Thursday, January 11, 2007

No Iraqi Left Behind

The NYT says:
Before Mr. Bush spoke, Americans knew he planned to send more troops to pacify lawless Baghdad. Mr. Bush’s task was to justify that escalation by acknowledging that there was no military solution to this war and outlining the political mission that the military would be serving. We were waiting for him to detail the specific milestones that he would set for the Iraqis, set clear timelines for when they would be expected to meet them, and explain what he intended to do if they again failed.

Instead, he said he had warned the Iraqis that if they didn’t come through, they would lose the faith of the American people. Has Mr. Bush really not noticed that the American people long ago lost faith in the Iraqi government — and in him as well? Americans know that this Iraqi government is captive to Shiite militias, with no interest in the unity, reconciliation and democracy that Mr. Bush says he wants.
In other words, we are going to reform Iraq the same way we reform the schools:

by setting up unrealistic and cynically imprecise benchmarks amid a lot of chest-thumping media play,

failing to provide the resources or leadership that effective reform requires,

and declaring “mission accomplished” without any assessment of actual progress or results.

There you go again, George.

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