Monday, August 11, 2008


You are right that the threat of pulling out added pressure to get something done. To have power, the threat had to have credibility and it is true that democrats were ready and willing to pull out prematurely. Back seat drivers sometimes help a driver and they often take credit for a successful trip, but the bulk of the criticism and praise are allocated to the driver. Bush has certainly taken his share of hits. Now that his strategy is successful, saying that it was the loyal opposition and not the surge that provided the success is a very big stretch.

As far as the possibility of a leadership change is concerned, Iraq is well on its way to being an independent, sovereign nation. Maliki acknowledges that help is needed in resolving the boundaries of Kurdistan and the proper placement of Kirkuk. This should not be as difficult as splitting Jerusalem between Israel and Palestine, but troops US troops should stay until the borders are settled. Bush will have an agreement in place before he leaves office. The next president will not have his hands tied but the path to the exit will be clear.

Motivation works both ways. The Iraqis who want us out of there are aware that the resolution of boundaries must happen first. Iraq has resolved 15 of the 18 political objectives. Once the boundaries are determined, the other 2 will be almost automatically solved. The providential votes will be run easily once everyone knows the boundaries of the districts.

The majority of observers fail to appreciate the ultimate objective. We want all nations, including Iran to cease their support of terrorist. The training bases in Afghanistan were destroyed easily. Iraq was a tougher challenge. The toughest nut to crack is Iran. By surrounding Iran and gaining the support of the UN Security Council the pressure in on Iran. If at all possible, US Troops should be maintained in Iraq until Iran agrees to stop sponsoring terror.

On 8/11/08, Al wrote:
Jack, it appears to me that a "fixed mandate" did exactly what is supposed to do, get results. It may not have gotten all of the desired results, but it certainly moved the threatened parties in the desired direction. In politics seldom is a "fixed mandate" enforced if progress is being made, but the threat of the mandate must be available to be applied if no progress is being made.

Just the possibility that a leadership change in the US may change policies toward Iraq has been the biggest motivator in creating progress in Iraq.