Tuesday, January 02, 2007

McCain Doctrine Draws U.S. Troops into Civil War

2008 Presidential candidate John Edwards says there are no easy choices on Iraq, but if there's one choice that he belives is wrong, it's what he calls "The McCain Doctrine." A fitting name, it describes Senator John McCain's longstanding view that, since we failed miserably when the Bush administration ignored General Eric Shinseki's recommendation regarding higher troop levels in 2002, we should get the opportunity for a "do-over" in Iraq, escalating the troubles with more troops now. The trouble is, our fighting men and women will now be fighting for completely different reasons than in 2003 (when President Bush gave us at least 21 different rationales for a preemptive attack on Iraq - none of those rationales bearing out as true). Today in Iraq, our troops could, for example, be in a situation where they would wind up killing Sunnis for the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

I don't think so. It's time for us to see that it's time for redeployment.

Andrew Sullivan today:

My own view is that withdrawal might even have some beneficial consequences. It will force Iran and the Sunni powers to intervene either to foment war or to stymie it. It could well unleash turmoil in Iran, and give Tehran a huge headache that will give it an incentive to deal with the world at large. I do not believe that Ahmadinejad will regard al-Sadr as a stable partner. Crucially, withdrawal could change the narrative of this war. So far, the narrative has been the one scripted by bin Laden: Islam versus the West. Thanks to Zarqawi, the narrative could soon become: Islam against itself. That is the real struggle here, masked by Western enmeshment. By getting out of Iraq now - decisively, swiftly, and candidly - we could actually gain in the long war.

John Edwards on
The McCain Doctrine


GreenSmile said...

You are correct Jude. and Sullivan is more on target than usual. There is more too: the Baath operatives embedded in Saddam's armies, intelligence and security apparatus have had 2 years to melt into the woodwork. There was a moment, and it came BEFORE the fall of Baghdad, when an attack at the rear and flanks of the massed Iraqi forces would have yeilded many more prisoners and far fewer guerillas.

Dispersing Saddam's army and griding it into the countryside and neighborhoods has come back to haunt us and to produce far more casualties from "insurgents" than we suffered in the lopsided tank vs airpower battles and the battles of massed toops. Letting the looting go on until records of much of the Baath infrastructure, not to mention all the "disappeared" victims of the regime, were mostly lost or destroyed was also a terrible waste of an opportunity to mete out justice to all of Saddam's willing henchmen rather than a symbolic vengence in one hanging.
I am not convinced that anything less than Shinseki's or Powell's troop strength idea could have accomplished the more decisive and maintainable defeat of Saddam's flavor of Sunni fascism. But that is too simplified a question...not understanding all the stabilizing, if brutal, forces that we displaced or simply eliminated is the essence of our foriegn policy blunders in Iraq. The dreams of empire that propelled our blunders will look stupid to later historians: we will appear to have simply stumbled out into the path of one of history's oncoming frieght trains.

From the stand point of arguing against "McCain doctrine" all I am saying is that there are more burnt bridges in Iraq than we have been able to count and McCain proposes to drive across most of them.

Larry said...

McCain is supposed to be the independent soul but in reality he has sold his soul for the Bush mantle.

Another phony caught up in the web of deceit.

TomCat said...

I predicted escalation before any of the MSM. I took the best plan and excluded it. Then I excluded the next best plan. Finally, only the worst plan, escalation remained. At that point Bush's New Way Forward became obvious.

Jude Nagurney Camwell said...

greensmile, larry, and tomcat,

It's apparent to me that many of us "have Bush's number".
greensmile, you say something so important that I want to repeat it:

...not understanding all the stabilizing, if brutal, forces that we displaced or simply eliminated is the essence of our foriegn policy blunders in Iraq. The dreams of empire that propelled our blunders will look stupid to later historians: we will appear to have simply stumbled out into the path of one of history's oncoming frieght trains.

"Not understanding" is the bitter truth. We didn't understand the culture; our intelligence was for shit - utter and complete shit; we bought into the promises of a core group of Iraqi expatriates and sent an inadequate number of our troops headlong into a hornet's nest without a clearly delineated plan for victory.

The saddest mistake of all was not that, once committed to occupying Iraq, the Bush administration did not send enough troops to cover the job. The saddest and clearest mistake of American foreign policy in Iraq was waging the war at all.

McCain's putting up new "he-man" goalposts that our stupid leader will be politically afraid to ignore. Who's the bigger man? Who's got the bigger war-balls?

I'll wager that Bush, desperate for a legacy that won't show him to be the biggest boob in American history, is thinking in his own wild mind:

"Hmmm...How many more people do we have to kill to make it all go away?"

GreenSmile said...

Which is kinda like saying "how much gas do I have to pour on this fire to put it out?"

As for our intelligence...Cheney actively interfered with DoD analysts work, placed his stooges among the career intel officers who knew just how weak Saddam was. After watching Jarecki's "Why We Fight", I looked around to see if there was any more writing from the ex-analyst Jarecki interviewed. There is. Her name is Kwiatkowski or something close to that. She is a libertarian as far as I can tell and has a small audience she reaches from her family's farm somewhere in Virginia. The point is, she is more conservative than you or I, she invested 20 years in helping the DoD make the right decisions and still she was just sick at what distortions the administration wanted and got regarding inteligence about Iraq.

Jude Nagurney Camwell said...

Greensmile, Although I haven't seen the Jarecki film yet, I'm very familiar with Karen Kwiatkowski. She's someone I highly respect. I introduced my readers to her in October of 2003, showcasing this article she'd written.

Want to see something weird? I blooged about another great article by Karen K... about a year ago - and look at tHE blogpost just under it ;)

GreenSmile said...

Thanks for the pointer. I will follow it.

BTW, PBS replayed a great Frontline" epsisode last night on how Cheney, Scooter and others got the "facts they wanted" and subverted the mission of the CIA, making a fool of Powell, etc on the way to invading Iraq.

I got so mad I could barely stand to watch it but it did end with an update about the resignation of Rummy. That was the fact I left out of my comments above: Rummy was quite active in building up DoD inteligence operations at the expense of CIA and it was not all Cheney & co. These hack analysts who moved in on Kwiatkowski were Rummy's plants too.

It all plays very much like your sig from Huxley: "you shall know the truth and ..." our job is to just be witnesses and never let these facts get out of peoples minds.

Jude Nagurney Camwell said...


You've captured the spirit behind my sig perfectly.

I saw that PBS special when it originally aired and I was reminded of George Tenet's moral weakness. He had the power - even in the final hours of October 2002 when our Senators were making a damned tough deliberation - to come out and say publicly that the intelligence was too shaky to support a preemptive strike on Iraq. His failure to do so was documented in this column by Bob Graham in 2005: What I Knew Before the Invasion

After close examination, it is my conclusion that the truth that George Tenet possessed was the only thing that could have given our Senators the political fuel they required (and so needed) to tell Bush, with public affirmation from Tenet, to take a hike on his IWR. Paul Pillar said as much in that PBS documentary. Tenet got a Medal of Freedom for keeping his mouth shut for Bush and his neocon administration.

I'm sorry to have to say this about Mr. Tenet, because he gave so many years of good service to America. But, he was afraid to say that his CIA didn't have what they should have had - that they weren't up to snuff - that the intelligence was for shit and the Bush administration was cherry picking and manipulating.

It would have been the hardest thing he'd ever had to do...and it would have meant a sure retribution with his political destruction by teh bastards of the Bush administration.

But it might have headed off the worst foreign policy mistake as American President has ever made in the name of the American people.