We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Iraq and Afghanistan played little roles in the 2010 elections. However, President Obama will likely pay a price in 2012 for the withdrawal of US armed forces from Iraq. The Iraqis are already paying the price. The AP's Robert Burns reports:
The Obama administration could be overstating what U.S. diplomats can do to contain Iraq's ethnic and sectarian tensions without U.S. military forces, a State Department audit concluded Tuesday, raising fresh concerns about the planned pullout of American troops next year.
The auditors also questioned whether American diplomats who remain behind will be adequately protected against insurgent violence, and their report faulted Washington for its planning of the transition from a U.S. military-led mission in Iraq to one run by American civilians in 2011.
The audit's findings echo worries expressed by some U.S. defense analysts and former diplomats. They say hard-won security gains in Iraq could crumble if U.S. forces leave on schedule….
The report said the first six months of 2012 are likely to be "especially dangerous as extremists test U.S. resolve and Iraqi security forces' capabilities." It questioned whether the U.S. can meet President Barack Obama's goal of ensuring a safe work environment for remaining U.S. personnel in Iraq in 2012. "Security risks are expected to increase," the report said.
Our son is there until next fall, US ARMY. I have a picture of a building he works in on his base that took mortar fire through the roof just in the last few weeks. He says its every night the sirens go off. My assessment, this would mean our troops are under attack. What can they do? Nothing, unless the Iraqis call for their help, which they have not yet. So, yes, even this tip of the iceberg reveals flawed and dangerous policy.
I think the bad guys (and they are bad guys) in Iraq would be less feisty if McCain had won in 2008. They are sure that HHCI will stubbornly withdraw where Bush or McCain would stubbornly finish the job.
Iraq's own forces have got to learn the job, though. And Iraq's own people have to decide to be a nation of all Iraqis instead of anybody dominating anybody. Makes our political squabbling look kind of quaint -- our total election day deaths due to political attacks were, um, 0.