Sunday, December 17, 2006


Larry Johnson, writing at TPM Cafe, looks at what is about to go down in Iraq, and sees the catastrophe to come:

George Bush has made his choice and it is calamitous.

As Larry ably points out, Bush has got the U.S. into a very difficult dilemma, where a normal person would see no good options.

Regardless of your feelings or beliefs about sending more U.S troops to Iraq, you must accept the painful truth that anything we do to salvage or strengthen the existing Shia-dominated government in Iraq redounds to the benefit of Iran. If we weigh in on the side of the Sunni insurgents we run a serious risk that the Shias will attack us in strength and, at least for the short time, cut our supply lines that run through the heart of Shia territory. Moreover, anything we do to militarily challenge Iran will weaken our influence in Iraq and jeopardize the mission of our forces in Iraq.
Bush, true to form, appears ready to choose the course with the greatest cost and risk to the U.S. As related by Johnson and Pat Lang, the plan, evidently, is to "surge" the U.S. military in Iraq, by increasing the numbers in-country by around 50,000, for an unspecified period beginning in March, and concentrate on the twin tasks of defeating the Sunni militias in Baghdad, while disarming the Shia Mahdi Army militia.

As Pat and Larry, separately point out, this is practically an invitation to unite the Sunni and Shia in a co-belligerancy against the U.S. forces. Lang notes:
The carnage implicit in this concept would be appalling. The authors have much to say about the consequences of defeat in Iraq, but, I wonder if they have contemplated what it would be like to fail in their climactic battle and still be required by '43 to stay in Iraq.
So, the carnage in Iraq will escalate, and the political storm building around Bush will escalate with it. It is going to be one long, hot Spring and Summer.

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