The dichotomy on offer is scale down or scale up. President Bush was smart enough to up the stakes of the debate before it slid into impeach the president or let him complete a lame duck term. But still his motives are those of a leader in trouble and his decisions are following a course of political survival that may not be the ideal prescription for Iraq or indeed for America, itself.
Bold transformation is required now. Bold and decisive. What options has Bush left for a brilliant strategy to save the day?
Here is a plan that could have a long term future for Iraq:
1. Make Bagdhad into an international protectorate and seat of federal government. Divide Iraq into North and South provinces that are commonly taxed and share in the wealth. Allow sectarian divisions to guide people where it may be safer to live.
2. Issue fatwa against sectarian killing or any killing of an Iraqi by an Iraqi as a crime against God.
3. The US Army maintains, for a period of up to ten years, a safe zone around Bagdhad 20 kilometers each direction. Bagdhad is policed rigorously and the rest of the country is given to the Iraq army and military.
Can George Bush not see that he needs to stop hitting his head against the ancient conflict between Arab and Persian – and stand strong between them while teaching them how to get along with each other?