Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Am I Naive or What?

Several commentators have pointed out in the last week as the Democratic presidential campaign appears to be taking a final shape that a major crisis looms if a Democratic President takes office in January, 2009. Party divisiveness aside (Those on the left want immediate withdrawal, centrists favor a more orderly and structured withdrawal) attention will be paid by the rest of the world as to how this country leaves Iraq. Will an abrupt withdrawal leave that country in chaos and lead to a civil war that will greatly increase the number of civilians (already estimated at between 80 to 90 thousand) killed? Is it wishful thinking that left alone, Iraqi political officials will work it out and, if they can't, it's their problem and no longer ours? The wishful thinking aspect of this comes with the knowledge that we shouldn't have been there in the first place. In 2005 the Rand Corporation, under contract to the U.S. Army, prepared a detailed analysis of everything that had gone wrong in Iraq to that point in time. The ultimate conclusion was that there was a general lack of coordination. “There was never an attempt to develop a single national plan that integrated humanitarian assistance, reconstruction, governance, infrastructure development and postwar security,” the study said.

This is the situation, if the Democrats win, that will be tossed in their laps. The same problem will present to McCain if he is elected and he has already committed to a long term U.S. presence in that country. His apparent theme is 'war without end'. Presidential hopefuls of both parties need to sit down together now and gather a group of people around them and develop a unified humanitarian plan which excludes the consideration of the internal politics of America. We are faced with a legitimate and ongoing war in Afghanistan which we are losing because of our presence in Iraq. In short, it is a mess over there. The Bushian-Rovian style of politics in the U.S. will be gearing up to blame the Democrats for failure. As citizens of the U.S. we should insist that our government officials, for once, set aside their differences and hammer out a thoughtful and organized plan to put an end to this world crisis. Unity is critical. The message from the United States before this coming election should be that no matter who the winner is, the plan will be the same. The candidate who leads the way on this gets my vote in November. Am I naive or what? This would happen if pigs started to fly.

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