Here’s the problem when you have an imaginary political solution, in the name of Mr. Bush’s “New Way Forward,” imposed from the top down. In Iraq, where NYT reporter John Burns tries to separate the wheat from the chaff (“U.S. and Iraqis Are Wrangling Over War Plans” – link), there’s just not enough wheat.
Whereas President, Defense Secretary, Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chief Of Staff, and head of U.S. Central Command, George W. Bush, makes the unquestioned assumption that reconstruction teams can immediately be deployed in cooperation with a willing and coherent Iraqi government, or that American “mini-surge” troops can be logically deployed into neighborhoods under a joint U.S. – Iraqi command, both assumptions — with just a little looking into — fall to pieces.
It was a lovely picture that ran on the front page of the LAT last Thursday, the day after Mr. Bush’s national address. What a dedicated expression of the fact a refortified U.S. will be working hand-in-glove with Iraqi military and police to secure their country capital neighborhoods blocks. Really, we’re behind you all the way.
The trouble, however, starts with the most basic questions, including where will they possibly be positioned, and who will they be aiming at?
Pictures can be as encouraging as promises, but this one — as logistically disingenuous as that fantasy of a single, intact, non-infiltrated, Iraqi police force in the Baghdad posters accompanying Burn’s NYT article — is mostly just propaganda.
(images: Getty Images. January 15, 2007. latimes.com)