Wednesday, October 08, 2003

A Plan for Iraq : If the Democrats Dared

Listening to congressional democrats can be pretty funny. They're not criticizing the money we spend on occupying Iraq. They're concerned about the much smaller amount designated to help rebuild it. And they're not saying how it should be done either.

So here's a plan for Iraq. Remember how Saddam finally allowed the inspectors back in when Bush was getting ready to invade? As far as we know now, if there were still WMD in Iraq those inspectors might have found them. But nobody took the threat seriously until the armies began to mass.

Now what we need is a credible threat that we might leave. Not that we just walk out and leave a Somalia. But we start talking to some of the leaders of groups of Sunni's closest to the areas where the most troops are being killed. Do you really want us to walk out? Who would enter the power vacuum? Iran, and a Shi'ite theocracy?

Of course to threaten someone they need something to lose. There has to be some kind of process so that anyone who has a grudge can't just kill any Sunni leader they want in a drive by shooting - not even if he was a member of the Baath party. Not even if he was probably guilty - at least not without a trial. Otherwise they already have anarchy, and need not fear it.

The threat is stronger than the execution. To actually walk out and leave a mess would be a horrible blow to American prestige, and perhaps create the breeding ground where Al Qaeda really could build a nuclear bomb. Even to threaten it would be a blow. But we need some kind of threat for those who refuse to do their utmost, and since unlike Saddam we can't threaten the relatives or whole towns of our enemies, perhaps this is it. And not just for the Sunni's. It seems pretty odd that many people should be more eager to protest against America than the people who actually killed a Shia cleric.

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