Friday, November 24, 2006

Option ‘Go Home’

Pentagon is mulling over whether to ‘go big, or go long or go home’ as far as American Military involvement in Iraq goes. Sensing it is not politically feasible nor practically possible (simply no more boots) to take the option of ‘go big’; it is inclined to opt for ‘go long’ alternative. Pentagon and Pres. Bush would like to still do ‘go big’ if doable, but that is not possible any more and they do not want to take the alternative of ‘go home’. Hence the middle path of ‘go long’, yet another proof that middle of the road options often land you ‘nowhere’ as far as destination goes. Politicians by nature like such options but that is waste.

There is no realistic option other than undertaking ‘go home’ – getting out of Iraqi Civil War. There is no further proof needed to understand that basically it is infighting to death which is what taking place in Iraq. History has shown time and again (including history of America’s Civil War) that there is no end to such fratricidal conflict until one faction looses completely.

The earlier political goal – trying to establish a democratic regime in Iraq which is stable and peaceful – is too distant now. No more reachable for American forces. This political goal of Pres. Bush is simply not within the realm of possibilities for American sacrifices. Obviously, American public do not want then this charade to run any further under any pretext.

This means the only realistic option for Pres. Bush is to come out say that ‘Iraqi Political Class has betrayed American sacrifices’ and as the Commander-in-Chief he can no longer underwrite this waste of American life and dollars. Blame it on Iraqis (which is where now it really belongs), cover your asses and get out – that is the face saving formula for Pres. Bush. Of course, this means whatever political leverage America has right now will be totally gone exposing America as ‘unreliable partner’ and accepting Iran as the de-facto King in that region. But Pres. Bush’s Administration does not have any credibility left – domestically and internationally – to try and make some honest efforts to save America’s face by any other means. The best what Pres. Bush can do is ‘cut and run’. British PM Blair will be out in couple of months and Pres. Bush will be the only one left on International Scene continuing this tragic farce called Iraqi Occupation. So before we get Iraqi version of ‘helicopter from Saigon Embassy’ America better get out.

There will be all those Foreign Policy experts who will advocate how such a pull out will be an abdication of American responsibility as well as disservice to American interests. Blah, blah and blah. However it is time to ignore this punditry and go for sheer survival. Option ‘go home’ does not mean to pull out all of America’s 135K soldiers from that area. Substantial numbers can still be stationed in Kurdistan, Baghdad, Basra and Gulf. What it means however, is not to have American Ambassador mediating among fighting factions of Iraq. What it means is to concentrate only on two American goals regardless of who rules Iraq and how it is ruled:

- to counter Al-Queda and terrorist outfits and

- to stop any emergence of WMDs in Iraq.

Everything else is dispensable, not worth trying, nor within capabilities of American forces or political establishment.

It is like this - America ‘needs to live’ for another day so as to recover sometime in future from all these losses incurred. But if it does not ‘cut and run’ now, America may not have effective forces to secure herself, no credibility in International relations and devastating wastage of resources earmarked for security of American lives.

Indeed it is time to ‘cut and run’.

Umesh Patil
San Jose, CA 95111
November 24, 2006.

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