JUST SHOOT ME. Today's Washington Post op-ed page self-parody comes from David Ignatius, who passes on the exciting new "post-surge" plan floated by White House officials:
President Bush and his senior military and foreign policy advisers are beginning to discuss a "post-surge" strategy for Iraq that they hope could gain bipartisan political support. The new policy would focus on training and advising Iraqi troops rather than the broader goal of achieving a political reconciliation in Iraq, which senior officials recognize may be unachievable within the time available.
Which is to say, the new plan consists of nothing that we haven't already been attempting for the last several years, and nothing that in any way addresses the underlying political dynamics that are fuelling the sectarian conflict. Is training the national Iraqi military going to fare any better than our training of the Iraqi police? (It should also be noted that targetting of "Iranian-backed sectarian militias" will also remain a top priority in this plan, just to complete the incoherence nice and tidily.)
Ignatius reports that the administration's hope for this hilariously empty non-plan is that it "would have sufficient bipartisan support so it could be sustained even after the Bush administration leaves office in early 2009." And what is Ignatius's conclusion from all this? Well, here's where the self-parody part comes:
The wild cards in this new effort to craft a bipartisan Iraq policy are the Republican and Democratic leaders, President Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. They both say they want a sustainable, effective Iraq policy, but each is deeply entrenched in a partisan version of what that policy should be. America is in a nosedive in Iraq. Can these two leaders share the controls enough that Iraq will become a U.S. project, rather than George Bush's war? There's a bipartisan path out of this impasse, but will America's leaders be wise enough to take it?
Indeed, that is the question! The only thing that could possibly stop this pony plan from being a total success is petty domestic U.S. partisanship.
In this op-ed genre, there is always -- always -- "a bipartisan path out of this impasse," no matter what that "impasse" may be, no matter how many years it has remained, and no matter how many thousands of people have been killed as a result of it.