Sunday, August 28, 2005

A day late and a dollar short

So does this mean the war is not over yet? Pretty much any valuable advice Ashley Wilkes has to offer in the post below is stuff that is already being done as part of the plan that, believe it or not, has existed and evolved since the occupation began – even during that “wasted first year”. You have to be blind or devoted to the NYTimes front page not to see a buzz of activity in Iraq that incorporates everything that the retired General is clamoring for. The strategy in place is operating on his three prongs and then some. His refusal acknowlege those efforts makes it virtually impossible to take him seriously. Setbacks? Yes, here and there and all over. No plan? Preposterous. I would suggest that anyone who sees Iraq as a downward spiral skim through just the last Chenkroff Good News in Iraq post (it’s a shame that Chenkroff is no longer doing these long posts – but that doesn’t mean the positive news has stopped). You'll notice winning hearts and minds and infrastructure repair and foreign commitments, et al. No doubt about it: Iraqis are steadily building a new and prosperous country.

And what’s with this line:
On the political side, the timeline[s] for the agreements on the Constitution are less important than the substance. It is up to American leadership to help engineer a compromise that will avoid the "red lines" of the respective factions and leave in place a state that both we and the neighbors can support. So, no Kurdish vote on independence; a restricted role for Islam, and limited autonomy in the south. And no private militias.
Is he not aware that the deadlines are postponed as we speak (though they are still relevent) while the three factions hammer out support and substance for the constitution? I don’t understand how Wilkes breezily makes the transition from we’re-moving-too- slow to timelines-are-less-important-than-substance. But regardless, the constitution appears to have many positives, including a prohibition of militias and and quotas for women in the Council of Deputies & much more that will hopefully stay in tact through presenting the draft and getting it ratified. Again, Wilkes seems unaware that most of what he’s calling for is in the process of happening or has already happened. Good thing that the Iraqis are taking the constitution more seriously than the retired general.

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