Sunday, December 26, 2004

Rumsfeld Says Iraqis Must Stop Insurgents

Hey, Ayad, grab a shovel:

"BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- In his Christmas eve encounters with U.S. military commanders and hundreds of their troops, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld heard - and said - little about armor or troop shortages, issues that have made him a political target in Washington among both Democrats and Republicans.

His main message over a four-city tour was quite different: that the insurgency has staying power and a seemingly endless supply of weapons, and the time has come for ordinary Iraqis to realize that they - not the Americans - will ultimately decide who prevails in this conflict.
...
During his visit, Rumsfeld said it would be unrealistic to predict that the level of violence will recede once the Jan. 30 elections are held. In the end, he said, it will be a 'uniquely Iraqi solution,' not American.
...
Faced with a chore like digging a ditch, a typical American, he said, will grab a shovel and start digging. In Iraq now, however, the task is to step aside and get the Iraqis to dig their own ditches.

He warned against allowing the Iraqis to become too dependent on the U.S. military. More independence is what's needed, he said."

OK, Rummy's admission that the violence ain't ending after the elections is vaguely refreshing--the BushCo spin about all the bloodshed being an election-driven phenomenon is particularly galling since they were spewing similar bilgewater in the run-up to the "transfer of power" last summer.

However, the main thrust here is that the administration intends to abdicate responsibility for this disaster at the earliest possible date--cleaning up the mess isn't our responsibility, for goodness sake, it's the Iraqis' job. And we're going to make sure that's what the American public believes by the time the really important elections--our midterms in 2006--roll around.

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