The CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department have warned President Bush that the United States and its Iraqi allies are not winning the battle against Iraqi insurgents who are trying to derail the country’s Jan. 30 elections, according to administration officials.
[T]hey said the warnings — including one delivered this week to Bush by CIA Director Porter Goss — indicated that U.S. forces had not been able to stop the insurgents’ intimidation of Iraqi voters, candidates and others who want to participate in the elections.
“We don’t have an answer to the intimidation,” one senior official said.
The elections are key to U.S. strategy in Iraq, and Bush and his team have insisted that they proceed as scheduled.
Bush, speaking at Camp Pendleton, held Iraq up as a model: “The success of democracy in Iraq will also inspire others across the Middle East to defend their own freedom.”
Yet even a successful election in Iraq might not be the model the United States wants to hold up to the rest of the region.
Iraq’s majority Shiite Muslims are expected to dominate the parliament, and there are concerns that the new government could have close ties to Iran and a theocratic bent.
A theocratic state in Iraq “is not exactly what the United States or the Europeans had in mind before the war,” said Abdeslam Maghraoui, the director of the Muslim World Initiative at the Washington-based U.S. Institute of Peace.
If you are keeping score, that’s 100,000 dead Iraqis, more than 1,300 dead Americans, and tens of thousands of wounded Americans (both physically and psychologically) all so Georgie could give birth to another Tehran.