U.S. Rep. Brian Baird said Thursday that his recent trip to Iraq convinced him the military needs more time in the region, and that a hasty pullout would cause chaos that helps Iran and harms U.S. security.I can understand how Baird feels. The US through the lies and incompetence of the Bush administration broke Iraq and it would certainly seem reasonable that we should be expected to fix it. But the question that is rarely if ever asked by the right is can we? Many of us are inclined to think the answer is no. The latest for what passes as political progress in Iraq does not include the Sunnis.
"I believe that the decision to invade Iraq and the post-invasion management of that country were among the largest foreign-policy mistakes in the history of our nation. I voted against them, and I still think they were the right votes," Baird said in a telephone interview from Washington, D.C.
"But we're on the ground now. We have a responsibility to the Iraqi people and a strategic interest in making this work."
Baird, a five-term Democrat, voted against President Bush ordering the Iraq invasion — at a time when he was in a minority in Congress and at risk of alienating voters. He returned late Tuesday from a trip that included stops in Israel, Jordan and Iraq, where he met troops, U.S. advisers and Iraqis, whose stories have convinced him that U.S. troops must stay longer.
Aug 16 (Reuters) - Iraqi Kurdish and Shi'ite leaders formed an alliance on Thursday to support Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government, but failed to bring in Sunni leaders who are crucial to national reconciliation.This only guarantees continued civil war and ethnic cleansing by the Shia controlled military and police. The US has no choice but to start withdrawing in April. The Bush administration will run out of meat for the meat grinder. Any progress that has been made on the security front will quickly evaporate. At least Baird recognizes the downside.
Maliki is facing a political crisis after the main Sunni Arab bloc, the Accordance Front, pulled its six ministers out of his Shi'ite-led national unity government saying he had ignored their demands.
The new alliance includes the two main Kurdish parties in the government, the powerful Shi'ite Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (SIIC) and Maliki's Shi'ite Dawa party.
But it failed to include the Islamic Party, the biggest single Sunni Arab party in parliament.
U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said the alliance would not be able to solve the country's problems on its own.
"People may be upset. I wish I didn't have to say this," Baird said. He added that the United States needs to continue with its military troops surge "at least into early next year, then engage in a gradual redeployment. … I know it's going to cost hundreds of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars."So hundreds of Americans are going to die to hold gains that will be lost after April. No one is suggesting that we just leave immediately - logistics makes that impossible anyway. But it is time to start. The US can do nothing if the Iraqis won't cooperate and there is no indication that they will.
DownWithTyranny is pretty hard on Mr. Baird.
Baird has drunk the GOP kool aide. He has abandoned the constituents of WA-03 and become so wrapped up in Inside the Beltway nonsense that he is no longer fit to represent the district. He's out spreading the gospel according to Cheney and encouraging the endless war proponents inside the Beltway, his only constituency.