As Eric Martin (along with others) has pointed out the McCain campaign has officially come out in favor of the neocon/neo-paleocon position of outright colonialism in Iraq.
From Michael Goldfarb, McCain’s blogger/spokesman:
The deputy director of communications for the McCain 2008 campaign, Michael Goldfarb, yesterday said, “John McCain has said he will only support a withdrawal based on conditions on the ground. It is our belief that the Iraqi leaders share that view. The disposition of a sovereign, democratically elected government is one of the conditions that will be taken into account.” [emphasis added]
The term for this setup is satrapy. It is exactly the same thing that the British tried in Iraq–to smashing success.
But I haven’t seen any bloggers point to an even deeper inconsistency/out-right contradiction in this statement by McCain. Namely McCain is on record (via the Fred Kagans of the world) as defining victory in Iraq as a “democratically elected trans-ethnic stable strong central government in Iraq that is an American ally/Iranian foe in the war on terror and a beacon of hope to the Middle East.”
Forget for the moment that such a dream is in fact a utopia (i.e. exists nowhere), notice how McCain’s own downgrading of the importance of the Iraqi government can’t work with his goal of a strong Iraqi government. In other words, McCain’s own campaign/policy undercuts his own goal in the region.
At the very least, the definition of the right on victory should be redefined as everything above plus “and agrees with the right-wing US policy stance.” Even more utopian in nature, but reality won’t stop McCain & Co., because they have a strategy of “victory”.
Yet again the neocon right can not come to grips with the fact that the US can not simply make people do what it wants–especially by writing more op-eds and going on Cable News–that others have their own interests (not always aligned with ours), and will act in a rational manner relative to their own interests. They will act in ways that they think best help achieve their goals (which are not our goals). Which yes (horror of horrors) may involve using others (like say the US) and telling them what they want to hear but not actually having the same set of objectives.
The ISCI/Dawa relationship to the US has always been to get training, arm them, have them kill some Sunnis, help with their takeover of Baghdad, force them to install a pro-Shia government (Sistani’s call for elections), so that they can then go about their dominance of the place. And they want to both stay allied to Iran and yet not become a pure Iranian puppet–and have at times played the US to decrease Iranian influence and Iran to decrease/diminish US influence. In other words, they have played a fairly smart game. See how little of their goals line up with Bush/McCain’s goals for Iraq. And you see why at some point, the house of cards was going to get called by the Shia and that time has come.
Which is why Max Boot’s inanity in today’s Washington Post (as further evidence of the new neocon meme of imperialism) doesn’t get off the ground.
Rather than seeing a pattern of “ambiguous statements” by Maliki and foolish public posturing, you see a guy who has continually wanted the US out and is closer to Iran than the US, always has been, always will. And given that Maliki has always seen himself as the protector of the Shia (not the Prime Minister of Iraq) this would suggest that this has consistently been the view of the majority of Iraqi Shia (i.e. US out).