Tuesday, November 07, 2006

It's the war in Iraq

By Michael J.W. Stickings

See our election live-blogging here.

Remember, this election is about a lot of things -- in general terms, the incompetence, negligence, and malfeasance of President Bush and the Republican Congress -- but most of all it's about Iraq.

And Iraq is a disaster. It was Bush's choice and it's Bush's fault. He and the rest of the warmongers in his administration -- from Cheney on down -- must be held accountable for what they've done. And so must the Republican Congress, which loyally and aggressively backed them up along the way, rubber stamping their every move.

Iraq itself is descending ever further into chaos. James Baker's Iraq Study Group will offer up a plan, but that plan will be to turn back in some way. It will not be to carry on with Bush's misadventure.

And now comes the very bad and very troubling news that the one American in Iraq who seems to know what he's doing, and who understands both the country and its problems and prospects, is set to step down. As the AP is reporting, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad will "quit his post" next spring, if not sooner.

The White House will spin the move in characteristically Bush-friendly terms, but, as Steve Clemons suggests, there is more to Khalilzad's impending departure than the White House will ever admit. He says that "Khalilzad is tired of being undermined by opponents in the White House and by elements of Iraq's unstable regime end-running him to influence rivals of his in the administration". In other words, he's had enough, and his "abrupt departure from the diplomatic scene will worsen the mess in Iraq".

"We should be firing Rumsfeld, paralyzing Cheney and his team, and promoting Khalilzad to be the first Muslim Deputy Secretary of State," Clemons argues. Bush thinks that Rumsfeld and Cheney are "doing fantastic jobs," and he "strongly support[s] them". And so firing Rumsfeld and paralyzing Cheney may prove difficult, given that Bush will still be president after today.

But with the situation in Iraq worsening, and perhaps to get worse still after Khalilzad leaves, the only hope we have of controlling Bush, his delusions, and the warmongers in his administration, as well as of bringing some reason and sanity to U.S. policy in and towards Iraq, is that a Democratic Congress will emerge out of today's elections as a check and balance on those currently in power.

Iraq is the issue. Vote Democratic.

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home