What Hillary Could Say

This from Juan Cole on Hillary Clinton's effort to explain Iraq.

  • If I were advising Senator Clinton on what to say about
    Iraq/>/>, this would be it: "Our troops have fought courageously and with great skill against the totalitarian, genocidal Saddam Hussein regime and its security forces. They did their job, but the Bush administration did not do its. Bush failed to secure a United Nations Security Council resolution for the war, depriving the war effort of key international support and casting the administration as an outlaw regime in the eyes of much of the world. There was no planning for the aftermath of the war. Stupid decisions were taken to dissolve the Iraqi army, to fire thousands of experienced bureaucrats and teachers, to marginalize the Sunni Arab community, and to deliver Iraq/> into the hands of expatriate carpetbaggers, some of them overly friendly with the ayatollahs in
    Tehran/>/>. Neither the
    US/>/> military nor the Iraqis bear the primary blame for the subsequent catastrophe. It is on the shoulders of the Bush administration. The administration has so spoiled the situation that there is no longer any hope of a military solution. Any solution to this festering crisis must be political and diplomatic. The
    US/>/> military is essentially being ordered to support some sides in a multi-pronged civil war against others, but without any real hope of having being able to triumph decisively in these low-intensity guerrilla wars. That is why I favor getting our troops out of
    Iraq/>/> and insisting that regional powers, NATO and the UN now come in to bring about a political resolution, even as the world ensures that a nonsectarian Iraqi military is trained, equipped and deployed for the protection of all Iraqis."
    http://www.juancole.com/   (From his post on Thursday, June 21)

That sounds about right.

Also catch Melinda Henneberger's advice to the Dems on abortion on today's (June 22), NYTime's op-ed page.

Margaret O’Brien Steinfels is a former editor of Commonweal. 

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