OK, enough fun and games. Time to get serious. And there isn’t any topic more serious than the Iraq War.
As the Big A may or may not recall, he was starting to convince me regarding the defunding argument prior to his departure from DailyKos. I want to thank him for his efforts, as they really helped me clarify all my thoughts on the matter.
I have reached the conclusion that there are three general approaches to ending the War. First, I want to state what I believe are some generally recognized facts.
Fact: There are numerous well armed and well funded factions vying for control of Iraq regardless of if or when we leave. They include Saudi backed Sunni rebels, Iranian backed Shia militias, Kurdish nationalists, ‘official’ police cum militias secretly / not so secretly funded by the Iraqi government, foreign fighters, and various other self-funded well-armed groups. To suggest it is a fucking mess is perhaps the understatement of our young century.
Fact: There has been no political progress towards a peaceful solution in months. Actually, a strong argument can be made that politically, things are worse not better.
Fact / strong opinion: Anyone who states with certainty what will happen when we leave Iraq is a fool. The situation requires clear-thinking stewardship and careful management. How we leave is as important to the well being of the Iraqi people as when we leave (this statement has for some reason gotten me into trouble before, so I am prepared to defend it).
OK, here are the three general approaches to ending the Iraq War along with the steps involved (give or take) as I see them:
Option 1 – Impeach, Defund, Leave:
A) Impeach the Vice President.
B) Force the President to replace him with a VP who wants to end the war or impeach the President if he refuses.
C) Have the President resign or cede the exit planning / execution to the new Vice President. Impeach the Pres if he declines or messes with the process in any way.
D) Allow Congress to work with the new VP on the plan to exit Iraq.
E) Defund the war if necessary.
F) Leave Iraq.
Option 2 – Defund, Force the President’s Hand, Leave:
A) Defund the War which will eventually force the President’s hand.
B) Trust the President to manage the exit process.
C) Did you read that? I said Trust the President. After all, he would remain Commander-in-Chief and would be the one responsible for the plan.
D) Leave Iraq.
Option 3 – Delay, Elect a Democrat as President in ’08, Leave:
A) Continue to capitulate to the President’s plans to cause Confusion and Delay.
B) Hope the public is angrier with Enabling Republicans than they are with Spineless Democrats. Survive the election to see a Democrat elected President.
C) Trust the new President wants to exit Iraq. Trust the new President to manage the exit process.
D) There’s that Trust thing again.
E) Leave Iraq.
Needless to say, my first preference is to follow Option 1 above. I believe it is the most responsible approach to the problem. I believe it has the best chance of leading to the least crappy end game. Ultimately, I believe the least number of lives (American and Iraqi) would be lost following this approach.
But, you say with authority – Impeachment Is Off The Table. I’ve seen the argument. Options 2 or 3 are apparently the only real choices. We just don’t have the votes or the time for anything else. Well, the truth is we all kinda know that the same Blue Dog Dems who won’t support Option 1 also won’t support Option 2, but that’s not the point of this essay.
My real question in this essay: Is Option 2 really that much better than Option 3?
The bottom line is I really, truly, honestly and without reservation DO NOT TRUST this President to successfully manage his evening walk home from the Oval Office without getting lost, never mind overseeing an exit plan from Iraq. Either from a lack of competence or through an attempt at political manipulation (or both), I fear for the safety of our troops and the Iraqi civilians if we leave on his watch. Quite frankly, the idea scares the living hell out of me.
Even still, I fear Option 3 a little more. There is too much to chance without any guarantees of success following this so-called ‘plan’. As a result, I am a semi-reluctant supporter of the defunding approach. But if I could have one political wish, it would be to see the public rise up to demand Impeachment. It is by far the best way forward.
All this being said – I have a request for any strong Defunding proponents out there. Can any of you reassure me that my fears of letting the President oversee the withdrawal plan are overblown? I would love to see links to any articles discussing how this would work, or any online discussions of the process, or just an outline of your own thoughts below.
What I want to know is, if we don’t Impeach him, how can we place enough controls on the President to provide for a well-planned exit strategy?
Thanks in advance for your help.