Sunday, September 26, 2004

It seems the Bush administration plan for Iraq is taking shape. It doesn't seem to show long term thinking to me - so I'll try and do some. What the heck. Although we have heard of plans to pacify the Sunni triange in time for elections, even Rumsfeld does not seem to believe it. The elections will be in the Shia and Kurdish areas.

Judging from Bush's recent treatment of Allawi on his visit, it seems he expects him to win the election. I don't think this expectation is based on his popularity - that wasn't why he was chosen in the first place. I'm not sure what the administration has planned for the January elections, or what they tacitly or explicitly expect Allawi to do to win them, but we don't seem to be preparing to deal with any other leader. After Allawi did so much to support Bush, it would be hard for Bush to do otherwise with Allawi.

I think the Kerry campaign was very wrong in their suggestion that Allawi was a puppet. I think the Bush administration make think likewise, but they are probably both wrong. There is much in Allawi's disquieting history to make some suspect him of being a thug, but nothing to make us think he is easily lead around by the nose. Bush and Kerry should both keep this in mind.

One thing about a civil war - it would explain our keeping troops there in perpetuity. If we didn't do that, what would prevent Allawi from becoming another Saddam? I'm honestly not sure how many in the Bush administration have thought that far ahead, but it may now be the default direction we are headed if we don't change course. We will have the military power to win, but (at least I hope) not the willingness to slaughter civilians indiscriminately. The terrorists will be in exactly the reverse situation.

I'm not sure Kerry knows how to fix this situation. Neither do I, so I don't blame him for that. I will even vote for him because he might get the right advisors and figure it out - where Bush will stay the course until he sails over the falls.

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