Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Thursday, March 08, 2007
I wonder if Petraeus told Bush this face to face?
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Military force alone is not sufficient to end the violence in Iraq and political talks must eventually include some militant groups now opposing the U.S.-backed government, the new commander of U.S. forces in Iraq said Thursday. "This is critical," Gen. David Petraeus said in his first news conference since taking over command last month. He noted that such political negotiations "will determine in the long run the success of this effort."
That's all well and good and I agree with him. The problem is that I think it's too late.

With whom should we negotiate? Sunni Baathists? Kurds? Mahdi Shiites? SCIRI Shiites? Sunni fundamentalists? What about the sub-sects of these groups? Or perhaps the regional governments?

The problem in Iraq is that the situation has deteriorated too far. Had the Bush administration pursued negotiation from the beginning, it may have worked. But now, in a position of weakness, the Bush administration and their (let's just say it) puppet government have such a weak hand that there's really no leverage to sit down with anyone, much less trying to figure out who to sit with.

Iraqi exhaustion is going to be the final leverage, and that may take years. Do American's really want to be in the middle of that process? Bush does. But he's entering Barney territory in the polls.
Blogger Lynne said...
"Iraqi exhaustion is going to be the final leverage, and that may take years."

Just look at how long the Isreali/Palestinian conflict has been going on. One would think they would be exhausted by now.