Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Ralph Peters gives the finger to the Iraqi Government (and the back of his hand to W)

Uber-hawk, Operation Iraqi Freedom Cheerleader, and NY Post columnist Ralph Peters -- a Jacksonian Oracle if there ever was one -- has read the tea leaves and the bloodstains in the streets of Bagdad and has made the following pronouncement to what passes as the Iraqi central government: "No more troops fellas and you guys get one year to get it together or we're all outta there."

From the NY Post:

WITH 26 American troops dead in Iraq in the first nine days of October, the combination of bad news and pre-election politics has those on one bench arguing for bailing out immediately and those on the other bench frantic to pile on.

Neither position is realistic. We're not going to pull out of Iraq overnight - no matter what happens in November. The "bring the troops home now" voices always blended arch political cynicism with willful naiveté - it's always been about Bush, not Iraq.

But remaining in Baghdad requires a new sense of reality. "Stay the course" is meaningless when you don't have a course - and the truth is that the administration still doesn't have a strategy, just a jumble of programs, slogans and jittery improvisations.

Our Army and Marine Corps urgently need increases in personnel strength. They've been stripped to the strategic and tactical bone. We need more boots. But not on the ground in Iraq.

Peters ain't an oracle of the caliber Walter Cronkite circa 1968. But you add him up with Baker and Warner and you almost get a Cronkite. Peters attempts to put distance between himself and the pathological Bush detractors ("guilty, your Honor"). But the fact that he's issuing this call when W is on the ground already in deep political pain, less than four weeks before a crucial mid-term election speaks of the column's deliberate and calculated aims: Peters and his ilk want a mandate for a change of war management policy. One that's based on reality.