Or piling really shitty ideas on top of piss-poor ideas. Matt, over at Today in Iraq says it very well: A ‘moderate bloc’. Gotta love it. But you have to admit, it’s a nifty little strategery. For home consumption, casting Sadr as the Primary Obstacle to Victory creates the chance to win back some lost political ground by showing Decisive Action against a swarthy and evil looking fellow – always a winner with the Reptilian base. In Iraq, successful action against Sadr would remove a major nationalist player – someone who actually has the potential to unite both Shiites and Sunnis against the occupation; undermine Maliki and thereby strengthen our apparent choice for Saddam redux, Hakim; and, most importantly, mollify the Saudis who are freaking out over the so-called 80% solution of backing the Shiites against the Sunnis. Slick.
US lawmakers urge Iraq troop boost
by Jay Deshmukh Thu Dec 14, 5:31 AM ET
BAGHDAD (AFP) – Some of Washington’s most influential senators have added their voices to the heated debate on US strategy in Iraq with a call for the United States to send in more than 15,000 extra troops.
A congressional delegation including senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman were in the war-torn Iraqi capital Baghdad for meetings with US commanders and Iraqi officials to discuss a new way forward for the troubled mission.
The extent of the breakdown in law and order was underlined by the brazen daylight kidnapping of at least 20 Iraqi businessmen in downtown Baghdad by gunmen with military uniforms and jeeps of a type used by security forces.
In Washington, US President George W. Bush was holding a flurry of meetings with foreign policy and military experts against a backdrop of collapsing public support for the war and calls for a change in course.
Bush said he will not be rushed into a decision on a new strategy — which his spokesman says will be announced in January — but the lawmakers in McCain’s delegation to Baghdad had some more advice for him.
“The situation is very, very serious. It requires an injection of additional troops to control the situation and to allow the political process to proceed,” said McCain, Arizona’s influential Republican senator, a possible presidential candidate in 2008.
Now, however, moves are afoot to sideline Sadr’s supporters in government.
In the past weeks Bush has met two senior Iraqi leaders in Washington — Shiite strongman Abdel Aziz Hakim and the country’s Sunni vice-president, Tareq al-Hashemi — in a bid to build a new ruling coalition.
On Wednesday, Bush spoke by telephone with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Kurdish regional President Massud Barzani as part of these efforts to cement a “moderate bloc” behind the government, the White House said.
Read it here.