The Times has yet another presentation of various "experts" on Iraq, and "how to see this mission accomplished." Honestly, I've only read one of the comments, that of Danielle Pletka, because history indicates that her brand of "expertise" is usually good for a laugh.
No doubt both Al Qaeda and Iran overplayed their hands and alienated Iraqis. At the same time, the surge convinced both Sunni and Shiite rejectionists that United States forces would remain the strongest in Iraq for the time being. American leaders need to recognize, however, that power calculations, not principle, have driven these conversions.Okay... she's stating the obvious, but there's nothing unreasonable in that.
No, we should not shun friends where we find them, even fair-weather friends.Somebody suggested we should shun our friends? Who? Where? When? (If somebody advised caution on dealing with "fair weather friends", that's understandable and correct - is that what she means? It's certainly not what she said.)
Nor is it right, as some Democrats have suggested, that our Iraqi allies are merely mercenaries.Must we go through this every day? Name the Democrats who have suggested "our Iraqi allies are merely mercenaries". Name just one. (Didn't think so.)
But Americans must understand that we will need to maintain an imposing presence in Iraq for a long time to come, ensuring that all sides have enough of a stake in the new order so that violence loses its appeal.Now that's a weak excuse for a punch line, although it reflects a clownish sense of reality.
We must "maintain an imposing presence in Iraq" - how imposing?
We must be there for "a long time to come" - how long?
And what form of low-wattage thinking comes up with the fantasy that we can ensure that "all sides have enough of a stake in the new order so that violence loses its appeal"? (Oh yes... American Enterprise Institute-branded low-wattage thinking.) So, Ms. Pletka, give us one successful example of nation similar to Iraq, full of ethnic tensions and on the verge of civil war, where that was achieved. I'm cutting you a break here, by pretending Iraq isn't in a state of civil war - so it should be easy, right? Just one example, from all of human history.
You promise to get back to us with an answer, maybe, in the next round-up of the pseudo-experts?