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Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Monday | January 06, 2003

The Bush Iraq Vision Emerges

Steve Soto:

The New York Times today spells out the Bush vision and plans for a post-regime change Iraq. The story by David Sanger and James Dao is notable not only for the specifics, but also because of the impression left by so many "senior" or "top advisers" that this late in the game, the Bushies still have no idea of what they'll find upon going into Iraq, and what they'll do about it when they get there. What they seem to know already is that they want a military commander to have unquestioned authority for months, and then to gradually turn over responsibilities for schools, economic manangement, and oil production to a civilian administrator.

Aside from the merits of establishing a pro-democracy beachhead in the Arab world, which many can agree with but many may also question the method of doing so, one can argue after reading this story that the Administration still hasn't fully thought out their occupation of Iraq (surprise). As always, they do seem to know what they'll do with the oil: the military commander will have control over it, assuming Hussein doesn't make it unusable first. But there are many quotes from these officials which indicate a remarkable uncertainty this late in the game for a campaign that will likely lift off next month. Which begs the question: if Iraq has been in the planning stages for months, well before the midterm election ramp-up, as we were told it was, why is this much still unknown?

Also, does Rumsfeld really feel comfortable with pinning down what may be several hundred thousand front-line US troops in Iraq for months while our Special Ops forces are still slugging it out with Al Qaeda in a deteriorating Afghanistan? (North Korea notwithstanding) If we are really at war with terrorism, then why isn't Charlie Rangel correct in calling the Bushies' bluff on a resumption of the draft, to see if their committment to a "war" on terrorism includes sending their own sons and daughters into harm's way?

From an oil man's perspective, gaining control of a non-OPEC Iraq and (soon after the next coup) a non-OPEC Venezuela makes sense. But what cost must we as a nation pay for this administration's newfound acceptance of nationbuilding, alleged concern over weapons of mass destruction, and a tunnel-visioned energy policy?

Posted January 06, 2003 01:34 PM | Comments (12)


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