Tuesday, August 19, 2008
How's That Iraq Occupation Going, Mr. McCain?
According to McCain, the surge is working and we have to "stay the course", not "cut and run" like Obama wants us to. But more than five years after the invasion, a story like this has to give pause to even the most die-hard supporter of the invasion and continued occupation:
Of all the political problems facing Iraq today, perhaps none is so intractable as the fate of Kirkuk, a city of 900,000 that Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens all claim as their own. The explosive quarrel over the city is one major barrier to creating stable political structures in the rest of Iraq.Is this really the situation that John McCain thinks the US military should be in the middle of? Is this a situation where John McCain thinks the US military can make a damned bit of difference? If he honestly believes that - knowing the facts about the situation in Kirkuk and elsewhere - then he's even scarier than I thought. Even Bush would probably be pushing for a withdrawal if her were running for President. This guy McCain is truly a mess.
Beyond that, it demonstrates that despite a recent decline in violence, Iraq’s unsettled ethnic and regional discord could still upend directives emanating from Baghdad and destabilize large swaths of the country — or even set off a civil war.
This month, legislation in the national Parliament to set the groundwork for crucial provincial elections collapsed in a bitter dispute over Kirkuk, as Arabs and Turkmens demanded that the Kurds be forced to cede some of their power here. But with the Kurds having already consolidated their authority in Kirkuk, there seemed little chance — short of a military intervention — of that happening.