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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Regime change as quagmire

Senator Carl Levin of Michigan is calling for regime change in Iraq. Maybe he wants a do-over?

This is from today's Washington Post:
"I hope the parliament will vote the Maliki government out of office and will have the wisdom to replace it with a less sectarian and more unifying prime minister and government,"
As justification, Levin isn't pointing to Iraqi proliferation, governmental sponsorship of terrorism, or Iraqi ties to Iran. No, the chair of the Senate Armed Services committee has simply had it with Iraqi government's failure to make policy.

More specifically, Levin favors regime change if a scheduled summit among Iraq's various sectarian political factions fails to reach a compromise on issues like the distribution of oil resources and the ability of former Baath party members to serve in the government. This is what Levin said in a statement cosigned by Senator John Warner (R-VA):
"the Iraqi Council of Representatives and the Iraqi people need to judge the Government of Iraq's record and determine what actions should be taken -- consistent with the Iraqi Constitution -- to form a true unity government to meet those responsibilities."
This language is not exactly as forceful and menacing as the political rhetoric that Dick Cheney can muster on demand.

While Levin looks like a stereotypically friendly grandpa, Cheney himself proclaims that he's not a "touchy feely kinda guy."

Then again, on the issue of Iraq regime change, Cheney himself used to be less threatening. In retrospect, I guess this makes him a proven flip-flopper.
"Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place?

That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it - eastern Iraq - the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you've got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.

It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq."
If only the 1994 Cheney had been Veep in 2002.

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