Thursday, January 11, 2007
Thursday January 11, 2007
"George Bush's announcement last night that he is going to pour more troops into Iraq was the last throw of the dice in a misconceived enterprise that has dragged his country, this country and the Middle East into a nightmare. The package includes 17,500 more combat troops for Baghdad and 4,000 more marines for Anbar province, the cockpit of the Sunni insurgency. Over $1bn will be spent in economic aid. In return the Iraqis are to promise to crackdown on insurgents, regardless of sect or religion.
In opting for a troop surge, Mr Bush has ignored the message of the mid-term elections, the Iraq Study Group, Congress, his own top generals and most world opinion. US generals have difficulty enough maintaining current levels of combat-ready troops and are not convinced that more troops will make any difference. Rather than listen to them, Mr Bush has turned to the right, to those who argue that honour and the America's national interests require fighting on. One senses that "honour" is the more important of the two.......
Thus far, al-Maliki's record has not been good. He has been unable or unwilling to confront the main Shia warlord, Moqtada al-Sadr, on whom he depends for parliamentary support. His government cannot fight sectarianism, if entire ministries are working for the Shia militias. This was demonstrated by the execution of Saddam Hussein. On Tuesday alone, 40 bodies were found in Baghdad, the presumed work of the death squads.......
The claim peace is returning to Basra is as unreal as Mr Bush's hope that order can be brought to Baghdad. Surrounded by the wreckage of the disaster they created, both men still hope, against all reality, that somehow the pieces can be put back together again. But their project is dead. A few more troops, or a few more months, will not restore it. Both men are on their way out. By stringing the war along without admitting defeat, it will become the business of another British prime minister and another American president to end it."