Monday, August 20, 2007

The "C" Word

There are whispers abroad...

[The Yglesias post is a necessary companion piece.]

"National reconciliation" will be officially impossible if there is any coup in Baghdad. It won't matter if the U.S. does it openly or covertly, they will be blamed for it and no propaganda effort will be enough to say otherwise. Even if, and probably even especially, the U.S. is not responsible at all a coup, it will become manifestly clear that there is no longer a reason for U.S. troops to be there because they can not that which they are said to be there to do.

U.S. troops are officially in country to provide security to the political efforts of establishing the country. If a coup happens, the rest of the country will believe that the U.S. allowed it to happen, and if the Americans let it happen they must have a reason for doing so. That reason will inevitably be because the political transition was not working out in a manner compatible with American desires and likely against Iraqi best interests. If this should happen, the entire nation will turn from their own intramural sectarian skirmishes and focus its attention on the occupying force (then they'll go back after each other).

If leaking these plans is some sort of "trial balloon" to gauge support for a "do over" in the Iraqi capital it is an absurd and dangerous idea that will only lead to further distrust of the U.S. presence.

MORE: If you hadn't gotten a chance yet to read the op-ed from several soldiers in the 82nd Airborne, now would be a good time.

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