Thursday, January 11, 2007

Iraq plan DOA?

Probably not, but the ranks of Republican opponents is growing in a sort of negative bipartisanship. Several senators took on Condoleeza Rice on the topic today on Capitol Hill.

Some were longtime war opponents, like Chuck Hagel:
President Bush’s decision to deploy 21,500 additional troops to Iraq drew fierce opposition Thursday from congressional Democrats and some Republicans — among them Sen. Chuck Hagel, who called it "the most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam."...

In a heated exchange with Hagel, a potential presidential candidate in 2008, Rice disputed his characterization of Bush’s buildup as an "escalation."

"Putting in 22,000 more troops is not an escalation?" Hagel, a Vietnam veteran and longtime critic of Bush’s Iraq policy, asked. "Would you call it a decrease?"

"I would call it, senator, an augmentation that allows the Iraqis to deal with this very serious problem that they have in Baghdad," she said.

Hagel told Rice, "Madame secretary, Iraqis are killing Iraqis. We are in a civil war. This is sectarian violence out of control."

She disputed that Iraq was in the throes of a civil war. To that, Hagel said, "To sit there and say that, that’s just not true."

More interesting to me, though, is Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who withdrew his support while complaining that the Bush administration had lied to him and the American people. Or George Voinovich, R-Ohio, who did not come out and say he was withdrawing support, but said Bush had not made a convincing case for his plan.

Separately, an Associated Press poll found strong opposition to the president's plan, with 70 percent opposing sending more troops. Polls should be taken with a grain of salt. This one, for instance, largely reflects overwhelming (87 percent) opposition from Democrats and lukewarm (52 percent) support from Republicans. But that's still a solid majority opposed to the idea.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The plan is not DOA but it is more interesting to look at how it came about. I think the president cut a deal with the shiites and the shiite PM . He let them execute Saddam Hussein and then made them promise on clean up.
Remember recently VP Cheney was in Saudi Arabia, after he was called for "consultations"? It came about the same time as a report that the VP was pushing for siding with the Shia in the civil war, and that secretary of state was opposed to it. I think they finally converged on a policy very close to Cheney's view. Talk to the Shia and the Kurds, who will listen and not the Sunni and cut a deal.
Having said all this, it is still a delusional guy's plan. It will end in a further isolation of sunnis and they will be suppressed as like the shia were during the dictatorship. But there will be a decrease in violence and the administration will claim credit for it.


1/11/2007 4:47 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

I love a good conspiracy!!

I can see the plan making sense in the isolated context of Iraq. But siding with the Shiites in a war on Sunnis would cheese off the entire rest of the Arab world (which is largely Sunni) and allow the Shiites to play us off against Iran for the biggest favors.

1/11/2007 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sean, the POTUS and VP dont care about the rest of the arab world.
. if they were they would have atleast tried one set of palestinian-israeli peace talks.
The sunni arab world getting cheesed off, that was the reason why the VP was "invited" to Riyadh for "consultations" . There was the report that the saudis threatened to get involved if the sunnis were getting slaughtered.
I think if the oil from Iraq started to flow in quantities they expected, they would abandon the rest of the middle east that they dont agree with.
These sunni and shia fights go back centuries and deal making like this is the norm in that part of the world.
I think they cut a deal, just in the hope that it will reduce the violence. at least to a level that will get it out of the front pages here.
I think they decided on increasing soldiers to cut arms and money flowing in from syria to the anbar province and basically "pacify" them. The deal probably included reining in the shia militia, that is make them promise on not attacking first.

1/11/2007 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to the Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice----for standing up against the naysayers who have never had a good idea in their lives!!!!


1/11/2007 11:00 PM  
Blogger Sean Aqui said...

JP5: That comment isn't debate; it's empty partisan cheerleading.

1/12/2007 11:48 AM  

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