Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nothing New (Except The Rumored Coup)

Preznit Bush finally got to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki in Jordan today after Maliki abruptly canceled yesterday's meeting.

The cancellation followed the leaking of a memo to the New York Times written by National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley that questioned Maliki's ability to put a stop to sectarian violence in Iraq and after Shiite backers of Maliki pulled out of the Iraqi government.

Today at the summit, the preznit and the prime minister promised to speed up the training of the Iraqi security forces and pledged continued cooperation to try and stop the violence in Iraq.

In other words, nothing new came from the summit between the two leaders.

While they pledged to speed up the training of Iraq security forces, nothing was said about getting the Shiite death squads and militiamen out of the army or the police force.

Until the Iraqi government or the U.S. government puts a stop to the Shiite death squads working within the various arms of the Iraqi government, I just don't see how they can make the situation better in Iraq.

So while the administration was hoping to use the summit between Bush and Maliki to show how they were making progress in "devising strategies for stemming civil strife in Iraq," instead administration officials found themselves on the defensive over Maliki's abrupt cancellation of yesterday's meeting and conjecture that the leaking of the Hadley memo was the administration's way of undercutting Maliki and setting him up for a fall.

Pat Buchanan said on Scarborough Country last night that if he were Maliki, he would read up on the history of Diem in Vietnam.

Diem, of course, was murdered in a Kennedy administration-engineered coup
after the Diem government started to act in ways no longer helpful to Kennedy's Vietnam policy in 1963.

I suspect Buchanan is right about this. While Bush is giving assurances in public that he supports Maliki 100%, behind the scenes there is much grumbling about his deficiencies, his ties to Shiite thugs like al-Sadr, and his unwillingness or inability to take on the Shiite militiamen and death squads.

And remember that when Preznit Bush gives a person a public show of support, it usually means the kiss of death. Remember how he backed up Rumsfeld a week before the election only to pull the plug on the Secretary of Defense the day after?

So, get ready for a U.S.-engineered coup that puts some strongman the administration trusts into power (at least according to the guys on Scarborough Country last night.)

Iyad Allawi, the former interim Prime Minister of Iraq currently living in Europe, fits the bill. Allawi has shown a willingness to take on the Shiiite militias and Moqtada al-Sadr in particular in the past. Plus Allawi is rumored to be pretty thuggish himself when it comes to getting what he wants (he brought former Saddam secret police agents into the interim government with him.) And remember too that the administration had wanted Allawi to be elected prime minister and even tried to rig the elections so that he would win (until the exposure of the rigging plan forced them to back off.)

If not Allawi, then somebody else, as long as he's going to deal ruthlessly with both the Shiites and the Sunnis. I don't think the Bush administration cares much about who he is as long as they have some measure of control over him and the change in government brings a change in direction for Iraq.

Especially since they plan no changes in Iraq war policy from this side.

Both the Washington Post and the NY Times report today that the Baker-Hamilton Commission is going to recommend a "major withdrawal" of the 15 U.S. combat brigades in Iraq (though no timetable for the withdrawal will be stated.) While some U.S. troops will remain in Iraq, they will focus on "logistics, intelligence and training and advising Iraqi units." Some combat troops will remain, but only to protect other U.S. forces, not deal with the insurgency or sectarian violence.

But Preznit Bush told us just Tuesday that there will be no withdrawal of American troops until "victory" is achieved in Iraq. At least not while he is preznit. So it seems that the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group will come to nothing as the preznit pursues his current Iraq policy oblivious to reality, sanity and the will of the American people.

Which is why it seems likely the Bushies leaked the Hadley memo to the Times yesterday to let Maliki know that he's got very little time before the axe comes down on him and the administration brings somebody else in to out-Saddam Saddam and finally try to put an end to the chaos and carnage in Iraq.

I wonder if anyone can out-Saddam Saddam. That is to say, now that chaos reigns, is there a strong man brutal enough to clamp down the various factions?

Can toothpaste be put back into a tube?

I think it can, but slowly, and your hands are going to get dirty doing it.
Well said, pt. Well said.
praguetwin, you asked:

" there a strong man brutal enough to clamp down the various factions?"

There are many. And you can be sure ahmadinejad of Iran will take his shot as soon as US forces have left.

The Iranian arrival would look a lot like the triumphant arrival of North Vietnamese forces in Saigon after our last helicopter left the embassy.

Then of course, moqtadr al-sadr would love a shot. However, he's likely to be killed before that moment arrives.
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