A Glum Prediction
Posted by Heather Hurlburt
I see a scenario unfolding in which progressives and moderates find ourselves calling for more troops while the Administration touts its troop withdrawals. I see it coming fast, before the end of this year. And I really don't like it.
If they salvage a constitution, there is a referendum this fall -- and it looks like a rather contentious one. Otherwise, there are new elections. So more votes -- and a more dramatic need for extra security -- no matter what.
But with perfect timing, Administration officials leaked like a sieve on plans to "settle for far less than originally envisioned during the transition due to end in four months" to the Washington Post over the weekend.
Sure sounds as if the Administration is serious about those drawdown balloons they've been floating, even if the uniformed military is not.
Am I too paranoid to expect that those of us who try to balance our desire to extract the US from the mess we have made with a strong concern that we leave Iraq not less stable or even less democratic than we found it are likely to find ourselves calling for more troops?
And the American public, quite reasonably not understanding why we haven't gotten things in order by now, is telling every pollster in sight that they're having none of that.
Perhaps I'm wrong, and the Administration will step up and do what it needs to for relatively secure votes. (I'm not even getting into whether those votes will accomplish anything.) But I have this grim feeling that my principled desire to do right by Iraq resembles nothing so much as Charlie Brown running up to kick that ol' football.
And here's a side question for you constitutional scholars out there: why does an easily-amended constitution make it more like that Iraq can "grow into a democracy" than one like ours, which is quite difficult to change? (Goodness knows we've done a bunch of "growing" since 1781.)
Since the anonymous Administration officials chose the "growing into" metaphor, I'll continue it. Is a constitution more analogous to my baby's shoes, which do need to be changed frequently, or to the household rules under which my family lives, which may be interpreted differently as babies, children and adults come and go, but shouldn't fundamentally change much?