Open Thread - McCain Grasping At Straws Edition
Tuesday’s Page One in the Post by Robin Wright and Peter Baker paints a picture of a Bush Administration in disarray over what to do in Iraq. According to the story, the White House and presumably the Cheney/Rice/Abrams cabal, has nothing left in their toolbox except the surge in troop levels advocated by the Wise Man of the Apocalypse. Yet the Post says that days after Colin Powell reintroduced the Powell Doctrine into the debate, the Joint Chiefs have come out against any surge in troops, believing that without a clear mission for those troops tied to a larger solution, the announcement of their arrival and anticipated departure only serves to assist the opponents of progress.
In other words, the Joint Chiefs are giving the back of their hand to John McCain for his knee-jerk shortsightedness, especially when yesterday’s quarterly report by the Pentagon on Iraq indicates that no amount of US or Iraqi troops can stem the tide of sectarian violence if there isn’t the political will among the Iraqis to stop the revenge killings. Even 145,000 troops haven't stopped the insurgents from cutting Baghdad off from electricity. As long as the al-Maliki government refuses to deal with the violence spawned by Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army, and President Bush continues to absolve al-Maliki by wrongly blaming the convenient Al Qaeda bogeyman rather than homeground militias, any surge will be fruitless.
Note also in this story that the International Crisis Group is soon to come out with its own plan that puts forward the analysis that the Iraq Study Group did not go far enough, and that the Iraqi government and its military are part of the problem and not worthy of being supported without a broader regional political effort than even the ISG recommended.
Take it away.