Topic: Bush Administraiton
Today in another big speech on Iraq the president appeared to be taking responsibility for the bad pre-war intelligence that led us into this mess, but he said, "My decision to remove Saddam Hussein was the right decision. Saddam was a threat and the American people and the world is better off because he is no longer in power.” But are we is the question.
How was he a threat if he had no WMD, though, I don't understand? This whole question of whether the president or congress or Hillary would have gone to war if they had known there were no WMD is a pointless exercise.
Even if W. did feel it was the right thing to do to liberate the Iraqi people and create a "model for other nations in the turbulent Middle East," before the invasion, he would have never been able to get the support from congress or the public to go through with an invasion without the "threat" of WMD. So what's the point of asking the question? But let's not focus on the past, let's look to the future, right?
And as far this upcoming election being a "watershed" I would refer you back to last January. It took three months for the politicians over there to form a government after that "watershed" election and once they did, the country descended into a whirlwind of car bombings and slaughter that was extreme even by Iraqi standards.
Then there was all the violence in the "run-up" to the constitutional referendum which wound up producing a flawed document which will have to be amended by this incoming government and there's no telling whether the typical zero sum game the various religious and ethnic factions have been playing all along will be any different this time around.
As far as I know the Kurds are still up to their old tricks in Kirkuk: Reuters reports that, "Recent reports of Arabs being targeted for arrest and removal by Kurdish security police has reinforced distrust. Kurdish parties are also accused of relocating thousands of supporters to Kirkuk to boost their electoral clout."
The Kurds are sitting pretty in this new Iraq---which they don't want to be a part of---and this issue of Kirkuk is going to come to the fore sooner or later and I don't think we've got a plan for that. A large part of the Iraqi "security forces" that are so effective against the insurgents are "former" Peshmerga NYT reports that our big plan for victory on the western border is to play one tribe against another even though we're not sure whether the tribes we favor are actually giving us reliable intelligence on insurgents or are just settling old scores. This dubious policy in the Euphrates river valley seems to be a microcosm of what we're trying to do in the political arena.
I haven't heard any of these concerns addressed in any of the president's speeches, which is why I'm not buying the idea that they have grasped the complexity of the situation and are ready to really do the right things that need to be done to get us out of there. Maybe, some more soccer pitches in Husabaya will do the trick?