November 29, 2003

Quick Comment on Iraq Trip

One thing that I'm surprised hasn't hit most of the punditry is that Iraqis have been advertised as being most fearful that the US will leave with the job undone and with them in the lurch. This fear explains why intelligence hasn't been coming in as fast as it might. It explains why people are still willing to deal with the Baathists. They're playing both sides of the fence so that if the US leaves and the Baathists move back in, they might just survive the transition.

By making this trip, President Bush has staked his presidential credibility on Iraq in a very forceful way. He's planted his flag and made it clear that Iraq gets fixed or his political career and political legacy are toast. That's a commitment that Iraqis should take great comfort in. It is also something that will likely save a lot of lives in future.

Sure the visit was for the troops, and it was also beneficial politically, but the most under-appreciated factor might just be how it changes Iraqi psychology and convinces them that we're serious.

I'm just surprised that I can't find others making the same point.

Posted by TMLutas at November 29, 2003 11:17 PM