Sunday, August 31, 2003


Seems to be that it's time for the US to get over it and ask the UN for help.

Not sure how I feel about that from a big picture standpoint, but the selfish part of me wants us to do most anything to bring CPT Patti back home soon and safe.
Detroit Free Press: While more and more Americans might be so inclined, the grim truth is that the United States cannot simply walk away from this mess, which was partly of its making. However, it is time to stop worrying about who's going to be in charge of Iraq, since at present, it seems no one is. It is time to invite, or entreat, the United Nations to deliver a substantial peacekeeping force to augment and relieve exhausted coalition troops. If that takes a joint command structure, so be it. It is time to stop expecting that Iraq can be rebuilt under the direction of the United States and give the United Nations a substantial role in this project.

The Iraqi people, the vast majority of whom are relieved to be rid of Hussein and are simply anxious for better days, need more than America has been able to deliver. The American people, while understanding the long-term commitment that has been made, are anxious to see Iraq made more secure for our forces, and for as many of them as possible to be coming home.

New York Times: ...If you think we don't have enough troops in Iraq now — which we don't — wait and see if the factions there start going at each other. America would have to bring back the draft to deploy enough troops to separate the parties. In short, we are at a dangerous moment in Iraq. We cannot let sectarian violence explode. We cannot go on trying to do this on the cheap. And we cannot succeed without more Iraqi and allied input...

Our Iraq strategy needs an emergency policy lobotomy. President Bush needs to shift to a more U.N.-friendly approach, with more emphasis on the Iraqi Army (the only force that can effectively protect religious sites in Iraq and separate the parties), and with more input from Secretary of State Colin Powell and less from the "we know everything and everyone else is stupid" civilian team running the Pentagon.

The Arizona Republic: The administration is seeking U.N. sponsorship of a multinational military force that would bolster the 138,000 U.S. troops there, as well as the significant British and Polish contingents. The Bush proposal reflects a new flexibility on the administration's part regarding U.N. involvement in Iraq. It's a welcome change.

Memphis Commercial Appeal: American forces in Iraq are stretched too thin. Shortages are especially acute in such specialties as military police, engineers and civil administration officials - the personnel who are most essential to the rebuilding effort.

If the administration is reluctant to commit more U.S. troops, money or other resources to Iraq, it could call upon the UN, NATO and Arab countries to contribute peacekeeping and security forces. It could ask other nations to shoulder part of the cost of rebuilding Iraq's battered economy - an estimated $100 billion over five years.

But that would require the United States to cede some of its authority over the postwar transition - at least political and economic matters, if not military and security ones - to international organizations. That's something the White House appears loath to do, despite the President's comparison last week of the Iraqi occupation to the post-World War II reconstruction of Germany and Japan, which he conceded "took years, not months."

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