Amb. Crocker, Bucking the Bureaucratic Trend, Calls for 'Strategic Patience' in Iraq
As some of the regulars here may know, I've never been a major fan of Amb. Ryan Crocker (...or of Gen. David Petraeus, for that matter), but Crocker's statements today are very reasonable, and they represent a sharp break with the State Department's conventional wisdom on the Middle East. Crocker is asking the American public to think of what the mission in Iraq can achieve in 10-20 years. Problem is, apart from Senators McCain and Lieberman and a few others, no one seems to be thinking that far ahead.
Here are some of the highlights:
"All Americans should be and are proud of the achievements in Iraq and the American role in bringing about the change," he said. "Iraq is in a far, far better place than it was say 18 months ago."Absolutely true: America will be judged by its achievements in securing its interests, not by dolling out slobbery apologies to the rest of the world. McCain wants to win, Obama wants to apologize: that's the foreign policy dichotomy in this election.
"With the improvement of conditions in Iraq regional powers are taking a new look at Iraq ... but also at the U.S.," he said. "And again I think that what happens going forward is going to have a profound effect on how the U.S. is perceived in this region and beyond."
"If we are seen as the catalyst that does produce a stable, secure democratic Iraq that never again threatens its own people or its neighbors, we will be seen as a power that came in and produced a fundamentally positive shift in this region."