The SanityPrompt

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Monday, June 27, 2005

Lebanon II: Whatever Happened to 'You Break It -- You Own It?'

What my problem?

Iraqis put on brave face after Rumsfeld comments: "BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi leaders put on a brave face on Monday after Washington said it would be up to them -- not American forces -- to defeat an insurgency that could last a decade or more.

Asked about comments by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that the insurgency in Iraq would last years, Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said it was impossible to predict how long it would take to defeat the guerrillas."

Excuse me? Well I suppose that's one way to craft an exit strategy -- "We can leave whenever we feel like it." And as for that civil war we triggered? "Not our problem." So much for bringing peace and stability to the region. And that blessed thing called Democracy? Well I suppose it depends on what your definition of democracy is. One more time now - 'why are we there again?' Cuz we are running out of reasons real fast once again.

"Rumsfeld's remarks appeared to signal a change in U.S. rhetoric ahead of President Bush's keynote speech on Iraq planned for Tuesday. A few weeks ago Vice President Dick Cheney said the insurgency was in its "last throes."

"But Rumsfeld said in a U.S. television interview: "That insurgency can go on for any number of years ... Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years."

"Although Rumsfeld did not say whether or when the United States would pull some or all of its 140,000 troops out of Iraq, he made clear Washington does not plan to go on leading the fight until Iraq is at peace."

I know the Administration is under lots of pressure to produce an exit strategy and a time-table and I recognize that much of this pressure emanates from Democrats and is little more than political posturing. But a lot of it comes from a genuine desire to get out of Iraq since many did not want to be there in the first place. As for those who voted to authorize force and now clamor for an exit strategy, well I am sure there is a special place in Hell waiting for them. But the overall picture now emerging from that country is that this is yet one more in a string of typical Bush moves -- half-baked, immoral, and irresponsible. Leaving Iraqis to settle this insurgency without American assistance has about as much chance as the Paris Peace accords did of maintaining a stable South Vietnam after 1974. Saddam's rule was a special kind of hell for Iraqis no doubt. But what seems to await them is about 10 years (in Rumsfeld's guess?) of Lebanon redux. That's a picture that ought to charm and warm the cockles of every human rights loving, freedom calling, flag waving American.


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