April 25, 2007

Do the Democrats Want their Iraq Legislation to "Succeed"?

The Democrat's legislation on Iraq funding exemplifies the adage that politics is the art of the possible. The non-binding, do litte or nothing legislation is summed up by the Associated Press as:

Troops could remain in Iraq after the 2008 date but only for limited non-combat missions, including counter terrorism operations and training Iraqi forces.

In other words, it's not a proposal to withdraw troops, because everyone knows that "counter terrorism operations" can mean anything (typically a dirty war), and that "training Iraqi forces" includes joining them in the field. Recall the Vietnamization policy of training South Vietnamese began in 1969 and US troops didn't finally leave until 1973 or 1975 depending on what you mean by "leave" (See Timeline).

Ironically, we are hearing reports from the McClatchy newspapers, via DemocracyNow! that:

the U.S. military has quietly made a major policy shift in the war. Military planners have abandoned the idea that training Iraqi troops will enable American soldiers to start coming home soon. The military believes that U.S. troops will have to secure the country largely on its own. The Pentagon has not announced the change but evidence has been building for months that training Iraqi troops is no longer the focus of U.S. policy.

Difficult to know what to make of that...

... and by now everyone has also pondered the thoughts that 1) "enduring" US bases will remain in Iraq (enduring is a new term being used by the US government in place of "permanent"), and 2) Bush and the oil men are seeing victory in Iraq in the form of the immanent petroleum legislation pending in the Iraqi Parliament.

My prediction of when the US will leave Iraq is about six years from now, based on comparing the Vietnam War timeline with the Iraq War timeline. I'm not sure I believe the prediction myself, but the timeline comparison is interesting.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern has his own predictions. On the April 23, 2007 Flashpoints radio program, McGovern said not to worry about "enduring" US military bases. "We may be able to have permanent military bases for a year or two, it's not going to be possible to keep them. It's just not possible in this day and age to invade an occupy a country the size of Iraq with 140,000, or if you put in 500,000 it still wouldn't work." He cites 1.3 billion "ticked off" Muslims, porous boarders, General Petraus's book on counter insurgency.

We keep hearing the Democrats say that this is Bush's war. True, politics is the art of the possible. But, if McGovern's prediction is right, that the situation will unravel on its own, the Democrats probably don't want their withdrawl proposal to "succeed." If they got their way, then, when the whole thing unravels, the right wing noise machine, and compliant corporate media, will pin the blame on the Democrats.

Prediction: Quagmire conditions in Iraq will continue for a long time.


1. Associated Press, April 25, 2007, Democrats predict they can win Iraq vote

2. DemocracyNow! Headlines for April 20, 2007

3. Flashpoints Radio, April 23, 2007.


No comments: