Is That a Lugar in Your Pocket?

Posted by Cutler on July 12, 2007
Iraq, Right Arabists

Are Republicans in the US Senate going to force the Bush administration to “change course” in Iraq?

Maybe.

But as I suggested in a recent post, the change of course is going to be primarily political, not military.  It will not mean US withdrawal from Iraq.

If Senator Richard Lugar and Company have any influence at all, it will be to press the Bush administration to dump the present Shiite-led government of the “young democracy” of Iraq in exchange for a coup under the auspices of an ex-Baathist, Sunni Arab “national salvation” government–aka “Saddamism without Saddam.”

The “failures” of the Maliki government, rather than the failures of the military “surge,” are the primary targets of Lugar’s attacks.

It is not difficult to image that it was the future of the Iraqi government not the future of the surge that topped the agenda when Lugar met for negotiations with National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley.

Did Lugar get some commitments from Hadley that the White House would dump Maliki?

Unclear.

But it is worth noting that Lugar refused to support Senate defense appropriation amendments that press for US withdrawal.

At the same time, the Wall Street Journal reports that Senator Lugar will join Senator John Warner in offering an amendment of their own to the defense spending bill.

If Lugar’s big speech of June 25 is any guide, a Lugar-Warner amendment will be heavy on rhetoric about the urgency of a “change of course” in Iraq, very light on troop withdrawal and very strident in its demand for a political change in Iraq.

If Lugar gets his way, Bush is going to have to abandon his talk about supporting the “young democracy” of Iraq.

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