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NYT: America Adrift in Iraq

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RamboLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-04 11:28 PM
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NYT: America Adrift in Iraq
http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/15/opinion/15SAT1.html?h...

Six weeks of military and political reverses seem to have left the Bush administration doing little more in Iraq than grasping at ways to make it past November's presidential election without getting American troops caught in a civil war. The lowering of the administration's expectations might be therapeutic if it produced a realistic strategy for achieving a realistic set of goals. Unfortunately, there appears to be no such strategy, only odd lurches this way and that under the pressure of day-to-day events. That pattern heightens the danger of an eventual civil war or anarchy, the two main things that American forces are ostensibly remaining in Iraq to prevent.

At times, the only unifying theme for Washington's policies seems to be desperation. American field commanders have now signed over the city of Falluja to former officers of the same Baathist army they came to Iraq to fight a little more than a year ago. The original plan of having American marines storm Falluja to avenge the mob murders of four private contractors there was not a wise idea. Handing over the town to these politically ambitious soldiers looks even more shortsighted. Subcontracting security and territory out to rival Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish warlords can only increase the risks of an eventual civil war.

In the diplomatic arena, White House aides are now beseeching the same United Nations they once belittled to rescue the transition, hoping that its special emissary, Lakhdar Brahimi, can somehow produce a plan for an interim government after June 30 that will rescue the nation-building efforts American occupation authorities have badly botched. This could be a positive development. If President Bush is now prepared to yield real authority to the U.N. over transition arrangements, for example, it may create a sense of legitimacy that Washington itself is no longer in any position to bestow. But at this point it may be beyond the U.N.'s power to convince a skeptical world that Iraq will regain any meaningful sovereignty after June 30 if the real decisions on security and reconstruction are still made by Americans.

Members of the discredited, American-appointed Iraqi Governing Council are maneuvering to ensure a share of power for themselves after the council is dissolved next month. This is a terrible idea, linking the new interim government to the occupation regime and prejudicing future elections by giving council members an unfair inside track. Yet the administration seems to be wavering, reluctant to upset the transition timetable by antagonizing any of its few remaining Iraqi allies.

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whistle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-14-04 11:50 PM
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1. Uhmmm, I would think America began to drift when George...
...Dubya Bush first switched over from fighting terrorists in Afghanistan to proposing a full scale invasion of Iraq. We have now completely lost our bearings. Bush is out, Kerry and the democrats are in. End this insane war and bring our troops home.
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lanlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 06:23 AM
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2. wise editorial
Read only yesterday that the members of this new transitional govt haven't even been chosen yet!
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thebigidea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 09:57 AM
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3. The sweating about a "civil war" is almost cute
Edited on Sat May-15-04 10:11 AM by thebigidea
say, what about the war we inflicted upon them? Why is a civil war seen as somehow worse?

I mean, isn't freedom "untidy" as Rummy said? That free people are free to do things?

The bumpy path to Democracy is long and painful, so what's a civil war or two?

I just can't wrap my mind around the fact that an invasion/war for democracy is a great thing, but a civil war would mean apocalpyse.
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