Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Iraq Is Now The Democrats’ Problem, Not Dubya’s

Iraq Is Now The Democrats’ Problem, Not Dubya’s.


By David G. Miller

According to news reports from Washington, George W. Bush is now an isolated figure. Having seen his party lose control of Congress, the President is being deserted by the same allies who supported his presidency and the war in Iraq. Men such as Kenneth Adelman, Newt Gingroch and John McCain – all of them conservatives who despite supporting the invasion are ducking for cover in an effort to save their own political skins. With the Neo-Cons in retreat and the Democrats on the charge, Mr. Bush has been conciliatory in his remarks and even somewhat proactive in his dismissal of Donald Rumsfeld. Yet does the Democrat victory in the recent mid term elections and the sight of friends ducking for cover really make much difference the President at this stage of his term in office?

The case put forward here is very little at all. If anything, the emphatic nature of the Democrat win means that the path may actually be smoother for Mr. Bush for the next 2 years than had the GOP held power. The reason behind this argument is that victory may become a poisoned chalice for the Democratic Party. They hold sway on Capitol Hill but they have become the party responsible for defining America’s exit strategy from Iraq as that was the platform on which they were voted into office.

The Iraq war is shaping up as a re-run of the Vietnam conflict or at least the conclusion to the US involvement is. As I have said before, the United States military is not geared to fight a guerilla war due to their reliance on technology and firepower. The legacy of Vietnam was the ‘body-bag count’ and the America’s ensuing preoccupation with a high tech, blitzkrieg battle-plan grew from that. Although the liberation of Kuwait in 1991 brought calls that it had vanquished the ghosts of Vietnam, it was a war of this design. Even the invasion of Iraq was carried out along these lines but it has since descended into a low level war that the US has sought to avoid three decades. Now Washington, under the Democrats, is looking for an exit strategy. The first step will inevitably involve an ‘Iraqi-isation’ of the war. Iraq’s armed forces will assume the bulk of the fighting against the insurgents while the US and other international forces retreat to their fortifications. The American equipment and weaponry will be evident but the number of American troops on the ground will reduce in the coming months. Gradually the divisions will be withdrawn and while some units and advisors may remain in theatre, the American adventure in Iraq will be slowly drawn to a close. The irony of this equation is that one aim on the part of Washington legislators will be to try and insert the term ‘honourable’ into this equation.

Doesn’t Mr. Bush have a responsibility in this regard? Yes he does, but while his legacy is stained by Iraq, he does not have another election to fight and he has already become something of a lame duck figure as has Tony Blair. Even if the Republicans held Congress, Mr. Bush would have spent the next two years trying to convince domestic and world opinion that the invasion was the correct thing to do and that the overthrown of Saddam was a much greater benefit to Iraq than the civil war and break up of the country and little else.

The Democrats do not carry that baggage but instead, they come into office with the impression that they will somehow get the US out of this nightmare. Hence they have the most to lose if they fail to achieve this goal. By stating that he is open to new Iraq ideas, sacking Mr. Rumsfeld and appearing conciliatory, the President is skillfully shifting the responsibility for ending the US involvement in Iraq to his opponents and even Hilary Clinton when she takes over the White House in 2008. It is almost an admission of failure but without the words. Another ‘honourable withdrawal’ will not be good for American confidence in its foreign and defence policies but after 2008 it will not be Mr. Bush’s problem. The Republican loss at the polls may be the most fortunate thing that has happened for Mr. Bush while residing in the White House and allowing the Democrats to find the solution, the most intelligent.

*************

David Miller is a New Zealand based writer from Christchurch

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Should Be Anxious About Artificial Intelligence

Frankly, the prospect of possibly losing half the existing forms of paid employment to AI does make me feel extremely anxious, given the indifference shown by central government to the downstream social damage caused by the reform process last time around... More>>

ALSO:


Binoy Kampmark: Tom Wolfe The Parajournalist

As New Journalism’s primary advocate, Tom Wolfe headed the field with such experimental forces as Norman Mailer, Truman Capote and Hunter S. Thompson, all dedicated to enriching supposedly factual accounts with excessive flourishes that hurried out the beige in favour of the kaleidoscopic. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Racism And The Windsors

For all the talk about the modernizing effect that Meghan Markle could have on the Royal Family, the suspicion all along has been that the House of Windsor is resistant to change at any level beyond the purely decorative. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Prospects Of US Talks With North Korea

On June 12, the leaders of North Korea and the United States will meet across a table in Singapore, and Kim Jong Un must already be feeling giddy at the thought that this meeting is already being described with the word “summit” formerly reserved for meetings between superpowers of equal stature... Image: Steve Bolton NZ's contribution to the IAEA’s work on North Korea

  • United Nations - UN chief ‘optimistic’ over peace efforts
  • David Swanson - Enough is Enough. The Time Has Come to BDS the US - Peace Comes to Korea: Let’s Understand Why
  • CTBTO - CTBTO on North Korea
  • NZ Govt - NZ welcomes talks between North and South Korea
  • Massey University - Nukes to cyber war – NZ security in focus
  • Jim Miles - The Doomsday Machine - Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
  • UNHCHR - North Korea detente: UN expert urges human rights opening
  • Binoy Kampmark - Trump, North Korea and Post-Olympic Angst
  • Gordon Campbell: On National’s Latest Attempts At Relevance

    Having ignored the existence of massive problems in health and education for nine years in government, it is no longer politically viable for National to maintain the pretence that such problems really don’t exist, or are somehow unworthy of serious concern by rational men of commerce.... More>>

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    • PublicAddress
    • Pundit
    • Kiwiblog