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Iraq Options: A Modest Proposal


While Iraqis in Army uniforms practice another mass kidnapping, and our President takes a break to consider his Iraq options and dwindling support (sorry for the coffee ad), I'd like to offer what Swift might call a modest proposal. What the Iraqi people need is a common enemy. Common enemies make people stop squabbling among themselves and unite against the common threat.

But who wants to be Iraq's common enemy? Even James Baker couldn't convince the Syrians, Iranians, Saudis or Jordanians to volunteer for a role they’d think was nuts. There’s only one logical answer: America should volunteer.

I propose we unify Iraqis by encouraging them to stop shooting at each other and start shooting at us. Every time they start shooting at each other, we need to step right in the middle, to draw their fire away from each other. If we’re good at this, everyone will be shooting at Americans. That will reduce the number of Iraqis who have a grudge against other Iraqis; the sectarian hatred will lessen.

To succeed at this, we’ll need to arm and train the Iraqi forces, because when they shoot at the Americans, we don’t want untrained Iraqis accidentally killing each other instead. Embedding US advisers in Iraqi's forces will also help, and so will losing billions worth of weapons to the black market, where they can be distributed more efficiently.

We'll need to surge more troops into Baghdad to make sure we can get into the middle of every Iraqi firefight. And we should also expand the Marines and Army and make it easier to send our Reserves and National Guard, in case we have to “double down,” because we don’t want our policy to fail just ‘cause we ran out of troops to be shot at.

Once Iraq's squabbling leaders realize the benefits of this approach, the various factions will unify to cooperate in the effort. Despite Condi's reluctance to talk to them, Iraq's neighbors will support the strategy with money and arms to their favorite sects, because they don’t particularly like us either. To ensure sides are sufficiently angry at us, we should do everything we can to drive parties apart in Lebanon and Palestine. The goal should be three civil wars at once, all “fomented” by us.

Finally, we’ll need a credible spokesman to explain to the American people why all the American deaths make sense. I nominate this guy.

Well, that’s the basic approach. We’ll know we’re succeeding when we have to fight our way out of Iraq with everyone shooting at us. Then we declare “Victory!” and go home.

I hope it works, because none of the always right pundits, politicians, and Generals our President listens to has any better ideas that don't look like a Napoleonic disaster in the making.

And digby says it even better.

And for the record, in case anyone has never read Swift, this post is strictly satire, intended to point out the absurdity of proposed Iraq policies. Neither I nor anyone at this site advocates anything that would put American troops in harm’s way.

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley