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Sunday, January 04, 2004

End Game

End Game

My final post on what will happen in Iraq

Dennis Kucinich is closest to what needs to be done. We need to leave Iraq. The only problem with his plan is that no one will replace us. The Iraqi resistance has made it clear, they have scant respect for the UN. Any post-war security force will have to be agreed upon by the new Islamic government in Baghdad. Yet, there is a blind refusal to understand that at the end of the day, the only force able to impose any sort of national power is Shia. The only question is if the Sunni clerics will make peace or continue their insurgency.

There is this pretense, and it is only pretense, that we can create some ad hoc force, withdraw to the boonies and still play the leading role in reconstructing the country. There is no ad hoc force, only the sullen and increasingly anti-American police, an army which wouldn't make up a weak battalion. There is the US Army and the guerrillas and the relatively tiny party militias. The party militias are widely distrusted because of their partisan nature.

Any freely elected government in Iraq will demand a withdrawal of US forces as a matter of course. Only a government of chosen puppets would agree to a long term occupation. And that is a government which will face dramatic internal opposition.

From the first day of the occupation on, the CPA has acted as if Iraq was a collection of mud huts and donkey carts, not a sophisticated society with developed internal structures. Just setting up in Saddam's palace instead of one of many office buildings, indicated the neo-colonial cast of our plans. The entire reconstruction effort in Iraq hangs on battalion commanders, all of whom are going home this spring. All their deals will be up in the air. The civilians, they should be supporting, are sitting in Baghdad, chasing each other. There is no continuity of effort or planning possible when each company is running their own reconstruction projects.

New units will have new approaches and that will take time and effort to replace. If they can be replaced at all. This istuation should not exist at all. The CPA should have been directing these projects, but the sahibs of Young Republicans abroad only want to play colonial officer, they don't actually want to do the work. It is far easier to push paper than actually build something. The CPA wants to manage when they should have led.

It all hangs on what Sistani will accept. If it is nothing less than one man, one vote, our colonial adventure will end fairly soon.

No one is coming to save us, no one is going back our policy in Iraq. They can only watch it end in the disaster which appears so close at hand.

posted by Steve @ 9:17:00 PM

9:17:00 PM

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