Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Exit, Stage Left

There's one thing about Iraq that's becoming clearer - Dubya's exit strategy in Iraq is beginning to unfold. The strategy goes something like this: we turn over sovereignty to [fill in the blank], they tell us to leave.

We leave.

Potential future news conference sound bite: "Hey, they want us out of there. What are you gonna do?" The trial balloons have been floating for weeks.

Well, kiddos, it ain't gonna happen. Because business is business. If the U.S. military leaves, all of the U.S. private interests in Iraq wouldn't be worth a bucket of bat guano. All the "private security contractors" in the world are not going to protect Americans (and more importantly, American dollars) from Iraqis and other operators trying to position themselves in both dinars and power.

I really don't want to be a negative energy force toward any end-game plan, but the crew in charge keeps opening themselves wide to criticism. One idea I've never agreed with is the "cut and run" approach - and it seems that the Bush administration is now quietly embracing a variation of this strategy. The entire orchestrated exit is a move which will be requested (or at least sanctioned) by the New Iraq government itself. It won't be called "cut and run", but if it walks like a duck...

What blows me away is that if an amateur like me can see the fallacy of the direction that this whole sovereignty thing is taking, why can't the educated policy makers? If an internet nutball like me can see that the approach (as presently laid out by BushCo) is fraught with unacceptable risk from both a political stability and human standpoint, why can't the folks who are being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year just to study and analyze this crap see it?

Bookmark this post. Come back and read it in 24 months.

I can't help but feel like this whole Iraq thing has become a huge house of cards. We're about to put the finishing touches on the house, but what we can't see is that the final cards are going to cause the whole thing to come crashing down, and we'll be back to something less than what we started with. If that's even possible. And our exit from Baghdad could make our exit from Saigon look like an orderly transition.

And lastly, why why why do I have to get any decent reporting on this issue from Australia, BBC, and AFP?

Iraqi minister predicts swift coalition withdrawal

Iraq to have veto on military action, says Blair