The New Iraq NIE

Key judgments below; full text here (PDF). All bolding is from the original.

I think the key part is: The IC assesses that the Iraqi Government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months because of criticism by other members of the major Shia coalition (the Unified Iraqi Alliance, UIA), Grand Ayatollah Sistani, and other Sunni and Kurdish parties. Divisions between Maliki and the Sadrists have increased, and Shia factions have explored alternative coalitions aimed at constraining Maliki.

So things are going to get worse before they get better. But, as Kevin Drum points out, if things get worse, we’ve got to stay to keep them from falling apart entirely; if things get better, we can’t give up on Iraq just when we’re about to make it work.

Can’t define ‘quagmire’ any better than that. See, Bush was right to compare Iraq to Vietnam!

So Maliki gets it in the neck somehow, there’s a new official PM of the Green Zone, and of course we’ll have to stay the course to let *him * make political progress. Six months, or maybe twelve or eighteen, ought to do it, don’tcha think?

Something like that.

Kevin Drum posted a little chart that shows how wonderfully the Surge is working, aside from the political end, which is (a) the whole point, and (b) going nowhere.

Turns out that most metrics of violence are substantially up over a year ago, and all econ/infrastructure metrics are down.

If we’re the glue that’s keeping Iraq from falling apart, I think we’re a special sort of glue spelled S-O-L-V-E-N-T.

You mean that Maliki will be Iraq’s Diem?

Well, getting rid of Diem sure worked in Vietnam, didn’t it?

On an aside, I think it’s kind of odd that every damn NIE on Iraq is boiled down to a declassified press release. Does anyone else find it a little weird that the American people seem to trust the CIA’s judgment more than that of their elected leaders?

Well, given the current elected leaders…

While I have a generation’s worth of reasons to be suspicious of the CIA, they strike me as paragons of integrity compared to Bush, Cheney, and their minions.

The part that I find odd is the deep resistance towards impeaching the SOBs, even by many who acknowledge the extent of Bush’s malfeasance.

It seems that some UK troops have been killed by friendly fire.

Fuckit, time we all got out of that place

Umm…wrong country?

Same old ‘friends’ though.

:smack: :smack: but what tagos said anyway

I think it’s more a question of the futility of impeachment. Why do it when the chance of a conviction on the charge is nil?

A C-Span caller the other day had a sure fire, can not fail way to the end the entire mess in 24 hours but he wanted to be paid. No doubt he’s still waiting for a phone call.

I see the situation as unresolvable while we’re there to prop up ineffective and corrupt leadership. As gruesome as it is, if we leave, someone will eventually come out on top.

Because the trial process would bring out stuff and put it on the public record. Stuff that would put a permanent end, after January 2009, to the public careers of a lot of Bush Admin officials. No more Dick Cheneys popping up to work the same sleaze in one Pub administration after another. Stuff, in fact, that might be used to criminally prosecute any of them W doesn’t pardon. It would also cast a bad (even worse) light on the Republican Party as a whole and hurt the chances of Pub candidates for Congress in November 2008.

Hell, that same strategy got Nixon elected president. You can’t blame him for trying.

Because they aren’t getting jack shit done anyway?

Since the Senate Dems won’t force the GOP to actually filibuster anything, the Dems only get their 60 votes for cloture when the GOP lets them. That means that Congress really hasn’t passed much in the way of substantive legislation this year - excepting, of course, the Fourth Amendment-gutting FISA bill and the Iraq funding bill, both of which Bush wanted, and are the worst examples of the Dems’ having been taken to the cleaners this year.

Hell, Bush is even threatening to veto most of the appropriations bills.

Meanwhile, the Dems’ ability to investigate is being similarly stymied by the Bush Administration’s extensive claims of Executive Privilege.

If the Dems were going to get a lot done instead, I could buy the “why do it - it won’t succeed and will just get in the way of getting other stuff done” argument. But they’re not, so they might as well put down a marker, say they’re serious (even if the GOP isn’t) about holding responsible an Administration that lied us into war, violated the FISA law, turned the Justice Department into an outfit that prosecutes on a partisan basis, and who knows what else at this point.

Well RTFirefly that makes a lot of sense and would cause the approval ratings of Congress to skyrocket, but you’ll find the consultants, the beltway sages, and very serious men think that would be a bad idea and would lead to dire consequences for the Demo’s electability. It’s the DLC mentality all over. Same reason they caved on FISA, as you point out. Same reason Gonzalez is still there. Same reason the WH refusing subpoenas leads to…the writing of very serious, angry letters instead of, say, using inherent contempt or forcing the GOP to filibuster things they don’t like.

There’s also the possibility that shining the light on the rotting carcass of our government would show a lot of Dem maggots happily eating away as well.

I figure an article from today’s Onion, Democratic Mob Censures Bush In Effigy, is too apropos not to link to:


Not in this case. I really don’t.

It could keep them too occupied to, say, implement an attack on Iran. And all sorts of things the Bushites want to keep secret would no doubt come to light. And it would be the right thing to do for the country, instead of once again underlining the fact that there are no consequences for a Republican President who wants to lie, cheat, kill, and destroy.

Unfortunately, I have a sneaking suspicion / sinking feeling that it may have the opposite effect. If these clowns sense that the hounds are starting to close in, it wouldn’t surprise me if we start getting reports of USN ships being attacked by [DEL]North Vietnamese[/DEL]Iranian gunboats in the [DEL]Gulf of Tonkin[/DEL]Eastern Med, and then it’s off to the proverbial races.

I doubt that this strategem would convince as many people as it did when LBJ did it (and it may not even take in the redoubtable 26-28%), but that’s not the point. From then on, everybody would be so busy trying to cope with a Middle East / Persian Gulf in cataclysm that impeachment would become a sideshow.