Tucked shyly away on page A-12 of today’s Times is this bit of plain common sense from the president of Iraq who, unlike our own president, seems to inhabit the real world:
BAGHDAD, Dec. 10 — President Jalal Talabani said Sunday that the American program to train Iraq’s security forces had been a repeated failure and he denounced a plan to increase the number of American advisers working with the Iraqi Army, saying it would subvert the country’s sovereignty …
American commanders have poured more than $12 billion into training and equipping Iraq’s security forces and have tied a withdrawal of American troops to success in these efforts. But Mr. Talabani ridiculed them. “What have they done so far in training the army and the police?” he said. “What they have done is move from failure to failure.”
Is it possible nobody in the White House remembers that Kennedy, before his death, had already sent 17,000 “advisers” to South Vietnam? That Kennedy’s war then blundered hopelessly and helplessly along under two more presidents willing to trade millions of human lives for their own reelection? That the second of these presidents, Nixon, ran on a secret plan to end that war which later turned out to be something called “Vietnamization?” That “Iraqization,” which is to say inserting American advisers into Iraqi police and military units, is the same thing, with the same purpose?
And that purpose is not to speed what Bush has called “the pace of success,” but to slow, at whatever cost to anybody except himself, the pace of failure. Only the Congress can stop this bloody fraud and nothing about the new Democratic leadership suggests that it has the courage for the job.