Sunday :: Mar 26, 2006

Rice Talks Of Troop Drawdown As Battle For Baghdad Is Imminent


by Steve


After saying earlier in the week that a future president would have to fully withdraw US forces from Iraq, and then sending staff out to clarify that these comments pertained to a full withdrawal, not a partial or significant withdrawal, the Bush Administration sent Condi out to the Sunday chat fests to work her magic with the male-dominated hosts this morning. Condi told several of the shows that it is entirely probable that there will be a significant drawdown of American forces this year inside Iraq, as long as the Iraqis can continue their alleged progress in assuming more and more responsibility for their own security. This is a restatement of the politically obvious, which is that the White House got flamed by nervous GOP incumbents after Bush’s "not on my watch" performance this week. So Condi was sent out to reassure the punditocracy that to save the GOP’s skin this November, the Administration will be pulling thousands out of Iraq no matter what happens there, because GOP self-preservation is more important than remedying the mess Bush created by invading in the first place. And Rice was allowed to falsely claim that the region was better off now than it would have been had we done nothing. After all, how can we expect these Sunday morning males to challenge Condi when she is wearing new shoes and has that Rice twinkle in her eye, spinning the usual lies without challenge?

But will the Iraqis be able to take on more and more of their own security? Well, a great piece in yesterday’s Independent shows that the battle lines for a sectarian war inside Baghdad are already developing, and that a splintering of Baghdad and other major cities into militia-driven disintegration is upon us. Despite the claims this week by the commanders on the ground that the violence is over reported because a relatively small number of areas see significant combat, this story makes it clear that once the battles for these major cities begin, there will be a spreading of these hostilities to other cities and to neighboring countries, as Sunnis come to the aid of Sunnis, and Iran comes to the aid of Shiites. And the Kurds are simply scared that Turkey and Iran will get ideas about what the Kurds had hoped would be their anticipated calm piece of the pie in the north. More to the point, what will the Iraqi forces do when these sectarian battles and cleansings explode? They will dissolve, and the Americans, it is expected, will stay on the sidelines.

So how exactly will James Baker and the fixers be able to come in this year and hope to do what Cheney and Bush should have done three years ago if the country is dissolving and our forces are hoping to draw down and escape, assuming that Rummy doesn’t use the increasing splintering of the country as an excuse to stay and, well, do exactly what? Take sides, like when we shot up a mosque today and killed another 18 Iraqis?

Hat tip to Faiz at ThinkProgress

Steve :: 11:22 AM :: Comments (21) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!