In the last few posts done here about Iraq there is a been a discussion about Iraqiphobia,otherwise known as the rats deserting what they perceive as a sinking ship.
Or are they? Do they just want a change in Baghdad?
The vast majority of the Iraqi people do support their government, but will they support the head of state if he does not provide them with the security he promised? Or will they lose faith in him and replace him with another leader who is more interested in keeping his word than he is in sustaining his coalition? I think that perhaps what we are doing here is conflating Maliki with Arab democracy. In our own history our first attempt at self rule was a failure, because of the weakness of our central authority. However, since it was the influential men of the individual colonies who brought about the Revolution, the colonies were initially seen as distinct and seperate. When Thomas Jefferson opined about his country, he was talking about Virginia.
My Congressman is now Brad Ellsworth. I did not vote for him, but enough other people did and so he won. The system did not fail. The other guy just got more votes. And that is what has to happen in Iraq before we can know that representative government there will fail or succeed.
The point I am making here is that until and unless the Iraqi people are allowed to develop political parties that are based on something other than the ancient and traditional tribal and religious power structures we will see these kinds of weaknesses. And only failure of the old will bring about the new.
This is why I think we must stay. The only way to assure a peaceful transfer of power and the only way to make sure that a new election does and can take place is for the Coalition to stay there while the Iraqis learn from their mistakes.
I do not think Bush has gone wobbly in Iraq. I think the dire predictions about the Iraq Study Group are premature. I do think that certain political realities have to be ackowledged however, and that it might be necessary to make some changes in tactics to stem the violence in Baghdad. If we are to succeed we have to produce a policy that both parties can agree on. I don't have a lot of faith in the Democrats, especially the old guard leaders like Pelosi, but this fight is not just about Bush. It will go on long after he returns to Texas and if we hope to succeed in the long term we need to create a policy that both parties can agree to, at least in broad terms. I think that is the purpose of the Iraq Study Group. It might be nonsense, it might backfire, it might be a waste of time. But I think we are jumping the gun here, assuming that it is surrender or that it is a sign that Bush has gone wobbly.
Maybe he has, but it seems to me that Bush's nature is not the wobbly sort.
And it seems to me that Arab democracy, if it can be achieved at all will not be a quick fix, but a generational endeavor and time is not on our side.