Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Al-Maliki, Conservatives, and the Iraq War

UPDATE: One thing that makes me think the conservatives (at a high level of leadership) want to get out of the Iraq war is that current and former military commanders have been admitting (and the news has been getting out that they have been admitting) that they want to get out of the Iraq war, and on to Afghanistan, or that they think the Iraq war is a bust.

If you check out this story, you'll discover the White House was sending out an e-mail to its rank-and-file supporters (ordinary people who signed up to their mailing list) stating that Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki favors Barack Obama's withdrawal plan and wants our military forces to leave Iraq. The more I've thought about this, the more I've come to believe that this was really unlikely a blunder, and to believe that it was done intentionally. I'm now convinced that something you may have seen me speculate on-- that the Republicans could have changed their position on Iraq (on whether the occupation can work out or not-- whether things can change lastingly for the better) sometime over the last year or so, and are just now more and more taking actions to dissolve the political support for occupation among their base (by doing things like advertising the fact that the Iraqis want us to leave) so that the environment will be made comfortable for the leading Republican voices to openly change their minds about it and the policy to be changed. It's very tiresome, even revolting, when the Republicans have up til this point pretended that staying in was the only possible answer and the idea of leaving was close to treasonous. So it makes sense that they would pull this cowardly move, and try to obliquely convince all their friends we should leave before they openly say we should leave. It's a hard "We were wrong" to state to the parents, friends and relatives of all those troops who got hurt and died-- people who the Republicans swore up and down to that we absolutely needed to be in Iraq, and that the liberals were all being a bunch of idiots for saying we shouldn't be.

Something that convinced me more of this was the fact that I'd already concluded that Al-Maliki was a conservative stooge, but he was starting to say that we should leave. It could look out of place at first- why would a conservative stooge say he wanted us to leave if the conservatives wanted us to stay, like they kept saying? But that reminded me of other things I'd seen earlier that make me suspicious that the conservatives at many levels of personnel were becoming very doubtful of the Iraq war, which indeed was not improving (couldn't they see it?). If I had been right about the conservatives changing course on the Iraq war, it would make sense that Al-Maliki would say that we should get out if he was a conservative stooge, because it gives the conservatives the perfect, face-saving excuse to get out: the Iraqis don't want us there, and even the leader of the country is saying it.

It's a similar observation to mine about the global warming debate- conservative/fundamentalist TV pastors, who go up on the soap-box for conservative politics all the time, were suddenly changing "their" positions on global warming. If it really was so clear that global warming was a real problem by this point, wouldn't responsible conservatives come around eventually and want to take that position back? And wouldn't the most obvious, most two-faced shills for the conservatives have a hand in clearing the way for that? I wouldn't necessarily say that every conservative preacher who has been in the news for publicly changing his stance on global warming has to be doing so at the behest of a conservative, political master. But I expect that at least one or some were.

On Monday, the Carpetbagger Report blog featured this sentence:

The right now has a new idea on how to deal with the debate over Iraq policy: go after Maliki as an Iranian stooge. Didn’t conservatives love this guy as recently as last week?
But they linked it up to this link. If you go and follow the link, it's to an article about just one guy (and no one particularly famous) calling Maliki an Iranian stooge. So it's not even some new conservative policy to do this-- rather it's just one guy (who presumably can't by-himself counteract weeks and months of conservative messaging about how they love Maliki).

So that sounds a lot more like a red herring thrown to liberals to throw them off the course of realizing Maliki is a conservative stooge than it sounds like a piece of evidence that contradicts my theory.

This theory still makes sense if the guys who want to change the conservative stance on the Iraq war can't bring McCain into the fold, because he is headstrong and dumb. If that's the case, then they may feel the need to change the rank-and-file conservatives first, so Weathervane John can discern the need to change his position. Or, he may already be in on it, but is just waiting for the voters to change their minds on Iraq before he publicly changes his position.