Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Levin makes withdrawal sound dirty

I just got an e-mail from Senator Carl Levin in which he explains his Iraq strategy, such as it is. The e-mail linked to a more thorough statement. The bottom line is that Levin (and fellow senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jack Reed (D-RI)) sees US withdrawal from Iraq as a threat to be made to the Iraqi parliament--if they don't get their act together. Levin, Collins and Reed wrote a letter to aWol on March 10, concluding:
We urge you to make it clear to the Iraqis how important it is to us that they achieve a political settlement, form a unity government, and make the necessary amendments to their Constitution. We believe it is essential that the Iraqi leaders understand that our continued presence is not unconditional, and that whether they avoid all-out civil war and have a future as a nation is in their hands. If they don't seize that opportunity, we can't protect them or save them from themselves.

The bottom line is this: The U.S. needs to make it clear to Iraqi leaders that a prompt political settlement is not only essential to them, it is a condition of our continued presence.
Aside from the suggestion that troops might actually leave Iraq someday, pretty much everything is wrong with Levin's sentiments.

First, his statement is repulsively patronizing, pretending that the Iraqis are just rambunctious children ungrateful for this supposedly huge favor the US has done for them.
I told them [Sunni Arab leaders], and other members of our congressional delegation told them, as bluntly as we know how: their dictator was removed at great loss of American blood and treasure and that the Iraqis and only the Iraqis will decide their own fate, and that our continued presence should depend on their promptly choosing a path of reconciliation and unity against violence and terror.

Second, he believes that Iraq deserves to be punished, yet again, if it fails to achieve the impossible while suffering the unbearable. The US scheduled and manipulated the three elections and the writing of the constitution last year, which has resulted in a parliament unable to govern. This, according to Levin, is entirely the fault of the Iraqis, and if they can't be good little boys and girls and play together, they'll all be punished.

Finally, he suggests that withdrawal of our troops would be punishment! US troops are now just the biggest and most dangerous of the various militias causing death and destruction in Iraq, and the one with the least right to be there. Withdrawing them wouldn't solve Iraq's problems, but would at least give Iraq a chance to solve them. Many Iraqi leaders have called for withdrawal, and polls show Iraqis in general favor it as well (as do US troops).

Levin voted against the war and is actually suggesting that troops might be withdrawn, and still manages to come across as an imperialist asshole.