I love this graphic by Arthur Hochstein that appeared in Time . It's as ambiguous as the headline that reads Clinton To Iraqis: US Not Going to Abandon You .
What do I see in it? One of two things or maybe a combination of both. One, the Americans pulling the last of their assets from the war torn country or the final putting in place of a long time presence Neither is ideal.
We already know we've built a kazillion dollar embassy complex that's larger than the Vatican. It's unlikely we're going to abandon it. Even without the diplomatic corp in place, merely the manning of it will take a huge American presence. Plus the military contingent that will be assigned to protect it.
On the other hand, we've vowed to keep to our time table on combat troop withdrawal. Clinton did indicate our future involvement would wear a different face. One of reconstruction more so than destruction. It will matter little. One side will continue to destroy what the other builds.
This was in response to the Iraqi government's concerns now that it's evident that their security forces aren't yet up to the task before them. That in itself is disturbing considering all the manpower and money we've invested in training them. Either they are very slow to lear, they don't want to learn or we are lousy teachers! We've been at this how long? Yet, who can blame them? Enlistment in any form of national security entity is inviting an early demise!
Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Iraq is still a divided nation at best. We had to "buy" Sunni co-operation. The Shia led government continues to sabotage their efforts to gain a modicum of equality in not only governing, but defending what too is their country. Then we have the "al Qaida in Iraq" influence that reaps the blame and the glory for everything that is not comfortably explained away with other rationales.
The suicide bombings are escalating once again, some of the more rash citizens fear the withdrawal of our troops for they know full well what's coming. Lot's of very learned people have warned of this for a very long time.
When Secretary Clinton says, "There is nothing more important than to have a united Iraq. The more united Iraq is, the more you will trust your security services. The security services have to earn your trust but the people have to demand it."
Sheesh. This is right out of "Idealistic Outcome 101" from the school of "How to Successfully Withdraw from a Mess of Our Own Making" .
Just once I'd like to see an administration, any administration tell it like it is. These people do not want peace, they want power unto themselves - all sides. The same scenario is gelling in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Has Obama learned anything? The indications are that he has not.
Clinton's vision may not be a pipe bomb; it is a pipe dream!