Hagel vs. McCain (and Hillary)
By: Mark W Adams

Rose seems to love frontrunners, nodding in agreement with whatever warmongering panderers Hillary Clinton or John McCain have to say.

Today, the Arizona pretender is her subject, swooning over McCain's feeble defense of his resistance of anything that would embarrass his BFF by way of a toothless resolution as the president goes forward with what McCain has been championing for over a year -- a surge of 20,000 troops -- right up until Bush said he was going to do exactly what McCain suggested.

Rose was so impressed that McCain could utter the words, "intellectually dishonest" without turning to stone, she thought he got the upper hand against Hagel on Sunday's This Week. If that was a "bitchslapping," Hagel threw back a round-house kick to McCain's confused face.

Hagel gave as good as he got, explaining how offering a resolution that details "benchmarks," yet offers absolutely no consequences for failure to meet these goal, is likewise "intellectually dishonest." That kind of resolution is precisely what McCain is offering.

Let's try to get the fair and balanced stuff out there, especially when the fight is within the GOP.

Hagel: “I think if you want to go to a disingenuous resolution, this idea about putting benchmarks on the Iraqi government…and then having no consequences, now that’s intellectually dishonest,” he said. “So what are the consequences? Are we then going to pull out? If the benchmarks are not met by the Maliki government, are we then going to walk out? Are we then going to bring our troops home? Are we going to cut funding? Now, that falls more in the intellectually dishonest category.”

What's YOUR stinkin' PLAAAAAaaaaaaaannn? My god what a catastrofuck.

Did ya see the NIE (pdf)? Did ya? Did ya? And this was just the rosy declassified stuff.

Here's the No-Brainer, if it doesn't get better, it will be as bad if not worse than now. (Duh!)
Unless efforts to reverse these conditions show measurable progress during the term of this Estimate, the coming 12 to 18 months, we assess that the overall security situation will continue to deteriorate at rates comparable to the latter part of 2006.
If we don't stay, the Iraqi Security forces (ISF) will implode and the neighbors will come in.
If such a rapid withdrawal were to take place, we judge that the ISF would be unlikely to survive as a non-sectarian national institution; neighboring countries—invited by Iraqi factions or unilaterally—might intervene openly in the conflict.
Mind you, the Iraqis don't need any help killing each other.
Iraq’s neighbors influence, and are influenced by, events within Iraq, but the involvement of these outside actors is not likely to be a major driver of violence or the prospects for stability because of the self-sustaining character of Iraq’s internal sectarian dynamics.
And of course, they are now well beyond calling this a Civil War -- and I don't know how this assessment can make you feel better since it's obviously much worse than the simplistic "good vs evil" situation that fits the mold of this administration's thinking.
The Intelligence Community judges that the term “civil war” does not adequately capture the complexity of the conflict in Iraq, which includes extensive Shia-on-Shia violence, al-Qa’ida and Sunni insurgent attacks on Coalition forces, and widespread criminally motivated violence. Nonetheless, the term “civil war” accurately describes key elements of the Iraqi conflict, including the hardening of ethno-sectarian identities, a sea change in the character of the violence, ethno-sectarian mobilization, and population displacements.
I've said it before, and it bears repeating. It's long past time to fish or cut bait. If we're not serious about controlling the country -- and we've never acted like we were, get out because what we're doing is simply what National Security Advisor Steven Hadley calls "slow failure." Where I disagree with Hadley is his thinking that the "escalation" "surge," "plus-up," will do anything truly different -- except delay the inevitable.

McCain has been all over this, for the surge before he was against it, and only recently has come around to my way of thinking, that we need to send more than 20K troops in -- but that's only to distance himself from what is now stamped, "The McCain Doctrine." (I think we need five to ten times the number of troops the White House is suggesting, troops we don't have.)

Can Hillary's "plan" offer any help, her suggestion that if the Maliki government doesn't meet the benchmarks, they should get cut off? Um, No.
"Despite real improvements, the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)—particularly the Iraqi police—will be hard pressed in the next 12-18 months to execute significantly increased security responsibilities, and particularly to operate independently against Shia militias with success. Sectarian divisions erode the dependability of many units, many are hampered by personnel and equipment shortfalls, and a number of Iraqi units have refused to serve outside of the areas where they were recruited."

Since we won't (can't) send in enough troops to do the job (remember the Powell doctrine -- definite obtainable objectives accomplished with overwhelming force and having a clear exit strategy), we might as well just rip the band-aid off quickly -- instead of just delaying the inevitable (since the NIE recognizes that we are counting on the hapless ISF who's chances for success are next to nil) -- Hadley's "slow failure" incarnate, made even slower.

1 Comment:

G. A. Roach said...

Thanks, Mark! This has been absolutely eating my ass! Your rant made me feel better, but we still have to live with "Fool's Folly", as Mr. Hagel said!