Today’s Sweet Spot award goes to Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and thus, hopefully, a person of some relevance to the debate over the US presence in Iraq.
Supporters of the surge argue that the resolution opposing it “emboldens the enemy,” Levin said, “but that is an extraordinarily na´ve view of the enemy.”
“What emboldens the sectarian fighters is the inability of Iraqi leaders to make the political compromises so essential to finally reining in the Sunni insurgents and the Shia militias,” he said. “The enemy cares little what Congress says. It is emboldened by what the Iraqi leaders don’t do. The enemy isn’t emboldened by congressional debate. It is emboldened by open-ended occupation of a Muslim country by Western troops.
“The enemy is emboldened by years of blunders and bravado, false assumptions and wishful thinking, and ignorance of the history of the land being occupied. The enemy is emboldened by an administration which says it is changing course, which acknowledges that a political settlement by Iraqi leaders is essential to ending the violence, but then plunges us more deeply militarily into a sectarian witch’s brew.”
Sending in more U.S. troops, Levin said, “sends the false message that we can save the Iraqis from themselves.”