Recently, Governor and Presidential Candidate Bill Richardson could not restrain himself from sharing his plan for resolving the terrible “Crisis in Iraq” (cue CNN theme music). Certain that his brilliance would be displayed for all to see, Gov. Richardson dazzled us with this bold and innovative plan to resolve this ongoing “problem of our time:”

Which boils down to (my gentle musings following in italics):

  1. Set a hard timetable to withdraw in 2007, and make sure all factions of Iraq know we’ll be leaving whatever happens.
    (Rise up in civil revolt? We’re leaving. Execute 10,000 Sunnis in a single a day? We’re leaving. Gas 100,000 Shias with Sarin during a festival? We’re leaving… After all, they’re only brown people. They don’t feel pain like we do, so the huge body counts won’t interfere with their rationally seeking a solution to the violence.)
  2. Remove all troops.
    (Including all those training the Iraqis. “Bye-bye, guys, and good luck—you’ll need it!”)
  3. Since Bush won’t do 1-2 for some reason, use the War Powers Act to force him. Which of course the Administration will take to the Supreme Court.
    (Perhaps that case will be resolved before 2008… In the meantime, since the only power Congress actually has is the purse, you can only “force” Bush by removing all funds for the troops, in the field, during a war. Good one, Bill, that’ll play well for you in 2008.)
  4. Have a nice conference to get the Iraqis to iron everything out.
    (I’m sure that will work. Especially because of #1! Tell me, Bill, just what incentives do the extremists and militias have to deal, given that the biggest barrier to more sectarian violence will be leaving by December? Oh, well, it’s only brown people!)
  5. Trust Syria and Iran to do the right thing. Really.
    (I’m sure we can trust them, because, well… Okay, I’m not really sure why Bill thinks that they will suddenly be overwhelmed with a desire not to meddle in Iraq. I mean, it’s not like Iran and Syria would be fighting over a hugely important country in a pivotal place in the region or anything. Oh, and perhaps the Turks will be happy to contribute to that peacekeeping force. Say, 500,000 “peacekeepers” for Iraqi Kurdistan. Of course they’ll have to forcibly disarm those pesky Kurds, but I’m sure dead Kurdish kids are a price he’s happy to pay for peace. I mean, heck, they’re only brown people…)
  6. Yes, let’s a have a fund raiser for Iraqi reconstruction.
    (Actually, this isn’t a bad idea. I’m sure lots of nations will promise billions, since they know they’ll never have to actually pay—since funds won’t be dispersed until Iraq stabilizes itself. So really, never, except perhaps a few billions to bury the 10 million dead when it’s all over.)
  7. Redeploy to, ah, somewhere. Kuwait is mentioned, because, you know, that isn’t right next to Iraq and kinda on the Arabian peninsula (depending upon which wackjob you ask).
    (I’m sure Al Qaeda, Iran, and Syria will be fine with a huge number of US troops permanently camped in Kuwait. You betcha! Also, Bill, what happened to “Bring the troops home. All of them.” Is it really a good idea to start breaking campaign promises at the start of the campaign?)

We risk being dazzled by the brilliance, of course, but Bill’s final summary deserves to be quoted verbatim:

We also must bring our National Guard home where they are needed for homeland security, and we must focus our energy and resources on real threats, such as nuclear proliferation, Al Qaeda, public health, and global warming.

If Bill had been running in 1952, I’m sure his platform would have been to get out of Korea, so that those nice Koreans could settle everything. We could relocate our troops to, oh, Japan, and concentrate on the real problems of the day. I’m sure that would have worked out really well, Bill!

I suppose Bill wanted to stake out the “unambiguous retreat in the face of hard struggle” position early. A good idea, really, given the general temperment of the Democrats these days. But not, I’m thinking, a sure-fire way to win the country in 2008. Somehow, I think this message will come off a bit inadequate in the face of a Giuliani or McCain. (I would have said “even in comparison to Her Dread Majesty”, but it looks like I would have been wrong about that.)

Tell me, Bill, whatever happened to “You broke it, you bought it” as the Dems liked to tell the Republicans after the 2003 invasion? Oh, yes, the Dems managed to get power in 2006 and no longer want a difficult war to worry about. Once again, I was thinking of the brown people as actually human and deserving decent lives. Stupid me.

Of course, persumably, Bill Richardson also believes that Iraqis shouldn’t be gunned down on the streets for taking the wrong position in a 1300 year old theological debate. Just not enough to think that they’re worth American lives. Or American time. Or American attention. Well, I’m sure that relying upon international consensus will work as well in Iraq as it has worked in Bosnia, Rwanda, and Sudan. Bye-bye Iraqi liberals, feminists, and democrats—sorry you actually put faith in your liberal American brothers! Maybe, one day you’ll learn that the American New Left has only one word for their foreign brothers in the struggle when the going gets hard: