Tidbits for Political Junkies with Short Attention Spans & Hearty Appetites


Thursday, April 22, 2004

The Iraq Generation?

Last week, I quoted this line, from the Presidential Press Conference:

"This is the war that other presidents will be facing as we head into the 21st century."

My question at the time was this: is Bush finally admitting that the Iraq war will outlast not only his own presidency, but that of more than one of his successors?

Well, we may never know what Bush was actually thinking* when he made that remark, but apparently there is now "widespread agreement" that we're going to be there for a while. Via Matt Stoller, I ran across this today, from Juan Cole, in regard to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings:

One aspect of the bad news at this and another hearing was covered by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (i.e. it is on the ball)-- which is the wide agreement that the US is stuck in Iraq militarily for at least 5 years, and can't expect really substantial help from allies. I personally thing it is even worse than that. I have said I think this generation of young Americans will be the Iraq generation.

Cole's testimony is a must-read. A quick sample, from the "What Needs to be Done" section:

The US will simply have to accept that there are political forces on the ground in Iraq that it views as undesirable. It cannot dictate Iraqi politics to Iraqis without becoming a frankly colonial power. If it does become a mere colonist in Iraq, it will be mired in the country for decades and be forced to spend hundreds of billions of dollars and thousands of servicemen’s lives on the endeavor.

Sadly, I'm not betting that anyone in the Bush White House is really listening to this stuff.

*The term "thinking," of course, is used loosely here.


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