US Democrats are not inherently averse to war; Lyndon Johnson led the Vietnam War. A cut and run approach in Iraq would stigmatize the Democrats. Bush’s military consultants will now offer a slightly new policy in Iraq, and the Democrats, if the US then withdraws, will be blamed for the fiasco. Bush’s new strategy might have worked, but Democrats supposedly did not give it a chance. The US military also warned against withdrawal and could blame Democrats for both the increased violence in Iraq and withdrawal, rather than Bush and his whole invasion policy. It is unlikely the Democrats will press for a wholesale withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.

US training of Iraqi police to deal with the insurgents is a sham. Iraqi police are very well trained against armed opposition. The Baathist police. The US might not like them, but building another from scratch in a limited time is impossible. A strong police apparatus cannot work in the semi-democratic Iraq the US is trying to shape. Efficient police need a strong Iraqi leader, a strongman. The only option is to restore the Baathist army and police. Keep mid- and lower-level commanders, change a few heads to maintain the appearance of reform, change the name, and let the reformed Baathists deal with the insurgents ruthlessly and illiberally.

In any case, the sectarian violence in Iraq is not US business. Let the Iraqis kill each other if they want to. The West’s only concern is that Iraq not develop WMD. If the Iraqi government cannot eradicate the terrorist training camps, the US can eliminate them with air strikes.

The best scenario is to give the Shia part of Iraq to Iran in exchange for giving up its nuclear program, create a country for the Kurds and resettle Turkey’s troublesome Kurds there, and leave sunni Iraq as a minor state. Israel will enjoy the modern precedent of population deportation, also applicable to Israeli Arabs. The Iranians will keep terrorists out of the shia area, as they now keep Hezbollah largely out of Iran. Muslims will get a lesson: messing with the US left mighty Iraq dismembered.