Tuesday, July 15, 2008

America’s Iraq War – Where we are

Michael Yon is right America is done with Iraq war. It may not be exactly a win for USA in very clear terms, but at least it is not a defeat.


Bush’s surge policy worked. But let us go back in time when the ‘surge plan’ was born. At that time with earlier five years of disastrous war management by Bush, no sane person in the world would have backed for one more ‘gamble’ by Bush. In 2006 mid-term election when GOP lost control of both chambers of Congress, clearly the mandate from American people was to wind down the war. Hence, there was opposition from liberals and Democrats at that time to the plan of ‘surge’. In a sense, it was right to oppose to the ‘surge’ even if people who opposed turned out to be wrong.

So the question is what Bush did – in spite of tremendous public and political opposition he literally pulled America in the ‘surge’ – was it prescient call and hall mark of heroic leadership? Well, neither History nor American public will mind George Bush to have his day in sun while being mindful that there are still lingering issues in completing objectives of ‘surge’. Democrats and war critic like Obama turned out to be ‘wrong’ about the surge – so what? Big deal.

The reality is Bush played his last ‘double down gamble’ and it worked in this case. That does not erase the history of ‘the whole series of gambling’ and ‘from gut’ style policies he has followed in last eight years. Surge success or not, the question is do America wants such ‘instinctive’ politics? One positive result out of such gambling does not change America’s current predicament and it’s disposition towards going away from ‘gung ho’, Neo-conservative, guts based (my ‘balls’ are bigger than yours) politics as practiced by Bush.

Of course, McCain does not get any ground to tom-tom his leadership instincts here – he was disastrously wrong to back Iraq war in the first place and worst of all kept on advocating ‘all high staked’ war strategy all along. He kept on criticizing Bush from Right – why not more forces; without any credible political solution to the whole gamut of Iraq occupation problems. He is even more ‘war monger’ than Bush; surely not the kind of leader what America needs now.

We have to go back to the July of 1945, when Britain went away from the war winning leadership of Winston Churchill with full realization that his job was done, his utility was over. Same with Neo-conservative foreign policy of America in 2008 – notwithstanding recent success (it better come since already it is too late); time has come for America to move on.

McCain is not offering that choice to move on but rather to perpetuate the same outlandish Bush Foreign policy. He is still in 2002. Obama is the choice to ‘move on’ with, even if there is sufficient reason to fault his (and his supporters like me who were not enthusiastic about surge too) judgment in this regard. But what do we want – a leader who is right in the first place to oppose unwarranted war but missed one tactical (sure Obama and Dems did have their tactical alternatives to ‘surge’ too) step subsequently in cleaning up the mess which he for sure would not have created; or the guy who got one tactical call correct in the ‘clean up’ but who is all belligerent with long laundry list of missed judgments? A rational person would argue – it depends on what is the extent of ‘clean up’ job left. If the state of Iraq war is such that more such ‘tactical clean up’ calls are to be made; then sure McCain candidacy will be of interest to America. But we are past 2004 when John Kerry paid precisely that price – ‘let us not change the horse midway in the river’ even if that meant re-electing moronic George Bush again in order for him to clean up the mess. However, today we are in 2008 and the clue is listening to the music played by Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki – Iraq does not want American forces any more. Yes, that is right; folks we are done in Iraq and that is the perfect evaluation of McCain victorious judgment – America does not need John McCain when all he is looking for is to have hundreds of thousands of American forces stationed in Iraq for decades to come.

Obama, beyond the Iraq war, offers a compelling vision of sound Foreign Policy.


That is more than a reason to make him President than a clueless alternative. One tactically not so perfect call – America can surely live with that deficiency in her leader. That deficiency does not offer prizes to GOP when for all eight years they have been overdrawing credit of American public’s stretched support. If they have got something now in the end (surge success), may be Americans can decide to move on without vendetta against GOP. But in lieu of that success to ask for Bush’s Third Term as consolation prize, that one is beyond America’s stomach for war monger policies of McCain Republican party.

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