Monday, January 08, 2007

Bush's Benchmarks

After Sunday's roundtables and panels had their say, it seems that no one has any idea what to do about Iraq except try to position themselves to avoid being apportioned too much of the blame. The Dems are predictably cawing, "It's 100 percent Bush's fault!" On the other side they're launching a preemptive missile attack by saying that if the Dems, who hold both Houses, don't cut funds, then they have to share in the blame. Clearly Pelosi-Reed do not want to don those clothes.

So Bush is about to detail his "new" Iraq strategy on Wednesday night. He is reportedly going to order a "surge" of up to 20,000 troops, and establish a set of "benchmarks" for the Iraqis to meet. My opinion? Twenty thousand does not a tsunami make, and a tsunami is needed to turn Iraq around. But maybe we can do it without a tsunami. Maybe we can do it with 20 or 30 years of moderate waves. Some are giving voice to this opinion, saying that a strong American presence will be needed in Iraq for at least that amount of time in order to create a viable and stable democratic government. Of course no one in power wants to say that. But it's probably the truth, and the only course of action that is likely to have a good result.