"Surge The Whole Country"
To his credit, Anderson Cooper has kept his focus on the most important story right now: Iraq. He's helped by the talent and integrity of Michael Ware. Here's a conversation they had yesterday that covers in a few sentences all the critical ground:
WARE: To hear American politicians talking about putting pressure on Maliki, a lame-duck prime minister who has no authority with his own people or his government, to force a reconciliation, that reconciliation is in nobody's interests.
COOPER: Well, if not Maliki, what are the other options? Are there other options?
WARE: A great question, Anderson. The alternatives that are being considered are non-democratic. They point specifically to places like Pakistan and Egypt, where you have military strongmen with a quasi-democracy who first deliver security, and democracy comes after that.
COOPER: Where does the so-called surge - others say just escalation - where does it stand? How is it going? Too soon to tell?
WARE: Oh, way too soon to tell. But what I can tell you right now, that, in terms of Baghdad, if you want to look at it through a microscope, without looking at the rest of the country, the surge will have an impact.
But, at the end of the day, if America wants to win in Iraq, it would need to surge the whole country. But it can't.
Read those last two sentences again. The truth is in front of our noses. Ware has been there for years. He's a truth-teller, not a spin-merchant. One obvious sceanrio that hasn't been fully addressed. If the surge fails to perform a miracle, the Bush administration will be loath to redeploy without some attempt to have a government with actual power. Will there be a coup? Are we going to try and find a Shiite Musharraf?