It continues to go from worst to worster.
The security situation in Iraq is so bad that young Mister Bush and Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki had to schedule a meeting in another country to talk about it. Then Shiite cleric and militia leader Muqtada al Sadr warned through an intermediary that if "Mr. Prime Minister does not cancel his meeting with Bush the criminal in Jordan, we will suspend our membership at the Council of Deputies (parliament) and government."
Al Sadr's political bloc blames U.S. troops for the Thursday bombings in Sadr City that killed more than 200. Al Sadr follower Qusai Abdul-Wahab said, "…occupation forces are fully responsible for these acts, and we call for the withdrawal of occupation forces or setting a timetable for their withdrawal."
Al Sadr's bloc in Iraq's parliament is Maliki's main source of political support within the country. Bush is Maliki's main source of political support outside the country. Maliki's between a rock and a hard place--whatever choice he makes his goose is cooked. I say we make the choice for him.
Him or Me
Al Sadr's group blames the U.S. troops for failing to provide security in Sadr City. So they want us to leave? Then let's leave. Much has been made of a Pentagon group's three proposed Iraq options with the jingo jive names of "Go Big," "Go Long" and "Go Home." I think it's time for a fourth option: "Go Fish."
If Maliki can't survive politically without al Sadr's support, and al Sadr wants us to leave, then the best thing we can do for Maliki is to give al Sadr what he wants.
The excuses for staying the course are wearing thin. Iraqi forces won't stand up as long as we're there. Pro war politicians and pundits warn that our departure could trigger full scale civil war that might spread throughout the region, but I have yet to hear a coherent argument that indicates our presence is doing anything to prevent that.
If al Sadr wants to blame our presence for the violence in his country, let's see him try and blame it on our absence.
If we withdraw, "they" won't follow us "here" because they don't have a way to get from "there" to here.
We never really wanted a "free and independent" Iraq. We wanted a submissive client state in which we could establish a permanent military base of operations in the center of the Gulf region to control the flow of Middle East oil. The only justification for staying the course is to take off the mask, openly admit our true war aims (everybody already knows them anyway), and tell the world, "Nope, we're not going anywhere."
That would also involve discarding the pretense of recognizing Iraqi sovereignty. Maliki's government would almost certainly fall, and we'd need to set up some form of praetorian occupation authority that would have to run the country for years--perhaps decades.
And, oh yeah, to build up a military that could support such an occupation authority for that length of time, we'd have to institute a draft.
The time has come for faux Evangelical Christian Bush to have a "come to Jesus" moment. Do you think our 60 year-old president is grown up enough yet to play "truth or consequences?" I doubt it. Sonny never had to pass a test he couldn't cheat on, and he almost certainly believes Karl and Uncle Dick's boys can come up with a way for him to spin out of yet another failure.
Stand by. The worstest is yet to come.
Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.