Sunday, December 17, 2006

3 Excellent Paragraphs from Salon

I was reading on the web this morning and checking some of the opinion pieces at Salon, and came across this great article by Gary Kamiya, entitled,"

A bombshell with a long fuse - The Iraq Study Group report may be DOA. But it shows the Washington establishment is finally confronting reality in the Middle East.

Here's a live link A bombshell with a long fuse, though you likely have to get a free site pass by watching an ad first.

And here's the 3 most excellent paragraphs which express what I have been thinking recently also :

"In fact, the greatest single failing of the ISG report was that it did not make its cautious military proposals -- to withdraw U.S. combat forces from Iraq by 2008, to push harder to train Iraqi troops -- contingent on the acceptance of its diplomatic ones. As many analysts have pointed out, the problem with training Iraqi troops is that Iraqi troops are more loyal to their sects than to the in-name-only government, and so training them might simply result in their being able to shoot at us more accurately in the future. For this reason and others, the ISG's plan would still be a Hail Mary pass even if its diplomatic recommendations were followed; if they are not, it has virtually no chance of success. By saying, "If you don't engage in diplomacy, you should withdraw U.S. troops immediately," the Baker group would have greatly increased the pressure on Bush to abandon his failed stay-the-course approach. And such a link would have given Democrats in Congress invaluable bipartisan support to demand a timetable for troop withdrawal -- something they don't feel they have enough political cover to propose now.

Of course, Bush would almost certainly have rejected this proposal anyway. As his entire disastrous presidency has shown, Bush is incapable of admitting he is wrong. With all the certainty of a simpleton whose brain has been taken over by One Big Idea, Bush has been convinced ever since 9/11 that history and God have chosen him to defeat an enemy of near-satanic menace. (Oddly, this Manichaean attitude is echoed by his also highly devout enemies.) In his mind, the current crisis is the Battle of Britain, and he is Winston Churchill, rallying the British people to their finest hour. Unfortunately, Bush has chosen the wrong World War II analogy. Iraq is not the Battle of Britain, it is Stalingrad. And Bush is not heroically standing fast like Churchill; he is stubbornly clinging to a doomed position, like Hitler. (If he insists on playing Churchill, there's a more applicable battle: Dunkirk.)

{or Gallipoli; during WW I, Churchill pushed for the Gallipoli operation, and long after any window of opportunity had passed for making it work, the Allied generals kept pushing more and more troops into the maw, to no useful end}

So for the next two endless years, the American people, the 140,000 American troops in Iraq and the Iraqi people will have to hang on for dear life as Bush, like Ahab chasing the Great White Whale of "Islamofascism," steers his course straight for Davy Jones' Locker -- with the only consolation being that he will take the Republican Party with him. But the Bush era will eventually pass, and America will be forced to deal with Mideast reality. "

As Kamiya concludes his article: "Bush will reject the Baker Commission's report, the neocons are already screaming in rage and panic, and it remains to be seen whether the Democrats will seriously press for any Mideast policy change that will lead to a showdown with Israel. But the facts on the ground are not going away. "

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