Sunday, April 6, 2008

Battle Rattle - John McCain thinks he's Harry Truman and it's August 1, 1950 in Korea

As I posted on March 29:
Informed Comment
Iraq - Basra Police Mutiny, Refuse to attack Sadrists, Clashes continue in Basra, Sadrists open New fronts throughout Shiite South

Two Words: Tet Offensive

Also see, Stan Goff, Feral Scholar, for a strategic/tactical perspective: Good Morning, Vietnam!

Glad to see Frank Rich @ the NY Times agrees...

Juan Cole's Informed Comment
Sunday, April 06, 2008

Rich, McCain, and the Coming Heartbreak Ridge

Frank Rich's "Tet Happened . . . and No One Cared" is an elegantly written and argued examination of the current situation in Iraq that seems to me to pretty much nail it.

Rich demolishes so many of the myths put out by McCain and the American Right generally. The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and the Da'wa Party, which back Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, are closer to Iran than the Sadr Movement. It was al-Maliki's parliamentary coalition that sought the cease fire by asking their Iranian patrons to broker it. The main motivation for the attack on Sadrist neighborhoods in Basra was to ensure that ISCI wins the elections in that key oil province in October.

It is so refreshing to see an American commentator who clearly has the facts at hand and a sense of proportion in interpreting them.

Rich begins and ends provocatively in arguing that the charge that Sen. John McCain has advocated a hundred-years war in Iraq is a canard, and takes the focus off much more substantive errors that McCain does make.

The only thing I would say is that McCain's analogy to South Korea, which comes from rightwing imperialist historian John Gaddis of Yale, has two implications. The first is that Bush is Harry Truman and it is July 23, 1950 (just after the US lost the Battle of Taejon and had to retreat) and there is a danger of the Communists overwhelming the South.

In McCain's mind, 'staying the course' and supporting the surge is akin to Truman committing large numbers of troops to make sure that we fight to a stalemate, containing America's enemies in Iraq.

The second implication is that once a stalemate is achieved and acknowledged, as in Korea from 1953, there can be an enduring US military presence in Iraq...

In Full @ Informed Comment

There Have Been

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