Your headline for the day

From the Washington Post:

Bush Urges Troop ‘Surge’ in Iraq: President says al-Maliki’s willingness to commit forces against Shiite militias ensures success.

This time, for sure!

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Published in: on January 9, 2007 at 10:39  Comments (2)  
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2 Comments

  1. In another forum, I observed as follows:
    Allow me to make a set of predictions: Bush is
    going to send another few tens of thousands of troops in, because
    there is no practical way to withdraw that authority before the
    fact. These troops will follow the Malaki plan that is now under
    discussion. The on-the-ground effect of that will be that the US
    will join the Iraqi civil war, on the side of the Shiites. The
    border parts of Iraqi Kurdistan will get a bit more dangerous,
    the Kurdish secession will become more and more a fait accompli,
    and the rest of the Iraq will calmly continue to go to hell in a
    handbasket. Either the reconstruction aid that Bush is proposing
    will be voted down by Congress, as a protest to the fact that
    Bush is escalating the conflict (as Tom Lehrer put it so well so
    many years ago, ‘practicing Escalatio on the North Vietnamese,’
    er, Iraqis), or it will be approved and squandered by a Bush
    administration that continues to dole out reconstruction
    contracts to their staunchest supporters rather than to groups
    that have actual experience in the field, or it will be approved,
    but the constraints that Congress places upon it (in a valiant
    attempt to prevent (2) above) will slow the distribution of funds
    sufficiently that the aid will have been effectively voted down.
    Fundamentally, the only mechanism that our Constitution has for
    saying ‘bad executive! no biscuit!’ is for Congress to Impeach,
    or for the executive to want congress’ approval in a way that
    this administration has not demonstrated. I think it is
    extremely likely that Bush will continue to assert that the conduct
    of the Executive Branch is beyond the law and that his Iraq and
    anti-terror strategies will work ‘if we just give them enough time
    and money,’ until the toys are taken away, either by his term
    expiring in 2008, or by him doing something sufficiently egregious
    that even staunch Republicans start standing up in public in numbers
    and saying that he should be impeached. The Iraq Study Group
    made it politically acceptable for Republicans to say ‘I oppose
    the current conduct of the War,’ but that is really *all* that
    the ISG report does.
    To this day, many people on the right believe that ‘we could have
    just won in Viet Nam if only we’d been willing.’ Just as the
    Cold War provided a live lab test of Communism (news flash: it
    doesn’t work), I believe that we are now seeing a live lab test
    of ‘we can change other country’s internal political situations
    by force, if we are only willing to throw enough men and materiel
    at it.’ We are also, separately, getting a live lab test of how
    the US system of government reacts to an administration which
    genuinely believes in the primacy of the executive. I think that
    the odds that we will eventually see Impeachment are very high,
    but only because I think it very likely that Bush will continue
    to make unpopular decisions that don’t work, and that the public
    will get sick of it.
    But we are certainly no where *near* there yet.

  2. In another forum, I observed as follows:
    Allow me to make a set of predictions: Bush is
    going to send another few tens of thousands of troops in, because
    there is no practical way to withdraw that authority before the
    fact. These troops will follow the Malaki plan that is now under
    discussion. The on-the-ground effect of that will be that the US
    will join the Iraqi civil war, on the side of the Shiites. The
    border parts of Iraqi Kurdistan will get a bit more dangerous,
    the Kurdish secession will become more and more a fait accompli,
    and the rest of the Iraq will calmly continue to go to hell in a
    handbasket. Either the reconstruction aid that Bush is proposing
    will be voted down by Congress, as a protest to the fact that
    Bush is escalating the conflict (as Tom Lehrer put it so well so
    many years ago, ‘practicing Escalatio on the North Vietnamese,’
    er, Iraqis), or it will be approved and squandered by a Bush
    administration that continues to dole out reconstruction
    contracts to their staunchest supporters rather than to groups
    that have actual experience in the field, or it will be approved,
    but the constraints that Congress places upon it (in a valiant
    attempt to prevent (2) above) will slow the distribution of funds
    sufficiently that the aid will have been effectively voted down.
    Fundamentally, the only mechanism that our Constitution has for
    saying ‘bad executive! no biscuit!’ is for Congress to Impeach,
    or for the executive to want congress’ approval in a way that
    this administration has not demonstrated. I think it is
    extremely likely that Bush will continue to assert that the conduct
    of the Executive Branch is beyond the law and that his Iraq and
    anti-terror strategies will work ‘if we just give them enough time
    and money,’ until the toys are taken away, either by his term
    expiring in 2008, or by him doing something sufficiently egregious
    that even staunch Republicans start standing up in public in numbers
    and saying that he should be impeached. The Iraq Study Group
    made it politically acceptable for Republicans to say ‘I oppose
    the current conduct of the War,’ but that is really *all* that
    the ISG report does.
    To this day, many people on the right believe that ‘we could have
    just won in Viet Nam if only we’d been willing.’ Just as the
    Cold War provided a live lab test of Communism (news flash: it
    doesn’t work), I believe that we are now seeing a live lab test
    of ‘we can change other country’s internal political situations
    by force, if we are only willing to throw enough men and materiel
    at it.’ We are also, separately, getting a live lab test of how
    the US system of government reacts to an administration which
    genuinely believes in the primacy of the executive. I think that
    the odds that we will eventually see Impeachment are very high,
    but only because I think it very likely that Bush will continue
    to make unpopular decisions that don’t work, and that the public
    will get sick of it.
    But we are certainly no where *near* there yet.


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