US may punish Iraq if violence continues

That's the actual headline from The Telegraph. When a friend told me about it, I thought he was joking. That sounds like a headline from The Onion. And the first paragraph from the article really reads like something from The Onion:

President George W Bush met his top generals to discuss the deteriorating situation in Iraq as it was reported that America is considering punishing Baghdad if it fails to meet deadlines to stop the violence.

And how might they punish Iraq for failing to stop the civil war? (emphasis mine):

These would include "changes in military strategy", which could mean troop cuts or redeployment within Iraq, or the removal of ministers deemed incompetent or corrupt.

Troops cuts? What about our "staying to finish the job", eh? Sounds like the administration might be changing their tune yet trying to blame it on the Iraqis. And removing incompetent ministers? When your "democratically elected government" is subject to being dismantled by the government which has invaded you, you might be just a wee bit irritated, eh?

This is unreal. We're going to "punish" Iraq for not ending the violence we started? My mind is just reeling.

  • Current Mood: confused confused
OK, I get it now. The administration has figured out how to put a spin on withdrawing from Iraq without looking like "cut-and-runners". They'll blame on the Iraqis. On the Presidential side, Bush will keep talking tough "stay the course", while from down in the ranks they'll talk Iraqi failures and moves to press American interests by removing our troop support.

I can write the script to the speeches now: "We want to stay, we feel we should stay, but those Iraqis have left us no choice but to show them we mean business when we redeploy our troops away from the contested zones." Of course redeploy away from contested zones is just doublespeak for withdrawal.

The nice thing about the "blame the Iraqis" strategy, from the adminstration's point of view, is that if something turns around and its to their advantage to stay or expand American presence, they'll be able to use the same excuse.

"The Iraqis have failed to keep their end of the deal, so we must strengthen our resolve and put our boys in harm's way again to ensure vital American security interests." Here, the doublespeak is saying "American security interests" to mean "oil".
Is this anything like shoving our asses up theirs? Do we have that right?? War to me is kind of like proselitizing with a gun. I believe in spreading the word, not shoving it down someones throat whether they like it or not. Kind of pisses everyone off.
The fighting in Afghanistan is more intense than Iraq? Can you give any source for that?

And we won't declare war. If there's any doubt about Republican chances for the November elections, this would destroy those chances. And I doubt he'd even consider unilaterally bombing Iranian nuclear sites given the international fury this would raise. I mean, I realize that this administration hasn't exactly been brilliant in thinking about the consequences of their actions, but even they're not this stupid.

I hope.

Can you give any source for that?

See War Nerd: Afghanistan: Let ’Em Eat Hams.

I hope.

Hope dies last, they say. Well, mine is in the ICU at this point. When was the last time this administration didn’t defy rationality? Worry about approval ratings didn’t stop the PATRIOT Act, the wiretapping operations or the MCA. Worry about international fury and outrage didn’t stop the invasion of Iraq. For the last five years, every time I thought something would only happen in a bad dream, I had to watch it unfold before my eyes. I don’t have any trust left.

Along the same lines, Rolling Stone: The Worst Congress Ever:

These past six years were more than just the most shameful, corrupt and incompetent period in the history of the American legislative branch. These were the years when the U.S. parliament became a historical punch line, a political obscenity on par with the court of Nero or Caligula – a stable of thieves and perverts who committed crimes rolling out of bed in the morning and did their very best to turn the mighty American empire into a debt-laden, despotic backwater, a Burkina Faso with cable.

OT-- but aleeka mentioned you when I was visiting her last week. I live in Acton-- which is near Hammersmith-- toward Heathrow on the Picadilly line. She said you might be moving to that part of London, and that I might be able to offer some suggestions re. this particular part of London.
Didn't You Know?
It's never been a 'stay the course' strategy...