December 08, 2005

A Touch of Arrogance

from - smijer

I guess I'll have to look elsewhere for a candidate to support in the 2008 primary. It seems my erstwhile favorite, W. Clark, has become infected with a case of Big Head. He thinks that, under his brilliant leadership, the U.S. can win the war in Iraq without first ending the occupation.

The time is long past when American influence on the Iraqi political system can be seen as legitimate in the eyes of the Iraqis.

A commenter asked what Clark had in mind for a fallback position. His answer begins this way:

As for a fallback position, what I've laid out are three sets of military tasks that must be accomplished in order to get this right. As the tasks are done, it is possible to draw down troops...

In other words, there is no fallback position if those three "military tasks" cannot be accomplished. However, ...

...if the Iraqis ask us to leave, then we would simply execute a phased withdrawal, absent other compelling reaons to stay and recognizing that to remain inside a sovereign state against its will is tantamount to a continuing invasion and unsuported by law.

Well, here's a newsflash: The government won't ask us to leave until we tell them to. The people, on the other hand, already want us gone. So here's another question for General Clark: who speaks for Iraqis? They, themselves, or their political leaders?

I don't think it's too late for gestures of good faith toward the Iraqis. I don't think it's too late to earn back some good will. But we can't do it while we are at war with them. The first gesture of good faith is to end the occupation, give up the reconstruction contracts, and start paying for the reconstruction through reparations to the Iraqis. Then, if we comport ourselves as partners with rather than daddy to the Iraqi people, we might even earn enough good will to have some advisory influence in the new political process. Wouldn't that be nice.

It is going to take someone who recognizes that continuing to dig the hole is not the answer to lead our country out of these problems... General Clark is too ambitious to recognize such pessimistic truths.

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Posted by smijer at December 8, 2005 07:50 AM
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