Monday, December 18, 2006

Dodd's Conditional "Support"

According to a report in the Hartford Courant, US Sen. Chris Dodd “could back a temporary increase in the number of U.S. troops in Iraq - but only if that surge was for a very short period and specifically helped end American involvement.”

Should anyone be worried that Dodd’s position may not please progressives in the Democrat Party who together worked to oust Sen. Joe Lieberman from the senate, largely because of his support for the war, they need not trouble themselves too much; Dodd’s “support” of the introduction of new troops into Iraq is heavily conditioned.

In the Courant report, Dodd laid down two conditions that must be met to assure his support: 1) Before new troops are introduced, the two warring religious sects, the Shias and Sunnis, must sit down and recognize that they have an obligation to come together as a people; and 2) The troops must be “needed” to “get the job done.”

"Show me, Dodd said, “some demonstrable evidence that they're coming together as a people - Shias and Sunnis, sitting down and recognizing that they have an obligation to come together as a people - then I'd be willing to support some additional people if we needed it in order to get the job done."

The difficulty with these conditions is that they cannot be met before troops are introduced to quell the violence in Baghdad. The troops are “needed,” proponents of that view have said, precisely to quell the violence.

Elsewhere in the Courant account, Dodd questioned the view “that more money and more soldiers here will solve the situation” as “fundamentally false.” Perhaps to express his solidarity with Sen. Harry Reid, Dodd added, "In fact, I would argue to some degree that the continuing presence and the suggestion that we'll send more people and more money, I think delays them making the decision about their political future."

It’s all as clear as mud. Dodd’s position seems to be: The introduction of more troops to quell the violence in Baghdad is doomed to fail because the continuing presence of American troops there is an efficient cause of the violence. The increase in troops, however, should be permitted – but only if conditions are met that can never be met.

Tipping his hand in the Courant story, Dodd added that in the absence of the demonstrable evidence of that [unity], "I will not be supporting surges in troops. That's a phony argument in my view; that's just delaying the inevitable." The reporter did not ask Dodd what his view of “the inevitable” might be, but some scholars has suggested that an American defeat in Iraq would be followed by consequences that even the fiercest opponents of the war might find indigestible.

Even on the left it is generally supposed, with a shrug of the shoulders, that an American defeat in the hot war on terror would involve a partitioning of Iraq into its constituent elements. Iran, which has supplied the terrorists in Iraq, is waiting to swallow a large chuck of the country. And the Kurds, the object of Saddam Hussein’s murderous intentions, will not be safe under a regime controlled by Mahmoud Ahmadinijad of Iran, who in turn is controlled by anti-Israeli theocrats in the Middle East. Then again, a victory by those who tumbled hotly out of the Grand Ayatollah Ruholla Musavi Khomeini's pockets after the Shah of Iran was deposed would mean, at a minimum, some discomfort in places more familiar to American tourists than Zawra Park in Iraq – Paris, for instance.

Dodd will be visiting terrorists enablers in Syria with Massachussetts Senator and former Democrat presidential candidate John Kerry, who in his anti-Vietnam War period had some experience in negotiating with hard-bargainers like Madam Nguyen Thi Binh, then head of the Provisional Revolutionary Government, an arm of the North Vietnamese communist government. The two met in Paris to negotiate peace on terms acceptable to Madam Nguyen and her puppet-masters.

The real lesson in all this Beltway posturing is that the Democrats are still in a campaign mode--after having seized control of both houses of congress. Most of us are still waiting for them to get out of that groove and propose solutions that will actually make things better both here at home and in the Middle East.
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