Friday, June 13, 2008

The Genius of Charles Krauthammer

OK, the guy's a flippin' blowhard who is the articulate equivalent of a certain blonde right-wing nut-job whose name will never appear in this blog. In today's Washington Post, CK gives sage advice to McCain on how to win in November. It's right in the headline to the piece: Make the Election About Iraq.

Brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? Here's his reasoning:

McCain's case is not hard to make. Iraq is a three-front war -- against Sunni al-Qaeda, against Shiite militias and against Iranian hegemony -- and we are winning on every front...

So we fight Iranian hegemony with American hegemony? As if we're not trying to assert total dominance in the Middle East?
We did not go into Iraq to fight al-Qaeda. The war had other purposes.

Yeah, like Bushco getting its grubby paws on 10% of the world's oil reserves and sandwiching Iran for the next war. Not to mention Bush's quest for "legacy" as a war president who conquered the middle east.

But al-Qaeda chose to turn it into the central front in its war against America.

And what happened to compel al-Qaeda to do this? Why, our invasion, of course, which created such a huge power vacuum that it was simple for terrorists to set up camp in Iraq. Granted, the counter-insurgency tactics of the US are showing success, as we have enlisted Sunni groups formerly fighting against us to fight against al-Qaeda. But recently, a major Sunni leader was assassinated, and now the supreme Shiite leader in Iraq has issued a fatwa stating that "selling foodstuffs to the Occupying Powers is not permitted."
As for the Shiite extremists, the Mahdi Army is isolated and at its weakest point in years.
True, but this is because their leader, Moqtada al-Sadr, unilaterally called for a cease-fire, which created an internecine conflict within his group. But don't underestimate him. He commands a large force of fighters with all the fervor in any true-believer.

Even the most expansive American objective -- establishing a representative government that is an ally against jihadists, both Sunni and Shiite -- is within sight.
Again, true. The Maliki government in Iraq is feeling pretty good about themselves right now. But what CK doesn't mention is that there is a major struggle going on right now between Maliki's government and the US, which is trying to hammer out a Status of Forces Agreement that establishes permanent bases on Iraqi soil. When Obama becomes president, any advances Bush makes in this area will be reversed. No permanent military presence in Iraq. Believing that such a reversal, if really understood by the American voters, CK urges McBush to give a speech about why having these bases are a great idea as opposed to a withdrawal.

But CK would be wrong (again). Americans have tired of this war, and we want out. We will not abide McBush's recent comments about withdrawing troops if the surge is working:

[T]hat's not too important. What’s important is the casualties in Iraq, Americans are in South Korea, Americans are in Japan, American troops are in Germany. That’s all fine. American casualties and the ability to withdraw; we will be able to withdraw.
Hmmm. McBush seems about as sharp as Ronald Reagan circa 1998.

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