Americans should have experienced a collective Vanilla Sky moment when they viewed the Saddam execution. In that unfiltered and uncensored video shot live from Iraq, Americans could see for the first time the true state of affairs.
National Strategy for Victory in Iraq
Back in November 2005, the National Security Council released a National Strategy for Victory in Iraq [PDF]. The White House has posted an Executive Summary, which should remain available until the strategy or administration changes. Let’s take an in-depth look at several points.
Victory in Iraq
Short term. Iraq is making steady progress in fighting terrorists, meeting political milestones, building democratic institutions, and standing up security forces.
Medium term. Iraq is in the lead defeating terrorists and providing its own security, with a fully constitutional government in place, and on its way to achieving its economic potential.
Longer term. Iraq is peaceful, united, stable, and secure, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism.
Forget about the medium and longer term goals, since the war against Iraq began on March 20, 2003, we haven’t even hit the short term goals, despite the Mission Accomplished banner. Iraq has made no progress in fighting terrorists. As for the political and democratic goals, the Saddam video pretty much exposed the harsh truth about Iraq. Sure, there may be elected officials in Iraq, but when the time came to execute Hussein, the name being chanted wasn’t Bush, Blair or al-Maliki, but Muqtada.
One would assume that the people entrusted with executing Saddam would be the most trusted members of the Iraqi governing inner circle, and now we know where their loyalties lie. With Muqtada the democrat. Talk about killing two birds with one stone. The execution video managed to delegitimize the Saddam trial and the Iraqi government.
What are we doing in Iraq?
We’re spending $200 million a day and placing our armed forces in harm’s way. Unfortunately, from the looks of the Saddam video, all we’re doing is serving as mercenaries for Muqtada at this point. Forget the talk of al-Maliki being an American puppet. As it turns out, we’re Muqtada’s puppet and we have now just discovered it.
Cut and Run
We cannot achieve any victory in Iraq without the help of a local partner. And, as we’ve found out, the current Iraqi government is not it. So, until we find some true democrats in Iraq, we can either cut and run, or continue serving as Muqtada’s mercentaries. Suddenly, cut and run doesn’t look half bad.