Friday :: Sep 15, 2006

McGovern and Polk Iraqi Withdrawal Plan [Harper’s]


by paradox

George McGovern and James R. Polk have the cover story in the latest Harper’s (not yet available online), outlining their plan for total immediate withdrawal from Iraq, with no US forces in the country by December 31, 2007. Greatly simplified the plan has these major elements:

  • Acceptance of loss and total knowledge that US presence in Iraq harms and puts US interests under serious regression.
  • Creation of a middle-eastern/Muslim multinational force to provide security upon leaving.
  • Abandonment of all US equipment in the theatre upon leaving.
  • Widespread reparation and damage awards to Iraqis.
  • All multinational oil contracts be declared null and void, Iraqi oil reserves completely and formally handed over to the Iraqi government.
Cursory analysis of the plan reveals the following weaknesses:
  • No political strategy/messaging for the opposition party taking responsibility for leaving as being labeled as cowards, yellow runners, appeasers, and losers.
  • No media strategy to nullify the widespread propaganda segments of the US journalism corps.
  • Under-appreciation of the task of explaining failure and abandonment of equipment to the American people.
  • Total omission of Kurd, Sunni, and Shia ethnic, religious, cultural and geographical elements that make Iraqi cohesion extremely unlikely. McGovern and Polk blithely assume Iraq will remain viably whole upon leaving, while that is an extremely unlikely scenario with extreme repercussions.
  • Total omission for US political responsibility and possible prosecution of war crimes.
Currently there is no political party, force or persona in the US with the ability to explain US presence in Iraq harms us more every day only to then have to fend off roaring, non-stop accusations of being yellow losers.

Bush will never put himself through that, so it’s now (incredibly) blithely assumed in the US that 150,000 troops will be in Iraq until Bush crawls away. 24 more months of flaming hell and death in Iraq, at least, until this great first variable can be obviated. Who is the political leader that can do this in 2008? No one knows.

That political leadership needs tools and help to fight back the vicious US corporate media spin and propaganda that will accompany withdrawal; whatever form it will take, the only surety is that it will be extremely detrimental to liberal and Democratic party interests. Democratic politicians have the option of enlisting the netroots for more help, but they haven’t taken that step yet.

McGovern and Polk espouse abandonment of equipment for a lamentable lack of clarity and honesty in the tactic: retreat will be very likely be an extremely dangerous horror show of high casualties, and trying to quickly remove the vast American mechanized force is an impossible task that will only kill many, many more thousands of our men.

On the run positions and defenses are given up, while the enemy is filled with a savage joy at the impending victory, expending resources and abandoning previous risks. Images of dying American troops frantically trying to move exploding equipment is a disastrous scenario, so blithely explained away, yet needing much more of a political solution. That “equipment” is worth at least $50 billion dollars and loss of it crushes US force readiness. Another $40 billion loss will be the lost of “non-permanent” bases.

Implementation of reparations will actually be politically easy, it’s so cheap compared to the occupation. There will be an ugly backlash from racist political interests that just can’t pay brown people for blowing their legs off for nothing, but it can be done.

What really catapults McGovern and Polk’s plan into meandering mental oblivion is the blithe acceptance that Iraq will remain whole in the transition. That is by no means a certainty, and the worst case scenario of Turkey in the war to the north while the Sunnis and Shia butcher each other is a real possibility. Can a middle east force be assembled to counter that? Highly unlikely.

An eventual close Iraqi alliance with Iran is inevitable after an unknown time of turmoil and death. Perhaps McGovern and Polk ignore it because in reality the United States won’t be able to do a damn thing about it anyway. Welcome to weakness, hegemon.

It’s also too much to simply forgive George Bush for this incredible fiasco, probably the greatest US foreign policy disaster of all time and the result of lying felonies. Georgie gets ride his bike in Crawford for 25 years after all this? Is the United States really prepared to coddle a flaming war criminal in Texas for all that time?

The US simply does not have the political talent or geopolitical options to withdraw from Iraq in any sort of rational, deliberative way as McGovern and Polk suggest. The truth is ever since the invasion the US sailed over the cliff of an almost unimaginable horrifying disaster, and is still gaining speed on the whistling plummet down. The country is going to have to take terrible wounds on the crashes down, smash after horrifying smash, in ways completely out of its control.

Perhaps a real president in 2008 can somehow pick up what pieces are left and desperately try to get the country independent of middle east oil. After a lot of death and defeat. There is no other likely scenario.

paradox :: 7:22 AM :: Comments (8) :: Digg It!