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June 24, 2006

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I'm going to go have a drink.

Not to toast Bush's genius, but so that I can do a "spit take."

From Clem Yeobright over at DKos:

The deal, which has been seen by The Times, aims to divide Iraqi insurgents from foreign fighters linked to al-Qaeda. It builds on months of secret talks involving Jalal al-Talabani, the Iraqi President, Zalmay Khalilzad, the US Ambassador, and seven Sunni insurgent groups.

We can't imagine that BushCo will totally withdraw from Iraq voluntarily. They may take the opportunity to make a big media splash about withdrawal, just in time for our election, and actually withdraw some troops as you suggest. But there is no way they are going to give up a power base in Iraq. Remember those huge new bases they are constructing? Their ideal would be to lead the American public to believe that progress is being achieved, while they minimize US casualties by relying on Iraqis and US air power, and have an Iraqi government dependent on the US military. This has been their real goal all along, and they don't care if it leaves Iraq in a shambles as long as they maintain their power in the region.

Makes sense. I keep vacillating between believing that Bush/Rove wants to find a way to get the troops coming home this fall to undercut the Dems and believing that Bush/Cheney is spending billions on those big bases and Embassy because we want at least 20,000 troops to stay there forever. I can't decide which is true.

Maybe it's both. What will the Bushbots do? Let's see how it shakes out.

DeanOR

That is far and away the most likely scenario, I agree.

But al-Maliki needs to prove his independence from BushCo, and that might involve asking us to do things we don't want to do.

emptywheel said: "But al-Maliki needs to prove his independence from BushCo, and that might involve asking us to do things we don't want to do." Or at least an appearance of doing something we don't want to do; this bunch is great at appearances.
I see it as a balancing act involving pacifying Iraq to some degree, pacifying the American public, and warding off the Democrats. It's quite a balancing act, and I don't know if they can pull it off - especially pacifying Iraq. I don't see Democrats as much of an opposition, though, even if they regain some power. The "centrist" position in our history seems to be to play power games to make the world safe for the corporations and keep the oil flowing. The Shah of Iran was fine with us in his time. Even Saddam was fine with us when he challenged Iran.
But I'm not an expert; tell me if I'm wrong.

The chances may be pretty small as you say ew—but that sure is an outline of how the Democrats could blow their opportunity by being passive now. I hope some of these stirrings we've heard in the last couple of days signal recognition of this possibility and determination not to let it happen.

I sure agree with the above comments that it's just a pre-election stunt.

NYT Front Page 6/25:
"WASHINGTON, June 24 — The top American commander in Iraq has drafted a plan that projects sharp reductions in the United States military presence there by the end of 2007, with the first cuts coming this September, American officials say.

According to a classified briefing at the Pentagon this week by the commander, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the number of American combat brigades in Iraq is projected to decrease to 5 or 6 from the current level of 14 by December 2007.
. . .
In line with this vision, some cuts would begin soon. The United States has 14 combat brigades in Iraq, plus many other support troops. Under the plan, the Unites States would shrink this force to 12 combat brigades by September. This would be done by NOT REPLACING TWO BRIGADES that are scheduled to be withdrawn: the First Brigade of the 10th Mountain Division and the Third Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division."

September - big PR show with flags and hugs for returning 2 brigades (as previously scheduled).
October - spin Dem position on Iraq as hating "heroes of democracy" troops
November - election
October - "conditions on ground" change in Iraq, US troops to stay

billmon seems to be thinking along the same lines I am, though he included something I intended to include and didn't.

Far from opposing it, I think Washington is probably where the plan originated. Maliki, after all, was the American choice for the prime ministership -- the guy that Ambassador Khalilzad and his band of behind-the-scenes string pullers went to the mat for during the long, drawn-out negotations in Baghdad earlier this year. It's pretty far fetched to think he would pull a peace plan like a rabbit out of a hat and then present it to his U.S. benefactors as a fait accompli.

Though his final point is the most important, IMO.

Sooner or later, of course, the clueless idiots will find out that the war -- the real war, the war for the Middle East -- isn't over, and isn't likely to be over in their lifetimes, or even their children's lifetimes. But it's probably safe to assume that the first Tuesday in November will have come and gone by then.

Whatever the number of troops, Americans will continue to be killed in Iraq, along with many more Iraqis, for DECADES to come. Because George Bush is owned and operated by oil companies, hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people will die and America will be bankrupted trying to protect their profits and wring out the last drops of an energy source that's killing the planet. But all Bush's good friends (including the Saudi royals and the corrupt contractors sucking your tax dollars out of Iraq) will thrive and be rich enough to continue to buy our public officials. Way to go, Shrub! It took two centuries to nurture the American dream, the last best hope on earth -- and you've blown it to hell in five short years.

" If you're Bush, you negotiate this deal, encourage the House and Senate to have one more peace-bashing dick-waving hurrah to brand the Republicans as the "patriotic" party, and you encourage the Iraqis ask you to do just what the Democrats have been clamoring for."


" If you're Bush, you negotiate this deal, encourage the House and Senate to have one more peace-bashing dick-waving hurrah to brand the Republicans as the "patriotic" party, and you encourage the Iraqis ask you to do just what the Democrats have been clamoring for."

I agree. It sounds like the sort of thing a pathological four-flushing, cynical, self-serving demagogue would sieze and use shamelessly.

I wonder how the wounded survivors and the families of the dead and injured, after having paid so dear a price only so that Bush and the Republicans could frolic in the polls and enrich themselves according to their wildest dreams, shall take such a cynical ploy on the part of Republicans.

This is "cutting and running" without the admission of it; this is taking the money and running.

Oh, yeah, Americans shall also never allow the Iraqi people to forget how very much they'll owe us--unto the last generation--for all "we've done for them."



Actually, this thing looks like it was written by Bush and Co just in time for the mid-terms, and no doubt hand delivered about a week ago.

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