Monday, June 12, 2006

Bush More Honest After Zarqawi Death About U.S. Role In Iraq

One unpredicted, and surprising outcome of the successful mission to get Zarqawi has been a more honest Bush assessment of the war. Gone are the bloated brags of "Bring It On", or other loose "cowboy" talk in favor of a far more realistic assessment of the U.S. role. This is what many Americans have wanted all along. A president who talks plainly and truthfully.

In the case of Bush it may be a matter of too little too late. But better than never is still a good standard. The American people appreciate a president who talks plainly and truthfully to them.

It is still highly questionable whether there can be peace in Iraq between the Sunni and Shiite Muslim religious sects. Some historians can trace 300 years of conflict between these sects. And certainly since the British role in occupation of Iraq after WWI, serious sectarian conflict was a major problem for the British forces. But it is also likely if there's any possible way for the U.S. to exit Iraq and leave most security up tp Iraqi homegrown forces, then most U.S. troops would likely leave. Even Reagan pulled U.S. Marines out of Lebanon after their peacekeeping mission was shattered by a huge suicide bombing attack. Even the most militaristic of the right no doubt would bail out of a bad war if things are not working out at some point. And if the religious sects in Iraq have been unable to find peace in the last 300 years, then it is highly unlikely that there is any appetite in the U.S. to fight insurgents that many years without handing the situation over to homegrown Iraqi forces. Few Americans would sipport a war that takes the lives of their sons, grandsons or great grandsons, for generations. For the remote control channel changing constantly and instant satisfaction mentality of Americans, patience is certainly not a virtue.

The biggest problem is the Iraqi will. Many insurgents have very little training but great will. But the homegrown Iraqi forces often lack a similar will. If homegrown Iraqi forces really care about their country, then they'll step up to defend it. Otherwise the U.S. is simply stuck in Iraqi for a long time with no "honorable" way out. It's extremely easy for any nation to enter a war. But it's always very hard to gracefully exit one.


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