"The U.S. force required to achieve [victory] would have to be significantly larger than the present one, and the Iraqi support for a U.S.-led counterinsurgency would have to be more motivated. The current U.S. forces (soon to be reduced) are not large enough to crush the anti-American insurgency or stop the sectarian Sunni-Shiite strife. Both problems continue to percolate under an inconclusive but increasingly hated foreign occupation ...Moreover, neither the Shiites nor the Kurds are likely to subordinate their specific interests to a unified Iraq with a genuine, single national army... A truly national army in that context is a delusion. "
But as clear and lucid as Brzezinski 's thinking is in the beginning, I 'm afraid he moves into quicksand at the end when he writes:
"The requisite first step to that end is for the president to break out of his political cocoon. His policymaking and his speeches are the products of the true believers around him who are largely responsible for the mess in Iraq. They have a special stake in their definition of victory, and they reinforce his convictions instead of refining his judgments. The president badly needs to widen his circle of advisers. Why not consult some esteemed Republicans and Democrats not seeking public office -- say, Warren Rudman or Colin Powell or Lee Hamilton or George Mitchell -- regarding the definition of an attainable yet tolerable outcome in Iraq? "
But as we all know, the forces of reason and logic have never laid a hand on George Bush. His entrenched (and limited) thinking is his hallmark. Brzezinski 's keen insight notwithstanding, the situation we face is unique in American history and we need an approach tailored to the mind of this unique president. I suggest the following.
In return, we the American people, agree to pretend to believe Bush. We will assure him that history will never forget the Iraq war, nor will history ever forget George Bush. His name will go down very deep down in history.
We agree to write our representatives in Congress and our local newspapers praising Bush 's gallantry, and his great vision in invading Iraq. We will agree to reject the thesis, advanced by the overwhelming majority of intelligentsia of the human race, that Bush 's actions were megalomaniacal and stupid. We will disavow phrases such as "the moron president " and "the demon dunce. "
All this we will tell George Bush, and this he will believe. He will believe it because Condoleezza Rice will tell him so. Rice is the only person in government, or even close to government, who could say all this to George Bush with a straight face. For her services, Rice will be guaranteed a lifetime appointment at the CIA, specifically to help the Agency design better lie detector equipment.
We the American people will be bound to this agreement in return for the safe withdrawal of our troops. We insist that half our troops be returned from their captivity in Hell by June, and all of them returned to their families by the end of 2006, in time for Christmas.
It 's a fair deal. Bush gives us our troops back, and we set him free. We set him free from the terrible torment that history will otherwise impose on him and Laura. There will be no blame, no impeachment, no censure, no more nasty editorials, and no more of those horrific, mocking Bush cartoons. We further agree, to the extent possible, to shield Bush from the International Criminal Court so that he and Laura may enjoy a safe and comfortable retirement, although it is unlikely they would ever be able leave Crawford. But better this than a jail cell in The Hague.
Beyond this, we leave George Bush 's fate and legacy to history.