Tuesday, November 18, 2003

What Iraq Will Get Isn't Self-Rule: "The decision to hasten self-rule has little to do with installing real democracy. That's the patina the president needs to cover the panic suddenly gripping the White House. The insurgency in Iraq is growing in intensity and expanding in geography. It will get much worse, according to a bleak assessment just offered by the Central Intelligence Agency. 'More than the terrorism of Baathist 'remnants' and 'bitter-enders,' or even 'the 200 or so foreign terrorists' that the administration has been harping about dismissively amid its happy talk of progress in Iraq, the CIA says a full-scale insurgency is underway, with a majority of Iraqis opposing the occupation."

"Rather than lurching from crisis to crisis, as he has for six months, Bush needs an exit strategy, fast. We are seeing the outlines of one: Cut and run, albeit over an extended period... There will be a partial devolution of political power, in a bid to persuade Iraqis that they are ruled not by a foreign power but by their own leaders. Both stratagems constitute major reversals of policy. Post-war, America couldn't disband the Iraqi army fast enough. Now, chief U.S. administrator Paul Bremer can't reconstitute it quickly enough for the White House... Notwithstanding Bush's lectures on democracy, only the naïve would continue to believe that America wants anything other than a satellite state."

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