Thursday, January 11, 2007

World: Stick a fork in Iraq?

I caught part of the speech by President Bush.

The post-speech analysis on Newshour was not hopeful. Only David Brooks managed to sound a partially optimistic note and when he said, maybe we have a slightly less than 50-50 chance that this will work.

The other analysts pretty much threw in the towel and felt this was the last moves in the endgame before the US tips the king over in resignation.

One can't fault Bush for faintheartedness.

It would have been politically a lot easier to not invade Iraq and once having done so, to pull out pronto once things started going downhill.

As I see it, there were a number of scenarios:

(1) We could have left Hussein in place but with sanctions falling apart, he would have eventually reconstituted chemical weapons manufacturing. Perhaps, he would have sank money into biological weapons but they are actually pretty hard to get to work properly. As for nuclear ambitions, he might have developed them because the neighboring Iranians want them also.

With the Iraq invasion this scenario didn't happen.

(1A) We could have left Hussein in place and worked for a coup. What kind of Iraq would have arisen from this scenario? Perhaps scenario (2) below minus the invasion part.

(2) After the invasion, civil war breaks out between the three major factions destroying the country.

We are probably just a few steps removed from this outcome.

(2A) After the invasion, civil war breaks out between the three major factions but somehow, the three sides realize they have to stop.

This is the result we are all hoping for. Whether the addition of 21,500 troops can get us to scenario (2A) I don't know.



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