a variety of counterinsurgency strategies, a variety of partition plans, more serious engagement in Israeli-Palestinian talks (Tony Blair practically begged for this), and on and on. Every single one of these suggestions was ignored.

Would they have made any difference? Who knows. But to blame Democrats now for not being aggressive enough in trying to trisect this angle is like blaming Gerald Ford for losing Vietnam. George Bush fought this war precisely the way he wanted, with precisely the troops he wanted, and with every single penny he asked for. He has kept Don Rumsfeld in charge despite abundant evidence that he doesn't know how to win a war like this. He has mocked liberals and the media at every turn when they suggested we might need a different approach. The result has been a disaster with no evident solution left.

It's one thing to ask for "debate," but it's quite another to ask for a pony that doesn't exist anymore and to blame Democrats when they're unable to produce yet another one after three years of trying. That makes no sense.

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