The Moose ruminates on two potential civil wars.
Charles Krauthammer made the case on Friday for American withdrawal from Iraq in the event of a civil war. This is a central point of his argument,
Our taking on the Sunnis is a way of demonstrating good faith. As is our intention to hold the election no matter what. Everyone knows the outcome will be a historic transfer of power to the Shiites (and, to some extent, the Kurds). We must make it clear that we will be there to support that new government. But we also have to make it clear that we are not there to lead the fight indefinitely. It is their civil war.
Apparently, Krauthammer is making the case for "cutting and running" if the Bushies' mishandling of Iraq spirals out of control. Contrary to leftist mythology, neoconservative thought is not a monolith. For example, while most neos supported Clinton's Kosovo intervention, Krauthammer was adamantly opposed. Most neo-cons support nation -building in Iraq, Krauthammer and many traditional conservatives don't. Krauthammer's perspective probably mirrors that of Rumsfeld.
The aversion to nation-building probably partially explains the failure to provide adequate troop numbers in Iraq from the very beginning of the war. Insufficient troop levels contributed to inadequate security, and led to our current predicament with civil war looming on the horizon.
Krauthammer's piece may be the harbinger of an upcoming civil war among conservatives about the future of Iraq - whether to remain or leave the Iraqis to their fate. Ironically, a liberal who opposed the war, Nicholas Kristof made the eloquent case for sticking in out in Iraq in Saturday's New York Times,
If we stay in Iraq, there is still some hope that Iraqis will come to enjoy security and better lives, but if we pull out we will be condemning Iraqis to anarchy, terrorism and starvation, costing the lives of hundreds of thousands of children over the next decade.
The Moose believes that the Bushies made many grievous errors in the execution of this war. In particular, the wisenheimers in the Administration were completely unprepared for the post-war period. But it would be both immoral and and a strategic catastrophe to abandon the Iraqis to a failed Hobbesian state.
Will 2005 be the year of civil disintegration - Iraq, Ukraine... conservatives?