Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A column most remarkable.

Michael Barone points to one province in Iraq, Anbar province as proof the war is going well and that we can expect victory. He also tells us in particularly cherry picking style that Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker undermined the Democrats efforts at putting an end to the war by all their declarations of success. What Mr. Barone leaves out of the picture is the fact that GW wants congress to put an off the books increase of funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at another 48 billion. That on top of all other war funding demanded earlier in the year. If the war is going so well and victory is in sight, then surely we should only be mopping up hot spots and beginning the necessary diplomacy to keep Turkey from invading Iraq. But, GW wants this funding to continue through 2009. Is the war going well, or not? Mr. Barone also seems to make this argument that Americans wouldn't want to quit before victory was attained.

A few reminders: GW is a very hasty fellow and a rash one at that who wanted a war of choice in Iraq. Who came up with all sorts of excuses and rationales for why we needed to invade that country and finally topple its unquestionably brutal dictator. Okay. But GW also happened to have a problem recognizing the difference between an invasion and a war. We invaded Iraq between the 19th of March and the first of May 2003, we made a swift run to Baghdad and toppled the Hussein government, but we only captured Hussein through tips by informants in December. In that time, we also managed to successfully bungle what might have brought the Iraqi people's together and working toward a better future for themselves. In books and editorials, a clear picture emerges of how badly we bungled the necessary diplomacy that might have made Iraq, post invasion, a more peaceful society. Eventually, the news media came to realize that an invasion is not a war and that we were now fully at war in Iraq, as much a war with an occupation by western powers as a war between Iraqis. The news media managed to depict that war daily (Bob Woodward finally writes about it) but through 2004 and 2005, GW and his administration do not admit that a war is ongoing. And as long as GW can not admit that an invasion is not a war and that as soon as the invasion ends neither are we at peace with the occupied country in question, neither was he in a position to quickly address the problems the invasion caused. What he will not admit to, becomes catastrophic by the time, years after the fact, he finally allows a mini surge to do what a major invasion force should have been put in place to do from the beginning. To finally by force pacify a country. We didn't have a victory because we have an idiot for a commander in chief.

So while Barone looks for ways to snipe at the Democrats he fails to grasp the fact GW failed in his venture to one up his dad over Iraq. Dad's war with Iraq ended in months. GW hasn't yet found a way to end the war 4 years after he got it started. And yes, Al Qaeda, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have found Iraq to be a country they can exploit to their own interests. Point to Al Anbar province that the Sunnis for practical reasons started cooperating with the U.S. Forces in Iraq. The enemy of my enemy is my friend as the Sunnis finally got tired of Al Qaeda. But for how long will that last before the Sunnis finally get tired of cooperating with us? And given the money and weapons we have given them, now turn on us? Take note too that GW doesn't have a ready answer for Turkey to not invade northern Iraq and retaliate against the PKK. Which must be why Barone prefers to castigate what he deems to be weak-kneed Democrats. Better to go after the political opposition than be critical of the guy who got this country into this mess in the first place and would prefer his successor to now clean it up for him.

So, if the war hasn't wound down in Iraq by November of 2008 and the troops coming home on election day because the "success of Al Anbar province" doesn't actually translate into an over all peace in Iraq, don't expect the GOP nominee for president to win against his Democratic opponent. And what is left then to Michael Barone and the spins he has done for the Bush administration?

No comments: