A comment I posted on DailyKos on “A DEMOCRATIC ALTERNATIVE TO `STAY THE COURSE’ ” at http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/10/12/05626/364
Problem solver’s point about civilian deaths feeding the violence hits the bullseye. Iraq is tearing itself apart. Think wild west, American civil war, no order, no justice in a heavily armed land. America (Bush) started the disintegration by removing the totalitarian regime that held it together.
Recent polls in Iraq do indicate that the majority want the US out. I’m guessing that Sunni’s want us out because they want to regain power they lost, Shiites want us out because they sense that they can gain power because of their majority. The lack of security and infrastructure is not winning any hearts for either the US or the fledging Iraqi government. If we leave, the most ferocious sect is likely to win at tremendous human costs- a scenario that may well create a true terrorist state.
The railroad tracks of trying to hold the entire country and city of Baghdad with an army is indeed the Vietnam scenario that Mikesco notes, a train wreck as well. Even the Republicans are starting to talk about the need for a third course.
What would a third course look like? My huumble suggestion is to consolidate: identify a section of Bagdhad that we can secure, provide infrastructure services, and “win over”. We can withdraw a good portion (2/3rds?) of our troops, increase surveillance with technology, and strike tactically where insurgents show their presence. Fundamentally, begin the transitionto letting Iraqis own their fate, while keeping a lid on it, and getting out of the way.
Further suggestions: provide no info on troop withdrawls or movements. Keep the enemy in the dark as to all specifics. Figure out ways to strike quickly, and effectively, but don’t try to cover all the bases all the time.