President Bush will be talking about Iraq more in the following days and possibly weeks as the political talking heads reported this morning here in America. The going thought-process behind this was to improve the lagging poll numbers from the general public in regards to the Adminstration's handling of Iraq.
As always, when the President chooses to bolster his vision to the electorate in terms of Iraq policy, the reverse of the vision rears up and steals the headlines. Unfortunately for Mr. Bush, it happens before he even utters one sentence on the subject.
In a community made up of mostly Shiites, a car bomber and mortar fire tore through people, killing 44 and injuring upwards of 200 people.
The action is not to kill (that is the necessary byproduct though), but to foment the fundamentally unstable nature that is Sunni / Shi'ia relations. In other words, the action is the reaction.
No matter what the President will have to say in the coming speeches, it will not change anything on the ground in Iraq. The United States Armed forces can't change the way things are playing out within the borders and it must be especially frustrating for them to see the country trend downward over the past two years.
A very cogent point was made on an NPR broadcast over the weekend. The interviewer was asking the question, "What needs to occur to turn Iraq around?", to which the guest suggested that providing the security that would allow all of the streets to be safe for Iraqis would go a long way in improving the situation. This makes sense on paper, as most people will admit that being able to walk around one's neighborhood without the threat of explosions makes other good things possible. This point though spells out how difficult a task this is: it only takes one dedicated individual to revoke such security.
It must be clear to a great many in and out of Washington D.C. that the presence of American forces with all their appropriate power cannot stop an internal civil war in Iraq if one were to come. If there begins organized fighting, than an American outfit cannot be responsible for taking on both parties, nor can G.I.'s side with one group over the other (witness how well this path worked for America in Beirut).
There are no good options in the current situation. Removing American forces may still yet have a negative effect on the people of Iraq. Yet the spectre of the delicate situation going from bad to worse might make a decision to remove troops the wiser path in the long run for the Iraqis.
Then again, if war were to spread to the entire region, all hell could break loose.
Thank you very much Mr. President. May history treat you kindly.