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A Troop Withdrawal Argument -- Tailored for George Bush

By Gerald Rellick  Posted by Jason Miller (about the submitter)     Permalink
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In a January 8th op-ed in the Washington Post, Zbigniew Brzezinski presented an extremely accurate picture of what the U.S. faces today in Iraq. He counters George Bush 's assertion, offered up last month, that "there are only two options before our country: victory or defeat." This is a "false strategic choice, " says Brzezinski. He says that victory is "unlikely " (which is certainly an understatement) and concludes that there should be a "relatively prompt military disengagement ...[and] the war in Iraq could (and should) come to an end within a year. " Brzezinski explains his reasoning thus:

"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. "

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While there is bound to be ongoing political strife after American withdrawal, there is also common interest, writes Brzezinski. Most importantly, the Shiites and Kurds, which make up 75% of the population, want an independent Iraq. He writes: "The Kurds, with their autonomy already amounting in effect to quasi-sovereignty, would otherwise be threatened by the Turks. And the Iraqi Shiites are first of all Arabs; they have no desire to be Iran's satellites. " As for the Sunnis, the dominant sect under Saddam Hussein 's rule, Brzezinski sees them forced into the coalition for an independent Iraq "when deprived of the rallying cry of resistance to a foreign occupier. "

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.

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Since George Bush 's only talent is lying in his own self interest, this can be put to good use. After all, every coin has two sides. We, the intelligent majority of Americans will strike a deal with Bush. Bush will be free to tell those other Americans those who think George Bush is a great leader and who know only vaguely that the war in Iraq has something to do with terrorism and has been responsible for the deaths of many of our troops and vastly more Iraqis -- that within the next six months Iraq will be secure, that victory will have been achieved, just as "the war president " promised, and Iraq will no longer need U.S. military support. Further, Bush will be permitted to claim that the Iraq war was not one of the colossal blunders of all time, but, rather, a great moment in the historical surge forward of democracy. It was a victory for God and for country and a final victory over terrorism itself. George Bush, on a mission from God, has forever banished terrorism from the planet.

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.

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Gerald S. Rellick, Ph.D., worked in aerospace industry for 22 years. He now teaches in the California Community College system.

 

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