The Posse is somewhat relieved to turn aside from the that is currently raging in our lungs to lighter fare: namely the hated Instapundit's blog symposium on changing US foreign policy.
In our younger years, we were considered to be "realists" of the kind that currently dominate the pinstripe back-seat driver circuit. Back then realists were of the Kissinger mold: cold, ruthless, efficient.
The current lot are a disgrace to the name. James Baker's group of pencil-necks values stability, not national interest. This makes them unimaginative, not realistic.
The key is a regional solution. We cannot wall off Iraq from the nations around it, nor should we wish to. Instead, we should be exporting Iraq to the rest of the region.
This having been said, it has long been clear that the US plays by one set of rules, and its rivals use a far more effective and different set.
This needs to change.
The US need make no formal announcement, but it is time for Baby Assad to pay the piper. CIA should begin planting stories of imminent coups, unrest and State Dept. hacks should start denying the Baby Assad's government will collapse within the next couple of months.
At the same time, the US should initiate cross-border raids to root out known terrorist sanctuaries in Syria, including air strikes. If questioned, deny them. Israel would be great at helping in this sort of thing.
While this is going on, the US should begin sending messages to Assad: "Where do you want to retire? Would you prefer a gallows in Damascus or the French Rivera?"
Regime change, more of it.
The effects of this policy on Iraq would be immediate. With Syria rocking back, suddenly the insurgents would have less support to draw upon. This then sets the state for the second move: Iran.
The US should immediately demand:
1. Cessation of all interference in Iraq
2. Work on all nuclear weapons in Iran.
When Iran thumbs its nose, we should begin funding insurgent movements within Iran and formally recognize a regime in exile. Give them money. This was NOT done in Iraq and we are paying the price.
A regime in exile has problems, but at least it also has legitimacy and arms of its own to call upon.
Thus the Free Government of Iran should be given training facilities, equipment and propaganda (broadcast) support.
The goal in this is simple: show our enemies that we can play their games and hurt them worse than they can hurt us.
Within Iraq, we agree that the US cannot sort out the situation single-handedly; only the Iraqi government can do that. The US is right to reassess our deployments there - and by this we don't mean fleeing to Okinawa.
Instead the question should be of creating true, honest ink-blots that spread out over the country. Kurdistan is one such area. Another would be some of the more peaceful southern provinces. These areas should be provided with lavish aid and security and the Iraqis should start shouldering the load elsewhere.
The Iraqi Army is about as good as it is going to get without a change in leadership. The only thing holding it back is its own government's weakness. This is not a problem we can solve, but we can begin drawing down and pulling back to let it either stand on its own or devolve into a federal entity.
But this cannot happen alone. Syria and Iran must feel pressure on them, or they will attempt to make an even bigger mess and claim credit for thwarting the Great Satan. If Baby Assad is out of the picture and the mullahs are fighthing their own rebellion, their claims to victory will be harder to make.