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June 28, 2005

Heh. Just, heh.

Ted Kennedy's plan for Iraq.

Hat tip, Jim C.

In other news... Well, carp. On the plus side, you can see why Dusty joined the team, we think along similar lines, but with different approaches. On the minus side, bassid steals the post I built for tomorrow!

The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

And heh, again.

Hat tip, Mike L, anyway!

I'll replace it with this thought and data blurb. Some of the drumbeat amongst the anti-war and wobbly politicos on this side of the water has been about setting a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Which, I believe, is *exactly* the wrong approach, for lots of reasons.

The better model, I believe, is setting conditions for withdrawal. Essentially the Northern Ireland model. It's no coincidence or accident that the Iraqis, Brits and the US are talking to the insurgents. Unless we're willing to kill 'em all (not likely, and Not a Good Idea, anyway), they *have* to be brought into the process - and in order to get them into the process, you have to address at least *some* of their concerns. Then you can drive wedges into the insurgency, and start to bring some of 'em to the table... and the hard core, well, they just get more and more isolated. In the end, that is an issue that the Iraqis will have to settle.

So, set conditions - something like this list below - and we aren't there yet -but it's a point of departure and discussion. This is from the official daily email the Army sends out to leaders (and anyone, like me, who wants to subscribe to it via Army Knowledge Online).

As I noted in my first post of the day - we didn't build a functioning government in a year after we won the Revolution, gee, surprise, neither have the Iraqis. But there *is* progress... and we *are* trying other paths than just shooting everybody, regardless of what the anti-war left, and wobbly right-wingers think.


One year ago today, sovereignty was returned to Iraq and its people. The Coalition Provisional Authority was dissolved and leadership was handed over to an interim Iraqi government. Over the past year, Iraq has seen many successes in its development, despite the continuous attacks and violence.

As stated by the Department of Defense, there are four key components which are vital to continued success. Each of the four are listed below with examples of successes.

1. A secure environment free of the threats posed by insurgents, extremists and others who aim to disrupt progress.
* Coalition and Iraqi operations are disrupting terrorist sanctuaries, such as Fallujah, and keeping them on the run.
* In less than a year, Iraqi Regular Army and Intervention Forces grew from one operational battalion in July 2004 to 107 operational battalions in June 2005.
* Seven basic police academies are now operational; together, they train over 3,500 new police officers from the 8-week course each month.
* Thirteen provincial SWAT teams have been trained and equipped. Three more teams are in training, and seven more are scheduled to complete training by August 2005.

2. A representative government with its associated government institutions in place.
* The National Assembly was elected and seated in Aug 2004.
* More than 8 million people defied terrorist threats and voted in the January election.
* The Transitional National Assembly met for the first time on March 16, 2005, and Iraq's Transitional Government leaders were sworn in May 4, 2005.
* The elected leaders are drafting a constitution, which Iraqis will vote on by October 15.
* Under the new constitution, a permanent government will be elected on December 15.

3. Improved infrastructure and economic opportunity that gives the Iraqi people essential services such as electricity and water, as well as the jobs necessary to provide for their families.
* The Baghdad Stock Exchange opened for trading on June 24, 2004.
* At the New Iraqi Dinar (NID) auction June 20, the settlement price was 1,465 dinars per USD. Nineteen banks offered and sold a total of NID 67.92 billion ($46.36 million).
* On June 20, the Iraqi government announced that it had signed a bilateral agreement with Canada canceling $470 million of Iraq's debt, amounting to 80 percent of Canada's claims against Iraq.
* There have been 26,785 new Iraqi businesses established.
* A total of over 2,000 megawatts of power have been added to the grid (enough to service 5.4M Iraqi homes).
* The three major cell phone companies in Iraq continue to enroll new subscribers at healthy rates. As of June 15, there were 2,683,024 active cellular subscribers in Iraq.
* Construction is underway on 142 new primary health care facilities across Iraq.
* 3,105 schools have been renovated and another 950 schools are currently under rehabilitation.

4. A system of communications in which the Iraqis-not the coalition or international community-communicate their nation's goals and aspirations to the Iraqi people.
* Iraqi President Talabani met with more than 30 prominent individuals from the Diyala Province and confirmed that all Sunnis should be unified and participate in the next election. He called for the unity of all sects to have a successful political process.
* In June, Constitutional Dialogue program facilitators reached out to hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, encouraging them to discuss topics linked to the constitutional process while seeking their input for the TNA Constitutional Committee in charge of drafting the Iraq constitution.

Just sayin'