Thursday, March 15, 2007

Iraq in the News - How bad will we lose and those sliding benchmarks

Two articles on Iraq are up today. First, a series of experts predicts how Iraq may eventually turn out. Second, the NYT reports today about those sliding benchmarks that BushCo set down before the surge.

From the Rolling Stone article on Iraq predictions, this quote from retired four-star Gen. Tony McPeak:

Even if we had a million men to go in, it's too late now. Humpty Dumpty can't be put back together again.

I will let each of you read the article in full to see the range of predictions. They range from beyond awful to merely terrible. No one thinks the US is going to come out of this with a win. Ever.

In checking the list of experts, I was both heartened and discouraged that Robert Kagan or Kill "The Vampire" Kristol (AKA Nostradumbass) weren't included in the discussion. I was heartened because these idiots frankly belong in jail for the blood spilled, prestige lost and money wasted on The Stupid Pointless War. OTOH, I would have enjoyed the other experts smacking these idiotic neocons around, just for the fun of it.

The other article is relevant here because this speaks directly to how things are going in Iraq - in the midst of the surge - and how things may be turning out.

The Bush administration, which six months ago issued a series of political goals for the Iraqi government to meet by this month, is now tacitly acknowledging that the goals will take significantly longer to achieve.

In interviews this week, administration officials said that the military buildup intended to stabilize Baghdad and create the conditions for achieving the objectives would not be fully in place until June and that all of the objectives would not be fulfilled until the year’s end.

A “notional political timeline” that the administration provided to Congress in January in an attachment to a letter from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, had called for most of the objectives to be met by this month.

Dan Froomkin has been railing against the mainstream media for failing to report on benchmark progress. Well Dan, here some progress on the reporting of the benchmarks. So, we have movement on the media side, but not much else.

Bottom line: Until Iraqis can learn to live together and forge meaningful political (read - political NOT military) solutions, the Iraq wound will fester indefinitely.

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