What the Bush administration refuses to let the Pentagon do, make contingency plans for withdrawal from Iraq, the Iraqi government has no problem with. They are already engaged in planning what they will do in the event of an end to the coalition presence.
Iraq's military is drawing up plans on how to cope if U.S.-led forces leave the country quickly, the defense minister said Monday.That last sentence is interesting. To me, it points towards a realisation by the current Iraqi leadership that a withdrawal of occupation forces would mean they would have to negotiate reconcilliation in earnest and in a hurry - something they are loathe to do as long as U.S. troops prop up their current laziness. In other words, the best thing that can be done for Iraq is to leave.
The statement by Defense Minister Abdul-Qader al-Obeidi marked the first time a senior Iraqi official has spoken publicly about the possibility of a quick end to the U.S.-led mission.
It was unclear if the remarks were more than routine contingency planning.
``The army plans on the basis of a worst case scenario so as not to allow any security vacuum,'' al-Obeidi said. ``There are meetings with political leaders on how we can deal with a sudden pullout.''
It really is time to turn back to the Pottery Barn Rule. But the actual rule, not the twisted version of it spun by neocons who used it as an excuse to stay in Iraq.
You pay for what you broke.
You don't hang around to help fix it, glueing the wrong chunks together and maybe breaking some more stuff because you're just that clumsy. You don't loan the store the money for the breakages and you don't try to arrange it so that in return the store owners have to buy all their hardware from your store.
You pay and you leave...and you try to convince your equally clumsy friends, aquaintances and neighbours (Israel, Iran, Saudi etc) not to go blundering around in the store either.
But if the store-owners want to finish the destruction you began, that's their problem, yes? Likewise, they get to decide which workmen they call in to help clean up the mess.
So...withdrawal, reparations (apology cash), aid without strings, containment, non-interference, true sovereignty.
How's that sound for a theory?