December 12, 2006
Almost everyone now agrees that Iraq is a complete disaster. The Iraq study group has offered a mish-mash of existing ideas for a last ditch effort to reduce the damage done by Bush. Their ideas won’t work because the parties in Iraq are determined to win power through force, which will prolong the civil war. Since noone clearly dominates Iraq, the US will need to pick or create a group to dominate the others. The US must fund and train a Shiite militia that isn’t quite as bad as Muqtada al-Sadr. It must be a group that is willing to control, but not crush, the Sunni population so the US can convince Saudi Arabia not to interfere. This group must crush Sadr and other violent groups within Iraq and grab control of Baghdad. They must leave the Kurds completely alone as an autonomous group. The hope for democracy is gone, the best we can hope for now is stability.
The US can’t do any of this publicly. Instead, it must increase training for the “Iraqi army”, which is really just a euphemism for the chosen Shiite group. The US should back-up attacks on Sunni strongholds to help crush those groups quickly. The current government in Iraq will likely fail, but a weak faux-democratic government should be erected as a cover for the chosen Shiite group. The goal is to crush opposition to stop the bloodshed and provide some room for rebuilding the country. Democracy will not happen right now, but maybe a modified Islamic version can emerge (like UAE and those other little countries). Continuing to fight for democracy is a pointless waste of American lives and money. It’s time for some realism in our foreign policy.