Sunday, February 11, 2007

No way through but out in Iraq

William E. Odom, a retired Army lieutenant general, who was head of Army intelligence and director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan certainly has the creds to speak on this and he says the occupation has failed. Victory, as defined by Bush is a pipe dream that will never be realized.

Odom points out the obvious. No one can create a democracy at gunpoint and it cannot be created in the absence of perfectly favorable conditions that don't exist, and never have, in the Middle East. Everything this administration has done to attempt to disprove that basic truth has only increased the instability of the region and worked to our disadvantage.

Where before we had a region of state players we didn't trust or like, they were keeping each other in check. Bush's foreign interventions seeking to marginalize Iran's power have only increased it and his arrogance has strengthened anti-American sentiment around the world. We're no longer so much feared, as we are loathed.

Odom also explodes the myths that we must stay in Iraq to avoid the terrible consequences of withdrawal.
Lawmakers gravely proclaim their opposition to the war, but in the next breath express fear that quitting it will leave a blood bath, a civil war, a terrorist haven, a "failed state," or some other horror. But this "aftermath" is already upon us; a prolonged U.S. occupation cannot prevent what already exists.
He further correctly notes that leaving Iraq would diminish AQ's still tenuous influence there now and our troops would be more than happy to be ordered home. Odom then offers up a four point plan to rescue some semblence of "winning" in a losing situation.
The first and most critical step is to recognize that fighting on now simply prolongs our losses and blocks the way to a new strategy. Getting out of Iraq is the pre-condition for creating new strategic options.

Second, we must recognize that the United States alone cannot stabilize the Middle East.

Third, we must acknowledge that most of our policies are actually destabilizing the region.

Fourth, we must redefine our purpose. It must be a stable region, not primarily a democratic Iraq.
It makes sense to me, so I anticipate the usual suspects will shortly be pronouncing Odom unseriously correct. How unfortunate that our president will most probably continue to take the counsel of those seriously wrong pundits instead.
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing that this country has these warhorses that perfectly understand the Middle East situation as well as the mechanations of war and how and when to use it and no one listens to them? During the Gulf war, the elder Bush admin. refused to let "Stormin' Norman" lead troops into Baghdad when it would have made sense and when we had the support of the UN. Against all sensibility, this admin. chooses to invade a country without adequate provocation and without any UN support. So here we are, swinging in the wind on our own, totally mired in a war we cannot win but with a government that will not stop it. So the body count keeps piling up as the DC clowns continue their dog and pony show.

2:46:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Disgusting, isn't it Rocky?

3:35:00 PM  

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