Tuesday, December 05, 2006
How We Should "Go" in Iraq!
On the Eve of the official release of the Iraq Study Group report, I’d like to return briefly to the recent Pentagon review that came up with a set of possibilities that have been dubbed “Go Big,” “Go Long,” or “Go Home.”
“Go Big” refers to the option of dramatically increasing troop levels – an unfeasible proposition considering current troop availability and the additional cost that would have to be absorbed by a rapidly increasing national debt.
“Go Long” refers to the option of basically continuing to string things along with the current, or slightly reduced, troop levels - in the hope that some sort of miracle will result in something we can eventually claim as “victory." It is an option perhaps more appropriately named “Go Fish,” except that the card we would be hoping to draw has probably already been removed from the deck!
“Go Home” refers to complete troop withdrawal, and would undoubtedly leave years of continued violence and chaos before there would be any hope of improvement - solidifying a legacy of failure in Iraq for Bush/Cheney and, unfortunately, the American people who put them in power.
A fourth option, which I call alternately “Go Wide” and “Go Real,” is the one I hope the American people will eventually choose, although it seems a remote possibility. Both elements would need to be present for it to work, and it goes like this:
“Go Wide” refers to expanding involvement in Iraq peacekeeping efforts to include a true international coalition that would work in partnership, using military, financial and diplomatic means to clean up the mess. It is basically the option that should have been used in the first place, if it had been considered necessary by a real coalition to remove Saddam from power and enforce peace long enough for a democracy to take hold.
Unfortunately, “Go Wide,” on its own, is no longer feasible, since no other country would be willing to help clean up the mess made by Bush/Cheney as long as these arrogant pricks are at the helm! That’s why we would need to include another element.
“Go Real” (a variation of “Get Real”) refers to the act of accepting 1) that we (the American people) have a problem, 2) that we created the problem, and 3) we will do what is necessary to rectify the problem in order to be worthy of accepting help from the international community.
It is very simple. We need help from the rest of the world in order to clean up a mess we made for ourselves, but that also affects them. In order to redeem ourselves, we must admit that we made a mistake by allowing Bush/Cheney to pursue an unnecessary war, using unnecessary and probably illegal means. We must remove them from power and turn them over to the International Criminal Court, where their deeds can be judged according to international standards. We must apologize, and then hope we can form a real coalition to enforce peace in Iraq, more along the model of what was accomplished in the Balkans.
I’ve written before about the possibility of Bush and Cheney taking over the cells once inhabited by Milosovic, Etc. Rumsfeld and others have already been charged with war crimes (PDF) in a German court. Ultimately, although discussion of war crimes and the tactics underway in Germany may seem pointless to some in this country, it may be the case that embracing them will be the only way for the American people to recover from the disaster of Iraq!