Sunday, June 03, 2007

More PR Blunders By the Bush Administration

I'm not talking about the immigration bill bruhaha, though that is obviously pissing on the choir. I'm talking about the discussions from a week ago about withdrawal from Iraq in September. I was substantially irked by this flimsy leadership and I found this Weekly Standard article by Kristol and Kagan that makes the point well.
The ghost of Donald Rumsfeld lives in some quarters of the Bush administration. See, for example, the repeated suggestions by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates that the administration might pull the plug on the current strategy in September and begin a drawdown, and the appointment of a known skeptic of the strategy as "war czar." Some officials still speak as if what matters most in Iraq is to turn over responsibility to Iraqi forces forthwith. But the Iraqi army, while gaining in experience and effectiveness as rapidly as one might expect, is still too small to make up for the withdrawal of the 170,000 U.S. soldiers actively engaged in establishing order. And there are still bad actors within the Iraqi government and security forces that are pursuing sectarian agendas. The Petraeus-Crocker campaign plan recognizes this fact. Moving to withdraw U.S. forces in the coming months--even expressing eagerness to remove U.S. forces prematurely--empowers extremists within the Iraqi government just as they are beginning to lose power, and offers al Qaeda forces the chance to regain the positions in the Sunni community they are steadily being forced to yield.

Meanwhile, the State Department toys with fantasy diplomatic solutions based on overtures toward Iran and Syria. The Iranian regime has resolved to help Iraqi militants kill as many Americans as possible. The Syrian regime permits al Qaeda terrorists to move into Iraq for the same purpose every day. These actions are not the result of some sort of miscommunication that could be cleared up with a frank discussion of real interests. They represent policy decisions in Tehran and Damascus to defeat us in Iraq. Diplomatic engagement by itself is a trap, at least until we have turned the tide in Iraq and regained leverage.

I'm not always a fan of Kristol, but Kagan is pretty rock solid on this topic and most military topics I've read from him. The problem really appears to be a major propaganda loss that they give up willingly to the enemy. Instead of staying the course on the present strategy and keeping the information war on track as well, they just throw that bit into the gutter. No doubt the Dems and the anti-war crowd are happy with this line, since it gives them more reason to call Bush a fool, but why hasn't the Bush administration been more careful in how it uses all of it's assets?

More disappointment from the Bush administration.

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