Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 22, 2006

Hold the Gun to His Head

"Let's hold a gun to Maliki's head and make him sign our wishlist." That is what, according to the New York Times, the Bush administration is planing for the Iraqi government:

The Bush administration is drafting a timetable for the Iraqi government to address sectarian divisions and assume a larger role in securing the country, senior American officials said.

The timetable is not about U.S. troops leaving the country. Bush will never "change strategy", i.e. withdraw troops from Iraq. The timetable is for conditions the administration is setting for the survival of Maliki and his government.

[F]or the first time Iraq was likely to be asked to agree to a schedule of specific milestones, like disarming sectarian militias, and to a broad set of other political, economic and military benchmarks intended to stabilize the country.

(How many PSA's might the economic benchmarks include?)

The Maliki government would be invited to accept the U.S.-written to-do list. Though the article says a threat the U.S. administration may use to get this acceptance is the reduction of troops in Iraq, it does not source that assumption in any way. Why would the Iraqis NOT be happy to see the U.S. leave?

I guess Maliki knows very well what the real threat is. Either he proves to be a 100% puppet or he will not be puppet anymore at all. If there is any doubt on who will run the show, this should clear things up:

American officials are discussing if they should specify whether Iraqi officials deemed incompetent or corrupt should be replaced, one official said.

"We'll select your ministers, or ..."

The above plan is not included in the eight options the Guardian lists for Iraq, but it could accompany two of those: The "Iraqi strongman approach", i.e. replacing Maliki with a kind of puppet dictatorship, and the "one last push" escalation option John McCain prefers.

Juan Cole thinks the last option is the stupidest and worst possible alternative. That is one reason why I assume it will be selected - probably in a combination with the strongman option.

The whole Baker - Iraq study group will turn out what to be what it was supposed to be - a Nixonian "secret plan" election ploy.

Like usual, the neocons are open about this:

Richard Perle, a leading neoconservative, said the influence of the Baker group on the administration was overstated: “I don’t believe Bush will agree to the proposals they are rumoured to be mulling over. He has two years left as president and he is not going to hand in the towel and pass responsibility to a commission.”

So what is left without the Baker plans is only to try more of the same: another new government and another military push until - until what?

Posted by b on October 22, 2006 at 10:38 UTC | Permalink


Good post b, especially, the last part
So what is left without the Baker plans is only to try more of the same: another new government and another military push until - until what?

reminds me of this:

A Quick and Easy Test to Determine Where You Stand on the Iraq War:

As Bush has stated, he will not change his "strategy".

The pathological gambler's equivalent of the typical alcoholic/dry drunk behavior, fixated on the infallible.

Looks like the Poppy/Baker Intervention didn't take. At least, not yet.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 22 2006 12:25 utc | 1

Sh%T Storm at State Department:: Stupid and Arrogant In Deed plus CNN propagenda....

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Oct 22 2006 13:42 utc | 2

excellent post b. especially appreciate the PSA link.

from your timesonline link..

“In some cases, once we meet the projection, we may have to go back and do it again if it doesn’t work,” Rumsfeld said.

and again, and again, and again..

Posted by: annie | Oct 22 2006 16:24 utc | 3

Magical thinking, hearing God’s whispers, believing their propaganda to be the true; the White House gives the puppet Iraqi government a timetable for pacifying Iraq without the grunts on the ground to do the job. b’s right. Then What?

Since America can neither uplift the Middle East by bringing the benefits of Western civilization nor by pacification with overwhelming force, the USA is fated to pull its troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, sooner or later. The only question is how to mitigate the adverse impacts on American citizens and the world. An answer won’t be found in current GOP propaganda or fantasies.

Posted by: Jim S | Oct 22 2006 17:47 utc | 4

We might be holding the gun to Maliki's head, but mine hurts.

Posted by: Dick Durata | Oct 22 2006 18:44 utc | 5

dick, your link doesn't work

Posted by: annie | Oct 22 2006 19:09 utc | 6

Thanks annie, a bit of self-promotion that failed. Here it is again "My head hurts".

Posted by: Dick Durata | Oct 22 2006 19:53 utc | 7

Well, now Bush claims he's never said "Stay the course" - on Stephanopholous' show.
Must mean that Baker has told him he needs to get the hell out of Iraq.

Posted by: SteinL | Oct 22 2006 20:01 utc | 8

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