Daniel Pipes, in the Jerusalem Post sees last week’s huried visit to Washington by Paul Bremer as the harbinger of a new plan for Iraq. Says Pipes, “the military will be Iraqified” and “the new emphasis [will be] less on establishing a Jeffersonian democracy than on shifting power and responsibility to Iraqis, and doing so pronto.” Pipes sees this as a victory for “the Defense Department’s realism and a defeat for the State Department’s dreamy hope to recreate the Philadelphia of 1787 in Baghdad.”
Pipes proposes, and thinks we are moving towards, a regime in which “boots on the city streets” are Iraqi, with coalition forces moving out of inhabited areas and into the deserts. The role of these forces will be to hunt down Saddam and his henchmen, and to guarantee borders, oil and gas lines, and the government in Baghdad. Otherwise, the Iraqis should maintain order and make key decisions about their governance. “As long as [they] pose no danger to the outside world nor brutalize [their] own population, that should be acceptable.”
I agree with Pipes’ pragmatic vision. But I don’t know whether we can withdraw to the desert “pronto” and still “guarantee a government in Baghdad.”


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