Tuesday, December 19, 2006
During a farewell ceremony at the Pentagon last week, Dick Cheney called outgoing cabinet member Donald Rumsfeld the best Secretary of Defense the United States ever had. Apparently, no one in the audience laughed, a sign that sanity has yet to be restored at the Pentagon.
Nor does sanity regarding what to do about the situation in Iraq seem to be busting out all over Washington D.C. On Sunday's This Week with George Stephanopolous, incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) that he might "go along" with a plan to add more troops in Baghdad as long as "it's part of a program" to get U.S. troops out of Iraq by some time next year.
I don't think putting more troops in Baghdad is a sound strategy for getting all the troops out of Iraq, and I don't think it's intended to be.
The Baghdad strategy, which Mister Bush is rumored to be favoring, is based on a report titled "Choosing Victory: a Plan for Success in Iraq" prepared for the America Enterprise Institute (AEI) by Frederick Kagan. The AEI is a neoconservative think tank closely associated with the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). Kagan, a former professor of military history at West Point, has a long association with both AEI and PNAC. His brother Robert Kagan is a confederate of PNAC founder and Weekly Standard publisher William Kristol. Bob Kagan, Kristol, and others in the neocon-controlled media are touting Fred Kagan's "fundamentally simple" plan as the one that can "succeed."
I'm skeptical of this "plan for success" on two counts. First is that it's coming from the very people who pushed us into this quagmire. Second is that Fred Kagan's plan is a compendium of the same kinds of glittering generalities, appeals to emotion, questionable assumptions and PowerPoint aphorisms we've been listening to all along.
One should be skeptical of this plan- particularly when you look at the who is supporting it. Its tempting, however it the plan ignores two fundamental problems: 1) it expects Arabs to do the right thing-they have proven themselves ill equipped to do so and 2) it assumes the insurgents are just going to stand still and take it. If I were an insurgent, I would be going into hiding now-especially since it seems that we are telegraphing out punches and lay low. Let the herd come in-observe- then be ready to strike where you can. For that matter laying low may be the best of all insurgent stategies since it will give the illusion of progress and hasten American withdrawal-which makes it easier for them in the long run.
Perhaps if GWB had actually studied some of the history he supposedly learned at Yale he would understand the forces at work here. Instead he is content to rely on the opinions of agenda driven ideologues......and we all know where that leads...........
No where good.