Bush Plan: more troops to Baghdad vs. Biden Plan: Dividing Iraq to hold it together

In a press conference Monday, Bush defended his Iraqi policy, saying over and over an immediate withdrawal would be both a ‘disaster’ and a ‘huge mistake’.

Leaving before the job would be done would send a message that America really is no longer engaged, nor cares about the form of governments in the Middle East,” he said. “Leaving before the job was done would send a signal to our troops that the sacrifices they made were not worth it. Leaving before the job is done would be a disaster, and that’s what we’re saying.

Leaving Iraq now would also “provide safe haven for terrorists and extremists”, “embolden those who are trying to thwart the ambitions of reformers”, and “give the terrorists and extremists …revenues from oil sales.”

Of course, the current deteriorating situation in Iraq keeps Iraqi oil off the world market and inflates the price of oil, but hey, oil guys like Bush have to make a living too.

And how does Bush propose to accomplish his objectives of, uh, letting the world know that America cares deeply about Middle Eastern government and letting our troops know it’s okay to die? By moving some troops from Mosul to Baghdad. Why didn’t I think of that?

This week another proposal surfaced in the Washington Post, this one co-authored by presidential hopeful, Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is also senator from Delaware and the ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, and Les Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. This plan, ironically titled “A Plan to Hold Iraq Together”, calls for an approach similar to that used to end sectarian violence in Bosnia–dividing Iraq along sectarian lines and letting each keep its own militia, while providing for protection of minority groups and the division of oil profits as an incentive to keep the different groups working together.

First, the plan calls for maintaining a unified Iraq by decentralizing it and giving Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis their own regions. The central government would be left in charge of common interests, such as border security and the distribution of oil revenue.

Second, it would bind the Sunnis to the deal by guaranteeing them a proportionate share of oil revenue. Each group would have an incentive to maximize oil production, making oil the glue that binds the country together.

Third, the plan would create a massive jobs program while increasing reconstruction aid — especially from the oil-rich Gulf states — but tying it to the protection of minority rights.

Fourth, it would convene an international conference that would produce a regional nonaggression pact and create a Contact Group to enforce regional commitments.

Fifth, it would begin the phased redeployment of U.S. forces this year and withdraw most of them by the end of 2007, while maintaining a small follow-on force to keep the neighbors honest and to strike any concentration of terrorists.

Like the guy on Hawaii-Five-O used to say, “Sounds crazy, but it just might work.”

Update: Piece was migrated from a different site, comments appeared there, links have been retained.

3 Responses to “Bush Plan: More Troops to Baghdad vs. Biden Plan: Dividing Iraq to Hold it Together”

  1. DTW 06 Says:
    August 27th, 2006 at 11:34 pm eInteresting, I just posted Crazy Extremists These Islamic extremists have some serious anti-social issues. It is unfortunate that too many people in this world are willing adherents to rigid dogma.It is disturbing how many willingly sacrifice their lives for someone else’s objectives, all in the name of religion. Or could it be something else?

    Could it be for the state and a sense of patriotism?

    Could it be over land and/or other resources?

    Or could the objective be to settle an old score? After all if it is always about and “eye for an eye” we will have constant war. Yes, there sure are lots of ways adherence to rigid dogma and unquestioning loyalty lead to bloodshed.

    Please check out OhioDem1’s How to Sell a War for more on this topic.

    QuestionItNow Blogs

  2. Anoymous Says:
    August 29th, 2006 at 6:47 pm eI have always thought there are some important economic forces at play here.If you ask Arabs how many brothers and sister they have they will say something like 5 brothers and 6 sisters. Until they get a job, their families will not arrange a marriage for them. With an economy only growing at a rate of something like 3% in a non-oil country, and maybe further depressed by war, they aren’t going to be able to get a job or get married. In the Arab world, no marriage, no sex. Now if someone comes along and offers them a short-term position, whether or not they know it involves their death, and they’re already without a future….The people with the bank accounts to finance these things seem to be well hidden and far away from the danger themselves.
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