Saturday, May 05, 2007

Linda Chavez Gets it Wrong

One has to wonder whether or not Linda Chavez even understands what she is talking about in this article about Iraq.

Her essential question is a fair one in some ways: how to "hasten the war's end without also undermining American troops."

But here is where she begins to go astray:

If Democrats insist on tying the military's hands in executing the war — even if they drop actual pull-out timetables — they will undermine the troops' safety.

Now, if she were talking about the idea that we ought to be more brutal, like those who wished to flatten Fallujah the minute they burned our mercenaries, well, that may be a morally bad idea, but at least it would make sense. But the idea that timetables or benchmarks should be thought of as "tying our troops hands," is ridiculous.

This reminds me of Mike Gallagher bitterly telling some Congressman or Senator that if he didn't want to see more deaths of U.S. troops, he should give them the funding they need. Considering the actual issue at stake here - continuing vs. not continuing the war - and considering that there is scant evidence that previous massive funding has reduced the danger for the soldiers or caused them to get what they need, it didn't make a lot of sense.

Then she starts insisting that the civil war in Iraq is actually a proxy war between Al Qaeda and Iran. I don't agree with the implication of this that if we got rid of Iran and Al Qaeda that the Shiites and Sunnis would calm down, but at least she does acknowledge later on that the Iraqis themselves are part of the problem on this front.

This statement, of course, reveals the true heart of the war party:

If the Democrats want to be effective in changing conditions on the ground in Iraq, they should explore ways to pressure the Iraqi government to resolve its internal differences — and punish others, including Iran, if they continue to interfere.

Ah, we ought to expand the conflict. So the Democrats should act like the more extreme elements of the Republican Party. Good to know.

So what does she think we can do to punish Iraq if its leaders don't get along the way we want and start solving problems?

f Iraqis, for example, cannot come up with a way to share their oil wealth among different regions and sectarian groups, we shouldn't continue to pour money into rebuilding their infrastructure. If they can't rein in corruption and graft, why should we foot the bill?

Yes, this would be a threat. Because as everyone knows, American-funded Iraqi reconstruction has been so successful that withdrawing it is our biggest card to play. And if things do getworse, the Iraqis will blame the politicians, causing the politicians to do what we want to get the funding - there is no way the Iraqis will blame us and redouble the effort to kill our troops.

That is all.

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