What's needed in Iraq is creativity
McCain wants more surges.
Hillary wants to end the war quickly. Somehow.
What's missing from the national debate is imagination.
Can't we get a little creative? We're sick of the war. So are Iraqis. We could all use some fresh ideas.
Here are a few.
1. Call for an election in 60 days in Iraq to decide whether America should stay or go. If they say "stay" we stay but only if the Iraqi government agrees immediately to form a unity government based on genuine shared power and above all an oil deal to split revenues proportionate to population. If they refuse we use the referendum to back a strongman to force change on Iraq.
If they say "go" we go in 6 months. We will then have to watch as Iraq either crumbles or someone emerges to provide a strong central unified command. We hold out the possibility that a strongman gets a billion dollars if he can manage to stop the violence without becoming another Saddam. The model might be Fujimori.
2. We renounce all interest in permanent bases.
3. We agree to fund a vast New Deal make-work program to get money in the hands of ordinary Iraqis. To qualify a person simply has to renounce terrorism. Like Lincoln, we require this pledge in exchange for amnesty (excepting the worst of the worst).
Three ideas. Radical? #1 certainly is. But these are the times that cry out for radical creative solutions.
More of the same won't work.
I'd bet that a little creativity would go a long way toward changing the dynamic of public opinion both here in the states, over in Europe and in Iraq and the region.
It's certainly worth a try.
UPDATE: NYT reports today that in Iraq 80% of Shiites want the US to leave and 97% of Sunnis.
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HNN - 4/15/2007
Bill Richardson coulod provide some real leadership here except that he has to worry that anything he might say would come back to haunt him in his confirmation hearings as secretary of state.
He won't be president. Might be veep. Probably will be secretary of state in a Dem. administration.
Nonpartisan - 4/15/2007
Bill Richardson came o I fully expect some serious movement in debate. I expect some serious movement in his direction from online progressives after that.
Stephen Kislock - 4/13/2007
Saddam with the blessing and Weapons of Mass destruction from the Reagan administration,Launched the War as the United States Proxy.
Kuwait was side drilling Iraqi oil, a few hundred thousand barrels a day, is enough for Saddam to Invade, especially when G.H.Bush said the US did not really mind. A mind game Saddam invaded Kuwait and Saddam signed Iraq's Death Warrant.
All thing are in proporation, Fujimori
only had mass graves of 50 here and there, But "What is the price of Security?" Would you Mr. Shenkman, give up the Constitution and The Bill of Rights, so there was Not Another 911?
HNN - 4/13/2007
Fujimori and Saddam were different. Saddam was esponsible for the deaths of up to a million Muslims in the Iran-Iraq war. He invaded his neighbors. And he tortured tens of thousands of his opponents.
If we can't draw distinctions between a Saddam and a Fujimori we are fated to be at war with most of the world.
Tim Lacy - 4/13/2007
#3 helps get beyond the coercive powers of clerics and imams. It'll surely result in some unwise uses (drugs or iPods), but it'll engender good feelings (a commodity in short supply) for the U.S.! #1 seems to play into the hands of the factions. #2 should be a given! - TL
Stephen Kislock - 4/13/2007
What is the difference between the regimes of Fujimori and Saddam, only race as I read it.
A small band of loyalist and the President this reminds me also of the G. W. Bush administration.
- This historian says racism is not a teaching tool
- History Relevance Campaign meets at the Smithsonian
- Bernard Lewis Turns 100
- David Lowenthal, author of "The Past Is a Foreign Country,” says it’s folly to scratch the names of slaveholders off buildings
- Jean Edward Smith, biographer of FDR and Ike, has a new biography coming out … of George W. Bush