The Guardian is reporting details of Bush’s escalation, to be announced next week. [UPDATE: Washington Post has more details, see below] He’s gonna send 30,000 people into the meat grinder:
the deployment of five extra US brigades – between 10,000 and 30,000 soldiers – made available by extending tours of duty and accelerating the rotation of fresh troops into the country. An increase of 30,000 would bring the number of US troops in Iraq to 170,000. In addition, the US would pour new resources into a job creation programme – involving painting schools and cleaning streets – that could cost up to $1bn.
Some things I can say pretty much for sure are gonna happen if Bush is allowed to go through with this:
1) according to Laura Bush, we have painting schools for 3 years now. If they aren’t all painted yet, somebody has been lying to us.
2) anytime somebody starts carrying bags of money around in Iraq, most if not all of it is gonna go to some contractor, general or bad guy.
3) a lot of GI’s are gonna get shot, blown up and booby trapped with this scheme
4) the streets are gonna need a lot of cleaning after this.
5) do we think we are gonna be buying off death squads with chump change?
6) what do we think is gonna happen to those guys who are out there painting schools?
7) a lot of GI’s and families are gonna suffer from the extra tours
8) no matter what happens, Bush is gonna say we are winning but it’s gonna take, oh, about two years to be sure.
This plan is tragic idiocy. How can we allow this to happen to our kids? Bush has to be stopped.
According to the Guardian, this stuff is gonna kick off with some kind of assault by Iraqi forces; anybody who doubts this is a civil war should be convinced by this:
In the strongest indication of Bush’s preferred strategy, Iraq’s Shia Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki pre-empted Bush’s statement by announcing that Iraqi security forces, backed by Americans, were about to implement a major crackdown on illegal armed groups from all sectarian factions in Baghdad. Maliki’s speech was a US condition for deploying extra troops, insisted on by Bush in a two-hour teleconference with Maliki last Thursday.
Iraqi forces will begin a neighbourhood-by-neighbourhood assault on militants over the next few days, as a first step in the new White House strategy to contain Sunni insurgents and Shia death squads, advisers to Maliki said….According to Maliki, military commanders in each area of Baghdad would have full powers to implement the scheme as they saw fit.
UPDATE: The WaPo has more details:
The centerpiece of the political plan is the creation of a national reconciliation government… bring together the two main Shiite parties with the two largest Kurdish parties and the Sunni Iraqi Islamic Party… The goal is to marginalize Moqtada al-Sadr, …[note: my understanding is that this effort already failed]
To ensure participation of Sunni moderates, the Bush administration is pressing the Maliki government to …: Amend the constitution to address Sunni concerns, pass a law on the distribution of Iraq’s oil revenue and change the ruling that forbids the participation of former Baath Party officials.[I didn't see anything on the Saddam video to make me think that this is gonna happen]
The three major economic options on the table would revive dormant state-owned industries, launch a micro-finance program to give small loans to generate new businesses and expand a …USAID program. [oh, sure, the free trade/privitizer sharks are gonna give up something; this is the most unlikely of all, it seems to me, at best it would an "economic hitman" deal]
A fourth option…a short-term work program to hire Iraqis to clean up trash or do repairs after U.S. and Iraqi troops secure neighborhoods…. to lure unemployed men who had joined militias back into the mainstream economy, at least briefly, with the U.S. intention that Iraq would eventually spend its own money to create permanent jobs. [one of the most bizarre make-work programs I have ever heard of, but I'm only a Democrat.]