|Conservatives and exiles desert war campaign - FT|
Conservatives and exiles desert war campaign
By Guy Dinmore
Published: October 11 2005 17:19 | Last updated: October 11 2005 17:19
... American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and the Heritage Foundation, held conferences on Iraq ... mood among speakers ... decidedly sombre.
[Kanan Makiya:] ... admitting to many “dashed dreams”. [He] seriously underestimated the powers of ethnic and sectarian self-interest ... [and] survivability of the Ba'ath party ... ... also blamed [Team Bush] for poor planning ... too few troops. ... proposed constitution “profoundly destabilising document” that could “deal a death blow” to Iraq ...
[Rend Rahim, Iraqi ambassador to the US:] ... [Iraqi] constitution ... a recipe for greater chaos ... ... would lead to ... devolution of power ... central government would barely exist ...
[Qubad Talabani, rep of Kurdish regional government:]
... delivered a stinging indictment of the central government ...
[Danielle Pletka of AEI:] ... called the constitution deeply flawed ...
CBS poll ... 32[%] of Americans approve of ... Bush's handling of ... Iraq ... 59[%] want US troops out “as soon as possible, even if Iraq is not completely stable”.
[General David Petraeus:]
... concerns [about] not ... enough ... Sunnis [in army &] ... Iraqi soldiers [w/] “conflicting loyalties”.
[Michael Eisenstadt of WINEP:]
... insurgents [now] mounting about 90 attacks a day ... 50 to 70[/day] a year ago.
... if the constitution is approved insurgents will be able to mobilise more support from Sunnis who feel the system is stacked against them. ... [Team Bush's] original goals [for Iraq are] ... out of reach but “something acceptable” ... still possible.
“I don't know if it is winnable, but we haven't lost it yet.”
[Team Bush:] ... premature pull-out ... would mean ... defeat for the whole “freedom agenda” in the Middle East.
“If we quit now, we will embolden every enemy of liberty and democracy across the Middle East. We will destroy any chance that the people of this region have of building a future of hope and opportunity. And we will make America more vulnerable.”
© Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2005