Radical Steps Needed To Escape Iraq Quagmire
Date: Saturday, November 18 2006
All things considered I'd like to see the USA make these kinds of concessions. They need to eat some humble pie. 4Canada
By GWYNNE DYER
11/17/06 "Border Mail" -- --- “STAND back! No, further back, or you’ll be swept away by the shock and awe! We’re going to show you the full might and majesty of American military power. We’re going to...invade Iraq!!!”
The full panoply of American power was unleashed upon Iraq, and the results have been profoundly unimpressive.
This doesn’t just mean that the US loses in Iraq.
It means its leverage elsewhere is severely diminished as well.
But very few people in Washington seem to understand that yet.
American voters have spoken, Congress has changed hands, and Secretary of Defence Don Rumsfeld has been put out to pasture at last, but there is still no plan for getting the US out of the Iraq quagmire.
Certainly not from the Democrats, who are all over the shop.
Senator Hilary Clinton, the leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, doesn’t want a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.
There is no Republican plan yet, either, but it is the job of the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel co-chaired by James Baker, former secretary of state during Bush senior’s presidency, to come up with one.
Its recommendations will be acted on, too, because the new secretary of defence will be Robert Gates, another close friend of the family and a member of the Iraq Study Group.
Thanks to various “accidental” leaks, we even know broadly what the ISG will recommend.
It will urge a gradual reduction of American troops, with the last combat forces to be out of Iraq well before the 2008 elections.
And it will tell Mr Bush to seek cover for this process by talking to Iraq’s neighbours, Iran and Syria.
This will be very unwelcome advice for Bush.