Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday Drive By

My doggies' daddy needs to get a few things done this weekend. Regular essay columns will be back Monday.

In the meantime, you might want to take a look at Think Progress, where Judd has posted a transcript of the speech given Yesterday by former National Security Advisor Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski on the Iraq war at the Center for American Progress.

Chosen highlights:
…I recently read a book that was quite revealing in an unintended fashion. It was Jerry Bremmer’s memoir of his stewardship as the governor general of Iraq. At the end of the book he says something that is very true. He says, “Ours is a failed occupation.” A failed occupation, that’s his definition of it, and I agree.

It is a failed occupation as a consequence of a decision-making process that compounds errors, that involves a very narrow group of true believers, and that evades responsibility and accountability – for errors and even crimes. No one responsible for wrong judgments has been fired. No one responsible for setting in motion a chain of events that produced extraordinarily embarrassing crimes has been put on trial. The [administration’s] resistance to the International Criminal Court is perhaps more understandable under these circumstances…

…I think one can argue that under the porous U.S. military umbrella which suffers from very poor intelligence because it is an external occupation army, there are two wars going on at the same time, but one feeds and stimulates the other. One war is the insurgency against the occupier, and that seems to be gaining more sympathy from the public as time passes, which is an ominous sign. More sympathy – not necessarily more engagement – but more sympathy, more vocal emotional support. And the other war that’s ongoing is of course a sectarian conflict between the Shiites and the Sunnis. And the U.S. umbrella, which in effect is designed to stifle these wars but is so poor that it perpetuates them, in a sense keeps these wars alive.

In my judgment, quote end quote “victory” is unlikely. I think that’s a judgment that, if I were a decision-maker today, I feel I would have to reach. And I certainly realize that the consequences of the absence of what we would have liked to have happened, namely victory, are uncertain…

I'm not a huge Zbig fan, but agree with much of what he says. Some things, I think he's wrong about.

He says he thinks we could squelch "both wars" with about 500,000 troops, if it were possible to deploy that many. I think it's way, way, way too late to thing more troops is an answer, unless we're willing to keep them deployed there forever.

Zbig doesn’t think there's a civil war in Iraq yet. I think he needs to consult a dictionary.

But his oddest comment, in my opinion, was this:
What troubles me the most is not that which that I have criticized, but that which hasn’t happened. That is to say: a serious and comprehensive Democratic challenge on this subject. Democratic leaders have been silent or evasive. They have not offered an alternative to the war in Iraq. It’s easy to criticize – that was the first part of my speech.

Has Zbig not actually heard of Jack Murtha's proposal?

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