Saturday :: Sep 2, 2006

Failure On A Grand Scale Overseas


by Steve

Here are several items for Saturday of Labor Day weekend.

Iraq

A closer look at the Pentagon report released yesterday that Mary and I have referenced earlier shows that Iraqi casualties have spiraled upward by more than 50 percent since the al-Maliki government came into power. The situation has driven thousands of Sunni Arabs to move north and seek a new life and safety in Iraqi Kurdistan, which will eventually force the Kurds to raise the drawbridge and stop the rest of Iraq from moving north. Two items of interest are that the Kurds have ordered that the Iraqi flag be pulled down and replaced with the Kurdistan flag, and al-Maliki met with Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani today.

As I said earlier in the week, Democrats should:

1. Support the Casey 12-18 month timeline of US support;

2. Push the Bush Administration for an international and regional economic and security conference to invest neighboring states in Iraq’s security and success;

3. Push a “no permanent bases/no permanent troops” resolution through Congress and make the GOP vote against it;

4. Push to bring the Guard home for our own homeland security; and

5. Hang any additional slippage in the Casey timeline around Bush’s neck.

Iran

The Russians and the rest of the EU say that they will not support sanctions at this time against Iran, and want more time for diplomacy to work, even as Iran asserts that it has a right to peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which it does. The Bush Administration, Great Britain, France, and perhaps Germany want to take a tougher line against Iran now, so there is an insurmountable split in the world community that was inevitable from the moment Bush invaded Iraq and rewarded India for breaking the NPT. If the French, British, and Germans want to play hardball with the Iranians so much, they should be required to put their troops into harm’s way in Iraq and replace our troops. For that matter, every GOP officeholder who agitates for a tougher line with Iran should send their military-age kids to Iraq as well, like House Intelligence committee chair Peter Hoekstra, who has three military age kids. The truth is that Iran is making slower progress than was anticipated, so as the New York Times noted today there is room to fashion a broad-based solution. But until the United States recognizes that 1) Bush squandered any chance to do something positive about Iran years ago; 2) Iran is a regional player that has just as much of a right to a nuclear program as India does; and 3) Iran must be brought into a regional solution for Iraq and isn’t a natural ally of Al Qaeda, we will make no constructive progress here.

Afghanistan

The United States says that Afghan opium production is out of control. Whose fault is that nimrods? With only 20,000 troops in Afghanistan, the US can do little to stop this trade or bring security to the country, especially when 10,000 of those troops are covering an area of 30,000 square miles in some of the most inaccessible terrain on earth. Hell, we can’t find Bin Laden after Bush let him get away at Tora Bora, so why does anyone think we are committed to Afghanistan? And our best friend in the war on terror Pervez Musharraf is busy cutting self-serving deals with Islamic separatists for truces which free up these forces to infiltrate back into Afghanistan to assist the Taliban and fight American and NATO forces.

Steve :: 9:00 AM :: Comments (2) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!