“Milestones,” or millstones?

Posted by admin
Oct 22 2006

What do you do if you have the world’s largest, most powerful, hi-tech military and can’t stop an insurgency that you, for all intents and purposes, started in another country? It seems Bush and Company have one idea: Make the people whose country you invaded and occupied figure out how to stop it and punish them if they can’t:

U.S. to Hand Iraq a New Timetable on Security Role (New York Times):

The Bush administration is drafting a timetable for the Iraqi government to address sectarian divisions and assume a larger role in securing the country, senior American officials said.

Details of the blueprint, which is to be presented to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki before the end of the year and would be carried out over the next year and beyond, are still being devised. But the officials said that for the first time Iraq was likely to be asked to agree to a schedule of specific milestones, like disarming sectarian militias, and to a broad set of other political, economic and military benchmarks intended to stabilize the country.

Although the plan would not threaten Mr. Maliki with a withdrawal of American troops, several officials said the Bush administration would consider changes in military strategy and other penalties if Iraq balked at adopting it or failed to meet critical benchmarks within it.

A senior Pentagon official involved in drafting the blueprint said Iraqi officials were being consulted as the plan evolved and would be invited to sign off on the milestones before the end of the year. But he added, “If the Iraqis fail to come back to us on this, we would have to conduct a reassessment” of the American strategy in Iraq.

In a statement issued Saturday night, a White House spokeswoman, Nicole Guillemard, said the Times’s account was “not accurate,” but did not specify what officials found to be inaccurate.

To recap: The administration makes up an excuse to go to war with Iraq, conducts that war, and sets up shop in the center of that country’s largest city. We don’t make plans for a post-war situation and get caught flat-footed when an insurgency develops. After three, going on four, years of “hunting down the terrorists” and making claims that all is well (despite what that wicked Librul Media says), they finally admit that maybe, just maybe, all is not going quite exactly according to their half-baked plans.

Now, instead of admitting that they really screwed up in Iraq and setting about making things right, the Bush administration appears ready to hand the whole mess over to the barely breathing, clearly divided government of Iraq to resolve using a police force that is already up to its eyeballs in insurgent fighting and holding itself together with spit and gum.

Wow.

Just… … … wow.

Bush and his underlings are truly living in some strange dreamworld if they think they think they can pull this one off successfully.

It may be the case that there is no “Pottery Barn Rule,” as Colin Powell asserted some years ago, but there is no doubt this administration broke Iraq. They should be the ones responsible for fixing it.

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