Tuesday, January 25, 2005

 

Plan B.

What if Sunday's Iraqi elections fail?

Do we have a Plan B?

Now, I'm a big fan of "muddling through." I subscribe to a liberal definition of success, especially when considering the challenges we face in Iraq.

I think this weekend in Iraq is going to be pretty bloody, perhaps shockingly so. However, I also think that, in the end, we'll get some semblance of valid results out of the election, and find ourselves with a newly-elected Parliament.

If that happens, then the concern comes back to basic security, this time for the newly-elected members of the Iraqi government. Protecting these people from violence will be exceptionally difficult.

That said, I still consider the above scenario a success. But let's ponder a few what if's:

-- Massive violence prevents the overwhelming number of people from voting;
-- Widespread vote fraud nullifies any claim to legitimacy;
-- "Electoral intervention" by Iran elects Shiite hardliners sympathetic to pan-Islamic revolution, and hostile to secular reformers (not to mention the United States);
-- The votes come in, but are unable to be tallied properly. The election takes weeks to resolve, heightening political stability to chaotic levels.

. . . and I'm sure there are many other bad things that could happen.

So, I ask again: what's Plan B?

Just how loose is the Bush Administration playing this game? The Democrats had a field year over criticisms of Pentagon planning for the insurgency. If the elections succeed, the best the Administration can hope for is a temporary silence (like the one following the successful Afghan elections).

If the elections fail, however, the cacophony of Democratic criticism may wake the dead.

There have been many opportunities for the Iraq campaign to derail, and the elections are merely the most recent chance. There will be more in the future, always another "milestone" on our path to victory (or defeat) in Iraq.

But this one chance counts for a lot more than most. If it goes south, we could be in for an even messier winter.

---
This posting was made on my personal computer.

Comments:
Of course there was silence after the Afghan election. The Dem's never questioned going into Afghanistan. They wanted successful elections as much as the Rep's.

Of course they will be like school children if the Iraqi elections fail "I told ya so, I told ya so." I don't want to hear that. Personally, as a Democrat, I want to hear the Democrats propose a solution for a change. Although their lack or a proposed solution could end up being due to the fact that there is no solution. I have to stop thinking about this. I have a Super Bowl to prepare for. Where's my dip?
 
It's hard to see how they could "fail," short of thousands being killed. The noises coming from Shiite and Kurd political parties says even low Sunni turnout will not keep them out of constitutional debates.

Ultimately, though, it doesn't matter from a military point of view. The important thing is the Iraqi forces are getting better and stronger everyday. There is now a definite visible endpoint to American military involvement.
 
-- Massive violence prevents the overwhelming number of people from voting;

Possible, but very unlikely.

-- Widespread vote fraud nullifies any claim to legitimacy;

We have that problem here. In fact, the Afghani/Iraqi elections probably actually have less fraud than our elections, because they use the indelible ink to prevent fraud.


-- "Electoral intervention" by Iran elects Shiite hardliners sympathetic to pan-Islamic revolution, and hostile to secular reformers (not to mention the United States);

Not gonna happen. The Shiites (even the clergy!) have gone out of their way to assure everyone the gov't will be secular. I hate seeing this assertion; it assumes Iraqis are gullible idiots who don't see what's going on Iran every day under theocratic rule.

-- The votes come in, but are unable to be tallied properly. The election takes weeks to resolve, heightening political stability to chaotic levels.

Political chaos? LOL As oppposed to now?
 
Tall Dave--

First, thanks for your comments (and your visit!).

Second, please understand that I'm a natural pessimist. Somebody has to be paid to be a cynic, it might as well be me.

Third, I wasn't placing odds on ANY of the "what if's" happening; I was simply calling them out as examples of some of the more predictable bad things that could happen.

I'm fairly hopeful that we'll get through the election with only your garden-variety horrific violence-- bombings, assassination, almost certainly a polling station massacre or two. I hate that such a hope is optimism, but given the situation, that's all I got.

My issue wasn't with what could happen wrong so much as that we don't hear the Admin talking about what could go wrong, aside from the aforementioned violence.

For instance, let's assume the election *process* goes swimmingly this weekend. . . but elects a Parliament extremely hostile to the presence of American troops, and demands them to leave.

Now, many in this town would argue "Perfect! When's the first plane out of Baghdad?" But if American forces leave before Iraq is stable enough to provide for its own security, even an anti-occupation regime in Iraq won't last for long. In this event, Iraqi democracy could become a suicide pact.

Anyways, thanks again for visiting!
 
You know as well as I do that there is no Plan B. We're lucky if our politicians have a Plan 9, personally directed and produced by Ed Wood. Let's face it, we're Americans, and Americans always respond to a crisis like Roy O'Bannon; we crumple up our carefully drawn map of the train robbery and just wing it. It seems to be our nature.

We made up the story after we kicked Japan and Germany to pieces, we stumbled along all through the Cold War, lurching from crisis to crisis until we won by being more adaptable. If we can pass that gift on to the Iraqis, then we will have accomplished something.

Hey, I used to be a pessimist, now I'm a cynical and jaded optimist. Who says rehab can't change a person?
 
Thanks Dave, I understood all that. I just thought I'd provide some pondering on the what-ifs.
 
mortgage articles for refinance mortgage home loans
 
A
 
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?