I thought I would re-iterate a previous post.
It is widely acknowledged that the new Iraqi government is a failure.
Most government initiatives fail. For that matter most of the governments in history really should be chalked up as failures.
The whole point of the Republican form of government is that it is possible to get rid of failed governments.
Our focus in Iraq from this point forward should be to get the country to the next election. Our efforts should concentrate on assuring that the second election is clean.
The next election should include a referendum on whether or not the US retains troops in the country. The decisions we make should include formalized polling from the Iraqi people.
It is the second election that matters most. IMHO, When Bush committed our nation to the war in Iraq, he committed the country to doing everything we can to get to the second election.
In other words, the time table for US withdrawal from Iraq should be based on Iraq election cycles. Our decision to stay or leave the area should include input from the Iraqi people.
I think Bush was correct to stave off early demands for a time table. The earlier time tables would have us pulling out before the second election. Bush's troop surge was a success because it got us over the midterm slump that occurs when people realize that their elected officials are really just a bunch of self serving, ineffective cads.
The second election is in January 2009. It falls between the 2008 US election and inauguration. Having a referendum and new government in Iraq means that the next US president will be dealing with a new government. The new president would also have direct input from the election.
If President Bush was wise, he would start directing our attention to the next Iraqi election. If the presidential candidates were wise, they would state openly that their Iraqi policies would be driven from the input of the January 2009 elections.
Wisdom among our politicians? That is a pretty tall order.
American politicians are wise.
The problem is that that their wisdom is restricted to the process of attacking opponents and rewarding friends. Questions about what is the best course of action for the people of the world doesn't have a secure place in political wisdom.
For example, democratic politicians line up to state unequivocally that they will get out Iraq if they were elected. Assuming that the second election takes place, that means that we would abandon a freshly elected government with the same arrogance that led to the invasion.
Conversely at the critical times when we needed to debate the war, Bush seems to have opted out of the process (that might just be an illusion created by the media).
Even if you hate the war, the decisions that get made by the next president have to be made in the context of January 1, 2009.
BTW, I think the troop surge got us to the point where the second election is now in sight.
Our politicians are smart and even wily. But wise? I'm sure that some are. But wisdom is the proper use of knowledge. Reserving your best capacities for attacking your domestic opponents somehow doesn't seem to rise to that level.
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