Monday :: Jul 11, 2005

White House Plans To Cut And Run From Iraq

by Steve

There were reports out of Great Britain late yesterday on this, and now it is confirmed: after Italy signaled last week that it would go ahead and begin withdrawing its troops from Iraq in September as previously announced, Bush’s only remaining major “coalition” partner is getting out too. That’s right, the Brits are cashing in also, with active planning to reduce their commitment from its current 8,500 troops down to 3,000 by mid-2006. But that may not be the biggest story.

In the newly-released British memos that disclosed the active planning for a British withdrawal, it is revealed that the Bush Administration, despite the “we don’t cut and run” rhetoric from Bush lately, is planning to do... well, exactly that. The Brits mention in their memo that the Bush Administration is contemplating reducing US forces from 160,000 all the way down to 66,000 just before the 2006 midterms. The Post notes in its piece this morning that there is an active debate between the Pentagon civilian leadership and the commanders in the field on the wisdom of such a large withdrawal so fast. It would appear that Rummy and perhaps the White House, want for obviously political reasons to declare victory and bring a large number home just in time for the 2006 midterms. But the commanders in the field see a major problem with such a large withdrawal in a short period of time, given that the Iraqi security forces are by the commanders’ own accounts so ill-prepared to assume responsibility for their own security.

Perhaps the recent move by the Iraqi government to form a military alliance with Iran wasn’t unknown to the Bushies after all. But it could also be that the Iraqi government saw that the Bush Administration was about to saw the branch off behind them and reduce troop levels for domestic political purposes, and decided to throw their lot in with their neighbor.

Behind this possible withdrawal by Bush may also be the fact that he has crippled the military with the Iraq mission. The New York Times reported this morning that the reserves and guard units have fallen to almost half their strength from just two years ago.

And then there’s this: when your former ally and bagman turns on you and tells his countrymen that the United States has screwed things up, that Syria isn’t assisting insurgents in Iraq, even if he is positioning himself for the upcoming elections, it means that you have lost one more possible tool in the country. And if the Shia leadership has thrown its lot in with Iran, then what friends do you really have left in the country?

Let’s see what strategic goals the Bush Administration has obtained from their Iraqi adventure. First, it isn’t clear that we will ever see the oil from Iraq that the White House was counting on, even if Chalabi is in charge of the ministry.

Second, we have managed to liberate Iraq from Saddam and turn them into an excellent training ground for Al Qaeda, as well as a drug transit hub.

Third, the whole invasion did nothing to impede Al Qaeda’s ability to spread to Europe or even here, thereby forever disproving the “flypaper” theory.

Fourth, we did manage to push Iraq into Iran’s arms.

Fifth, Rummy’s goal of establishing permanent bases in Central Asia to combat terrorism and protect oil and gas pipelines is finished, with our formerly friendly client states now wanting us out of those bases because we’ve bungled Iraq and Afghanistan and because those client states are getting better offers from China and Russia.

Sixth, as for the WMDs, ...well you know that story.

And last, when the smoke clears on the Axis of Evil, Iran will survive just fine, Iraq was never a threat in the first place, and North Korea will cut a deal after they have sold nuclear weapons to terrorists.

And when all is said and done, it appears that Bush will ditch Iraq so that the GOP doesn’t get bludgeoned in the 2006 midterms. Yes, as I said a couple of weeks ago, we should bring the troops home, as they have accomplished the toppling of Saddam. But Bush will leave just enough troops over there for them to get killed without there being enough of them to really protect themselves. And as I said, the above-mentioned failures resulted from this disastrous foreign policy, while we are no safer from terrorism.

Central Asia has been lost to China, Iraq will be in Iran’s hands, the Taliban are still around, Afghanistan is not secure, Al Qaeda’s ability to strike again is unimpeded, North Korea will have armed them with WMDs, the Europeans will know that we are increasingly irrelevant, and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan will be even closer to toppling. It is a record of foreign policy failure the likes of which have never been seen in modern American history.

But we’re still throwing money at Halliburton, Bechtel, the defense industry, and private security contractors, while still sending dollars to Big Oil and the Saudis, who are still financing terrorism, so Bush’s base will still be happy.

Steve :: 9:04 AM :: Comments (22) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!