Friday, January 26, 2007

Best Kept Secret of Yesterday: Iraqi Parliament Supports Bush Plan

If you read today's Boston Globe, you'd conclude that Bush's Iraq plan has all but destroyed Iraq's parliament. Here's the lead:

Iraq's Shi'ite prime minister exchanged heated words with a Sunni Arab lawmaker yesterday over the country's new security plan, leading Parliament to temporarily suspend a raucous debate and Iraqi television to abort its coverage.

And here's what the "objective" reporter from the Globe left out, reported--believe it or not--by Ann Garrels of NPR (emphasis inserted):

In a speech to the Iraqi parliament, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki makes an emotional appeal for support for his Baghdad security plan, vowing that it will
target all armed militants regardless of sect or political affiliation. After angry exchanges, parliament voted to support the prime minister's plan.
Garrels's report (audio link available by following the link above) notes that this vote represents a dramatic shift for fringe elements of the Iraqi parliament on both sides of the Sunni-Shiite feud. It appears that both sides understand that there will be no overlooking or accommodating their death squads and extremists. So al-Sadr and others are talking about cooperation, disarmament, and other things that earlier this week were impossible, per the Democrat response to the SOTU by the Junior Senator from the State of Pomposity Jim Webb.

SWNID hereby calls for the retirement of the slogan, apparently coined by the Ds but now adopted by some jelly-spined Rs like Chuck Hagel, "Iraq needs a political solution, not a military solution." "War," said Karl von Clausewitz, author of a celebrated work on the subject, "is not merely a political act but a real political instrument, a continuation of political intercourse, a carrying out of the same by other means." When differing factions won't agree to a political solution, as has been the case in Iraq, the threat of violence may tend to focus their attention on heretofore unnoticed shared interests with opponents--like, say, avoiding death.

It's much to early to take this action as a sign that Bush's plan will succeed. This could be his "Harry Truman moment." For everyone's sake, mostly those in Iraq and those in the US military and their families and friends, we hope so. But for sure, it's now utterly irresponsible for the Senate to continue to debate a non-binding resolution objecting to the "surge." Just the threat of it has shown the potential to move things along.

But the debate continues, it seems. And so the Iraqi parliament may end up more supportive of the American military than the US Senate.


Anonymous said...

The last statement is a function of politics, not strategy or patriotism. The US Senate is saber sheathing (as opposed to rattling) because they perceive the public wants them to.

The Iraqi government is making a show for its own people, and also out of pure self-preservation.

Bryan D said...

Allow me to enumerate what could be the second best kept secret of yesterday: The uninanimous confirmation of Lt. General Petraeus, tipped as the author of the "troop surge" plan, by the Senate armed services committee. Commentators and bloggers alike were amazed as the D's slapped themselves in the face after heavily criticizing the so-called "Bush plan" (otherwise known as the "Petraeus doctrine") and then confriming its author.

I'm not sure if the full Senate has confirmed the General as well, but one might image the fury that could ensue if the lefties realize they've elected their own worst enemy to head the War in Iraq (or perhaps they secretly agree with the plan and are preparing to take credit for if its succeeds).

Anyway, I will now supply a humorous anecdote on this subject. I am interning under a professor this semester whose classes expose me to a large number of young, eager underclassmen. As an intern, I must remain uninvolved in all situations, even when interjecting might prove helpful or even just entertaining. I will now record the conversation as I heard it.

Student 1: "What exactly don't you like about the Bush plan?"

Student 2: "Well, it just always seems like he's coming up with stupid ideas."

Without touching the assumption that all of Bush's ideas are "stupid," I wonder what the little detail of it not being Bush's idea would do to Student 2's opinion. Would it, perhaps, force said student to interact with the idea itself.

Can I propose the introduction of nonbiographical entities to all of our political offices? If all of our debators had no personalities but were only robots programed with various political philosophies (alas, I must admit that the D's beat me to this by nominating Gore in 2000).

If people didn't have labels or personalities to affix their pbjections to, perhaps they would be more likely to participate in actual political discussion.