Generous Orthodoxy  




Friday, June 17, 2005

An Insider Reports on the Iraq War

An important new book, Squandered Victory, looks like the most informed analysis so far on why the Iraq war is progressing so poorly (can there any longer be any doubt about that?). Leaders of Christian congregations may want to take a look at the reviews, at least. To what degree do the churches continue to be silently complicit in our Administration's policies?

Larry Diamond, a leading American scholar on the subject of democratic movements, was asked by Condoleeza Rice to go to Iraq as an advisor in the autumn of 2003. He went with enthusiasm and came back disillusioned.

Here are the last two paragraphs of Michiko Kakutani's review in today's NYTimes:

When Mr. Diamond returned to the United States in April 2004, he says, he wrote his old friend Ms. Rice a long, confidential memo, recommending that America "disavow any long-term military aspirations in Iraq," establish a target date for the withdrawal of our forces, respond to concerns about Iraqi detainees, proceed vigorously with a plan to disarm and reintegrate Iraqi militias and send "significantly more troops and equipment."

The memo concluded: "If we do not develop soon a coherent counter-insurgency plan combining political and military, Iraqi and international initiatives, we will creep closer and closer to that tipping point, beyond which so many Iraqis sympathize with or join the insurgency that we cannot prevail at any bearable price."

He says he never heard back from Ms. Rice or her principal assistant for Iraq, Robert Blackwill.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/17/books/17book.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5070&en=9b1fe3df59a25249&ex=1119672000