Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Korean model

By Creature

Reuters (via ThinkProgress):

President George W. Bush would like to see a lengthy U.S. troop presence in Iraq like the one in South Korea to provide stability but not in a frontline combat role, the White House said on Wednesday.

The United States has had thousands of U.S. troops in South Korea to guard against a North Korean invasion for 50 years.

Democrats in control of the U.S. Congress have been pressing Bush to agree to a timetable for pulling troops from Iraq, an idea firmly opposed by the president.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Bush would like to see a U.S. role in Iraq ultimately similar to that in South Korea.

"The Korean model is one in which the United States provides a security presence, but you've had the development of a successful democracy in South Korea over a period of years, and, therefore, the United States is there as a force of stability," Snow told reporters.

Josh Marshall pokes all the appropriate holes in this disingenuous presidential desire -- mainly that we are protecting the South Koreans from the North, not from themselves -- however, Mr. Marshall calls the statement another example of how "the White House is seriously out of touch with both history and reality when it comes to Iraq." I would propose that this statement, linking Iraq to the successful long-term operation in South Korea, is not at all delusional. I would propose it's a very deliberate attempt at mischaracterizing the Iraq war to make our long term presence there a more palatable idea to the American people. After all, we don't have a chorus of Americans clamoring for us get out of South Korea.

So, yes, while the White House appears to be out-of-touch to those like Mr. Marshall, who know history and have been paying attention for the last few years, to a good number of Americans the administration's out-of-touch-ness is an attempt at muddying the argument for withdrawal and to confuse them just the same.

Besides incompetence, "muddying and confusing" is what this White House does best.

(Cross-posted at State of the Day.)

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  • Hi Creature,

    I'm feeling kinda smug, as only Prairie Weather and I seem to have abstracted this out of david sangers stenography on Saturday ahead of today's story.

    Regards, C

    By Blogger Cernig, at 6:23 PM  

  • Right you should and right you are. Plan B has always been Plan A and that is: a permanent presence in Iraq. How else do you protect your oil interests.

    By Blogger creature, at 7:34 PM  

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