"There's been a certain amount of pop sociology in America ... that the Shia can't get along with the Sunni and the Shia in Iraq just want to establish some kind of Islamic fundamentalist regime. There's almost no evidence of that at all. Iraq's always been very secular."We have this:
~Willaim Kristol, April 4th, 2003
The best strategy for the president is to hold firm. There is every reason to believe that he can survive the current calamity-Janes of the Republican party (does anyone really imagine that a veto-proof majority will form in the Senate this week or next?). This nonsense will pass, Congress will go on recess, and Petraeus will have a chance to continue to produce results--and the president and his allies will have a chance to gain political ground here at home. Why on earth pull the plug now? Why give in to an insane, irrational panic that will destroy the Bush administration and most likely sweep the Republican party to ruin? The president still has a chance to emerge from this as a visionary who could see what the left could not--but not if he gives in to them. There is no safety in the position some in the Bush administration are running towards.Andrew Sullivan replies:
Ah, yes, the Republican party. The real prize, the real issue. It's worth reiterating: The main reason to withdraw and redeploy now is because no sane observer believes that continuing to ineffectively occupy a Muslim country against the will of the Iraqi and American people is in the national interest. The surge will end next March, regardless. Whatever slivers of success it has achieved cannot work against the overwhelming fact of Iraq's sectarian disintegration. The "country" cannot be put together again under unending U.S. occupation. And sending more young Americans to die for a sectarian war that is actually increasing the risk to the U.S. and the West as a whole is immoral and strategically foolhardy.I' not sure how Kristol measures success but as I said earlier at The Gun Toting Liberal:
The reality is Iraq is no closer to a functional government now than it was before that famous “purple finger” election three years ago. In fact the situation has continued to deteriorate since then.And there is a time line. The US must start withdrawing in March or April of next year because it will be out of troops. If nothing has been accomplished in three years is there any reason to believe there will be any improvement in the next nine months.