Thursday, December 07, 2006

realism on iraq?

So the much-hoped for Baker/Hamilton Iraq Study Group has come out with its report. You can read about it here and here and here.

Much talk about realism -- but honestly, how realistic is it to expect Iran and Syria to help us out in Iraq? Especially after the stuff de facto President Bush has said about them, and after we not only rejected tentative Iranian overtures after 9/11, but slammed the door on them by lumping them into the Axis of Evil with the world's pre-eminent lunatic (Kim Jung Il, who'd you think I meant?) and Iran's arch-enemy, Saddam's Iraq.

What many people don't realize is that some members of the group (I suspect Sandra Day O'Connor) had suggested an even better idea. We should get Superman to fly around the sun real quick so that time reverses, and go back to late 2002 or early 2003, and NOT INVADE IRAQ IN THE FIRST GOD-DAMN PLACE. But the other members of the group, while sharing the sentiments, sadly concluded it was probably technically impossible, unless James T. Kirk and some guy called Spock could be located, pronto.

The real "realism" is providing cover for Bush to adapt a plan that draws on elements of "cut and run" (but of course, a nicer term will be used when it's official Republican policy) and just enough training to prop up Iraq's security forces just long enough to allow for a withdrawal of most US forces. The hope being that utter collapse wouldn't come until after a decent interval had passed...

Will Bush grab the chance? Who knows. Will it work? Well, define "work." I don't see much prospect for Iraq to remain unified nor to become peaceful in the near- or mid-term. But maybe it will work in the sense of providing political cover for the Republicans, if the Iraqi collapse isn't too rapid and doesn't spread too widely and doesn't provoke a regional war or new terrorist attacks against American targets outside of Iraq.

Don't hold your breath.


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