Monday, July 09, 2007

Yin & Yang over fate of Iraq

The Iraqi Foreign Minister continues to warn the US Congress about the dangers of a quick withdrawal of American troops, and Congress continues to turn a deaf ear... focusing instead on 2008 election campaigns.

BAGHDAD - Iraq's foreign minister warned on Monday that a quick American military withdrawal from the country could lead to civil war and the collapse of the government, as pressure on the Bush administration for a pullout grows.


Zebari said earlier that Iraqis "understand the huge pressure that will increase more and more in the United States" ahead of the progress report by the U.S. ambassador and top commander in Iraq.

"We have held discussion with members of Congress and explained to them the dangers of a quick pull out (from Iraq) and leaving a security vacuum," Zebari said. "The dangers could be a civil war, dividing the country, regional wars and the collapse of the state.

"In our estimations, until Iraqi forces are ready, there is a responsibility on the United States to stand with the (government) as the forces are being built," he said.

Reason and a concept of future catastrophic events should Iraq fall to political Islam radicals are not the US Congressional forte. Instead, more are jumping ship on support for a free Iraq.

Four more Republican senators have recently declared that they can no longer support Mr. Bush’s strategy, including senior lawmakers who until now had expressed their doubts only privately. As a result, some aides are now telling Mr. Bush that if he wants to forestall more defections, it would be wiser to announce plans for a far more narrowly defined mission for American troops that would allow for a staged pullback, a strategy that he rejected in December as a prescription for defeat when it was proposed by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group.

What is most notable about the most four recent defectors is that each and every one of them is up for 2008 re'election... Not surprising they're singing a different tune as their career politician desires are on the line.
That aside, it's always amazing to me that everyone pulls out their favorite excerpt from the oh-so-hallowed ISG report. And I will do the same... pulling out the excerpt that everyone just loves to ignore. The one that suggests a troop surge with the mission that is reflective of just what is going on now. From my January 2007 posting on the ISG and Congress...

Executive Summary, pg xvi (repeated pg 71, (Military and Security Forces)

"The Iraqi government should accelerate assuming responsibility for Iraqi security by increasing the number and quality of Iraqi Army brigades. While this process is under way, and to help facilitate it, the United States should significantly increase the number of U.S. military personnel, including combat troops, imbedded in and supporting Iraqi Army units. As these actions proceed, U.S. combat forces could begin to move out of Iraq.

Read further on pg 71 and you'll find the suggested number in hovering around 20,000. Oh my... doing what the ISG suggests. How out of line is that?
And where is the press and Congress on this recommendation when they so reverently evoke the ISG report as the end all be all for strategy? Evidently mum on all. Either reading is a lost art for media and Congress, or the ISG recommendation for doing exactly what is being done is just another "inconvenient truth".

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