The pace of bloodshed, anarchy and death in the state of Iraq in the past few weeks have accelerated beyond the expectation of most policy makers and world leaders. Indeed, while opponents of the war from the onset as well as later day disciples have been calling for an immediate withdrawal of US troops, the tide seem to even be turning in the camp of the faithful. In one week, a top British General called for a withdrawal of troops from Iraq, top Republicans in the Senate including Jack Warner who were staunch supporters of the war are rethinking their stance, even the President’s dog is probably thinking about lonely time in the White House if this November election is decided on the Iraq war.
Do not get me wrong; Iraq is not in a state of anarchy, Iraq is actually anarchy itself. While the Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds are at each others throat, the governments security forces which is mainly Shiites dominated is battling Shiites militias in a free fall internal fight that is fast degenerating into a civil war. Beyond Iraq, Iran and North Korea are becoming emboldened by the fact that US forces are bogged down in Baghdad while Afghanistan is slowly slipping back to the Taliban era. But if you think the White House is listening then you must be deceiving yourself. In a tone sounding of usual cowboy arrogance or ignorance, depending of course on which side of the fence you stand, the President declared that if only it was his wife and dog that supported him on the war in Iraq, he was determined to “stay the course and win the war”.
But public opinion is strong in the run up to the November mid-term elections; the democrats seem to be at a striking distance of at least capturing one of the houses in Congress that is if they don’t blow it at the last minute as they usually do. But Karl Rove is not giving up so fast; he has labeled the call for immediate or phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq as a “cut and run” strategy. Just like the terms flip flopper, weak on security and liberals have entered political lexicons in the previous elections, Karl Rove is again trying to insert “cut and run” into the political discussions of this fall. From the President to his much more hated Vice, Dick “Shoot Him in the Face” Cheney, there have been no let up in the use of the phrase. Unfortunately, as President Clinton remarked last week, “a dog can only be led down a path so many number of times”. Americans simply do not seem to be buying into this phrase. Opinion seem stacked against the GOP (whether it is Grand Old Party or Grand Old P**ck we shall discuss sometimes later). But if you are a democrat, do not rejoice so early. Much work needs to be done.
The problem of American socio-political liberals as opposed to their social-political conservative nemesis has always been their inability to have a simple message, stay on the message and fight hard when it comes to election time. Indeed, Bill Clinton was an exception- and his recent face off on Fox Television is a flash back to the old days. But all in all, the democrats up until this point seem to have no plan to counter Bush’s “stay the course” strategy on Iraq or dissuade voters they are not political sissies as Karl Rove wish to paint them when he says their strategy is a “cut and run” one. But they will not have that luxury for too long. If through some divine miracle, they seize control of Congress, the American public shall hold them responsible for policy in Iraq going forward at least at the minimum- jointly with the current president. Hence, they must enunciate a policy basis that will save the honor of America in Iraq, preserve her status in the world, and restore confidence in America’s leadership around the world.
Going into Iraq, America had two main reasons for doing so: revenge and oil. Democracy was an after thought- trust me. There is no doubt that after the September 11 attack, Saddam Hussein was just such a primly positioned target for American attack under the minimum pretext of Weapons of Mass Destruction that never existed. Indeed, being the dumb dictator that he is, he unknowingly played into the hands of the Neo Cons and has since been dispatched to prison by the invading forces. I mean since when did America start loathing dictators? Look at Pakistan, the dictator there as well as the Kleptocrats in Riyadh are Uncle Sam’s best friends. On the other hand, the prediction by the Neo-Con think-tanks led by their managing director Dick Cheney that Americans will be welcomed with open hands and that Iraq will become an haven of Western style democracy and the war will be financed from the proceeds of Iraq oil have proved to be a mirage just like anything Dick Cheney does or say. Simply put, Iraq oil is barely sufficient for Iraq itself, and hardly are the Americans welcomed in Iraq.
Regardless of these situations however, it is my belief that it is still possible for America to declare victory and move on away from the Iraqi struggle without jeopardizing the two main reasons for the war: revenge and oil. For one, revenge have been achieved and can be maximized under the new Military Commissions Act, where members of the Saddam regime can be flown to the Bay and tried by military courts and then kept by America forever. America need not answer to anyone on this matter – America defines her enemies, and Saddam Hussein was simply one: so said King George II. Heck. Secondly, the Kurdish region that holds a sizeable chunk of Iraqi oil should simply be cut out of the larger Iraq, become an independent state with full American protection and weapons and would offer a good and stable testing ground for Western Style democracy and provide the much desired oil basin that America has sacrificed the souls of over 2780 souls for. According to the founding fathers, the best way to spread democracy is still by example.
This strategy sums up a cut ( i.e. cut Kurd Region out of the united Iraq, and send troops to secure her borders from militia infiltration) and win (withdraw troops and declare total victory while maintaining special military forces in the now freshly minted Republic of Kurdistan to the North of Iraq) strategy for America. In doing so, America can remove herself from the festering tea pot of civil war that is slowly brewing in Iraq. The truth is that, Iraq is making locked and definite steps towards an all out war and Americans need not stand in the way of this war. If Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis have decided to fight themselves, why stand in their way? Is it not better they fight themselves than they fight you? Why sacrifice the lives of your young boys for oil that will never materialize?
The more I ask these questions and the futility of the “stay the course strategy” the more my mind takes me back to the thinking behind the “wife and dog” comment of the President. The President simply has personal stakes and ego tied too much into this war. It is obvious however that it is neither a “cut and run” strategy nor a “stay the course” mantra that will save the US face in Iraq, a cut and win strategy as enunciated above will be more appropriate. The fact is that it is totally appropriate for America to deploy her power and forces in her own selfish interest alone in the world; after all it is a dog eat dog world out there. Let the parade begin; let us pop our wine for a free Kurd Republic, our returning military boys and a more prosperous America. God Bless the Free World.